Joe Perme: Director of Facility Services

It’s not a stretch to think if anyone has figured out how to squeeze more than 24 hours out of a single day, it may be Butterfield’s Director of Facility Services Joe Perme. A key member of the BTV leadership staff for nearly 10 years, Joe oversees the teams responsible for managing and maintaining 44 acres of facilities, housekeeping for all common areas and private residences, horticulture, construction of capital projects and the renovation of living units. Preferring to remain behind the scenes, his mannerisms are quiet, steady and unfailingly polite – usually accompanied by a genuine smile and a great sense of humor. 

A self-employed builder by trade, Joe was initially asked by a friend for his recommendations of good potential candidates for a new assistant director position Butterfield had created to begin transitioning the Village’s residential renovation projects to in-house management. He sent three different people to apply, but ultimately nobody was the right fit. BTV’s attention then shifted to Joe, who had no intention of working for anyone but himself. However, in  2008 the real estate market had crashed hard on a national scale – and it was still a tough time to be making a living in construction. He decided to throw his hat in the ring and was offered the job. 

Accepting the role was the beginning of a truly outrageous first week that started off normally on a Monday, but was followed by the department director’s sudden departure and Joe’s subsequent promotion to the higher role by Wednesday. On Thursday, Butterfield’s current construction contractor quit all projects, making the need to transition to in-house management an immediate necessity. Later that same Thursday night a significant flood wreaked havoc on campus facilities and required around-the-clock response. Despite everything, somehow Joe still opted to return to work the next week.

“I like challenges,” said Joe. “At the same time, Butterfield offers stability and steadiness you don’t always find when making a living building houses on your own.” He also credits the kindness of many residents as a great reason to come to work each day, and feels an enormous responsibility for their well-being. Recognizing the substantial investment residents make to live in the Village, Joe has a commitment he sums up in a phrase, “My job is to always try to be a good steward of your money.”

As non-stop as his role is in the Village, Joe also stays constantly occupied in his off time. He loves working on new projects, evidenced by multiple personal home renovations he has completed. He is finishing the restoration of a 1939 home while living in surprising comfort in a large RV purchased last year after selling the prior renovation. “I probably should have just pushed this particular house over, but decided it deserved for us to honor its history.” In addition to the three houses he rehabbed in NWA, plus a place in Harrison, Joe also renovated a late 1800s home in Newton County, Ark. – not far from where he grew up and his grandfather’s original homestead was located.

While Joe has spent his adult life creating beautiful, comfortable living spaces, he and wife Kim of 33 years share a serious case of wanderlust and love the sense of adventure their well-appointed mobile residence offers. The couple has already traveled far and wide, visiting an enviable list of international destinations. A recent trip to Sedona, Ariz., however, caused them to realize they wanted to start focusing more on domestic exploration. Joe laughingly remarked, “When we bought our camper, it was meant to be a temporary solution while we worked on the next house. But who knows? It might just end up being permanent for us.”