By Shawn Wingate
Richman Property Services Inc.
"Change is the only constant in life."
— Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
If there’s one thing that has been true throughout my career in the multifamily industry — and probably in many of yours — it’s that no two days are ever the same. Fortunately for me, that’s one of the things I like most about my work.
Change is also ever-present in our multifamily association, as we experienced when much of the state was placed under a hurricane warning just as FAA staff and volunteers were making final preparations for the 2016 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show. As Hurricane Matthew bore down on the Florida coast, including the Boca Raton area, we had to cancel our conference for the first time in recent memory. (In 2006 in Boca Raton, we did feel the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but the conference still went on.)
Enough members of the FAA board of directors were already at the conference hotel so that we had a quorum and could still have our annual meeting. The nominating committee’s recommended slate of officers for the 2016-2017 term was elected and then immediately sworn in by Marc Ross, NAA chairman of the board. (See Page 27 in Multifamily Florida, Winter 2016, for a photo of the new executive committee.)
I had the opportunity to make a few remarks, and I said that it would be difficult to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor, who had “come on like a hurricane.” During his term as FAA president, Glenn Evers oversaw important changes to the governance of the organization.
I plan to build on his accomplishments by encouraging people at the smaller affiliates to become more involved at the state level. There are some terrific volunteers at the local level, many of whom have completed the Leadership Lyceum program. I think they could make a valuable contribution by serving on a committee for FAA, for example. Like many of us, I started at the local level, with the Southwest Florida Apartment Association, and then Brenda Pritchard and Cindy Fredlund encouraged me to explore FAA as well. I think mentoring is so important to help the next generation of FAA leaders move up.
With the changes implemented last year to make the executive committee and the board of directors both smaller, I am hopeful that will lead to more engaged involvement. Each of the local affiliates has fewer delegates to the board, which should mean only those who are truly interested in making a contribution to the association will fill those seats. The social and networking benefits of FAA participation are fun, and they can be very beneficial to our careers, but it’s important to remember that as officers and as delegates to the board, we are there to be involved and to support the association. That will be easier with the smaller board, and I’m looking forward to the more interactive meetings.
I’m also looking forward to working with FAA staff to review bylaws and policies and make sure they reflect the current and future state of our association. I plan to do a lot of listening to all of you, so please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about how we can work together to continue making FAA the best it can be.