Movement appears to be a theme in Kimberly Case-Nichols’ life.
At work, the director of space and facilities management for the UNLV School of Medicineplots the relocations for the ever-growing school. In her off-hours she is a triathlete who often bikes 26 miles roundtrip from home to work and after that back again.
One thing she does not do is sit still.
On the day she was spoken with, she was perusing paperwork handling a clinic debt consolidation strategy her team developed that will decrease lease expenses by $700,000 a year. The plan includes 4 professors department relocations, six clinic relocations, and the transplanting of 300 personnel. The challenge is making the relocations with little to no downtime in patient care or efficiency.
” I believe planning and logistics are the foundation to any industry success,” she stated of working in centers management. “Everyone has a specific role and when everyone contributes, the sum of all the jobs is a lot larger than envisioned. The team effort is so satisfying.”
At the end of her workday, she will take her bike down the elevator of the 2040 Structure on West Charleston Boulevard and ride house. That, she stated, assists get her loose for the rest of her exercise regimen. Weekly as part of her triathlon training, she swims two to three miles, runs 15 to 19 miles, and cycles at least 75.
” I love to see what my body can do,” said Case-Nichols, who credits her hubby, Expense Nichols, for her interest in biking that began when she was in her late 30s. “When I met my husband, I had never ever ridden a road bike, nor did I want to. Somehow, he got me out for a leisure trip and prior to I understood it, I was equipped with a helmet, bike clips, and a bike of my own.”
Her interest in the triathlon started not long after. Quickly she was contending in triathlons that vary from 17 miles to the 70.3-mile Half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike trip, 13.2-mile run). She completes that long-distance race in less than 8 hours, a time that puts her in the middle of the pack. She said her biggest strength in the race is cycling.
This year, Case-Nichols won the Las Vegas Corporate Challenge bike race for the UNLV cycling team in the ladies’s 41-45 age group, her 38:22 minutes for the 12.4-mile time trial beating out a rival by more than a minute. In October, she took part in a 100-mile bike flight to raise funds for multiple sclerosis.
” Remaining in shape assists my work,” she said. “Emotionally, you feel you can do anything.”
Her work is crucial to the success of both the UNLV School of Medication and its scientific arm, UNLV Medication. She belongs to establishing and managing the physical environment for the future Medical Education Building and faculty practice strategy.
” As our departments continue to grow in size and variety of functions, so does the requirement for space type and amount of space,” she stated.
From Air to Premises
As so often occurs with careers, Case-Nichols’ course to her present position was far from direct. She did her undergraduate operate in film at Columbia College in Chicago, initially freelancing as an electronic camera assistant. Then she became a flight attendant for the now-defunct ATA Airline companies.
” In 2004, my airline company career brought me to the (San Francisco) Bay Area where I wound up doing my MBA at Notre Dame de Namur University and transitioning into my very first center job at Stanford University as a domestic services coordinator.”
At Stanford, promotions came rapidly. When she left the school, she was a manager of student maintenance, overseeing 40 multi-trades specialists and two administrative staff. She also developed a preventive maintenance program for 350 homes, offices, and dining facilities.
When a director position in Student Affairs maintenance and centers opened at UNLV in 2013, she leapt at the chance. Quickly, she was an essential gamer in managing a department with a $2.3 million budget plan to support work at 17 buildings, consisting of residence halls and dining centers as well as the Student Leisure and Health Center, the Trainee Union, and the campus bookstore.
Why did she move to the School of Medication? “Honestly,” she said, “I saw a chance to be part of history. I prosper in an environment that is fast-paced.”
Forging Her Course
For much of her working life Case-Nichols has remained in male-dominated environments.
“When I was a union cam assistant, I was constantly the only lady on the cam team. The males often challenged my physical capability to carry equipment, set up, and repair work in the field,” she recalled. “Earlier in my facilities profession, I was in the 10 percent of females in facilities management at Stanford University. Often in my role, suppliers and specialists are amazed to satisfy a lady in charge of upkeep trades groups. I needed to work hard to find out how to collaborate trades on projects, repair work, and renovations to keep the centers running efficiently.
“I gained from spending quality time in the field with my team, and just plain getting down and filthy learning how pinhole pipes get repaired, to replacing main electrical switchgear.”
Today, Case-Nichols, who serves on the board of the Pacific Coast Association of Physical Plant Administrators, sees more women and minorities in facilities management. “Things are changing for the better.”
One change that might come to Case-Nichols in the long run involves a far various kind of skill and facilities management. But once again, she’ll need to get her hands dirty.
“My early dreams were to be a baker and own a bakery,” she stated. “That is still a pipeline dream of mine.”