Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

Writing BOMA’s Next Chapter in San Diego

Highlights from the 2017 Winter Business Meeting


A near-record crowd of BOMA members convened in sunny San Diego from January 28-31 for BOMA International's annual Winter Business Meeting.  Attendees gathered to share ideas, explore new industry trends and participate in a full slate of committee and council meetings to help write the next chapter of BOMA’s growth.




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The Keynote Luncheon, sponsored by Allied Universal, featured speaker Paul Taylor, a Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center and author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Crisis. Taylor explored how demographic transformations are profoundly shaping the United States, resulting in huge generational gaps that have weighty implications for families, politics, the economy, workplaces and, by extension, the commercial real estate industry.


According to Taylor, the country is in the midst of two major shifts: The population is becoming more diverse, driven by a substantial immigration wave, and at the same time, getting “grayer.”  Approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers will be turning 65 every single day between now and 2030, leading to a flood of retirements that will leave industries like commercial real estate scrambling to replace talent.  Millennials, the generation stepping up to replace the Boomers, are unlike any other generation before them.  Not only are they the most diverse generation in the nation’s history, they are “digital natives” with their own unique ideologies shaped by the economy, political climate and technologies of their childhoods.  With Millennials poised to make up the majority of American workplaces, companies—and the commercial properties that house them—will need to adapt accordingly. Click here for Taylor's slide deck.




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Mike Coleman, BOMA Fellow (pictured, center, with BOMA/Philadelphia members), who retired from Allied Universal after more than 30 years, was recognized at the Keynote Luncheon with the Distinguished Service Member appointment from BOMA International.  Over his career, Coleman, an active and longtime member of BOMA/Philadelphia, chaired BOMA International’s National Associate Member Committee, was the first associate member to be elected to BOMA International’s Executive Committee and served on the BOMA International Foundation Board.


It also was announced that, in recognition of Coleman’s many contributions to the association and his passion for developing the next generation of industry leaders, the BOMA Foundation had created a scholarship in his name to give young or emerging professionals the opportunity to attend BOMA International’s annual conference. The J. Michael Coleman Scholarship Fund has raised approximately $35,000 to date.




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Once again, the Board of Governors meeting not only featured comprehensive reports from BOMA International’s committees and councils, but it also included live polling, allowing BOMA leadership in attendance to give real-time feedback on potential research initiatives and key industry developments and concerns.


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BOMA International Chair Brian Harnetiaux and Chair-Elect Rob Brierley, BOMA Fellow, conducted the first set of polling that morning, using the technology to take the pulse of room on top issues in commercial real estate. After a practice question that gave die-hard New England fan Brierley the chance to show off his Patriots jersey (“Which team will win Super Bowl LI?”), BOMA leadership got down to business.  Asked to rate the most pressing issues in the industry right now, the top concern was the economy, followed by safety, security and emergency preparedness.  When asked which future trends they were most interested in seeing BOMA explore, emerging technologies topped the list.  This was closely followed by densification and its impact on existing buildings and tenants.


Later in the meeting, Sheldon Oppermann, chair of the Research Committee, conducted a second round of live polling.  When asked whether they felt the commercial real estate environment was improving, declining or staying the same as compared to six months ago, most in attendance were optimistic: half said it was improving, with only seven percent saying it was declining.  With BOMA International recently completing a research initiative in partnership with Penton’s Internet of Things Institute exploring the use of smart building technology in commercial properties, attendees also were asked questions about next steps for the research.  According to the live polling, there was considerable interest in having the Research Committee provide data substantiating the savings smart building technology has on reducing operating expenses beyond energy.




Significant decisions about the “business of BOMA” also were made during the meeting.  BOMA local association BOMA/Chattanooga was granted a territory expansion, and the BOMA 360 Performance Program Council was granted a two-seat membership expansion.  The Board of Governors also voted to approve three new policy positions addressing tax reform, flood insurance and telecommunications forced access.  

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In addition to the detailed reports filed by the representatives of BOMA International’s various committees and councils, covering everything from floor measurement standards to model building codes, a number of guest speakers offered presentations to the Board of Governors.  BOMA Canada Chair Kim Saunders, BOMA Fellow, shared highlights of the association’s recent initiatives, including the relaunch of BOMA BEST®, BOMA Canada’s flagship sustainability program.  And, BOMI International Chair Dave Fagone, RPA, joined BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, on the dais to outline the next steps in the collaboration between BOMA and BOMI on education and training for the commercial real estate industry.




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To round out the Board of Governors meeting agenda, a number of BOMA local associations were presented with awards.  BOMA International Vice Chair Brian Cappelli, RPA, announced the winners of the latest Office Experience Exchange Report Local Participation Awards, which honor BOMA local associations—and their BOMA Association Executives, or BAEs—that increase participation in the Office EER survey cycle in their markets:


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Highest Overall Increase in Participation:

BOMA/North Alabama – Windy Tidwell


Highest Increases in Participation for BOMA Local Associations with 300+ Members:

BOMA/Boston – Adrienne Maley

BOMA/Denver Metro – Jeannie Bernard


Highest Increases in Participation for BOMA Local Associations with 150-300 Members:

BOMA/Nashville – Amanda Sherman

BOMA/New Jersey – Dolores Bocian


Highest Increases in Participation for BOMA Local Associations with <150 Members:

BOMA/North Alabama – Windy Tidwell


Also announced were the winners of the Government Affairs Awards of Recognition Program, also known as the “Govies.”  





The Winter Business Meeting also offered many opportunities for networking with fellow members.  During the Welcome Reception, sponsored by Naylor Association Solutions, attendees gathered on the waterfront of the San Diego Bay to mix and mingle with old friends and new colleagues.  And, after a full lineup of productive meetings, the event ended on a high note with a Closing Party, sponsored by thyssenkrupp, also the sponsor of attendee name badges and keycards.  The highlight of the evening was the BOMAPAC raffle drawing; Brian Cappelli and Gary Bullock returned home with Star Wars lightsabers, and other lucky BOMA members won a variety of politically themed items when the BOMAPAC silent auction closed.