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MAPPA - the history of our association



In 1914, J. M. Fisk, the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the State University of Iowa in Iowa City contacted several of his colleagues in similar positions at surrounding schools in the Midwest seeking their interest in getting together to discuss topics of mutual interest. Below is a copy of his letter from the 1960 APPA Proceedings book…
“We believe many of the members will be interested to know how our organization got started, and of some of the people who were instrumental in getting it underway. The following correspondence has been taken from the files of an
earlier day:

And so, a group of fourteen superintendents met at the Sherman Hotel in Chicago in 1914, gradually growing to include superintendents from other universities. In 1928 the location of meetings moved for the first time to institutions in states adjacent to the Big Ten group.

The first known photo from an Association of Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds annual meeting taken in 1926 in Ann Arbor. J. M. Fisk, fifth from the left in the front row, is credited with starting the Association in 1914.

Roy Lund, who started at the University of Minnesota in 1922 as a draftsman, attended APPA’s annual meeting in 1927 at the University of Minnesota. “There were about 15 present”, he said, adding that the meeting was mostly bull sessions. Discussions were mainly on custodial problems – painting, classroom, lighting – and watchman services. Lund, who retired in 1970 as assistant vice president and director of plant services, said “I attended twenty-six national conventions in the United States and Canada. I fondly remember my early contacts with Paul Elleman, Ed Pardon, Henry Pearson, Al Gallistel, and Ed Kinney.”

 In 1939, 55 members of the Association adopted a constitution at the annual meeting at Michigan State.  The “Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds of Universities and Colleges” continued to meet under that name until 1948. To reflect the expansion of responsibility and title changes of the former superintendents, 81 members met at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1948 and voted to change the name from the Association of Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds to the National Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges (“NAPPA”). This was the first name change since its inception. The Association grew during this time from the original 14 superintendents at the 1914 meeting to over 175 institutions in 1953. 

Group photo from the 1948 Superintendents’ meeting at the University of Minnesota, at which the membership voted to change the Association’s name

In the early 1950’s, NAPPA Leadership “urged members to organize for regional meetings.” The original core of NAPPA – the Midwestern group – “lost its identity in the mushrooming National” according to a 1955 “Report of Midwest States Regional Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges” written by E. E. Kinney, Consultant for the Department of Buildings and Utilities for Michigan State University.

On December 4, 1953, twelve men from the Midwestern group met at the Illini Alumni Center in the LaSalle Hotel, Chicago, to “discuss the procedure and organization for the establishment of a Midwestern regional group of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators.” In 1954, NAPPA adopted language in its constitution defining and recognizing regional organizations: the purpose is to “promote the common interests in the maintenance, operation, planning and development of the Physical Plants of Universities and Colleges in the region, and to foster the professional spirit among men engaged in such work and to aid and supplement the work of the Association.”

The Midwest Region Constitution,, name, officers and boundaries were submitted to the national on March 21, 1955. Paul Elleman, Ohio State, was the first official MAPPA President. The MAPPA By Laws and Administrative Guidelines were written and are continually revised. [These current documents are on the MAPPA web page.]
Since 1955, MAPPA has met annually, beginning in Chicago and eventually moving to other states within the region: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.

In summary, a group of superintendents from the Midwest created an association that grew into what now is APPA. They regained their identity in 1955 with the official formation of MAPPA – the Midwest Association of Physical Plant Administrators. In this historian’s opinion, it could be argued quite effectively that MAPPA actually began in 1914!
During the 1930’s, discussions were held about which institutions should be invited to the annual meetings. Some members favored limiting attendance to those within the Midwest, while others suggested it would be better to invite a select few from outside the area. The latter format prevailed and the 1938 meeting was held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thomas B. Smith, retired from Ohio State University and APPA President in 1981, said “The regions were not subdivisions of APPA” he explained, “they wanted to maintain their own identities.” The regions “were parts from which APPA was made”, Smith said. “They felt they were as important a building block as APPA was, but not the other way around.”  

THE EVOLUTION OF THE PHYSICAL PLANT SUPERINTENDENT (or “Some things change and some things stay the same”)


The job description and responsibilities of a physical plant superintendent have changed dramatically over time. Many grew from being supervisors of buildings and grounds to highly professional administrators with significant jurisdiction and responsibilities. According to an article in the 75th Anniversary edition of Facilities Manager (1988), the profession “has faced enormous upheaval such as growing enrollment and expanding physical plant departments, shrinking enrollments at some institutions, increased federal regulations, automation of mechanical systems, computerized recordkeeping, formation of labor unions, increased paperwork, and a rise in vandalism, all while …working with fewer funds than needed.”

During the 1950’s, one of the biggest problems facing the profession was that “University presidents and boards allowed their schools to over-build with no provisions to maintain them.”

At the 50th anniversary meeting in 1963, Mr. Stanley Patterson, SMU retired, stated “You gentlemen that are running the Physical Plant Department now are doing some things that we did when we were running the Building and Grounds Department. Your love for the faculty and their love for you still holds; however, you don’t have a monopoly on the situation. The day shift blames the night shift for everything; even in the armed services the Second Lieutenant has his opinion of the enlisted men. They, in turn, have some ideas about a Second Lieutenant.”

According to Walter Hartman, retired from Ohio State when interviewed in 1988, “the major effort was to get things done. Now, procedures, regulations and paperwork consume much of the administrator’s time.”




According to an APPA Long-Range Planning Survey in 1983:
• ⅔ of national membership is held at public institutions
• ½ of membership is held by institutions with less than 3000 FTE (fulltime equivalents) student enrollment
• ¾ have less than 3 million gross square feet
• ¾ of representatives are over 41 years old
• ¾ have at least a bachelor’s degree
• 56% of the degrees are in business or social science fields
• ⅓ are responsible for all plant functions

The 1937 meeting at Ohio State had 48 people in attendance. All of the presentations at this meeting were given by members. Paul Elleman (first MAPPA President) hosted the meeting. He was newly appointed superintendent taking over the hosting duties from W. C. McCracken, one of APPA’s charter members. In 1947, there were about 100 people at the annual meeting at Ohio State. Walter Hartman from Ohio State remembered the year as the one “Paul Elleman was [APPA] President.”

Walter Wade, Purdue, said when he started at Purdue in 1946 there were four administrators involved in operation of the plant. “When I left Purdue, I must have had 105 administrators…and the staff was…900 altogether. The campus had grown from 7,000 to 32,000 at that time.”

• 95% see plant administration as a career
• Principle reasons for belonging to APPA are to associate with fellow professionals and to have access to specialized information
• Major issues of concern are: budget, utility expenses, productivity and effective communication with top administration


According to Kinney’s 1956 report, the Midwest Region Constitution, name, officers and boundaries were submitted to the national on March 21, 1955. MAPPA received 501(c) 3 (Income Tax Exemption) determination by the IRS in February, 1983. [Subsequent letter from IRS included as Exhibit 6].
The Articles of Incorporation of the Midwest Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges was filed on June 9, 1982 [included as Exhibit 7]. The name of the organization was officially changed on December 26, 1995, to the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. A subsequent amendment in the Articles of Incorporation was filed at the same time [documents included as Exhibit 8]. APPA/Region Affiliation Agreement is included as Exhibit 9.




Annual Meetings have been held since the original group of Midwesterners first met in Chicago in 1914. 26 of the first 40 meetings were held in the Midwest. Since 1955, when the Midwest Association of Physical Plant Administrators officially emerged, MAPPA has met annually, beginning in Chicago and eventually moving to other states within the region. Meetings have evolved from “roundtable bull sessions” to formal meetings with presentations and educational sessions.

The first record of fees for an annual meeting was in 1983 when MAPPA met at Bowling Green State University. In general, the fee scale included separate fees for members, non-members, spouses, and emeritus members. Member registration in 1983 was $75 and spouses $35; an additional $10 added to both as the meeting grew closer. Member fees were $110 (early bird) in 1989, and increased to $125 in 1992 and $150 in 1995.

For the 1993 conference, the Board recommended reinstatement of 25 first time scholarships to annual MAPPA meetings, and ten hardship scholarships. For the 1996 meeting, the number of first-timers was limited to 20 for the reduced fees. In 2004 the fee was $250 and a $100 gift certificate to the APPA Bookstore was provided with the registration packet. Member registration was raised to $260 in 2005 and $275 in 2006. In 2006, for the first time, speakers for one day did not have to pay a registration fee and first-timers were charged half of the attendee rate. In 2007, there was one registration fee for everyone regardless of status. In 2015, members paid $290 and non-members paid $340, guests paid $125 and Business Partners paid $750 (members) and $895 (non-members).

In 1991, the first annual meeting rotation schedule was established: Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Iowa. This rotation was changed in 1996 to offer better balance between MAPPA “central” and “fringe” states: Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota. Most recently, the selection of the meeting location was assigned to the Site Selection Committee consisting of the Past President and APPA Representatives. In the early 2000’s a set of host guidelines was developed for those hosting annual meetings.


The early MAPPA meetings were very informal with a “program” consisting of discussion topics submitted in advance by attendees.

Tom Smith, APPA President 1981, and legendary Football Coach Woody Hayes who was the keynote speaker at the 1985 MAPPA meeting at Miami University

In 1984, the MAPPA Vice President (now President-elect) was assigned the responsibility for the program for the upcoming conference. In 1986, the Board established that the annual meeting Program Committee will consist of one member from each state including the host. This committee met only once before the annual meeting; reimbursement of expenses was made by MAPPA when requested by the committee member.

In the 80’s, the Program Committee met at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in February/March.

The 1990 meeting host, Jack Dudley, a past MAPPA president, suggested that registrations be sent directly to the Host Committee for better information and cash flow. He also suggested that the Host Committee serve on the Program Committee. It appears the first meeting in conjunction with the MAPPA December Board meeting was in 1993.

In January, 1999, the “Big Ten and Friends” (see “Big Ten and Friends” on page 21) Trainers group formed a strategic partnership with MAPPA resulting in the creation of the MAPPA Education (now Professional Development) Committee, which is now responsible for the annual meeting program guided by the MAPPA President-elect. 

In the early 2000’s, on-line registration became available for annual meetings.
A MAPPA booth at the annual meeting was created in 2006 by then Professional Development Chair Ruthann Manlet, to promote the role of the MAPPA Professional Development Committee, the various benefits MAPPA membership has to offer our members, and ways to get involved in the MAPPA organization. The popular booth has games and giveaways for our conference attendees. Effective with the 2008 conference, the Board approved increasing the maximum fee for keynote speaker from $2,500 to $10,000.

For the first time, at the 2010 meeting the decision was made to include the “Big Ten and Friends” Building Services Administrators Conference as an additional program track.

[ MAPPA booth at 2011 annual meeting[/caption


While early MAPPA records are minimal, it appears that for the first several years MAPPA officers included a President and Vice President, and the positions of Secretary and Treasurer which could be one person. In 1984, APPA Representatives were added to the MAPPA Board of Directors. The MAPPA Newsletter Editor (now Communications Chair) was added in 1988. The MAPPA Vice President position was eliminated in 1989 and changed to MAPPA President-elect. In 1990, the Administrative Guidelines were amended to designate the previous two MAPPA Presidents as the Junior and Senior Representatives to APPA. In 2005 a non-voting at-large Board Position was established (that could be filled by a Business Partner). In 2009, the APPA Committee Representatives were also added to the Board. In 2011, the position of Historian was added to the Board. In 2013, the position of Conference Coordinator was also added. The position of Past President was eliminated in 2017.
The current Board of Directors includes:
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Business Partner
APPA Regional Director
Membership and Community Engagement Chair
Professional Development Chair
Communications Chair
Awards and Recognition Chair
Conference Coordinator
APPA Liaison 


Vendor exhibits first appeared at the annual national conference (NAPPA) in Boston in 1960.
The topic of our Business Partners – formerly known as “vendors”- first appeared in MAPPA Board meeting minutes of September 25, 1985 when the Board decided “at future MAPPA meetings … booths, or industrial exhibits by vendors would not be approved.” On December 3, 1987, a motion was made and approved to allow vendors to become subscribing members of MAPPA. They have been an integral part of our organization ever since.

In 1987, the Board discussed the desirability of having written guidelines for all vendors to include:
A) Who is the vendor?
B) Who is the MAPPA contact? Preferably a single person
C) Opportunity for vendors to “present” themselves

President Mediate appointed Bill Sharp, Wayne Zdrojkowski and John Houck to give recommendations. Jim Landers, host of the 1988 MAPPA meeting in Cincinnati, was advised to follow the policy used in Indianapolis (assigning sponsors for breaks, hospitality suites and lunches) for the 1988 meeting. At the 1988 meeting, 12 vendors participated for a total of $2,982.00 in sponsorships.

On July 26, 1988, the Board agreed to plan, if possible, to have vendors at the 1990 meeting in Wisconsin and supported vendors for the following reasons: To improve the quality of the meeting, to hold the cost of the meeting down, to fund scholarships, and to fund HEFT (APPA’s Higher Education Facilities Trust project). At the same time, the newsletter editor, John Houck, was going to explore the interest of vendors to advertise in the MAPPA newsletter.
Listed below are the vendors who sponsored the 1988 conference. This is the earliest list of MAPPA vendors that was found:

1988 Annual Meeting Sponsors – Xavier University, Cincinnati
The Systems Works
Marietta, Georgia
Dover Elevator Company
Cincinnati, Ohio
United Technologies Carrier
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cook-Trane Service Agency
Cincinnati, Ohio
Rosemary’s Queen Step Carpet
Cincinnati, Ohio
Handy Window Shade Co.
Cincinnati, Ohio
F. A. Kamp Flooring Co.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Universal Contractors
Cincinnati, Ohio
Graybar Electric Co.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Napier Painting and Decorating
Cincinnati, Ohio
Superior Janitor Supply
Cincinnati, Ohio
Burns-McDonnell Engineering
Kansas City, Missouri

On July 16, 1989, the Board established the following donor categories:

  • Major benefactor: Those who sponsor in full, any one of the major events at MAPPA’s annual meeting.
  • Benefactor: Those who contribute a major (or large) portion of fiscal support for any of the major events or have provided full sponsorship for any minor event.
  • Patron: Those who contribute $1000 or more for any event and/or to the general annual meeting fund to be used at MAPPA’s direction.
  • Sponsor: Those who contribute $100 or more, but less than $1000 for any event or to the general fund.

On December 7, 1989, the Board established that breaks, breakfasts, lunches, cocktail hours and evening meals were available for support in addition to the 20 or so booth spaces for the upcoming 1990 MAPPA Conference in Racine, Wisconsin. The booth fee would include costs for events held in the vendor area. The host committee was to develop two vendor lists: a “preference” list (past participating and local vendors), and a “full” list (from APPA).

The cost of MAPPA Vendor booths has increased over the past 25 years:
1990 – $350
1991 – $450
1992 – $500
2002 – $900
2004 – Board approved business partners pay double cost for registration if they do not have a booth or sponsor something
2005 – $1000 to include 2 people for opening reception, breakfast and lunch on Monday; vendor presentations not allowed unless the education committee feels they are appropriate and we approach them.
2006 – $1400 (includes 2 registrations)
2008 – $1500 (includes 2 registrations)
2010 – Business Partners will be allowed to present in the hall if they are MAPPA members
2011 – Business Partners may join MAPPA only for $275; 10% goes to APPA
2013 – Fee schedule changed to include sponsorship levels: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze, ranging from $7,000/$8,000 (member/non-member), to $1000/$1200, including varying levels of benefits.

MAPPA Business Partners have become an essential part of the MAPPA membership and culture, providing far more than financial support. As a result, in 2005, an amendment to the MAPPA By Laws was adopted to allow up to two at-large non-voting members (which could be Business Partners) to become members of the MAPPA Board of Directors. John Coggins, Spirotherm, was the first Business Partner appointed to this position in 2011. Since that time, Business Partners have also been encouraged to present in conjunction with members of MAPPA schools to increase the value of our educational offerings. Costs have changed since that time, but we continue to greatly appreciate the many contributions of our Business Partners – they make our organization stronger!



The first reference to MAPPA dues to APPA was in 1985: “new dues arrangements were concluded with APPA: APPA would assess all Midwest members an additional 10% to cover regional membership – APPA will retain 10% of the additional amount which they collect as a service charge.”
MAPPA members visiting a 2012 Business Partner Booth
The earliest record of the MAPPA Treasury is December, 1982, and there was a cash balance of $9,950.75. The Treasury has grown over the years to its current balance in excess of $320,000.
As the MAPPA Treasury has grown, the Board has taken several steps to invest the surplus. In the early 1990’s, a budget reserve of $50,000 was first established. More recently, the reserve requirement was adjusted to 1.5 times projected expenses.
In 2015, the Board reviewed the MAPPA fiscal plan to develop a fiscal goal that best benefits the MAPPA membership. As a result, the reserve was established at $120,000 plus $75,000 in investments. A process was created for the Board to review this plan annually and make appropriate adjustments and recommendations for using the surplus.


On October 15, 1981, Facilities Trainers from several of the Big Ten Schools first met at O’Hare Airport. This group, patterned after the “Big Ten and Friends” groups for Maintenance, Grounds, etc., grew over the next several years meeting annually on different campuses to exchange ideas and offer training opportunities to schools in our region. Topics covered included custodial, safety, benchmarking, and other relevant facilities issues. Emerging from this group were the MAPPA Trainers 

Library, consisting of video tapes and DVDs made available to our membership, and a Trainers Listserv which created a quick link for Trainers to talk to each other.
In January 1999, this Big Ten group formed a strategic partnership with MAPPA resulting in the creation of the MAPPA 

Education (now Professional Development) Committee, a benchmark within APPA. The Education Committee, which included representatives from both organizations, was formed to develop and administer an ongoing program to make identified training and education offerings accessible and available to all institutions, large or small, including the MAPPA annual meeting program.

As time went on, more and more training information was accessible electronically. The Library and listserv were dissolved, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find hosts for annual Big Ten meetings. In 2013, the group co-located with the annual MAPPA conference for the first time.
With the continued evolution of the MAPPA Professional Development Committee, there was no longer a need to have two separate training groups. As a result, in 2020, the MAPPA Board decided to dissolve the Trainers Network.

In August, 2005, MAPPA paid for Ruthann Manlet, Education Program Chair, to become a qualified Toolkit trainer. As a result, since 2007, the APPA Supervisor Toolkit program is now offered to our membership at every MAPPA Annual Meeting and additional trainers in the region have become qualified trainers. Beginning in 2008, the Educational Facilities Professional (EFP) and Certification for Educational Facilities Professionals (CEFP) programs have also been offered at the annual meeting. Both programs have been well-attended and successful.


Early membership numbers for MAPPA are unavailable. Membership categories now include: Affiliate, Associate, Business Partner, Emeritus, Honorary, Institutional, International, Retiree, and Student. The most recent (December, 2022) numbers show a total of 149 institutions and 34 Business Partners.
2012 Supervisors Toolkit Class



The MAPPA Mentorship program was started in 2010 by MAPPA President Ruthann Manlet because she felt strongly about giving back to our organization and building our future leaders.
The current program has stalled since COVID.
In 1986, APPA established that it would award one scholarship per region beginning with the January 1987 Institute in Denver, the recipient to be determined by the Region. In 1989, the MAPPA Board established two MAPPA scholarships for the APPA Institute, and the possibility of more scholarships due to substantial treasury balance. In 1990, MAPPA established a $500 MAPPA scholarship to the APPA Executive Institute. In 1992, MAPPA approved a total of five scholarships in addition to the two from APPA; preferably these seven scholarships be distributed among all seven states in MAPPA.
In 1993, MAPPA increased the annual APPA Institute scholarships to include a travel stipend of $400, if needed, and to fund the balance of the tuition to the Executive Development Institute. On November 15, 1993, the MAPPA Board decided that APPA membership was a requirement to receive an APPA or MAPPA scholarship. This requirement has since been removed.
For the 1993 meeting, the Board recommended reinstatement of 25 first time scholarships to annual MAPPA meetings, and ten hardship scholarships. For the 1994 meeting, it was approved to continue funding 35 first-timer scholarships to the MAPPA annual meetings, which was subsequently clarified to limit scholarships to institutional members only. That requirement has since been removed.
On December 6, 1994, a motion was approved to redistribute any unspent funds from the Scholarship travel funds to State APPA organizations, up to $300 per state, for state meetings and/or programs.
In 1995, Larry Quick, a former MAPPA president, established criteria for awarding scholarships based upon:
1) How active in MAPPA
2) Only one from each school
3) How recently the school received the last scholarship
4) Ensuring that smaller schools get their fair share
5) Recommendation of Physical Plant Director of the school
6) Reason for wanting to attend
In 1995, the Board agreed to fund scholarships to four Facilities Institutes and one Executive Institute per year, and to retract the $300 allowance to State APPA organizations from unspent scholarship travel funds. First-timers were limited to 20 for the reduced fees for the 1996 annual meeting, and the Board approved including a listing of MAPPA scholarship recipients with the By Laws (which never happened but are now included on the MAPPA web site).
As the MAPPA Treasury surplus has grown, scholarships are actively promoted to encourage members to utilize MAPPA and APPA programs.



Over the years, APPA created several awards and recognition programs for its members. Several MAPPA members have received APPA Awards over the years. Following is a list of Awards; MAPPA recipients are listed in Appendix 4:
APPA Award for Excellence in Facilities Management: Established in 1988, APPA’s highest institutional honor recognizes and advances excellence in the field of educational facilities.
Effective and Innovative Practices Award: Established in 2004, this Institutional Award recognizes programs and processes that enhance service delivery, lower costs, increase productivity, customer service, etc.
APPA Fellow: Established in 2004, recognizes an individual’s specific accomplishments and expectations for continuing involvement in APPA’s leadership program through research and mentoring.
Meritorious Service Award: Established in 1958 as APPA’s highest individual award recognizing the member’s outstanding contribution to their institution, profession and the association.
Pacesetter Award: Established in 1999, this individual award is designed to encourage further participation in APPA among those who have already made significant contributions to their regions or chapter.
Rex Dillow Award: Established in 1987 and presented to the author of the best article published in Facilities Manager during the previous year.
President’s Award: Established in 1986 and awarded to individual APPA members at the discretion of the current APPA President.
Sustainability Award: This award was introduced for the first time in the 2012 annual award cycle and recognizes the facilities management department that has integrated sustainable policies and “green” practices throughout all facets of the organization and embedded them within the educational institution.
Unsung Hero: Introduced in 2009, regional presidents are asked to suggest a worthy individual(s) who work tirelessly for their region, chapter, and/or the profession, but whom have gone unnoticed to date and are worthy of receiving an award from the president of International APPA.
MAPPA President’s Award: This award is given at the discretion of the MAPPA President, with the approval of the Board, to recognize an individual who has provided service to MAPPA that is above and beyond the normal expected participation.
“My most special memory of APPA”, says Dick Neidhard, 1983 MAPPA President, “was the banquet at the 1984 meeting in Columbus when I was presented with the Meritorious Service Award. That kind of an honor is seldom enjoyed by many people.”



In 1982, “because of MAPPA’s improved financial situation and the Board of Directors efforts to find ways to better serve our membership, [the Board] decided to create a video-tape library and make these tapes available to our membership on a loan basis.” Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, volunteered to serve as the location of a permanent MAPPA tape library. MAPPA member institutions were encouraged to donate copies of any other videotapes that may be of interest to the membership.
Select sessions at annual meetings were videotaped and videos sold to membership after the fact. The first was “Concrete Deterioration” (1982 meeting at IU); next was “Corrosion” (1983 meeting at BGSU).
On December 3, 1987, Roger Rowe, Miami University, offered to have Miami serve as a repository for MAPPA records (they already housed the MAPPA Library). Membership agreed MAPPA needed a permanent place. It appears that never happened.
The Library moved to Illinois State University in early 1999 and its inventory and check-out capability became available on-line in March, 1999. With the increase in on-line access to training materials, in 2016 the Training Library was dissolved.
MAPPA Newsletter
The national (NAPPA) newsletter began in 1951 and the second editor was Ed Pardon from the University of Michigan.
The MAPPA newsletter was first published in the early 1980’s. On December 5, 1984, a $5 annual subscription fee was established for the newsletter. This fee ended a short while later. The newsletter editor position was added to the MAPPA Board on December 8, 1988 and the position has been filled by members around the region since then. In December, 2012, the title of the position was changed to Communications Chair to reflect the evolution of communications methods.
For a short while, ads – or sponsorships – were sold for the newsletter. In 1992, the Board raised the question about the appropriateness of advertising versus sponsorship to support the newsletter. Later that year, the decision was made that advertising cannot be used to support the newsletter. The mode of operation would be at the discretion of the editor, with a goal of breaking even on its printing and distribution. The Board decided that vendor sponsorship of the newsletter could muddy our tax-exempt status and our “significant reserves” could pay for it.
The advent of e-mail and other electronic communication has become the communication vehicle of choice for information-sharing resulting in a discontinuation of the newsletter.
[MAPPA Newsletter archives are on the MAPPA website; several early NAPPA newsletters are included as well]


MAPPA’s first logo/letterhead was developed on March 24, 1989, by George Preston, Art Institute
of Chicago “with print  borrowed (pirated) from John Houck’s MAPPA Newsletter title print. The
birth of this letterhead came suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, dictated by an exigent
necessity to communicate with…a supplier…It was designed, printed and used within a halfhour…”

The first official MAPPA logo was created by Amy Sullivan at Ohio State in 1997 for the annual MAPPA conference hosted by Ohio State that year.
That logo was adopted and  used until 2009 when the  current logo first appeared in support of the alignment with the national APPA organization.


The MAPPA web page began in the early 1990’s at Indiana University and moved to Ohio State in the
mid-1990’s. The new interactive web page went “live” in the fall of 1999, launched by Amy Sullivan.
In 2001, electronic presentations from the annual MAPPA conference were first posted to the web page.

On October 5, 2008, the Board approved the move of MAPPA web support from Ohio State to APPA at a
cost of $350 per year. That move actually took place in 2012: http://mappa.appa.org

In March 2017, MAPPA collaborated with APPA and mobilized MAPPA’s digital materials and listserv
functions to the APPA based Causeway. Among many other features, Causeway is a highly collaborative
cloud storage and emailing system.


The Custodial Cost and Staffing Guidelines, now a staple in the APPA publication library and used as a
tool by many APPA members, was originally written by four MAPPA members in 1991: Alan Bigger
(University of Notre Dame), Kirk Campbell (Carleton College), Bob Getz (William Rainey Harper College)
and Jack Dudley (University of Wisconsin – Parkside).



While there are few records of the early years of these groups, we know that the “Big Ten and Friends Directors” have been meeting for several years. Your historian’s opinion is that this group was formed as the national organization grew in an attempt to keep the meetings among the few people in the top leadership positions in facilities at the larger Midwest schools.

Over the years, this concept expanded and there were “Big Ten and Friends” groups for Maintenance, Utilities, Building Services (started in 1958), Parking and Transportation, and Trainers (1980-2020). In 2010, the Big Ten and Friends Building Services Administrators group, in an effort to share resources to keep it going, became an additional track at the annual MAPPA meeting. Since COVID, some of these groups have discontinued.
As membership within the region grew, some individual states began meeting amongst themselves to focus on State issues. These meetings, in several states, evolved into State Chapters. Typically, the State Chapters meet during the year at least once, and sometimes co-locate with MAPPA meetings when they are held within the same state. As of 2019, four of the seven states in the region had some form of active state chapter.
Michigan – MiAPPA began in 1967 and grew significantly during the 1980’s.
Iowa – IaAPPA began in 2017.
Illinois – IlAPPA started in 2017.
Minnesota – MnAPPA is in the early organizational stages in 2019.
Wisconsin – WAPPA, while one time a very active organization, is now inactive.
Indiana – IAPPA is also currently inactive.
Ohio – Over the years there have been several attempts to formally organize. As of 2023  there
is still no formal “OPPA” as it was called by those who attended.



The COVID – 19 virus arrived in the United States in early 2020. By March 2020, almost everything shut down, including our college campuses. Classes resumed shortly thereafter as on-line learning, staff worked from home where feasible, and communication was carried on via zoom calls.
Facilities were affected in a more unique way, as the physical campus cannot be completely abandoned. Each campus handled this differently depending upon their own needs and circumstances by reducing staff, creative scheduling, increase in on-call staffing, etc. For the most part, employees continued receiving varying levels of pay and benefits. This situation continued for approximately a year, and campus life started to return to a new normal in mid-2021. The national COVID emergency officially ended on May 11, 2023.
During this period, APPA and MAPPA continued to support our membership by holding virtual meetings and conferences – enabling sharing of information between peers. The new normal includes more people working from home (sometimes a few days a week), and facilities staffing adjusting their service delivery more “creatively” than in the past, using lessons learned from the pandemic. As of this writing, things are continuing to evolve.


Coincidentally during the pandemic, APPA developed a new strategic plan to better understand members, create a visionary framework, and a future of continuous learning. A task force was created. The APPA Board was realigned and streamlined, some positions were modified, some eliminated, and new positions were created (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, President, and Regional Directors).
At the MAPPA Level, several positions were also realigned by eliminating, combining and creating the following new list of Board Member Positions:
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Business Partner
APPA Regional Director
Membership and Community Engagement Chair
Professional Development Chair
Communications Chair
Awards and Recognition Chair
Conference Coordinator
APPA Liaison



MAPPA continues to be a thriving organization of facilities professionals who “get together to share information with colleagues in similar positions at surrounding schools in the Midwest … to discuss topics of mutual interest” – just as J. M. Fisk imagined in 1914