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Director of Facilities Management

Job Function and Responsibilities

The Director Facilities Management contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by effectively managing the construction and maintenance of facilities, exhibits and utilities throughout the park to contribute and support the CZS goals of providing extraordinary guest experience and financial sustainability.

Primary duties and responsibilities:

Manages all Plant & Facilities projects, special repairs, routine repairs and preventative maintenance programs. Ensure construction is timely, cost effective and supports institutional goals and policies.  Maintenance includes Electric, Water, Gas, HVAC, Carpentry, Exhibition, Welding, and Painting.  Assist with capital construction program and act as CZS project management liaison.  Participate in capital project planning teams as assigned.  Provide input on long-term department planning to the VP of Risk & Facilities Management (“VP”).  Identify and budget necessary resources. Approve purchases for assigned areas in accordance with prescribed policies and purchasing policies.   Manage construction activities, design, renovations, repairs, and major infrastructure maintenance.  Ensure compliance with applicable building codes and regulations.

Develop and control Exhibit and Facilities department operating budgets in conjunction with the Vice President of Risk & Facilities Management (“VP”).  Approve and control all department expenditures and purchasing accordingly.  Produce facility surveys, construction evaluations, schedule projections, technical evaluations, and work schedule analyses to accurately represent and project park-wide resource allocations.

Leads and facilitates projects from conceptual design through construction and commissioning. Arranges meetings, sets agendas, and acts as the primary liaison with external consultants, designers, architects, general contractors, and CZS staff.  Oversee and manages project scope, facilities development of design specifications, coordinates bid process in conjunction with the Procurement department, and manages overall project scheduling.  Ensures adherence to project specifications and timelines. Works with CZS staff on project concept, needs and requirements.  Reviews and interprets detailed construction plans and specifications.  Serves as the field liaison for all construction related activities, working with general contractors, architects, engineers, CZS staff and other vendors for the duration of the project. Works closely with internal stakeholders to ensure deliverables and approvals at various stages are secured.  Regularly inspects work to ensure compliance with all standards and specifications. Monitors and directs contractor operations to ensure safety compliance.  Assures all necessary permits are obtained.

Assist VP by acting in the capacity as a liaison with outside utility providers for gas, water and electric purchases.  Work with suppliers to provide services in the best interest of the institution.  Monitor consumption data, project future consumption, and nominate appropriate supply amounts, as directed.

Develop and maintain Standard Operating Procedure programs to include, safety, inventory, purchasing and facility surveys.  Coordinate activities of assigned leads, ensure all permits are in place, establish departmental standards, and necessary resources are budgeted.  Maintain material inventories and oversee new product research.

Manage plant maintenance work.  Ensure exhibits and facilities are well maintained, functional, meet animal collection health and welfare requirements, and are aesthetically pleasing to guests.  Coordinate annual facilities program planning.  Establish and enforce quality control standards for each utility system throughout the park.  Ensure all necessary inspections are completed.  Develop technical specifications for material and application standards.

Maintain detailed work order system and proper recordkeeping, documentation and support systems to collect, track and report labor, work progress and other data management and decision making. Approve timecards, OT and beeper pay and assures accuracy.

Coordinate and schedule services as necessary in support of special events with requesting clients and with other department groups.  Utilize CMMS and other programs that identify available labor hours, requested services, scheduling concerns, and accurately reflect costs for special events.

Act as the Plant & Facilities liaison for the CZS Incident Response team.  Respond to all CZS life-threatening or other emergencies on behalf of the Facilities department.  Assist in the preparation and review of new and current facilities incident response procedures and standards and provide documentation of available resources to the Incident Response team during crisis events.

Work with VP to manage employee safety program within the Facilities department.  Ensure staff participation in training, compliance with safety policies and protocols, and maintenance of required information and records.

Hire, select, develop, and manage qualified department staff. Oversee scheduling and work assignments, orientation, staff training and development, coaching and counseling, performance appraisal and management, recognition, and recommendation of appropriate disciplinary and termination employment actions.

Develop and implement actions to improve workplace culture with an emphasis on driving results and fostering inclusion.  Actively lead employee engagement, talent development, recruitment, and retention initiatives.  Leverage organizational resources (training and development-CZS University, performance management systems, employee surveys, regular communications vehicles, staff meetings, etc.) to drive continuous improvement and positive outcomes.

Other related duties as assigned.

Position Requirements and Specifications

The requirements for this position include:

  • Associates degree in Business Management, Facility Management or trade certification in appropriate skill category of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, painting, or welding required.  High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required.
  • Advanced technical training in a construction field.
  • 10 years’ comparable experience in facility maintenance and small to medium-size construction projects.
  • Five years of supervisory experience required, including supervision of union workers.
  • Ability to read blueprints and construction specifications.
  • Experience developing and maintaining budgets.
  • Good communication skills required.  Ability to communicate effectively with peers.
  • Ability to write technical specifications and perform job accounting summaries.
  • Ability to organize projects and delegate responsibilities, meet critical deadlines and hold staff accountable.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of privileged information.
  • Must be highly flexible and able to respond and adapt quickly and easily to change.
  • Computer experience and proficiency required, including Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.
  • Valid driver’s license required at time of hire.  Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois driver’s license or obtain one within 90 days of hire.  Valid out-of-state driver’s license is required for out-of-state residents.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Construction Management, Engineering, or eight years of equivalent training and experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of computerized scheduling and costing programs.
  • Experience in public or not-for-profit institutions preferred.
  • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

Additional Information:  This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. This position requires an experienced, self-motivated individual who is highly professional.  Incumbent is required to gain a solid understanding of the organization, its mission, vision, values, history, and operating philosophies, and how construction projects impacts the Society, the zoo, the departments and outside organizations, contractors, vendors, etc.  Must be persistent, results-oriented, confident with a commitment to excellence.  Must be highly sensitive to and considerate of the impact of construction, exhibit, and materials on animals, staff, and guests.  Must strive to retain as many native trees and other flora as possible and incorporate into design. Evenings, early mornings, and weekends may be required.  Incumbent is expected to be present and visible at designated Society events for employees, Board members, and/or other professional participants and audiences. Represents the Society in a professional manner at all times.  Some local travel may be required.  Individual must be willing to make a significant commitment to the organization.

Additional Information

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Workplace safety is the Chicago Zoological Society’s top priority.  We require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they request and receive a religious or medical exemption.  New hires must have at least received their first vaccine dose prior to their start date.  (Updated 9/16/22)

Related job titles: Superintendent, Foreman

Schedule Details

This is a regular full-time salaried role in which 55 hour work weeks are not unusual.  Brookfield Zoo is open 365 days per year. Typical work schedule is Monday – Friday; evenings, early mornings, and weekends may be required

Job Location Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo

Zip Code 60513

Department Plant & Facilities Administration

Group Finance

Union Status Non-Union

Work Shift Weekdays- some evenings/weekends- etc.