Sink or Swim… Again?

It’s no coincidence that 1/3 of my friends on Facebook are in the apartment industry. I have been in property management for 1/3 of my life. It’s no coincidence that the majority of fans of Stik Pocket on Facebook are in the apartment industry. It’s in my blood and has sustained me for nearly a decade and a half.

I have spent as much time with people from the apartment industry as I have my own family and some who were colleagues have become like my family (Justin Dunckel). I have loved in this industry (anonymous) and I have lost in this industry (Meryl Weingarden).  As “God Only Knows” (what I’d be without you) by The Beach Boys plays in the background I’m forced to wonder.

It’s no coincidence that my time in this industry is about to come full circle. In 2006, the NAA Conference was in Denver, CO. The keynote speaker that year was none other than William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, whose Inauguration I attended in 1993. It so happens I saved my invitation to his Inauguration and brought it with me to Denver that year. I had no idea how it would work out, but I wanted him to sign it. As it turned out, I was standing in the middle of the Denver Convention Center, shortly after his speech, when two Secret Service members walked by either side of me. I slowly turned around and saw #42 walking my way. In fact, he was approaching me and within seconds he was shaking my one hand while the invitation was tucked safely in the other. As he shook my hand he pulled me toward him. I will never forget that moment. We chatted briefly and I decided to not ask for his signature. I did not want to spoil that moment. Ten minutes later I ran into the President again. At that moment I told him I brought my invitation 1,300 miles for him to sign and he politely did.

The NAA Conference is in Denver, CO again this June. The keynote speakers this year are Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future and  Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank. That’s right. Shark Tank. You know, that little show for entrepreneurs to present their business ideas. Oh, and guess what?! They are having a contest for members of the apartment industry to submit their ideas and the three finalists will get to present to Daymond and Barbara.

The reason I got to meet President Clinton at NAA was because I put myself in the right place at the right time and brought what I needed to get the job done. History will repeat itself one way or another in Denver this coming June! I’m so excited to be up late brainstorming ideas for my video and have spent a lot of time in thought  thinking of all the people from the apartment industry who have helped me along the way and I know that will be the most important part of my submission.

When I resigned from Village Green after seven years of employment, I wrote a letter to my bosses, Jon Holtzman and George Quay. In the letter I shared with them the one lesson I would never forget from each of them. Jon taught me to not “play small” and George taught me to “be undeniable”. For many years I lived by those words until a person I admired challenged me to come up with my own mantra. Something that is 100% positive. I argued and said they aren’t negative. I still took the challenge and recently it came to me in a note from a friend. That note read “give me everything”!

I will.

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1 Comment

  1. Great post sir!


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