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Most NAA volunteer leaders started their involvement at their local and state apartment associations. Since much of the work at the national level is implemented at the local and state level, a thorough knowledge of how local and state associations operate and deliver programs and member benefits is critical.
If you have experience serving on local and state committees and boards, NAA wants you! The path to NAA volunteer leadership usually starts by serving on a NAA committee or council. Please see Committees, Councils, and Boards for NAA’s standing committees and councils. Committee members are appointed by each NAA region and by the NAA Chairman. Committee Chairs are appointed by the NAA Chairman of the Board. Typically, a committee chair has served on the committee he or she will chair.
Council members are not appointed. If you want to serve on a council, contact NAA at 703/518-6141, Ext 107 to learn more.
When you decide to get involved, express your desire to serve nationally to your local or state association executive (AE). You may call your NAA Regional Vice President (RVP) and let him or her know that you’d like to serve. If you do not know who your RVP is, ask your AE or contact Karen Goggin, Vice President of Governance, at 703/518-6141, Ext. 107.
Committee members are appointed to serve for one year. Please call your AE or RVP and let them know of your interest to serve on a national committee. You may also complete the NAA Volunteer Service form and send it to Karen Goggin's attention at NAA.
You are requested to attend three committee meetings a year. These meetings coincide with NAA’s three annual meetings held in March at the NAA Capitol Conference, in June at the NAA Education Conference and Exposition, and in November at the NAA Assembly of Delegates.
With the exception of the NAA Chairman and some support provided to NAA officers, all volunteer leaders pay their own travel expenses. These costs can vary widely. You are asked to attend the committee meetings, so it is possible to drive or fly in and out in one day for the meetings. However, most volunteers choose to participate in the entire meeting, taking advantage of the many opportunities and services available to members at NAA’s national meetings. This would require a few nights in a hotel. Some volunteers share rooms to reduce costs. The following is an estimate of what one can expect to pay to attend each of the three meetings, having his/her own hotel room and participating in all events:
- March Capitol Conference - 3 days: $1,250
- June Education Conference and Exposition - 5 days: $1,950
- November Assembly of Delegates - 3 days: $1,250
Committee members are expected to fully participate in activities as defined by the committee’s plan of work, and act in good faith and in accordance with what they believe to be in the best interests of the association. Prior to each meeting, you will receive an agenda outlining the purpose of the meeting.
In addition to the three meetings listed above, committee chairs, RVPs, and other Board members are expected to attend two additional Board meetings:
- January Board Meeting - 2 days: $1,000
- September/October Board Meeting - 2 days: $1,000
Committee chairs are non-voting members of the NAA Board. Occasionally, an RVP may be a committee chair and could be a voting member. NAA employs over 40 professional staff who serve as the “hired hands” of the association. Most national volunteers are surprised to find that their role as a chair is to advise and direct the work that staff executes, not to actually do the work. This involves a few phone calls a month in addition to attending committee meetings. The committee chair is responsible for reporting the activities of the committee and to bring any action items for consideration from the committee to the board at each Board of Directors meeting.
Typically, RVPs, who must be either a builder, owner, or manager of rental housing, have been involved in NAA, serving on committees, prior to being elected RVP. However, this is not a requirement. Contact your RVP(s) and let him/her know that you are interested in serving. Usually During the NAA Education Conference & Exposition, NAA’s ten regions hold Regional Meetings and elect their RVPs for the following year. RVPs are elected to serve a two-year term. It is advised that you indicate your desire to serve as an RVP three to four months before the NAA Education Conference, which takes place in June.
NAA RVPs are expected to visit each affiliate in their region at least once during the two-year term. In addition, RVPs may be called upon to assist affiliates in their region who are having problems. The Vice President of Governance at 703/518-6141, Ext. 107 will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with further information about the role of an NAA RVP.
The rewards for being a volunteer leader are many. Besides the stature you will enjoy among your peers for being an active volunteer at the national level, you will enjoy the satisfaction of giving something back to your industry. Volunteering at the national level allows you to expand your professional network. Most members who have been active nationally report that the biggest benefit is the friends they’ve made for life!
Most candidates for NAA office bring a resume with local, state and national volunteer service, and must be either an owner, developer, builder, operator or manager of rental housing communities. Because NAA officers are stewards of the association, a strong financial background is considered an asset. The following is the timetable followed by the nominating committee;
March 15: Call for Nominations
May 15: Call for Nominations Deadline
July 15: Nominees Forward Resumes
September Board Meeting: Candidate Interviewed by the Nominating Committee
September: Slate of Officers Identified by the Committee
November: Slate of Officers presented to the Assembly of Delegates
In addition to the responsibilities of any Board member, NAA officers participate in conference calls every two weeks. These calls last from one to two hours. Two 2-day Executive Committee retreats are held for planning and review, one usually in August and the other in December to plan for the following year. The commitment in entering the nomination process is for one year. Once an officer of the association, the commitment may be for up to 5 years, should the officer remain active and seek the Chairmanship.
Officers serve primarily at their own expense and are expected to assume the cost of travel and lodging. There is a $4,000 per year per Executive Committee member reimbursement to help defray the cost of attending national meetings.
Do you have what it takes to swim with the sharks? If you do, you could win $5,000 and be a star at the 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Denver. Learn more and enter.