Contact: Lauren Boston at 703-797-0678
ARLINGTON, Va. / July 8, 2014 – Weidner Apartment Homes has donated $1 million to the NAAEI NOW capital campaign, which is an effort by the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) to raise $7.5 million to meet apartment industry needs in recruiting, training, leadership development, succession and retention of talent.
“The NAAEI NOW campaign will help us expand the training opportunities we provide and create a wider pipeline of talent that is well-prepared to lead an industry that continues to grow as more people choose to rent apartments,” said Diana Pittro, ARM, of RMK Management Corporation and President of NAAEI’s Board of Directors. “The support of Weidner Apartment Homes and the rest of our campaign investors is critical to the success of this vital work.”
Weidner’s donation is the largest investment in the NAAEI NOW campaign. The announcement was made June 20 when over 7,000 members of the industry were gathered at the 2014 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Denver. The multi-year campaign and the projects it is funding will build new programs and services to identify and recruit more qualified applicants, and provide relevant skills and leadership development training at all levels of employment to build a deep stream of capable leaders now and for the future.
“On behalf of Weidner Apartment Homes and our owner, we are honored to partner with NAAEI and hope that others will look at our donation and see what they can do in their own organizations to help further this important effort,” said Greg Cerbana, Director of Public Relations at Weidner, based in Kirkland, Wash.
Cerbana said the company’s owner, Dean Weidner, realized 10 years ago the importance of developing leaders within Weidner and of supporting programs that exposed college students and new college graduates to careers in the apartment industry. Weidner Apartment Homes has grown nearly 300 percent in 10 years and is always looking for sharp, business-savvy people to help lead the company.
“When I started in the apartment industry two decades ago, there were few opportunities for developing yourself as an industry professional,” Cerbana said. “NAA and NAAEI have stepped into that void to provide leadership and boost the professionalism of our industry.”
Marie Virgilio, Director of Recruiting for Weidner Apartment Homes, said the goals of NAAEI NOW align well with Weidner’s own recruiting goals of reaching out to college students and letting them know about the types of jobs found in the industry.
“I’m excited about the exposure the NAAEI NOW campaign will bring,” she said. “Many people don’t know our industry exists or of the terrific attributes of working within it. We are an industry of many types of careers, great growth opportunities and excellent salaries and benefits. With so many recent college graduates struggling to find jobs, let alone establish careers, the timing for the campaign could not be better.”
NAAEI is building a website to promote Residential Property Management (RPM) careers. Visitors to the site can learn about the types of careers in the apartment industry, find training opportunities, connect with industry professionals to learn about specific career paths, and access and apply for industry-wide job openings.
Rick Graf, President of Pinnacle and Chair of the NAAEI NOW campaign Executive Committee—and a corporate and personal investor in the campaign—praised the $1 million investment by Weidner and expressed his gratitude for the other companies who have also made early commitments.
“This is a campaign that is being funded and designed by the industry to benefit the many thousands of people and companies that own or operate apartment communities or supply products and services. The work of the campaign is for all of us and will strengthen us all, by growing and improving the most important asset we have: our employees. We are enormously grateful to Weidner and the dozens of leading corporations who have stepped up early to invest. We now look to others in the apartment industry—organizations large and small—to join us”
Learn more about the NAAEI NOW campaign, as well as how to contribute.
The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) is the education arm of the National Apartment Association. The mission of the NAAEI is to provide broad-based education, training and recruitment programs that attract, nurture and retain high-quality professionals and develop tomorrow’s apartment industry leaders. For more information, please visit www.naahq.org/naaei.