By Katie Wrenn, CAPS
WRH Realty Services Inc.
As we wrap up 2019, I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to serve as the president of the Florida Apartment Association. It is through the great leadership of our immediate past President Bonnie Smetzer, the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the entire team at the Florida Apartment Association — Josh Gold, Laureen Crowley, Carina Favale, Amanda Gill, Will Jaycox, Rona Long, and Ralph Robinson — that we have once again had another flagship year. Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and value that you bring to the Florida Apartment Association and our industry. Among the many great successes of 2019, we most recently wrapped up another record-setting Annual Conference & Trade Show at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando. This conference was out of this world with a “beyond orbit” theme that was headlined by astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly! He shared his inspiring insights of his journey into space including the lessons of strength, endurance, teamwork, and preparation that it took to make his voyage a success. Our education sessions went to new heights by offering more options than ever before, including a dedicated track for maintenance professionals. This year’s trade show soared with a showcase of quality services and innovative products from our supplier partners. The conference wrapped up with the founder of Hello Fears, Michelle Poler, who launched a social movement that challenged us to step out of our comfort zone and face our fears!
I also want to take a moment to thank all our conference attendees including management companies, supplier partners, and sponsors, who came together to help make this event a success. Every year we work diligently to make the next conference more innovative and exciting than the last, and I don’t think next year’s will be any different. If you were not able to attend this year’s conference, you can “Make Your Mark” at next year’s conference which will be at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., on September 30–October 2.
As I look forward to the next year as the president of the Florida Apartment Association, I am excited to see the continued growth of the FAA’s network through brand awareness and elevated engagement across all levels within the industry. We are also launching a research project with HR&A Advisors to support and reinforce our legislative priorities. This research will help identify the drivers of housing costs within Florida’s four major markets — Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Each of these initiatives is a result of a one-day strategic planning session in August where we not only identified our goals over the next three years, but also reiterated our mission and defined our vision.
Our mission: The Florida Apartment Association is a federation of associations representing and advocating the interests of the Florida multifamily rental housing industry.
Our vision: To be the recognized leader of Florida’s multifamily industry.
Lastly, I am looking forward to serving as a resource for our membership and engaging with our affiliates across the state. We have an exciting year ahead and I am truly grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization.