Andrew (Andy) Thorson, Facilities Director at Kandiyohi County, joined the Minnesota City/County Facility Management Association (MCCFMA) around 2015 when the group was still an informal gathering of peers for quarterly meetings with lunch and conversation. His positive experiences with the group have kept him coming back to meetings for over five years.
Being a member of the association has positively impacted Andy’s career and even helped him secure his current leadership role:
“Five years ago, Kandiyohi County had three building managers, and we each had our own little campus. Well, the County Administrator had been talking for years about combining to one director and then just having building supervisors. With an untimely leaving of one of the managers…the County Administrator decided to go that route. Well, since I’d been going to these meetings for four years, he put a lot of…credit to that, that I showed the willingness to be doing the legwork for the position, and that I had true interest. So I think being part of the group helped me get to the position where I am today.”
After each meeting, Andy brought back what he had learned and the stories from other members to the County Administrator and other leaders. Applying these lessons to the daily work helped strengthen the value and impact of his membership.
Each member of MCCFMA brings their knowledge, experiences, and opinions which contribute to each conversation. Members are always willing to share advice and ideas during meetings, via email, and on the phone. Just a few months ago, Andy sent a message to the membership asking for an example of an RFP for a project that he was working on. He received three different responses with various RFP samples which he was able to modify and use for his project.
Members of the association are also quick to provide references for architects, engineers, and suppliers. This proved to be especially valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Members of the group were sharing information as supply chain issues created procurement challenges. Andy was able to jump in and help: “I was able to provide [the name of] one of our local vendors [who] had 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer, and I know more than one of our members got sanitizer from the distillery.” Resources like this proved to be essential during the intense, early months of the pandemic.
The Minnesota City/County Facility Management Association has something extremely valuable to offer our members: community. In Andy’s words:
“It’s money well spent for all that knowledge that all the members have. I mean, it’s a great resource, and there’s no such thing as a dumb question. They’re more than willing to help you out with any question or any situation you may be in. It’s just a great association to be a part of. I’ve learned so much from them.”
If you want to learn more about membership, or if you’d like to hear directly from a current member about their experience, contact us!
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