Committee Reflection on 2020 & Hopes for 2021 – Part Two

We asked the committee to reflect on the past year and what their thoughts/hopes are for 2021.

The committee had so much to share, we decided to split the blog in two parts. In the first part of our blog, you heard from James, Esme, Roshan and Bianca.

In this part, you will hear from Cheryl-Anne, Kristian, Sophie and Phil. We hope you enjoy reading it and gives you hope for 2021, even if it hasn’t started the way we all had hoped.

We have already had so much feedback around Part One, so please contonue to share your thoughts, we love hearing from you!

Cheryl-Anne Friel – EWL Committee Member (Regional Director, Churchill Group)

I wish many years ago I wrote a letter to myself and it said –  not to worry it’s gonna be ok and when you think you’ve hit rock bottom your gonna get back up and kick ass!!!

Never in a million years did I think 2020 would turn out the way it did, however it did; and man it came thick and fast! But, there were many amazing elements to it as well: 

  • I adapted
  • I learnt how to manage one crisis after another
  • I brought my mental and physical barriers to a level I never knew they had the capacity to reach
  • I realised that the small things in life were the best
  • I found a way to adapt a kitchen into an office, and then into a ‘dine for two’ restaurant for home dinner dates 
  • I decided that work-life balance was more important now then ever before 
  • I pushed my risk barriers and completed a business restructure with my co-pilot 
  • I showed my vulnerability by opening up, when I lost two key people in my life and I wasn’t coping. I was struggling to manage all the demands of grieve and wanting to be the leader that I love being 

So as for 2021 ….

I’m gonna push my barriers again, I’m gonna give it all I’ve got, I’m gonna give me people all the exposure they deserve and I’m gonna make them realise lockdown or no lockdown; the FM industry is EPIC; and we need to shout about all the great things and reasons why people would want to be part of our FM family!


Kristian Trend – EWL Committee Member

In many ways 2020 was both the best and worst year of my life. It was a year which started with the loss of my father and making the decision to spend the first lockdown living back at our family home so that my mother would not be forced into isolation alone at such a difficult time. Going out each day for our authorised exercise walking the length and breadth of the village I grew up in, was in equal parts strange and nostalgic, saddening, yet honouring to my past. 2020 was a year in which I surprised myself by becoming spiritual and it dawned on me that although success and recognition were still important to me, my life would not be measured by that and that alone. I didn’t just want to be a good workplace leader; I wanted to be a good son, a good brother and a good uncle to my 2-year-old nephew too.

Continuing with that theme in many ways 2020 gave birth to a whole new version of myself as I became passionate about meditation and reading and now sought not only professional growth but spiritual growth too. So, when the opportunity arose for me to take a career break and have some ‘me’ time abroad, I took it. Moving to the Canary Islands for the winter months allowed me to properly process the loss of my father and unexpectedly allowed me to find love again; finding the perfect partner I would not of otherwise met.

Ever the optimist I know 2021 will be a better year than last year for me personally. However, how good a year it is, for us all as individuals is dependent on YOU and how you react to the events that unfold.

So remember that you are not your thoughts! You have little control over the subconscious stream of content that bounces around your mind, the combined data from your five perceptive senses and past experiences. However, you do get to choose which thoughts you own and which you dismiss, which thoughts you accept and which you let go of. With that in mind I set my new year’s intentions to continue to hold myself in a place of positivity to always be authentic to myself and others and return to the workplace with as fresh much more holistic view on leadership.

Sophie Leigh – EWL Committee Member (Key Account Manager, ISS)

What a year 2020 has been. For me, lockdown 1 was working from my kitchen, zooming constantly, morning walks and talking to my plants on the balcony!

Lockdown 2 (or is this 3?!) couldn’t be more different. At the end of 2020 I decided to take a career leap, and left banking to join healthcare. Early starts, cycling to work and people – Hurrah!

It’s an intense time to be working in a hospital right now, but so great to be a part of a moment in history and to be supporting something so important.

Phil Matis – EWL Committe Member and Digital Lead (Regional Director, Churchill Group)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has dominated peoples lives throughout 2020; reading these reflections and understanding what people have went thought (both negative and positive) did however remind me that regardless of the pandemic; everyone, whether you know it or not have their own fight. We may always not be able to help with the fight, but we can always be there to support.

Last year we saw our industry, our network, our nation, and our world come together. We learnt more about each other, the huge strides in digitisation gave us the ability to connect better and reflect on what’s important to each and every one of us.

For me, to truly reflect on 2020 I need to put the pandemic to one side. So many life-changing things happened last year which we must ensure we don’t forget; think about the Australian bush fires, the US wild-fires, accidental and non-accidental explosions and terrorism. Think about the Black Lives Matter movement, the controversial political situations in the UK and abroad, the emphasis on sustainability and the devastating impact around plastic pollution – the list just goes on!

2020 has made me realise that we can’t forget the whole picture. Every individual counts, everyone is going through something, everyone needs support, and everyone needs to continue to come together to tackle the issues that matter and bring hope, motivation and positivity. Personally, 2020 brought loss, grief, stress, anger and many other challenges; but I also got married, connected with family and friends and realised there is support in the people around you, and as long as you have that hope, motivation and positivity; you really can get through anything.

So, what do I see for the future?

I see that the pandemic will continue to affect us, I see political and financial shifts that will change our nation, and I see that people with personally and professional continue to struggle.

But what I also see, is the incredible efforts to stand as one, I see that when people have time to think and take action, we tackle huge life-changing issues that are too often forgotten, I see people networking and coming together, I see comradery and support for all who have helped us through the most challenging of times in our lives (especially within our industry), and I see that we will always get through the worst if we stand together.

What do I hope for 2021? That this will continue.

On that note, I challenge you to reach out to someone who you aren’t directly linked with, whether that be to help someone who is asking, or just as a friendly gesture to remind people of the value of networking…

Committee Reflection on 2020 & Hopes for 2021 – Part One

What a year 2020 was, am I right? I believe the most popular word to describe 2020 was ‘unprecedented’ and when hearing that word it’s easy to get fixed on it and feel that we lost a year. So, we wanted to bring you some positive vibes!

We asked the EWL committee to reflect on 2020 and to share their thoughts and what their hopes are for 2021. The committee had so much to share, we decided to split the blog in two parts.

In part one you will hear from James, Esme, Roshan and Bianca. In part two, being released next week, you will hear from Cher, Kristian, Sophie and Phil.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as each of us did writing it. It reminded us of all the growth each of us have gone through, but also the growth of us all as a network, community, industry and a Nation.

We would love for you to share this blog, as well as your own thoughts and reflections!

James Bradley (Co-Chair & Co-Founder of EWL; Director at Churchill Group)

2020 was a difficult year for most of us – I’d imagine very few worldwide have been unaffected. However, I think it is fair to say there have also been some real positives;

– More and more of us are caring for our precious environment
– Back Lives Matter educated millions of people across the globe
– Technology was forced to once again up its game
– And on a more local level it was great to see our deep routed care and compassion for one and other
– I could go on…

I don’t see any of the above just staying in 2020, and I sincerely hope we can collectively take these positives into 2021 – I for one will be doing my bit! And it goes without saying, lets also leave the negatives firmly behind.

Of course, this will be easier said than done. However, I do believe our amazing FM industry is well equipped to positively contribute towards the challenge. Afterall, we’re all change experts, comfortable operating in changing times and are good at getting things done! All things in my mind, we should celebrate and be inspired by.

So, whether we’re helping to ensure our infrastructure is hygienic and safe, deploying social value in our core operations, or supporting pretty much every sector back to the new normal; I’m looking forward to embracing 2021, and taking inspiration from the knowledge and belief that Facilities Management can do so much towards our futures. Wishing all a great 2021.

Esme Banks (EWL Committee Member; Development Director at Leesman)

In April 2020, two weeks after the first official UK lockdown began, I started my new role at Leesman. I‘d just taken after a 30+ hour emergency flight home from Auckland (via Sydney, and then Singapore – both places I was due to stay on my trip), which saw me arrive home a day before Jacinda Ardern closed the NZ border.

I’ve reflected a lot recently, as is common this time of year… My first day was of course, remote. My inductions were remote, my laptop was couriered to me ahead of my start date, complete with moleskin notebook and the latest Leesman reading list. I learnt quickly that the team, along with the rest of the world in 2020, are fans of video-on VCs.

I considered myself very lucky at the time, because I’m very used to working at my kitchen table. For a great deal of us, this wasn’t really anything new. For others, they’d never worked in such a remote way before. There’s a lot to love and a lot to hate. Whether you’re used to it or not, it is different. Working from home during a global pandemic is not the same as working remotely one day a week so that you can have some ‘uninterrupted’ time to write that proposal, design the new brochure, pick the kids up from school…

Starting at Leesman felt a little like a homecoming. I’ve worked alongside the brand for almost five years and in terms of workplace, they’ve been my de facto reference since 2015. The act of getting home to North London at the beginning of a global pandemic was also a homecoming of sorts. And as we can all appreciate, there was a much wider homecoming going on, as millions were sent home, from work, to work, from home.

Technically speaking I can ‘do’ my job from anywhere. So many in our industry can’t. They continue to go into workplaces, in there many forms, day in day out to clean, secure, feed those who are still around, fix things that need fixing and carry on with their ‘work’.

A very unforeseen circumstance is what got us here. And while much of the literature we’ve read the last 10 – 12 months is about collective efforts – and we are all in this together, whether that’s supporting the direct fight against the spread or relying on, or aiding, loved ones less able to get by – the impact is affecting us all differently. We’re all coping differently. Life is different for each of us, we all ‘handle’ things in different ways – a bit like how we all need different things from the places we work from. We have different daily tasks to complete and we all require things to be slightly different to be able to complete them. The capacity to empathise will, I hope, remain an important trait for all in 2021.  

Roshan Deshmanya (EWL Committee Member & Communication Lead; Account Manager at CBRE)

Like it was for most people, 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for me personally and professionally, where I learned how to properly care for myself and my fellow human through a variety of unexpected yet valuable experiences. It was a year where I tried to rebalance and recalibrate. Self reflection allowed me to discover what is truly important to me and live more in alignment with my values where I previously had not been. I appreciated and craved for the simple things in life. I took on the challenge and led two accounts through uncertain times, navigating through furloughs and redundancy consultations while trying to maintain engagement and belonging (tough stuff!). Vulnerability and empathy played a huge part in my teams being able to achieve all of our clients’ business objectives and have our most successful year yet. I finished my ILM-5 course. I started immersing myself more in my passion areas and focussed on using different parts of the brain. And after feeling burnt out for most of the year, I rediscovered there’s more to life than just work!

For me, 2021 is about maintaining overall balance in life and continuing to do things I’m passionate about, both in and out of work. I’m looking forward to living somewhere new and doing some renovations and gardening. I’m going to visit all my family and friends back in Australia for the first time in two years. I’m going to build good habits and routines to keep healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’m going to continue welcoming challenges and opportunities that come my way at work with open arms. I’m going to continue supporting and empowering my teams to achieve new heights. I’m going to be more self aware and speak up about things I think are important for the world. And I’m going to keep reminding myself that happiness is a choice and remain positive through the tough times, because they’ll still be around even though 2020 won’t!

Bianca Angelico (EWL Committee Member & Co-Founder; Director of Guest Services at Amulet)

A year I will never forget but not for the reason you are thinking but because the following good happened to me; 

  • I got a promotion to Account Manager & Guest Services Lead.
  • It was the first time I led a team of more than 100 employees, and it was tough doing the majority online during a pandemic; however, it was amazing with lots of laughs and problem solving!
  • I did the Tony Robbins UPW event virtually and it was incredible (if you are thinking about it – do it. Life changing!).
  • Personally, I got married in tier 3 just before tier 4 kicked in; and also got to travel to Portugal and Cape Town 

So, for me 2020 was lots of highs, and don’t get me wrong there were low lows such as a complete breakdown, but I’m deciding to focus on the good and taking the lows as lessons. 

I’m seeing 2020 as the foundation for 2021. I start my dream job at Amulet as their Director of Guest Services this month – can’t freaking wait!

Personally, I hope to travel lots and have my big wedding day in Cape Town.

My word for 2021 is ‘fearless’ ~ saying yes before I’m ready, and being ok with being uncomfortable.

What’s your word? Share with us…

The Show Must Go On!

EWL YLOTY Finalist Showcase Event

The PFM Awards

Year on year the YLOTY Finalist Event puts the next generation of leaders in the spotlight after an already rigorous selection process to be crowned the Facilities Management Young Leader of Year.

In 2019 we hosted the event at the infamous City Hall in London and we have been inundated with questions around plans for 2020 after recently releasing this year’s finalists; and specifically in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, people far and wide are eager to hear what’s in store!

Living up to our values…

Connected – Growth – Humbled – Fun & Energetic – Fiercely Open Minded

…this year will bring something different than any other…watch this space; all details will be released soon!

The Emerging Workplace Leaders committee after a late night planning meeting ahead of launching plans for the iconic event of the year…the Young Leader of the Year 2020 Finalist Showcase Event!

To find out more about 2020’s YLOTY Finalists, click here!

PfM Awards – 2020’s Young Leader of the Year Award finalists announced!

After a record number of applicants in a far from normal and hugely uncertain year, three Young Leader of the Year finalists have been confirmed.

The Emerging Workplace Leaders (EWL) voluntary group has once again led the judging process of the category of the 2020 PFM Awards. Although the launch event was held in the form of a webinar earlier this year, the day of judging saw all the finalists and judges in attendance, while observing the necessary social distancing requirements. 

The three finalists are: Atalian Servest’s Head of Client Solutions and CSR James Mabbett, Derwent’s Students Scheme Manager, Kayleigh Stevenson, and Mitie’s Account Manager, Technical Services Mohammad Hassan.

The EWL’s chair and Churchill Group director James Bradley said: “The judging day was great, and we were so pleased to be able to safely welcome those shortlisted in person to showcase their journeys in the sector. The variety of candidates this year was very unique, so the decision was certainly a tough one. In a year when our sector is really in the spotlight, it’s great to still see such talent coming through.”

The EWL is now in the process of organising the annual finalist showcase event, which is usually a face to face celebration at a landmark building in the capital. This year, given the physical distance guidelines, the event will take place virtually – more details will be confirmed in the near future.

The PFM awards have been postponed until March 2021.

To see more about the process and 2020’s judging panel, click here!

Thank you! YLOTY 2020 Virtual Launch

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the first ever virtual launch of the PfM Young Leader of the Year Award 2020!!!

The evening started with an introduction from Co-Chair of the EWL, James Bradley who gave a great overview of the award and process for potential candidates!

Ben Sutherland hosted the first panel of the evening with past winners and finalists of the award; James Bradley, Phil Matis and Roshan Deshmanya all giving a fantastic overview on the awards process, how it has affected their lives on a personal and professional level, and the overall significance of the awards process.

We then moved into the final panel hosted by Esme Banks Marr around the hot topic of Leadership and what we have dubbed the FM Renaissance. The panel included Daniel Hawkins, Bianca Angelico and Cher Sanderson. Not only fending questions from the host but live questions from the particpants on Leadership, Confidence, the changing story of FM; and some hints and tips for all of you leaders out there!

“If you have a story, don’t be afraid to tell it” – Nominate yourself or another for the PfM YLOTY 2020!

… and visit our webpage to know more!

Young Leader of the Year 2020 – Virtual Launch!

To attend, sign up here

The Emerging Workplace Leaders is set to officially launch the celebrated PfM Young Leader of the Year (YLOTY) award on Tuesday 9th June, virtually, the event will take place via webinar at 16.45pm. 

Currently open for entries, the award calls for organisations who’d like to celebrate the success of a young leader on track to do great things – nominations and personal submissions are both welcome. The deadline for entries is the 24th July, the shortlist event will take place in October and the winner announced at the PFM awards on in November 2020.

The award showcases the substantial talent there is within the next generation of managers that have made an impact early on in their careers. It also identifies and acknowledges the future leaders in the FM and workplace sector, giving them a platform and voice to share their journey, innovative thinking and fresh attitude to help push forward and develop the industry.

This year’s event will take the form of a webinar, given the current situation around the global coronavirus pandemic.  The Emerging Workplace Leaders group will host the webinar and call on attendees to join them virtually, with glass in hand, to celebrate the many triumphs of FM, hear from past winners on the submission process, and industry figures on leadership skills and challenges in what the group has dubbed a year of FM Renaissance. 

James Bradley, director at Churchill Services and voluntary co-chair of the Emerging Workplace Leaders committee has said: “This year is different for everyone. And for the time being the way we collaborate will be different too. We want to celebrate our amazing sector, who have really been tested the last few months, by hosting an enjoyable launch event, as we have in other years. Thankfully, with technology, we’re able to continue on and meet virtually to hear from our past winners and also industry leaders at a time when leadership skills are so important.”

To attend, sign up here

Have a Merry Christmas…

…from all of the Emerging Workplace Leaders

EWL’s Christmas Social took place on the 10th December 2019 with guest quiz-master Peter Burnell-Jones followed by networking and drinks at The Castle in Farringdon. The event was sponsored by ICE, Crown Workspace and Craftex. As always, a fantastic turn out with many individuals from all across the sector. What a great way to end of the year!

Co-Chair James Bradley opened the evening with an overview of the year and a huge thanks to all members of the Emerging Workplace Leaders. 2019 started with the EWL re-brand and straight into the launch of the Young Leader of the Year Award which was held at ‘The Crystal, London’ sponsored by Boden Resource. Guest speaker Catch Hayward Founder and Chairman at Magenta Associates gave a fantastic and engaging seminar on Personal Brand which preceded a question panel involving four of the EWL committee. 2019 was also record breaking for the numbers and quality of submissions for the YLOTY, a favoured category of the PFM Awards. The finalist event was held at London’s iconic venue ‘City Hall’, sponsored by Amulet, part of the Churchill Group; the four finalist were centre-stage as individuals, and this year as a team presenting on the industry and it’s future. Congratulations to Roshan Deshmanya, the 2019 Young Leader of the Year 2019!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Christmas Social, our final event of the year, we wish you and all of your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are very much looking forward to 2020…Watch this space to find out more!

Well done to the Quiz winners!

Well done to the winners of the Tower Challenge!…

A final thank you to our sponsors who made the evening possible…

YLOTY Winner Announced at PFM Awards 2019

Held at The Brewery in London, the PFM Awards celebrate the success of the best talents, teams and partnerships within the industry. This year the PFM Partnership Awards have also been independently accredited with complying with all the criteria of the Independent Awards Standards Council’s Trust Mark for the quality and integrity of the FM industry’s favourite awards.

As with every other year, the Young Leader of the Year Award was very popular on the evening; introduced by James Bradley (Co-Chair) and award sponsor Boden Resource, it was clear from the outset the tough and challenging process the candidates had been through to become a finalist.

Each and every finalist deserve a big congratulations and we have no doubt you will be seeing a lot more of them.

And the winner is…

A very well done to Roshan Deshmanya from CBRE, Young Leader of the Year 2019!!!

After winning the award, Roshan comments “It’s an absolute honour to be awarded Young Leader of the Year amongst a strong pool of candidates. The YLOTY journey was an incredibly rewarding one, and provided an opportunity to pause and reflect on my career achievements to date, ways in which I’d like to continue contributing to community and the environment, and my aspirations to further the industry moving forward. A key highlight was the final round at the iconic City Hall overlooking the Thames, where we were partnered up and given the opportunity to demonstrate our thought leadership through a short presentation. I’m very grateful to the EWL for hosting a highly thought-out and rewarding judging process for the candidates. As YLOTY, I look forward to being a voice for young people and creating a meaningful impact in this dynamic industry of ours“.

PFM Award Winners Across the Board…

Partners in Cleaning
NJC with London Bridge City

Partners in Corporate
Principle Cleaning Services with BNP Paribas Real Estate

Partners in Corporate – Integrated FM Services
Robertson FM with IML and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Partners in Corporate Social Responsibility
Bywaters with BNP Paribas Real Estate

Achievement in Diversity
Tomorrow Meets Today

Partners in Energy Management
Engie with Peel Land & Property

Partners in Expert Services
Swiftclean (UK) with Zing Leisure

Partners in Expert Services – Public Sector
Amulet with c2c

Partners in Relocation
Restore Harrow Green with Jaguar Land Rover

Partners in Renovation
Interserve with the BBC

Partners in Smart FM
National Library of Scotland with Craigalan Controls

Partners in SME Organisations
Pareto FM with Zoological Society London

Partners in Training & Development
Acuity with The British Medical Association

Partners in Waste Management
intu with Don’t Waste UK

Partnership Team Member of the Year
Phil Harris, energy engineer, Engie

Account Director of the Year
Adam Davies, PTSG

Peter Middup Lifetime Achievement in FM Award
Julie Kortens

Overall Winner
National Library of Scotland with Craigalan Controls

YLOTY 2019 – Finalist Event – 3rd October – Get your tickets quick!

The finalist event is only next week and we are excited to announce the fantastic venue secured and sponsored by Amulet, part of the Churchill Group.

On the 3rd October, our future leaders of the industry and Young Leader of the Year finalists will showcase their talents, their journey and their thoughts on our industry, standing centre stage at the outstanding venue, City Hall in London.

Image result for city hall london

Amulet are a specialist intelligence-led security partner, providing a complete suite of security services for organisations looking for solutions more tailored to their needs. They combine industry-leading technology with highly trained personnel to provide security that helps organisations operate smoothly with minimum disruption. Darren Reid, Managing Director, states “The EWL network is vital to the future of our industry, being able to support and sponsor the Young Leader of the Year Finalist event at one of our key client sites is a fantastic opportunity to see the next generation of Leaders truly project their vision of the future, we look forward to seeing you there”.

Look out for our finalists below – it’s the industry event of the year!

  • Bryony Wellman of Engie
  • Frankie Laugier-Davies of Pareto FM
  • Roshan Deshmanya of CBRE
  • Sophie Leigh of ISS

To book your ticket, click the following link before they get sold out!

Book your ticket here!