Executive Bios

Mohamed Attalla, Executive Director
mattalla@illinois.eduMohamed Attlla

Dr. Mohamed Attalla is executive director of Facilities & Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He oversees the largest central unit with over 1,200 professionals who are performing different functions including, but not limited to, Design, Construction, Capital Planning, Space Management, Sustainability, Energy Management, Maintenance, Cleaning Services, Transportation, Central Stores, Health and Safety, Environmental Compliance, Waste Management, Financial Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Communication and Customer Relations. The Urbana campus includes more than 600 buildings that occupy about 25M gross square feet (GSF) and about 5,000 acres of land. Since starting on August 16, 2018, Attalla has led the unit toward more customer-focused opportunities and academic collaborations, including the creation of a new strategic plan.

Attalla has served in construction and facilities roles for 33 years, including seven years at McMaster University in Canada and 18 years in various facilities and construction administrative positions for the Toronto District School Board. He also served as an adjunct engineering professor at McMaster University, Ryerson University, and the University of Waterloo, giving him an additional platform for relating with faculty members, researchers, and students.

“Dr. Attalla arrives on our campus with comprehensive experience at a world-class research institution and a proven record of leadership of all facets of facilities and services operations,” said Chancellor Robert Jones upon Attalla’s hiring. “He is a skilled strategic planner and a team builder who understands how to prioritize and advance both the qualities of employee morale and customer satisfaction.”

Attalla earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in construction engineering and management from the University of Waterloo in Canada, subsequent to a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ain Shams University in Egypt. While at McMaster, he completed the Executive Master of Business Administration and the Advanced Executive Management programs.

Maureen Banks, Director of Safety & Compliance

Banks, Maureen-SC-19

Maureen Banks oversees comprehensive environmental health and occupational safety programs, offers consultative remedies to meet regulatory and statutory compliance, and acts as chief liaison with federal, state, and local agencies. 

Previously, Banks was assistant director of the Division of Safety and Compliance. She has also held the position of assistant director of the Institute for Labor & Industrial Relations.

Banks has served on the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program Advisory Committee, Campus Charitable Fund Drive Board, and Public Safety Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Campus Safety, Health, & Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), Big Ten Environmental Health & Safety Directors, and the University Infectious Disease Work Group.

Banks earned her bachelor’s degree in biological science from Western Illinois. She received a master’s degree in preventive medicine and environmental health from the University of Iowa, followed by her Ph.D. in human resource education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dee Dee Caneva, Associate Director Facilities & Services,
Customer Relations & Communications

deedeecanevaDee Dee Caneva is the Director of Customer Relations & Communications for Facilities & Services at the University of Illinois. She manages all external marketing and communications to articulate the organization’s brand and enhance its reputation with campus customers, the Urbana-Champaign community, and among colleagues in the Big Ten.

Caneva has been visionary in implementing change management and internal communications strategies to engage the unit’s 1,200 employees. Prior to joining Illinois in 2006, Caneva created and managed an ethics and compliance program for Dow AgroSciences, a division of The Dow Chemical Company, in Indianapolis, and served as its internal corporate communications manager.

Caneva has a bachelor's degree in communications and education from Louisiana State University, and a master's degree in public affairs with a concentration in public management from Indiana University. She has earned certifications in project management and in directing ethics in organizations.

Morgan White, Associate Director Facilities & Services, Sustainability

morgan johnstonMorgan White is the Associate Director of Sustainability for Facilities & Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. In 2007, White became the first Transportation Demand Management coordinator and was tasked with encouraging active transportation modes and enhancing pedestrian safety. When the university adopted the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) in 2010, she was given the additional responsibility for sustainability.

White is the liaison for Facilities & Services with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (iSEE), students, faculty, administrators, and the community. She is an ex-officio advisory member to the Student Sustainability Committee, which allocates more than $1M each academic year toward campus sustainability projects. White assisted in the development of the Campus Bike Center. The Center began as an idea to reduce single-occupant vehicles and evolved into a multifunctional educational resource for the community to learn how to perform basic bike maintenance. Additionally, she represents the campus in the regional sustainability green team and the Big Ten and Friends Environmental Stewardship Group.

White graduated with honors from the University of Illinois as a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, with an emphasis on geotechnical engineering. She also earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois.

Kent Reifsteck, Director of Utilities & Energy Services

Kent Reifsteck

Kent Reifsteck oversees utility production, utility distribution and metering, retrocommissioning, energy saving performance contracting, building systems and controls, and utility and energy business functions including purchasing, budgeting, and billing.

Previously, Reifsteck served as the director of Engineering Services at the university. Prior to coming to the university, Reifsteck worked as the resident engineer consultant for Consoer Townsend & Associates on Abbott Power Plant’s Coal Reconversion Project. He has also worked as a consulting engineer for both Henneman Raufeisen & Associates and Baldwin Associates.

Reifsteck earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a LEED accredited professional.

Jim Sims, Interim Director of Engineering & Construction Services

Sims, Jim

Jim Sims oversees Campus Code Compliance & Fire Safety, Construction Services, Engineering Design, Engineering Quality Assurance, Facilities Information Resources, and Transportation Demand Management. Prior to assuming his current role, Sims served as a planner/engineer and interim senior planner within F&S’ Capital Programs division. Before joining the university in 2012, Sims worked as a structural engineer at Thornton-Tomasetti in Chicago as well as led the Structural Engineering Division at HDC Engineering /MSA Professional Engineers in Champaign. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in civil engineering (structures) from the University of Notre Dame. Sims is a Licensed Structural Engineer, a Licensed Professional Engineer, and a LEED accredited professional.

Curt Taylor, Director of Shared Administrative Services

Curt Taylor

Curt Taylor oversees administrative and managerial support for planning, budgeting, and financial resources for all F&S units, including information technology services, human resources support for more than 1,200 employees, procurement services, financial operations, Stores & Receiving, and the Service Office.

Taylor serves on the Deans’ Budget Committee and Budget Officers’ Council and is a member of the Business Managers Group on campus. He is a member of several professional organizations, including Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Prior to coming to the university, Taylor worked at KPMG LLP, was the corporate reporting manager for a Fortune 500 company, and the controller of a communications company in St. Louis. He was with Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) at the University of Illinois for 10 years prior to coming to F&S.

Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois.

Director of Operations, Maintenance & Alterations

Director of Capital Programs