True North FMC, Logo

Phone Icon (734) 358-5150

About True North

True North FMC is a new organization founded by Richard W. Robben PE, MBA, CEFP. In his 46 years of experience in the Facilities Management arena he has lead organizations through transformational change, received national recognition for pace setting and innovative strategies and for developing nationally recognized high performance organizations. True North was founded to offer consulting services to higher education facilities organizations, providing practical and successful solutions to both the common and unique issues that face our brick and mortar colleges and universities. True North will provide individualized service to its clients by limiting the number of assignments at any given time.

True North can provide service for interim positions, perform targeted organizational evaluations, supply expert witness service for maintenance issues, CFO and Board Advisory roles, turnarounds’ support, Strategic Business, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) planning.

Compass The Name True North FMC stems from the concept that there is a difference between what a compass shows as  North and what is actually  “True North”.

Areas of Demonstrated Expertise


  • Team Building
  • Hiring & Retention of Quality Personnel
  • Focused Training for Management & Workforces
  • Development of Accountably Systems for Personal Performance
  • Succession Planning


  • Connecting Mission to Customer Experience
  • Quality Measurements Systems
  • Redirecting Workforce Focus from Internal to External
  • Customer Training Programs


  • Budgeting Development & Administration (Operating & Capital)
  • Financial Controls
  • Performance Metrics Development & Tracking
  • Contract Negotiations (Construction, Utility, & Labor)

Internal Business Processes

  • Capital Planning
  • Facility Condition Assessment
  • Proactive Maintenance
  • Task Team Cleaning
  • Best Practice Implementation
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
  • Behavior-Based Energy Management Programs
  • Deferred Maintenance Mitigation Programs
  • Benchmarking
  • Strategic Business Planning, Development, & Implementation
  • Retro Commissioning
  • Construction Management
  • Maintenance Management

Change Management

  • Business Process Redesign
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Structural Redesign

Recognitions Received

  • 2016 - APPA Award for Sustainable Campus
  • 2014 & 2006 - APPA Award for Excellence in Facilities Management, University of Michigan
  • 2007 - Michigan Recycling Coalition Recycler of the Year in the Outstanding Reduction & Reuse Program Category
  • 2007 - Rex Dillow Award from APPA for Facilities Manager Magazine Article on Measurement of Quality in Service Organizations
  • 2006 - Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) 1101: University of Michigan Becomes the First University Custodial Program Certified under the ISSA
  • 2005 - EPA Energy Star™ Partner of the Year, University of Michigan
  • 2004 - EPA Combined Heat & Power Award, University of Michigan Central Power Plant
  • 2001 - National Recycling Coalition Outstanding School Program, University of Michigan
  • 1996 - Energy Star Partner, Columbia University

List of Clients and Institutions Lead

  • Columbia University in the City of New York -  Director of Physical Plant
  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor -  Executive Director of Plant Operations
  • University of Chicago Illinois - Interim Associate VP of Facilities Services and Advisor to the CFO
  • University of Texas  San Antonio - Organization Evaluation
  • University of Wisconsin  Milwaukee - Organization Evaluation
  • University of Iowa - Organization Evaluation
  • Central Michigan University - Organization Evaluation
  • Old Dominion University - Organization Evaluation
  • Davis Polk Attorneys - Expert Witness
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - Organization Evaluation
  • University of British Columbia (UBC) -  Organization Evaluation
  • University of Kansas Medical Center - Organization Evaluation
  • Glenda Cochrane & Associates Attorneys – Expert Witness
  • University of Michigan Flint Campus - Organization Evaluation