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IREM Leaders Chart a Course for the Future

“Property management is in constant evolution,” observed IREM 2020 President Cheryl Gray, CPM, in a recent article for the Journal of Property Management (subscription required). “We don’t manage buildings in the same way or with the same tools we used 10 or 15 years ago. And similarly, an association, like a business, needs to have its methods validated.”

Read between the lines and you can imagine the massive task that the 2020 Executive Committee has put its collective shoulder to. As Gray stated, the goal is to ensure “that the foundation of IREM as an association is strong so we can support all of the initiatives we’re undertaking in the near term, and the long term.”

“We need a holistic view of the Institute to understand its sustainability and viability in terms of how we govern ourselves,” she continued, “how we select our leaders, and how members are served through our chapters and regions around the world.”

The creation of that holistic view won’t come overnight, and, in fact, it’s a task that reaches far beyond the limit of a one-year term. Gray said that’s one of the many benefits of working closely with the rest of the Executive Committee, President-Elect Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, and Secretary/Treasurer George D. Griffin III, CPM, CCIM.

That close working relationship leads directly to long-term continuity. As Gray told writer Myrna Traylor, “Chip and George . . . are equally committed to seeing that we don’t lose the benefit of the work that gets done this year. Even though we might not accomplish it all in 2020, they can carry it through their leadership years.”

There are also the stakeholders of both longstanding and recently formed task forces, as well as past presidents and regional VPs, who, in Gray’s words, are being challenged “to examine and validate what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and why.”

For the record, the three new task forces are a Governance group headed by Watts; a Leadership Development body; and a task force to explore chapters and regions. “The question we must ask ourselves is, ‘Are we doing the right things the best way we can, given where we are today?’” says Gray.  “Anybody who knows me knows that I think the worst answer is, ‘Because we’ve always done it that way.’ ”

Commenting on the new task forces, Watts added that, “We’re looking into how our regions and chapters are structured, how leadership is developed, and how our governance processes are shaped. We want to make sure that what we’re doing follows best practices, and if something doesn’t, we’re going to work to change it so we can best serve our members with the education, technology and opportunities to utilize tools in their daily lives as real estate managers.”

Next to membership, it could be argued that the backbone of any association is its financial stability. It’s a roll that Griffin embraces completely. “I want to ensure financial stability for IREM,” he says. “It’s already there; all I have to do is add water. I want to continue to act in a strategic manner that adheres to IREM’s 2020 operating plan and budget. The budget is forward-thinking and realistic, with a healthy stretch focused on our eight business lines.”
In all, the next few years for IREM will be a time of great change and forward movement. “I think we have a great strategic plan, and we’re on the right trajectory,” Gray concluded.


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