Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

BOMA Takes CRE’s Message to Capitol Hill

Business and Politics an Effective Combo During BOMA’s Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference

The team from BOMA/Greater Minneapolis meets with Sen. Al Franken

BOMA members took over Capitol Hill in early February for the 2014 Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference, bringing commercial real estate’s message to lawmakers on critical industry issues, including the extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), creating leasehold depreciation schedules that more closely reflect the realities of the workplace, the need for better energy efficiency incentives for building retrofits and capital improvements and a business-smart approach to tax reform.

In all, BOMA members participated in more than 200 congressional office visits.

When BOMA members weren’t on the Hill, they met with their peers to help build a business plan to support BOMA’s new strategic direction.

Alex Castellanos gives attendees a glimpse at the political future

Alex Castellanos Offers a Political Look into the Future
During the General Session Luncheon sponsored by Allied Barton Security Services, media consultant and Republican political strategist Alex Castellanos offered attendees a glimpse at potential political matchups as the country begins to gear up for mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential primaries. Castellanos predicted that Republicans would keep majority control of the House in the mid-term elections and have a shot at gaining control of the Senate. Looking ahead to 2016, Castellanos noted that Hillary Clinton could be a transformational leader if she chooses to run, but might be perceived as too status quo from voters who might be looking for a candidate with a promise of change. He also said that Republicans shouldn’t write off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie just yet, and that a Clinton vs. Christie presidential race could be very close. Castellanos also encouraged attendees to be enthusiastic during their upcoming Hill visits because most legislators understand that commercial real estate advocates on behalf of a strong economy.

BOMA 360 Performance Program designated buildings from July to December 2013 were recognized during the General Session. BOMA 360 Council Chair Rob Brierley noted that nearly 700 buildings have received the BOMA 360 designation since the program was launched and shared new analysis by Kingsley Associates that shows buildings with the BOMA 360 designation have higher tenant satisfaction scores in all 54 rating areas compared to commercial office buildings without the BOMA 360 designation. 

Special Speakers – Police Department Leadership and Rep. Peter Welch
Prior to the How to Lobby Workshop, Matthew Bromeland, special assistant to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and D.C. Police Commander Steven Sund of the Special Operations Division discussed the rapid development the city has seen in the past several years, and last year’s deadly active shooter incident at the Navy Yard that left 12 people dead. Bromeland talked about the importance of developers and building managers working with law enforcement early in the development phase to ensure public safety. Sund discussed some of the lessons learned from the Navy Yard tragedy, explaining that law enforcement had difficulty entering the building because it was on lockdown and suggested that managers have keys that open all doors. Other important security tools included having CCTV cameras and determining a good area to set up an onsite command center for law enforcement in emergency situations.

Rep. Peter Welch is hopeful that Congress can continue to play nice

Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) spoke to conference attendees, remarking that the recent passing of a budget bill and farm bill offers a glimmer of hope that Congress can work together more going forward. “Perfection is not the standard,” said Welch, “rather, progress is what you have to strive for.” Welch also focused on the importance of commercial building retrofitting in creating jobs, and expressed his support of the Tenant Star Program to help tenants save money and energy. Rep. Welch was hopeful that energy efficiency in commercial buildings is a goal area where Congress can work together and find practical solutions.

Highlights from Board of Governors
During the General Consent portion of the Board of Governors Meeting, a motion was approved to change the name of BOMA/Carolinas-West Virginia to BOMA/Greater Charlotte.

Life memberships were granted to two members from BOMA Iowa - Kurt Larson and Raymond Spriggs.

BOMA Chair Rich Greninger delivers the Chair’s Report

During his Chair’s Report, BOMA International Chair and Chief-Elected Officer Richard Greninger, CPM, talked about the important work that BOMA does for the industry. “We truly are the number one organization in commercial real estate,” said Greninger. “As evidenced today and throughout the year, we are on point on legislative issues at the local, state and federal levels driving ROI to bottom lines. We influence building codes and save dollars per square foot every year – money it would cost us if BOMA wasn’t there.” To that point, Greninger also briefed attendees on the recent “C-Suite” visits he has made with BOMA President Henry Chamberlain and BOMA President Elect John Oliver, so far visiting Boston Properties, Brookfield, CBRE, JP Morgan and Tishman Speyer, with more to come in 2014. Productive discussion points revolved around the ROI of BOMA’s legislative and code advocacy efforts and building the international platform, among other issues.

Greninger then introduced BOMA’s 2013 Year in Review video, highlighting the accomplishments of the past year.

BOMA President Henry Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, gave his annual “Pulse of the Industry” presentation. Key results from a survey of BOMA local associations include:

  • An overall positive outlook, with every rated performance area either up or even.
  • Forty-six (46) percent of BOMA local associations are expecting to grow membership (2 percent more than last year), 28 percent believe membership will remain the same (6 percent less than last year), but 27 percent expect declines (5 percent more than last year).
  • The most pressing short-term issues for 2014 include recruiting qualified leaders while maintaining active volunteer engagement.
  • The most pressing long-term issues include developing future volunteer leadership, attracting the next generation to BOMA and generating non-dues revenue. 
  • Attracting well-trained and qualified workforce employees was a top challenge for the members of BOMA local associations, along with difficulty balancing work-life-volunteer duties. Two new issues that face members today are staying on top of emerging technologies and corporate consolidation.
  • For the fourth straight year, the Pulse results showed a projected decline in vacancy rates, and nearly 30 percent of respondents expect to see 2014 rental rate increases.
  • 2014 hiring is projected to either remain the same or increase with 17 percent seeing an increase in hiring activity and only 6 percent seeing some reduction in staff for this year. 

BOMA International Secretary/Treasurer Dan Chancey, RPA, gave the Financial Report. Highlights from 2013 include another record-breaking attendance for the Medical Office Building Conference, the roll-out and strong revenue earnings of three new publications, and a good year for the BOMA 360 Performance Program with nearly 200 newly designated buildings. 

BOMA International Chair-Elect John Oliver, BOMA Fellow, discussed the Year One focus of BOMA’s Long-Range Strategic Plan within the redefined goal areas of Advocacy, Influence, Knowledge and Resource. Oliver told delegates that priority initiatives for the coming year include expanding BOMA’s relationship with top commercial real estate executives, delivering new benchmarking and research results (including a beta test of an Industrial EER) and developing BOMA’s international platform.

During the Inclusive Membership portion of the meeting, BAE Council Chair Jeanie Merideth reported that the 2013 BAE Leadership Conference saw its highest attendance in its 20-plus year history, drawing great talent from BOMA and the BAE community to present and share ideas on partnership programs, membership recruitment and retention, and differentiating BOMA in the marketplace. 

Special guest speaker Mike Bishop, chair of BOMA Canada, highlighted a number of ways that BOMA Canada and BOMA International are working together. These include the expansion of Canadian representation in BOMA’s Experience Exchange Report with the commitment of Canada’s Public Works and Government Services to provide data for its more than 1,500 buildings and a year-long pilot program that will bring the BOMA 360 designation into Canada.

From left: BOMA CFO Brian Green, BOMA/Orange County’s Robin Jochims with the EER Participation Award and BOMA President Henry Chamberlain

BOMA International CFO Brian Green, CPA, CAE, announced the winners of the 2014 Experience Exchange Report (EER) Participation Awards.  The honorees included:

Overall Winner
BOMA/Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) – Peggy Jeffers

Local Winners: 300+ members
BOMA/Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) – Peggy Jeffers
BOMA/Chicago Downton – Michael Cornicelli
BOMA/Philadelphia – Kristine Kiphorn

Local Winners: 150 – 300 Members
BOMA/Orange County – Robin Jochims
BOMA/Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches – Melanie Schrul
BOMA/Indianapolis – Lee Borthwick

Local Winners: <150 Members
BOMA/North Alabama  –Windy Tidwell
BOMA/Mid Michigan – Shelli Starkey
BOMA/Michiana – Ingrid Mathias-Leuthold

During the Advocacy, Codes and Standards portion of the Meeting, State Government Affairs Chair Coleen Spratt announced two new policy positions approved by the Government Affairs Committee pertaining to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and Electronic Cigarettes.

Spratt also announced the winners of the Government Affairs Awards of Recognition, affectionately known as “The Govies.” Congratulations to the Govie Winners:

  • Outstanding Government Affairs Committee category - BOMA/Houston’s Legislative Advocacy Council.
  • Outstanding Single Government Affairs Issue category - BOMA/Metro Detroit for their work on the non-recourse CMBS loans issue.
  • Outstanding Government Affairs Program/Seminar category – BOMA Ohio for their work on the  defeat of sales tax expansion on services

Chair of the BOMAPAC Council Cary Fronstin reported that BOMAPAC raised $51,000 in 2013, which BOMA put to use in support of 34 candidates who understand and support CRE issues. BOMAPAC fundraising got off to a strong start during the Winter Business Meeting with nearly $7,500 in PAC contributions raised during the meeting and a $5,000 contribution to the BOMAPAC Administrative Fund from BOMA Florida.

Vice Chair of the Industry Defense Fund (IDF) Oversight Committee Bruce Koehler reported that recent IDF approved projects include funding BOMA/San Diego to oppose the City of San Diego Housing Commission’s proposed increase of commercial housing impact fees and funding to help fund BOMA’s 2014 Economic Impact Study. Upcoming 2014 projects include funding BOMA/Kansas City for legal opposition to transportation utility fees, funding to promote the extension of the Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and funding to lobby for changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

Don Erb asks attendees to actively engage in codes advocacy

Chair of the Building Codes and Voluntary Standards Committee Don Erb announced the launch of the new BOMA Codes Development & Adoption Toolkit to help BOMA members actively engage in codes advocacy. View the toolkit. Erb also reported that BOMA was once again successful at defending the industry’s interests in the ICC Code Hearing Process in 2013, saving BOMA members $2.50 per square foot, in addition to the $3.50 per square foot saved in 2012.

BOMA International Vice Chair Kent C. Gibson, CPM, BOMA Fellow, announced that in 2013 BOMA, along with its International Affiliates the Property Council of Australia, Property Council of New Zealand and South African Property Owners Association, became founding members of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC), a group of 28 (and growing) real estate organizations from around the world, for the purpose of developing and implementing uniform standards for measuring real property.  BOMA and IPMSC are currently working on the first global standard covering office buildings, which is now out for public comment and scheduled to be released in June of this year.

From left: Bill Alsup, senior managing director of Hines and head of the CityCenterDC project; Rick Sargent, director of Facility Operations at Ohio State University Medical Center; Bill Tracy, principal metrologist of Building Area Measurement LLC; and Marissa Mitzner, BOMA International manager of education; looking onto the model of CityCenterDC

CityCenter Building Tour
BOMA’s Retail/Mixed-Use Network took a “field trip” during the Conference to tour Washington, D.C.’s brand new 2.5 million square foot mixed-use development, CityCenterDC, that includes 515,000 sq. ft. of office, 458 apartment units, 216 condominium units, 188,000 sq. ft. of retail and a 370 room hotel as well as underground parking for 1,555 spaces and public spaces. Located in the center of downtown D.C., the nearly 10 acre site previously housed the D.C. Convention Center. Bill Alsup, senior managing director of Hines and head of the CityCenterDC project, recounted the 12 years of planning, zoning approvals, permitting and construction before occupancy started in late 2013.

From left: BOMA Chair-Elect John Oliver, BOMA Canada Chair Mike Bishop and recent BOMA Executive Committee Member Keith Major at the Networking Reception

CRE's Best Networking
The industry’s best business network caught up with friends old and new at the welcome reception sponsored by Naylor.

After a full day of legislative visits, Capitol Hill stories were swapped during the Networking Reception hosted by ThyssenKrupp Elevator.