Promoting a Policy Of Transparency
By Josh Gold, CAE, CMP
FAA Executive Vice President
Since the Enron debacle and accounting scandals near the turn of this century, it’s not unusual to hear the word “transparency” bandied about as a worthwhile goal. Citizens call upon government to be transparent about spending, for example, and stockholders want transparency in their investments. If you manage an apartment community, reputation experts advise you to respond to negative comments online, rather than deleting them. That’s a form of transparency, and it lets current and prospective residents know that you care about their concerns. Simply put, transparency builds trust by providing clear and open lines of communication. Transparency is just as important in a member-driven organization such as the Florida Apartment Association.
FAA’s goal is to be available and responsive to our members by listening to concerns and encouraging constructive discussions..
Here are some of the ways FAA strives to be a transparent organization:
- Establishing trust. The staff at FAA is available to our members through email, phone, and even in person. Having a small staff makes it easy for members to reach out to us directly and helps build trusting professional relationships. Through the monthly Florida APTitudes e-newsletter, quarterly Multifamily Florida magazine, and periodic email updates, FAA strives to keep members informed about the association and about developments in the apartment industry. Board meetings are open for all members to attend, regardless of whether they are on the board or not, and attendance is highly recommended so members can see how and why decisions are made. Informational packets are distributed to board members in advance of meetings, and henceforth these board packets, along with meeting minutes, will be available on the FAA website. An article in Florida APTitudes will notify members when these documents are available.
- Inviting participation. There are numerous ways to get involved with FAA. A good way to start is by volunteering with your local affiliate. Becoming a familiar face at local meetings, educational events, and fundraisers makes you more likely to be nominated for Leadership Lyceum or appointed as a local delegate to the FAA board of directors. FAA’s Annual Conference & Trade Show in October and Legislative Conference in January or February are fun and interactive ways to immerse yourself and learn more about the current state of the organization, and what the future looks like. Participation is encouraged for every member, at any level, so members feel connected and informed about the state of their association.
- Encouraging collaboration. As a large, member- driven federation, FAA relies on collaboration between members and among affiliates to spark new ideas, communicate issues, and resolve concerns. FAA’s Leadership Lyceum program brings together members from all affiliates from across the state to share learning experiences with other future FAA leaders. FAA has several committees that provide opportunities for collaboration, including the Conference Committee, Editorial Advisory Committee, Legislative Committee, and Masters Steering Committee for senior multifamily executives. (Visit faahq.org/committees to learn more.) Collaborating with members from other affiliates, management companies, or suppliers will help broaden your viewpoint, and may even help you find a solution to a challenge at your community or company.. If you are experiencing a problem, you may find other members are also, and together you may be able to find a solution.
FAA strives to embody the goal of transparency to strengthen our federation and promote trust and effectiveness.
Above all, FAA is a resource for members, determined to keep lines of communication clear and accessible. We encourage members to reach out with any questions or concerns by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our President Lori Trainer at email@example.com. Our door is always open!