A Farewell to APPA
On June 28, 1982, I started working a six-month temporary job for APPA. I was hired to edit and produce the monthly APPA Newsletter while the director of publications was on maternity leave. I had just completed a short-term assignment as an editor on an encyclopedia of U.S. colleges and universities, published every several years by the American Council on Education, and was looking forward to working at another educational nonprofit organization.
APPA Newsletter was traditionally typeset by an old-school typesetter who hand-delivered the long sheets of copy created from the articles and other information I had typed using APPA’s IBM Selectric II (which remains one of my favorite modern technologies). I then cut the copy with an Exacto knife and laid out the newsletter using a template for each issue.
Within about three months the director told me she was not planning to return to APPA from leave and encouraged me to apply for the permanent position. I didn’t realize how permanent it would be. As of September 1, 2023, and after more than 41 years, I have retired from APPA. I can’t believe it’s been that long, and yet it went by so quickly.
About a year after I was offered the director of publications position, I proposed that APPA fund and produce a professional magazine for its members, designed to offer longer articles on topics of interest to educational facilities professionals and publish campus case studies from members who traditionally did not have an outlet for information sharing with colleagues. In addition, the new magazine would connect members with APPA’s growing professional development resources and content and programs offered by other organizations, FM professionals outside of education, and business partners with their vast knowledge and expertise.
I am proud to have created and edited Facilities Manager magazine since its first appearance in 1985. We’ve published more than 200 issues and several thousand feature articles, columns, book reviews, and APPA updates in the past 38 years. We started as a quarterly print publication, moved to bimonthly in 1996, and in 2019 made the switch from print to digital to streamline expenses and provide easier access to APPA’s members and others in the educational facilities management profession.
Since 1982 I’ve worked with chief staff officers Paul Knapp, Rex Dillow, Walt Schaw, Wayne Leroy, and the incomparable Lander Medlin. It has been an honor and privilege to work nearly 30 years with Lander, who allowed me the opportunity and flexibility to contribute to APPA and its members in a meaningful way. I’ve been especially proud to have been deeply involved in the development and continuous improvement of such resources as the Operational Guidelines trilogy (Custodial, Grounds, and Maintenance); three print editions of the Facilities Management manual and its current iteration as the digital Body of Knowledge (BOK); the Center for Facilities Research (CFaR); and the Thought Leaders Series (TLS).
I leave the magazine in the capable hands of Leah Thayer, APPA’s new director of publications and editor of Facilities Manager, and my longtime colleague Anita Dosik, associate director of publications and FM managing editor.
Many thanks to the APPA staff, the APPA Board of Directors, and, most especially, to all APPA members past and present for whom I’ve had the privilege of serving.
Steve Glazner is APPA’s retired director of knowledge management and former editor of Facilities Manager. He can be reached at [email protected].
Coming in January/February 2024
- The year ahead: Facilities leaders take on their biggest challenges
- Excellence in facilities management: Profiles of APPA’s 2023 awards recipients