Thank You for an Exciting and Rewarding Year
By Bonnie Smetzer, CPM, HCCP
JMG Realty Inc.
It’s been an honor to serve as president of FAA this past year. I had several important goals and certainly hoped for a smooth term. However, less than a week after I was installed, Hurricane Michael came ashore in the Florida Panhandle and became only the fourth Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S., and the first since Hurricane Andrew. FAA moved quickly to double our annual contribution to Hatching Hope of Florida, a charity that provides services to apartment residents in need throughout Florida. FAA’s contribution helped Hatching Hope respond quickly to assist residents in the affected area. The Bay County Multi-Housing Association and its members were devastated by the hurricane and are still working to recover.
My first goal as FAA president was to engage our members to help find solutions to the housing affordability shortage in our state. It was important to me that our members not only educate others on what does not work but also be a voice to find solutions that do work.
I am proud to say FAA now has a Housing Affordability Committee. Through this committee, our members can work with local municipalities and lead the discussion about workable solutions to meet the rental demand for all Floridians.
My second goal was to visit with all affiliates that help to make FAA the amazing organization it is. I am proud to say that I visited locally with all affiliates. BCMHA did not have any meetings, but I was able to be part of the interview committee to hire an association executive. I enjoyed each and every affiliate visit and appreciated the warm hospitality extended to me.
I traveled to Dallas for an NAA meeting that included AEs and affiliate presidents from across the country, to discuss NAA’s future rollout of affiliate standards, as well as to discuss plans for the NAA Click and Lease program. I was so proud that our Florida representatives led a lively discussion about NAA’s plans and made sure our voices were heard.
I want to thank the entire FAA staff and for each person’s contributions in making FAA the great organization it is.
- Josh Gold was elected to NAA’s Association Executives Council. This honor shows that others recognize what we know already know at FAA: Josh does an outstanding job in leading FAA.
- FAA had significant legislative victories this year, thanks in large part to Amanda Gill, FAA’s new government affairs director. In just her first few months with FAA, Amanda help lead us to two major legislative victories. Florida now has a law that requires municipalities that have an inclusionary zoning ordinance to offset the loss a developer incurs by including affordable housing. In addition, Florida law now clarifies that impact fees for multifamily developments may only be charged after building permits are issued and must be used toward the infrastructure costs created by the development. These two laws will help keep apartment development strong in our state, which is critical to helping meet future housing demand.
- Laureen Crowley’s editorial leadership and talent have been recognized with several awards. Multifamily Florida received writing awards from the Florida Magazine Association and from the Association Media & Publishing, a national organization. FAA’s conference marketing and legislative advocacy work was also recognized at the national level.
- Ralph Robinson has once again demonstrated his amazing conference planning. As a member of the Space Coast Apartment Association, I am so excited that this year’s conference theme will be “Beyond Orbit ... Infinite Possibilities” and our keynote speaker will be astronaut Capt. Scott Kelley.
Lastly but certainly not least, I want to thank the FAA Executive Board and FAA Board of Directors, for their contribution and support this year. Collectively, you each helped make FAA the strong organization it is today.
This has been an amazing year. Thanks for your support.