A Profile of Kimberly Case-Nichols Orchestrating Facility Strategy

A Profile of Kimberly Case-Nichols
Orchestrating Facility Strategy

Kimberly Case-Nichols

Kimberly Case-Nichols
University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and Stanford University

How Kimberly Case-Nichols went from being a baker to a flight attendant to a film school student to a facilities manager is a slalom course, filled with turns and twists. But she makes it all sound simple.

“I have had an easy slide from one field to another with lots of transferable skills,” said Kim. “Almost all of these fields and positions involve compliance, rules, and regulations, which I appreciate.”

A native of Illinois who earned her BA from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois, and an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, California, Kim enjoys competing in triathlons and cycling with her husband. For someone who moves fast and embraces having her finger on the pulse across everything that’s happening, there are times when Kim would love to be invisible. She values her downtime to recharge and be ready to tackle the next big challenge.

“Especially for people in facilities and operations, who behind the scenes, we’re like the wizard behind the curtain,” said Kim. “I would like to be in many places at once very quickly.”

When Kim was growing up, her mother was in the real estate business and was involved in home building and remodeling, which provided Kim with an understanding of real estate properties and property management, which became ingrained.

“Many of us don’t typically aspire to become facility leaders, operators, and managers,” said Kim. “We sort of have this flow into it, which is my story.”

When she was in her 20s, she went to film school and was a film major, which meant traveling while working on films. While freelancing as a camera assistant, she became a flight attendant, which she did for about eight years.

After the airline downsized, Kim was offered an early retirement package, so she decided to go to grad school, where she learned about business operations. She became a residential facilities coordinator, and she was able to utilize her operational, emergency responsiveness, crisis management and customer service skills at the Stanford School of Business. Eventually, she managed the workflow for that operation. The Stanford position was her entry into facilities in 2004.

Early in her career, Kim felt team members had concerns about her credibility and that she’d gotten her position because of filling quotas for females. Later, she’d join facility ride-along sessions, listen to team members show and tell their way around the facility, and experience being the sole young female professional on the scene.

“When I say my career has been organic, I mean, it truly has. I went from being a baker to a facility operations leader. That was a kind of dream. But really, everything I've done has been technical, intersecting with customer service. When you really look at my whole career, beginning to end, it makes sense,” she said.

Kim is now the general manager of strategic operations and facilities management at Nevada Health & Bioscience Corporation (NHBC), a non-profit corporation whose mission is to enhance and evolve healthcare infrastructure and improve the quality of life for Nevadans. Her job is to align business and physical infrastructure strategies with service delivery and optimal building performance.

With over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, executing business strategy and managing educational, clinical, and research facilities, Kim has held leadership roles at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Stanford University, including the chief of staff in business affairs and executive director of space and facilities management for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine. Kim currently serves as past president / secretary for PCAPPA and emeritus administrative faculty for UNLV. She’s an active member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is influential in promoting women in leadership and inclusive practices to support the diverse community.

Her work at NHBC revolves around building, design, and construction, including public-private partnerships. Kim explained that partnerships are an emerging model in higher education because institutions and private industry can make a bold, sustainable community impact together.

Through industry associations and experiences, Kim has built relationships with people who enrich facility management practices in various industries. This “people network” cultivates and strengthens our stewardship.

“I know there's always going to be these opportunities in front of me where I'm going to need to lean into my industry,” she said. “Now that I'm a one-person team at NHBC and I’m building a team from knowledge and experience, there’s more pressure, but it’s also exciting.”

Being a team player is Kim’s motto.

“It’s not just I’m the boss and you’re the worker,” Kim said. “You don’t work for me. I don’t work for you. We work together. That’s always been my philosophy.

Want to learn about more inspiring Female Leaders in Facilities Management? We invite you to Follow us on Linkedin and follow our Women in Facilities Series.

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