Jim Walker, Facilities Manager

Administration – Santa Rosa, CA

Your business card says Facilities Manager, but if you could make up your own title, what would it be?

Corporate Procurement, or something like that. Yes, I deal with facilities, but I’m also on the team for all our new base start ups. Basically, I’m a one-man show with a big budget. I pride myself on being the “facilities goalie”. I won’t let anything get past me. Obviously there are some things that I can’t handle, things that are not my expertise. In those cases, my job is to follow up.

In this position, no news is good news. If my phone rings, there’s probably a fire alarm that’s gone off, or maybe a water leak—some sort of problem that needs my attention.

How long have you been with REACH?

I have been with REACH for over five years, almost six, and I worked with REACH as a consultant for two years before that. The very first base I was involved with was REACH 8 in Corvallis, Oregon. The second base was REACH 7, then REACH 2. Ultimately I was told, “We need someone like you,” and I thought, if I’m being offered a job at REACH, why wouldn’t I take it? I was going to get to create my own position within a company that is highly respected in our community and in our industry.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Two things. One, I always wanted to be a pilot. I still get a geeky little kid feeling when I’m around airplanes. And I wanted to be President of the United States.

Can you summarize the journey that eventually brought you to REACH?

My family was in construction. My father was a developer. When I graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, my uncle called me. He had a construction company, and I ended up working for him in Santa Rosa for 20 years. I started as a carpenter, and I ended up running the company. Later, I got into construction management, but I didn’t care for the politics. I wanted to be at a higher level; I wanted more control. I worked with a couple other companies, and then I got the call from REACH.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Right now, I’m going to say it’s government, specifically regulations. Every government is different. Texas is so much different than California. Oceanside is very different than Willits, etc. And the closer you get to the coast, the more regulations there are.

Another challenge is the number of balls I have in play. But one of the nice things about facilities work is that you know there’s an end. I do get to cross a finish line.

What do you love more than anything else about your current position?

What I really enjoy about my job is going to an airport where we’re planning to install a new base and looking at open space and knowing that my vision will translate into a finished product. I absolutely love that. It’s being that first person who goes out and says, “Where are we going to be? How are we going to operate?” Another thing I like about my job, especially when opening new bases, is the connections, the relationships. I love it all, really. When the project’s finished, I get to look back and say, “Look what I did!”

What most inspires you about REACH as a company?

I love the REACH mission. I love talking about REACH. What inspires me most is the people. There are so many wonderful people here, and they all have a great attitude. It makes it very easy to get up in the morning. Even when I know that I may have a challenge, I also know that I will assist pilots and nurses and medics to do what they do, and that allows them to help patients. A common thread among everyone here who is not on a flight crew is that even though we don’t touch the patients, we touch and support the people who touch the patients.

Are you willing to share a piece of personal information that people might find surprising?

I stand 6’ tall, but my two kids tower over me. My son is 6’8”, and my daughter is 6’4”!

Who makes up your family or household?

Michelle (Glancy), my son Gunnar, who’s almost 18, my daughter Lauren, who’s 15, and Michelle’s 19-year old son Nathan. And we have a cat named Twix.

This is your free speech opportunity if you have anything else you’d like to share.

The thing I consider my proudest achievement right now is definitely my kids. Both of them play basketball. They’re great basketball athletes and great students. I’m extremely proud to think that my influence on them is going to influence others in the future. I will stand on any mountaintop and profess my love for my kids.