Every year, the First Coast Apartment Association acknowledges the leaders of our industry through the Circle of Excellence Awards. Committee members establish criteria for the awards, encourage participation in each category, recruit individuals to judge entries, raise funds to cover the cost of the awards, and manage the event itself.
Awards Chair –Sharon Steffen - Mission Springs
FCAA’s primary lines of communication with its members are its semi-monthly newsletter, its e-newsletter, and its Website. Members of the Communications Committee report news that affects the multi-housing industry, identify articles of interest, create and edit articles, solicit advertisers for the Membership Directory and for CoastLINES, and ensure that Website content is current and contains useful industry links.
Communications –Terri Jeffries – Cutting Edge Carpet
FCAA provides comprehensive education programs with national certifications. Programs include the NALP (National Apartment Leasing Professional), CAM (Certified Apartment Manager), CAPS (Certified Apartment Property Supervisor), CAS (Certified Apartment Supplier), and CAMT (Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician) as well as pertinent workshops and seminars. Members of the Education Committee plan and develop workshops and seminars, recruit instructors and speakers, and teach classes.
Education/Programs –Ken Furtaw – WRH Realty Services Inc.
The Hospitality Committee is responsible for ensuring that new members receive an orientation to FCAA activities. Members meet and greet new FCAA members, serve as mentors, solicit door prizes for dinner meetings, assist with registration, and decorate tables.
Hospitality –Jennifer Kennedy – Career Strategies
The Legislative Committee provides Association members with up-to-date information on local, state, and national legislative issues affecting the multifamily housing industry. Members engage in fundraising for the National Apartment Association PAC and the Florida APAC. Members are also required to attend FAA legislative meetings.
Legislative –Cynthia Haines – WRH Realty Services Inc.
The Maintenance Committee develops and conducts workshops and seminars that provide maintenance technicians with skills required for the PMC license, prepare them for the PMC licensing test and provide them with the continuing education credits required to renew their PMC license. Committee members also schedule CAMT classes, recruit CAMT instructors, and teach CAMT classes.
Maintenance –Kris Millerschone – MAA
Membership dues and programs provide FCAA with its primary source of revenue, making the Membership Committee an important one. Members of the Membership Committee recruit new Community and Associate Members, serve as mentors to new members, recommend procedures to retain existing members, and identify membership benefits and services. Members also promote Dinner Meetings and Special Events.
Membership –Holly Fox – ET&T Distributors
Members of the Special Events Committee oversee all details of special events (Summer Sizzler, Oktoberfest, Holiday Party, etc.), including site selection, decorations, food and beverages, and entertainment. FCAA reaches out to the community through its charitable activities. Members of the Special Events Committee also plan and conduct the annual Harbor House Softball Game, the Canned Food Drive to benefit the Clara White Mission, the Annual Poker Run, and other charitable activities approved by the Board of Directors.
Special Events –Laura Hulsey – RentPath
The annual tradeshow provides an opportunity for Associate Members to promote their goods and services to Community Members. Committee Members plan, organize, and promote the tradeshow and solicit corporate sponsorships.
Trade Show –Melissa Wenger - Affinity Waste Solutions
The NextGen committee is composed of the future leaders of the First Coast Apartment Association. NextGen committee is open to Supplier and Community members under the age of 35 who are interested in getting involved. NextGen plans the annual Apartment Day event as well as some charity events.
How can board service or other volunteer activities boost your career?
Volunteering for a trade association provides several benefits, including the opportunity to network with your peers around your professional background or interests. It also exposes you to trends and best practices within your profession and gives you leadership training and experience.
Volunteering for a cause-related charity or program also has its benefits, such as broadening your exposure beyond the boundaries of your specific professional network and allowing you to show a more compassionate or passionate side.
Regardless of where and why you volunteer, the experience undoubtedly helps build your resume and adds to your marketability. And volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about a particular role or sector, especially if you’re coming from the for-profit sector.
How can people align their skill sets with their volunteer activities?
There are two things to consider here. Are you looking to utilize existing skills or to build new skills and gain expertise in an area slightly outside of your existing professional circle? If you’re seeking the latter, explore areas where you’ll get valuable experience, potential contacts, and fodder for your resume.
How should your volunteer activities change as you advance in your career?
As our careers advance, different driver or motivators come into play. Very often what changes the most is our desire to give back to the profession or community that contributed to our success. We switch our focus from being mentored to mentoring—or from getting experience to giving experience.
Reprinted from Associations Now, January, 2013.
FCAA offers volunteer opportunities in communications, education, special events, and membership development. For information on how you can make a difference as a volunteer, contact the FCAA office at 904-292-1345,firstname.lastname@example.org.