Dr. James Johnson, UNC, delivers the keynote address.
TAA President Bob Metzger and retiring Senator Neal Hunt.
AANC Leadership Lyceum graduates: Congratulations to Latoya Patterson and Cliff Webster, Jr.
TAA Board member Latoya Patterson reports to AANC on the success of her lobbying efforts.
After Dr. Johnson spoke, the conference broke for
lunch. Fortuitously, there was a farmer’s market set up on Fayetteville Street with a lot of locally grown foods. For those who chose, there were plenty of examples of that goodness that grows in NC; others were able to choose from one of the many processed food eateries in or near the hotel. For the first time, there were three different educa- tion seminars scheduled in the afternoon, coincidentally named Education Session 1, Education Session 2 and Education Session 3. Each session had at least two different offerings; for example, Session 1: Inspections, Permits and Registration; Apartment Utilities Panel, and; NC Supreme Court & Municipal Solid Waste (which I affectionately dubbed, Talkin’ Trash). Regardless of the seminar chosen, much informa-
tion was shared that was of benefit to the multifamily industry. Many companies and properties chose the “di- vide and conquer” plan of attack and thus maximized the offerings and time. After the seminars, conference goers had a chance to visit the booths of the conference’s sponsors as well as freshen up before the legislative briefing. During the briefing, AANC President Ken Szymanski and AANC Lobbyist Colleen Kochanek updated the attendees on the main issues for Thursday’s Lobby Day event. They also helped any nervous attendees get comfortable by telling them to picture their elected officials naked while speaking with them. No they didn’t. What they did was ask Scott
Wilkerson, of Ginkgo Residential, and Susan Passmore, of Blue Ridge Companies, to act out a meeting between a constituent and an elected official with Wilkerson playing the part of constituent and Passmore playing the part of legislator. For sake of time they skipped over the “she’s in a meeting”, “she’s on the phone” and “I’m not interested in buying any beauty products from you; for the last time, stop asking” standard responses and
TAA Board member Norm Praet, Government Affairs Co-Chair Todd Whitlow and team meet with Rep. Graig Meyer, Durham.
steps in getting a meeting with a legislator. Through their demonstration, observers saw that speaking with members of the General Assembly was simple because they are conscious of their duty to their electorate. The officials are willing to listen and learn, will ask questions and desire feedback. In other words, they are just like everyone else. Wednesday’s portion of the conference concluded with a very nice Legislative Reception on the top floor of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, which contains an open-air terrace overlooking the legislative complex. It was a nice end to a full day. Thursday morning began early with breakfast
(which is, after all, the most important meal of the day), briefings and busses waiting to take the amateur lobby- ists to the General Assembly. After arriving at the GA, the group gathered for a picture on the lawn behind the main building. Then everyone broke into their respective teams and headed off to meet with the representatives. The team captains for TAA’s delegation were: Bob
Metzger, Dena Daniels, Todd Whitlow, Stacey Adams, Julie Chu, Norm Praet and Will Brownlee. They were assisted by Meg Pisczek, Barb O’Steen, Claire Michaels, Brian Register, Gil File and Tamara Hayes. Thanks to each of you. TAA had many scheduled appointments with the officials representing within its jurisdiction. One appoint- ment that was especially important and memorable was with Senator Neal Hunt. Senator Hunt, whose career was in multifamily housing and has been TAA’s greatest friend at the GA, is retiring this year. He has sponsored many bills that allow our industry to operate in such a way as to maximize profits and benefit residents. TAA President Bob Metzger was able to thank Senator Hunt for his years of service as well as discuss some pending legislation. Other appointments included meetings with repre- sentatives who have been traditionally friendly as well as
Government Affairs Co-Chair Dena Daniels and her team at the General Assembly.
those not-so-friendly to the multifamily industry. Either way, TAA had the opportunity to promote our cause and did so effectively! After lobbying, many of TAA’s group went to the third floor gallery to observe the senate session at 11 am. While there, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger recognized the AANC from the floor of the sen- ate and the senators acknowledged the group with a round of applause.
A short bus ride led to the debriefing lunch and
closing remarks. Many sandwiches were consumed, much tea and water was drunk and all the remaining at- tendees had the chance to share stories with each other. Afterwards, team captains from across the state shared their experiences. TAA’s captains were able to let the other delegates know of the conversations they had and how they were able to effectively educate the officials on the needs and value of the multifamily industry. Once the last captain spoke, AANC President Tim Hose adjourned the conference and everyone went to their home area, full of fellowship, information and a renewed excitement about the great benefit our industry provides to this state. The Education and Legislative Day Conference stands adjourned until 2015.
History reports that Julius Caesar wrote a letter to the Roman Senate after winning a short war against Pharnaces II of Pontus (modern Turkey and parts of Persia). The letter is best known for a three word phrase that is contained within it: “Veni, vidi, vici,” or “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
I can think of no better way to summarize TAA’s
time at the AANC Education and Legislative Day Conference and at the General Assembly: Venimus, vidimus, vicimus. We came, we saw, we conquered.
the ApartMentor | July/August 11
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