SPARK program recognizes Facilities Management staff who go extra mile

Maintaining a campus the size of Colorado State University, with locations spread out all across Fort Collins, is a massive task. More than 600 Facilities Management employees work every day – often in the off hours – to keep university buildings and grounds clean, painted, repaired, physically organized, heated and cooled, watered, and remodeled, as well as overseeing numerous ongoing construction projects. Although vital to the efficient operation of CSU, these daily tasks are often taken for granted by  other employees.

The Facilities Management SPARK award bring well-deserved recognition to those employees who demonstrate the department’s core values: caring, collaborative, progressive, experts and good stewards.

“We wanted to recognize employees for their positive impact and contributions to Facilities Management and the CSU community. The SPARK program has helped us identify and communicate who we are, and increase our employee investment in the organization,” said Tom Satterly, associate vice president for Facilities Management. “The bottom line is every member of our Facilities Management team is valued.”

Since its inception in October 2017, more than 475 SPARK awards have been presented to 287 employees, including 274 awards given by supervisors to their direct reports. Employees have been recognized for contributions such as:

  • Volunteering to shovel snow from areas of campus known to be extremely difficult to clear
  • Responding quickly to flooding buildings
  • Using their work truck to bring a student’s belongings from the family’s broken down vehicle to the residence hall on move-in day
  • Carrying a student in a wheelchair to their campus destination during a heavy snow storm.

Employees “caught in the act” of demonstrating dedication to the core values receive a SPARK card within two days;  the recognition card can be redeemed for a $15 gift card of their choice. Their names and SPARK stories are also highlighted on the department webpage, in the employee newsletter, and on a bulletin board in Facilities Management North.

Makes core values tangible

The program has helped make the core values of the department tangible. It also provides Facilities employees as well as those across the university with an opportunity to learn about the vast responsibilities of the department.

“I think the SPARK program helps reinforce the values that Facilities Management is committed to, and provides us with a better understanding of how these values are part of our work lives,” said Julia Innes, a recognition committee member.

“Facilities staff is truly a collaborative group that consistently binds together to correct adverse circumstances and give students a positive campus experience,” added Adam Anderson, also a committee member.

Facilities employees can be nominated for a SPARK award by sharing accolades and compliments with that employee’s supervisor.

Colleagues from across the university can also suggest recognition through Thank a Colleague. Any CSU employee or campus partner can submit a note of appreciation via email to

For more information, visit the SPARK site.