So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye…

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By Josh Gold, CAE, CMP
FAA Executive Vice President

Who can forget the famous scene in “The Sound of Music” where the von Trapp children sing a farewell tune to their father’s party guests before heading up to their rooms for bed? The children have been strictly instructed by their father, Captain von Trapp, to leave the lavish ball which will undoubtedly continue until the wee hours of the morning. Amid their protests and wishes to stay longer to taste their “first champagne,” among other things, the song notes that “the sun has gone to bed and so must I.” In essence, all good things must come to an end. 

I find myself writing this final column on my very last day as the Executive Vice President of the Florida Apartment Association feeling much like Kurt, Liesl, and the other von Trapp children. I want to stay a bit longer at the party, but I know that it is time that I must go. As I’ve said to many of you in person, these past eight years at FAA have been the very best of my entire career. I’ve never had the pleasure of working with such smart, talented and passionate professionals – your FAA staff are truly one-of-a-kind and the greatest asset of the association. I will greatly miss Rona, Ralph, Laureen, Amanda, Johnmichael, Camila, and Melanie, and I’m so glad to count each of them as a friend.

I will also miss you, our members. The apartment industry is a very special one – I knew that from the first time I met many of you and was greeted not by a handshake but a hug. The camaraderie and support for one another in this membership is unique among trade associations and should be cherished. I have been truly touched by the dedication that FAA’s volunteers have demonstrated during my tenure with the association. I could attempt to list all the leaders of FAA who’ve influenced and shaped me, but I would likely forget to name a handful as there have been so many. Your focus on making this organization best-in-class has resulted in the stellar national reputation that FAA enjoys today. It is not lost on me that it is this very track record of excellence that made me an attractive candidate for my new position at NAA in the first place. Please know that I take my lessons from you and will apply them to the future challenges I will undoubtedly face.

Among all this melancholy and reminiscing one important idiom must not be forgotten – change is good. Organizational change encourages innovation, develops skills and develops staff. The fresh take of a new leader should be celebrated – his or her new approach to old problems may be the lynchpin that sets in motion an entire new era for the association. New initiatives can benefit not only those we serve – our members – but the employees on the inside of the organization as well. I encourage FAA leadership and staff to take this opportunity to challenge the framework through which they view their jobs, their roles in the association as well as FAA’s approach to doing business. 

I begin my new role at the National Apartment Association with the confidence gained by my successes at FAA (and maybe with just a tiny, but healthy, shred of self-doubt). My thanks go out to each one of you – it is hard to truly put my gratitude for this experience in words. 

“Regretfully they tell us, but firmly they compel us, to say goodbye… to you.”