BY LORI TRAINER
Serving as the president of the Florida Apartment Association is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly. It is one that I have been building up to for many years through local and state volunteering. Along the way I have had the honor to meet so many wonderful and hardworking people in this industry and it is my goal to represent them this year and do anything I can to help make FAA stronger for all of us.
With that in mind, I have two main objectives. First, I’d like to make the FAA Board of Directors — and by extension, the Executive Committee— a more inclusive and diverse body. For the past few years that I’ve served on the EC, I’ve heard from members who believe a leadership position with FAA is unattainable. Whether that’s true or not, it’s a problem simply that it’s a perception.
My concern is that talented people with fresh ideas might be reluctant to step up. To stay relevant to our membership and our industry, FAA leadership needs “new blood” and new ideas. We on the EC and the board should serve as ambassadors between FAA leadership and members. We need to be sure we are welcoming with open arms those who want to serve, like Nan Cavarretta, Brenda Pritchard, and Marc Rosenwasser did for me.
If you have thought about becoming an FAA volunteer leader, I encourage you to start now. Look on your local affiliate’s website for the next scheduled meeting or other events. See who serves on your affiliate’s board of directors, and introduce yourself. Ask about what committees you could serve on, or how you could help at a future event.
If you would like to be active on the state level, attend an FAA board meeting; they are open to all members. Consider asking your affiliate to nominate you for FAA Leadership Lyceum. Lyceum is a great way to learn about all aspects of FAA, and includes three educational modules as well as attendance at specific FAA meetings and events. If cost is a concern, you may apply for assistance through the Nan Cavarretta Memorial Scholarship Fund. One of my mentors, Nan was a tremendous advocate of inclusiveness and education in the multifamily industry, she would be so pleased that, in her name, we are helping identify future FAA leaders.
The second priority of my presidency is to focus on our supplier partners. As we all know, we would not have an association without our supplier partners. The suppliers have a group called the Product/Service Council. I am working with the PSC Chair Diana Gaus to see what enhancements might be made to the PSC to enhance participation and membership.
One of the benefits is that every supplier partner is included in a directory on the FAA website, which management members can search, by category, when they are looking for a solution provider. Diana and I are surveying PSC members to see what other benefits they might like to have. We’d love to hear your ideas as well; give us a call!
Our supplier partners do a lot to support FAA events, not just financially but by their expertise and involvement. I have appointed a member of the PSC to sit on each of the FAA committees to ensure we have representation from both sides when making important decisions. I’d like to see FAA continue to take additional steps to enhance the value of supplier membership.
Regardless of whether you are a supplier partner or management member, the association cannot grow or succeed without volunteer leadership. Please consider mentoring a new person, getting involved in a new committee, and stepping up when asked. I believe we will all reap the benefits. Thank you, — I look forward to an awesome year!