For the past two and a half decades or so, I put a lot into the Apartment Association. I remain a board member and avid supporter of the organization.
We did some good and prevented some bad during my tenure on the board. We’ve had very impressive leaders before and after my presidency such as Dave Domres , Attorney John Savage and Attorney Tristan Pettit. We’ve also had some of the brightest minds working behind the scenes to make things happen, such as Jeff Chitko, Bill Lauer and Attorney Heiner Giese. Countless others did a lot for the Association and industry such as Jim Dropp, Joe McLean, Bob Jovanovich, Dave Ohrmundt, Richard Bishop, Kim Queen and many, many more. The list of achievers is truly too long to list here.
This crowded slate of superstars really makes standing out difficult for even the best.
Then along comes our latest president, Joe Dahl and I am in awe. The guy has been AASEW president for 10 months now. In that short time he has accomplished the near impossible.
During the housing downturn Home Depot cut back on Pro reps and dropped their AASEW membership. I tried for a couple of years to get them to return as a sponsoring member. No dice. Not only did Joe get Home Depot to rejoin, but in the process secured a 20% discount on paint and a 2% rebate on everything else for our members. Then he went on to get member discounts* from Sherwin Williams, Wisconsin Legal Blank, Pittsburgh Paint and many more vendors we use everyday. The rebates more than pay for most member’s dues. To stay competitive in this industry you will almost have to be a member.
We had a couple of good trade shows when Carmen produced them, but let’s be truthful, the last few year’s shows were dogs. This year Joe enlisted the help of Shari from Sid Grinker, who along with Bill from ABC Sewer made this an outstanding event for both the industry and the vendors. The place was packed. When you see either of them give them a big thanks.
Joe convinced some outstanding people to join the board such as Jon Krause, formerly of OnMilwaukee.com, Steve Johnson and Aaron Moseer. These guys are young and sharp. (young of course being relative)
Our general membership meeting this year were often at capacity. This was due to good marketing and strong subject matter.
Although not an Association event, Joe personally put on a very successful and impressive fundraiser for Senator Lasee who has been a friend of real estate and housing. Something like 60 influential people from the rental industry attended. I’m sure the Senator was pleased.
This kid — and I can call him a kid because he is a couple of years younger than my oldest son – is sharp and willing to do the work. Joe holds an MBA, while at that point in my life all I held was a hammer and a paint brush. ;-) So far the only bad thing I can say about Joe is sometimes he swears enough to make a sailor blush, but he promises me he is working on that.
If you were a member, but no longer are, or if you never were a member, you should check out what the organization is becoming under Joe’s leadership. If you are a member you should take advantage of the discounts* and throw your support behind Joe and his team. If you are a larger owner that is not in the Milwaukee area it may make sense for you to join just for the discounts. You can learn more about the AASEW and regsiter online at www.apartmentassoc.org
The 1980′s group Timbuk3 must of been thinking of us when they wrote “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades” Bit of trivia – Timbuk3 was a Madison WI band.
* November 18th general meeting, which is the board election, the Association will be presenting a guide to all of the discounts and how to use them to your best advantage. I believe this is a member only event, but will verify and post more later.