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Progress, Not Perfection

Magazine ,

By Kimberly Maggard, CAPS, CPO

Royal American Management Inc. 

When FAA members, leaders, and staff gathered in August 2019 to develop a new strategic plan, no one could have predicted that in 2020 in-person gatherings would be nonexistent as a worldwide pandemic raged. If we had possessed a crystal ball then, perhaps we would have rethought our goal to “grow conference and events.” Nonetheless, as we find ourselves halfway through the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan timeframe, FAA has made noteworthy progress toward that goal. 

Early in the pandemic, FAA planned its first-ever series of educational webinars, with topics such as building community remotely, teleworking, fair housing, and steps suppliers could take during the pandemic to support their long-term success. 

A few months later, the FAA Board of Directors met in person — with many COVID precautions in place — and made the gut-wrenching decision to cancel the 2020 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show. Although no virtual event could take the place of the best conference and trade show in the multifamily industry, the board challenged FAA staff to create a suitable substitute. The resulting 2020 FAA Annual Meeting included everything that in a normal year would be showcased on the conference general session stage:  a keynote presentation; speeches by the outgoing and incoming FAA presidents; the State of the Association by Josh Gold, FAA executive vice president; recognition of officers, Leadership Lyceum graduates, and major APAC investors; swearing-in of officers; and much more.

Fast forward to 2021 and slowly but surely the world is returning to in-person events, including trade shows. FAA’s trade show will be the largest ever, with more exhibit booths and longer trade show hours for members to visit them. This will truly maximize the opportunities for property management professionals to connect with supplier partners who can help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. 

The educational component of the event includes not only several recognizable industry experts but also seven panel discussions, which the FAA Conference Committee selected from 21 proposals submitted. Together, the moderators and panelists will offer a broad perspective of real-world experiences, case studies, and peer-to-peer learning. 

A key element of FAA’s goal to grow the conference and events is to engage members from across the industry, with all manner of job titles. The Maintenance Education Series— complimentary for up to five maintenance professionals from each affiliate — is back in 2021, with sessions that will focus on growing maintenance teams, streamlining the turn process, and inspiring success. 

The Masters Session will once again provide an opportunity for senior executives in multifamily management to explore shared challenges. 

This year, FAA celebrates our 50th anniversary. Marking any important milestone brings with it some retrospect and hindsight. We don’t have to look back 50 years to see how far FAA has come in how it serves our members and our industry. Past presidents and other volunteer leaders built a solid base upon which we continue to grow and evolve. 

Naturally, there is still work to do to accomplish the goals in our 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. At the same time, I am so very proud of how far we have come.