Addison appointed vice president for facilities and auxiliary service

After an extensive search, the College recently appointed Irene Addison as associate vice president for Facilities and Auxiliary Services. The job combines the responsibilities of supervising Buildings & Grounds (B&G) and Dining Services. Additionally, the position deals with the Conference office, which organizes and coordinates the various camps and events that use the College campus over the summer.

Although the title is new, the position is not. Addison’s new duties are similar to those performed by Steve Mischissin, under the title of Director of Facilities and Auxiliary Services. Mischissin retired in September 2002.

Before coming to Williamstown, Addison was a project manager, construction manager and public works director for the U.S. Navy. She was also a design manager for a $1 billion General Motors campus renovation and served on the project management team for a $250 million project within that venture.

In November 2001, Addison began working with the College as Interim Facilities Director.

At that time, she was employed by Parsons Brinckerhoff Buildings Inc. and collaborated with B&G and the Conference Office.

Because she served on a contract basis, she never anticipated staying at the College for more than six months.

“I decided to put in for the position [of associate vice president] because I was so thoroughly impressed by Williams College and the personnel here that I didn’t want to leave,” she said.

Now, Addison’s responsibilities have expanded to include overseeing Dining Services as well as the Conference Office and B&G.

“Serving as Interim Facilities Director was really a good prelude to stepping into this position, because it gave me an opportunity to learn about B&G’s roles and various functions that we were working on,” she said.

She continued by saying, “Adding in another very large function of Dining Services gave me an opportunity to get oriented in a more logical fashion.”

Although she has been in the new position for only a week, Addison is already taking steps to ensure good communications in her work.

“I’m slowly starting to meet the Dining Services staff,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of them as Interim Facilities Director and now I’m getting to know more of them. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be visiting the various dining halls and meeting all of the frontline staff.”

With the advent of several large projects, Addison views the upcoming Baxter reconstruction as one of her primary focuses at this point in time.

“One of the main concerns I have is ensuring that we handle the Baxter relocation plan and Student Center plan in the best way possible, both with being without a student center for two years, as well as with the plans for the new Student Center,” Addison said. “That’s a huge priority that overlaps both Dining Services and B&G.”

She is also taking student and faculty input from the recent Baxter forums into close consideration.

“Our B&G team has been very involved in working with those forums and listening to the comments. We’re working closely with the architects as they consider how they’re going to implement those comments,” she said.

Addison also looks forward to receiving feedback on the development of the Stetson-Sawyer project. The architects for the redesigns have already been selected, but Addison now wishes to focus on the needs of the various groups that will be affected by the construction.

“I’m very excited about how we’re approaching Stetson-Sawyer,” she said. “I’m very much sensitive to the need to get all these individuals involved in the decision-making process. I think that’s the real key to providing a successful project.”

“Stetson-Sawyer is very early in the programming, which is one of the most important parts of the project. There’s a variety of options of what Stetson is going to look like several years from now, as well as how Sawyer is going to look and how it’s going to operate,” she said.

In addition to the Student Center and Stetson-Sawyer projects, Addison will focus her efforts on the Mission renovations, scheduled to take place this summer.

“These three projects have the possibility to make things better for the students and to move us into the future of how education’s going to look,” she said.

Addison also feels that B&G, Dining Services and Summer Conferences are all doing an excellent job in “meeting the mission of the College.” “I’d like to continue the improvement and remove any roadblocks for the staff who are doing their job so well already,” she said.

At the same time, she is always watching for the chance to offer improvement and ensure smooth interactions between members of different departments.

“I’m really looking for opportunities to improve upon the communications that we have with B&G and Dining Services and I am looking for ways to improve the staff’s working environment,” she said.

Addison said she is especially excited about taking this position at a time when the College is undergoing such large-scale developments and looks forward to a lasting role in this “incredible process.”

“I certainly see myself staying as long as I’m challenged,” she said. “And I certainly see many challenges ahead of me.”