As my time as chairman comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the year and the NAIOP members whom I’ve been privileged to meet as I’ve traveled to our events and chapters across North America.
I’m pleased to report that our membership is active, strong and diverse, and I have found our members to be largely optimistic about NAIOP and the industry. People are passionate about NAIOP and, despite a tepid underlying economic environment, are looking to the future with enthusiasm and confidence.
This common sentiment was heard throughout the sessions and conversations at our recent Development ‘13 event, as our association’s and industry’s top leaders gathered together to share, strategize and build relationships.
It’s encouraging to note that our Developing Leaders are energetically engaged in NAIOP. They are transitioning into leadership roles within their companies and our chapters, and their affiliation with our organization is a driving force behind their success. With this in mind, I leave this role feeling very good about the future of the organization.
When we began the year, I shared that I believe that we are in a period of rapid change for our industry, NAIOP and trade organizations in general. These beliefs have only solidified during the course of the year. With market activity picking up and our members being pressed for time from every angle, all of us are increasingly needing to do more, with fewer resources, in less time.
NAIOP has taken tremendous strides this year to strengthen our communications, better connect our corporate board members with their local chapters, streamline our meetings to reduce your time out of the office, and amplify our resources for research and education. We’ve had some great successes, and I’m confident that the groundwork we laid this year will continue to enhance our members’ NAIOP experience and engagement.
One important part of our mission that I want to emphasize is advocacy. It has been a quiet second half of the year for our legislative agenda, thanks to other distractions in Washington and the government shutdown. But it won’t be quiet for long.
From Gene to Jean: Outgoing NAIOP Chairman Gene Reilly passes the gavel to incoming Chairman Jean Kane, whose term begins on January 1, 2014.
We have made an important organizational change for 2014 with the creation of a dedicated executive committee position for our political action committee, NAIOP-PAC. I am very pleased to report that Jonathan Tratt, principal with Tratt Properties in Phoenix, will bring his significant energies to this role at the outset. I trust this change will help stimulate more attention on the need to raise the profile of our PAC.
Finally, I am pleased to pass the leadership of this great organization to Jean Kane of Welsh Companies, next year’s corporate chairman. Jean is a 26-year NAIOP member who has contributed to NAIOP on the board of directors and executive committee for years, along with being extremely active in her home market of Minneapolis and the NAIOP Minnesota chapter. Jean’s been an absolute pleasure to work with on the Executive Committee during the last several years, and I know she’ll be a fantastic chairman.
My thanks to our chapters and members across North America for your ongoing support of our important organization. It’s been my honor to serve as your chairman this year.