One Minute with Deb Kleopfer
Deb Kleopfer, SVP Branding and Education, W Services Group, Inc.
Take us on the journey of your career path. How did you end up where you are?
As probably many of us in facilities management know, the career found me versus me finding it. I began my professional journey with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, then went on to environmental research. When research funding dried up, a business associate recommended me to a national chemical manufacturer, where I began my business development and management career. After many years, an opportunity presented itself to participate in a retail wood floor care project with Larry Whelan. A few years later, I had the good fortune to be hired into the Whelan International family where I worked in business development as well as quality assurance operations. Due to my passion for continual improvement and learning, I transitioned to a new position leading the efforts of our company branding and both our client and employee educational initiatives.
If you could describe the industry in a few words, what would you say?
I would describe the industry as dynamic, challenging, rewarding and fulfilling!
What advice do you have for someone just starting out in FM?
Jump in with both feet and get ready for a great ride. Take it all in stride, focus on continual learning, and constantly seek ways to make a positive impact for your clients, business associates and employee team members.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Is there such a thing as a typical day in the FM world? I move from project to project, meeting to meeting, conversation to conversation. At the end of the day, I hope that I have been able to provide solutions, add value and bring a smile to those around me.
What is your favorite book?
I’m an avid reader, as I believe there is little that compares to a good storyteller, so I have many books that are near and dear to me: “Live Like You Were Dying,” “For One More Day,” and “Tuesdays with Morrie,” all by Mitch Albom, and another favorite is “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance.