As I pass the torch to 2019 AMA Board Chair John Carlson, I want to thank members and leadership alike for their great support as I took over this important role in May.
The year ended with a flourish as the multi-housing industry continued its unprecedented growth in Arizona. Metro Phoenix remained high in the multi-family cycle as new residents and job poured into the Valley.
It was also a year of transition and change for AMA. We welcomed Courtney LeVinus as our new President/CEO. She has a vision that everyone on the board embraces and is eager to carry out.
AMA’s new executive team impressed me with its unity and forward-thinking approach. As we enter 2019, look for new and exciting initiatives from the leadership team. Thanks to Chris Evans for serving two years as Immediate Past Chair, seven years on the AMA Executive Committee, and mentoring me through my brief tenure as chair.
I would also like to thank the Board of Directors for its commitment and patience. It has been a great experience serving as Board Chair. Amy Smith Montoya, thank you for your devotion by extending your role as Board Chair through May to assist with the new leadership transition.
Congratulations and good luck, John, as you assume the mantle as Board Chair. Thank you for joining the executive committee and accepting the Vice Chair position mid-year and assuming our leadership for 2019.
It will be an even greater year in 2019 for the AMA.
– Nicole Wray, 2018 AMA Board Chair, Greystar Real Estate Partners
I am deeply honored to serve as the new Chair of the Arizona Multihousing Association Board of Directors. 2019 marks the 52nd year of the AMA taking a leadership role in shaping the success and progress of our industry.
As I reflect on our long history and countless organizational accomplishments, I cannot help but draw inspiration from the unyielding dedication and hard work it took to achieve them. I would like to personally thank all of our previous leaders for their contributions and for making our future successes more attainable.
Now more than ever the AMA is operating from a position of strength in terms of financial stability, operational discipline, and forward-thinking organizational leadership. Steady and continued growth has been a hallmark of that strength. We are now the fourth largest trade association in Arizona and one of the nation’s largest NAA affiliates. This type of foundation bodes well for future successes.
As incoming Chair, I seek to accelerate the significant momentum created by Board of Directors and Committee Chairs of the past by amplifying our association’s impact, prominence, and importance. My priority is to energize the Board of Directors and our fellow members.
The depth and experience of our existing membership is a signature strength. An energized AMA, with a focused goal of driving engagement, connection, and candor will most certainly build membership value and underpin expansion of additional memberships statewide.
Although much has been accomplished in the past 52 years, we need to be even more strategic in an ever-fluid business environment. Continued success means enhancing our organizational strengths in conjunction with better identifying emerging threats before they occur.
To borrow a phrase, “good to great,” the organization is poised to elevate education, advocacy of industry interests, networking, and events to the next level. Our 2019 education calendar is stellar. The Tribute Awards process is already being enhanced through more objective processes with an emphasis on identifying the most qualified winners in each category.
It will take concerted effort and discipline to improve what I would deem AMA areas of strength, but it can be done. We cannot stop improving.
Moving forward, we will continue to need everyone in the membership to be fully supportive and engaged. Through common attributes including energized leadership, shared vision, and a collective commitment to continuously improve the organization, I’m excited about what we will accomplish together.
– John Carlson, AMA Board Chair, Mark-Taylor Residential
Advocating to impact our legislative future
By Amy Smith Montoya, AMA Board Chair, Bella Investments
This year’s National Apartment Association’s Advocate conference focused on some of the key issues impacting our sector at the local and national levels. Housing, affordability, cybersecurity, insurance and infrastructure impact every company involved with the AMA.
We are fortunate to have a powerful lobbying team at the national level, but our local voices – the meetings with our representatives where we can share impactful stories from the business owners’ perspective - are critical to the success and influence of that voice.
These visits help us build relationships and educate our policymakers and their staffs about key issues. I hope more of us will engage locally and nationally.
Advancing technology to improve our communication future
This month, we are migrating our Apartment News magazine into a digital platform. Your Board has prioritized technology use as a way to build stronger connections to our members. This move to a digital publication will allow us to share more content with more users. Now every member, and their teams, can access the publication and sign up for direct delivery. Over time, it will also allow more of our members to share their news, business innovations and leadership ideas, as well as connect to the AMA’s programs!
Celebrating leaders who take us into the future
This issue focuses on the Tribute Award finalists for 2018. We will celebrate all the nominees at our upcoming Tributes dinner. Tributes takes our in-house recognition programs to the next level by sharing the success of our team members with the association as a whole. If you have a finalist included in this year’s honorees, be sure to share this edition with the rest of your company and start celebrating leadership at your company today!
By Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus, AMA Interim President/CEO
Congratulations to all our 2018 AMA Tribute Award Finalists. We can’t wait to celebrate you and all the nominees at the Annual Tribute Award dinner on Friday, May 11. It is going to be an outstanding evening honoring the best in the industry.
Our Arizona NAA delegates were in Washington, DC last month meeting with members of congress and learning about the possible threats to the industry. It is always a great reminder of the impact the government can have on our industry and why we must show our strength in numbers. It was wonderful seeing the hundreds apartment industry professionals from all over the United States working in a single united voice in support of our industry. If you have not attended the NAA Advocate conference, it is an event everyone should attend at least once in their apartment career.
As you will notice in the Legislative Update Governor Doug Ducey recently signed our AMA bill (SB1376 – Abandoned Personal Property). This was a team effort nine months in the making. This past summer AMA members formed a task force to review the issue of abandoned personal property including pets. After several meetings the task force proposed changes to the Government Affairs Committee and the AMA Board of Directors. We were fortunate to secure Senator and Majority Whip Gail Griffin as our bill sponsor. Three amazing AMA members—Mary Schramm, Christopher Walker and Mark Zinman—all testified in support of the bill. Mary even appeared on the local news and was quoted in the newspaper! Thank you for Mary, Chris and Mark for your time and energy to help pass this critical legislation.
BY AMY SMITH MONTOYA, AMA BOARD CHAIR, BELLA INVESTMENTS
Each start of the new year brings with it a new legislative session at the Arizona Capitol. This month, our publication focuses on the advocacy efforts and programs in which we are involved locally and nationally. The AMA offers many benefits to our members, but none are as important as our role in the legislative and policymaking processes. In fact, the AMA was originally founded because of the need to have a voice in state and local regulations. As we often hear, “If you’re not at the table, you’re most likely what’s for lunch.”
Our industry has become a sophisticated and influential group. Our policy teams, at the local, state and national levels, work to educate and influence policymakers to protect our businesses and support our industry.
Even small changes in regulations can have large impacts on our everyday business operations. Our Government Affairs Committee regularly reviews many bills to see how our members might be impacted and recommends strategies to our local team. Your participation in AMAPAC, the AMA’s political action committee, allows our team access to key legislators.
At the national level, we can participate through NAA’s PAC to help educate policymakers. Like our local PAC, the NAA’s PAC invests in key races and candidates who understand and support our industry and those dollars can make their way into races here in Arizona. With many key congressional and senate seats open, we may see more investments here from the national association. I urge you, and your company through our Better Government Fund (BGF), to invest in these committees and support our important advocacy efforts on your behalf!
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