Affiliate Spotlight: Bryan Holladay, GCAA
Bryan Holladay joined the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association (GCAA) as its Government Affairs Manager last August.
NAA recently caught up with Holladay to discuss the top issues affecting GCAA’s members, his day-to-day responsibilities and how a little extra credit in civics class got him involved in politics.
NAA: What previous positions have you held?
BH: Prior to working for GCAA, I did public relations and political consulting. I started that after the real estate market collapsed, taking with it my community and government relations position with a real estate development company.
NAA: What are the local legislative/regulatory priorities for this year?
BH: We have been focusing on the County Code Enforcement Department’s handling of the inspections and permitting processes. There are significant costs attributed to the delays and re-work caused by inefficiencies in these procedures, which impact not only new construction but also property up-fits and remodeling work. We have been gaining traction on the issue – the County has hired an outside consultant to evaluate the entire department, a Government Task Force is exploring process improvements, and Special Committee of Industry Experts has been appointed to provide end use-based feedback.
NAA: What races are you watching this year?
BH: North Carolina has one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races. Incumbent Kay Hagan (D) has been targeted by the Republicans in their goal to win the Senate majority. Outside groups have spent more than $5.5 million in the state.
NAA: How did you get involved in politics?
BH: 10th grade civics class. Mr. Henry gave extra credit for being involved in the political process. I volunteered for a campaign and have been hooked ever since.
NAA: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
BH: While it is not hard to find agreement that an issue is important to our industry, it can be challenging to get people engaged and active in our efforts. People’s schedules are busy, the topics are sometimes boring, and the meetings are usually at inconvenient times.
NAA: What are the top three issues that GCAA members consistently throw at you?
BH: Inspections and permitting, the electrical utility's new "Revert to Owner" $15 reconnection fee and proposed design guideline standards for new development.
NAA: What are your typical day-to-day responsibilities as GCAA’s government affairs director?
BH: I tell people that my job is to attend all the boring meetings so they don’t have to. Fortunately, I don’t find those meetings boring. I would say the best aspect of my job is the variety of the work week and the chance to engage with lots of different people.
NAA: What is your favorite political movie?
BH: Peanut’s “You’re NOT Elected Charlie Brown” – The best part is when Linus, running for student body president, goes off his talking points and mentions the Great Pumpkin and blows his big lead in the polls.
NAA: What was the last “non-political” book that you’ve read?
BH: Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures.
NAA: It’s Sunday morning, which show are you watching? Face the Nation, Meet the Press or This Week?
BH: I prefer to watch FlashPOINT which is the local political Sunday morning show.
NAA: Who do you follow on Twitter?
BH: Besides the obvious @GreaterCAA and @NAAhq, it is mostly reporters, politicians and political junkies. I am not interested in what anyone had for lunch or what happened on the latest episode of “Game of Thrones.” My Twitter feed is primarily an aggregator for news articles that I need/want to read. There is no question that Twitter is a great tool for keeping up on issues, news and events.
NAA: If you weren’t in politics, what would you be doing?
BH: Probably a tour guide. Because I talk a lot, I can be loud and boisterous, and I enjoy meeting new people. Also everyone would always treat me like I was the smartest guy in the room.