BOMA Members Chart the Course for 2021 Success

Following a year of unprecedented challenges, BOMA members from around the world eagerly gathered online to participate in BOMA International’s 2021 Virtual Winter Business Meeting, which took place January 25-29. While this year’s event looked different than others, attendees remained just as focused and committed to advancing the business of BOMA and shaping the future of commercial real estate. In addition to participating in a full slate of committee, council and task force meetings, members networked with peers—via Zoom and the event portal’s messaging functionality—and connected with industry-leading solutions providers at the virtual Partner and Sponsor Pavilion.

The Place Where Commercial Real Estate (Virtually) Meets

The Winter Business Meeting is a critical opportunity for BOMA members to engage on a variety of industry matters, including government affairs, membership development, floor measurement standards and many others. Wasting no time, committee meetings began on Monday and continued throughout the entire week.

Day 2 kicked off with concurrent Regional Meetings, during which members met with their neighboring BOMA local associations to discuss issues and topics specific to their location. Although this year’s Regional Meetings occurred without the customary luncheons, discussions around regional advocacy efforts and COVID-19-related business challenges provided ample food for thought.

Tuesday afternoon closed with a Board of Governors meeting, during which members convened to take inventory of key initiatives, news and updates. BOMA International Chair Shelby Christensen, LEED Green Associate, started off the meeting announcing the Life Memberships of George A. “Chip” Julin III, RPA, of BOMA/Orange County; Dolores McNiven, RPA, of BOMA/Oklahoma City; Dara Nicholson, RPA, of BOMA/Georgia; and Steve Richter of BOMA Greater/Cincinnati. In her Chair’s Report, Christensen commended BOMA members for their resilience over the past year, noting that the association’s response to the pandemic and recession has reinforced BOMA’s role as an industry leader and strategic business partner. “A theme for us over these past challenging months has been that out of adversity comes greatness. All of our activities have accelerated the implementation of the strategic plan and we’ve positioned BOMA International for the post-pandemic world,” she concluded.

Following the Chair’s Report, the 2020 Year in Review video chronicling BOMA’s 2020 achievements and milestones was debuted, which included an all-too-familiar scene of very animated members of BOMA International's leadership participating in a virtual Zoom meeting. (Talk about 2020 in a nutshell!)

BOMA International Chair Shelby Christensen shares optimism for the future during her Chair’s Report delivered at the Board of Governors Meeting.

BOMA International Chair Shelby Christensen shares optimism for the future during her Chair’s Report delivered at the Board of Governors meeting.

Moving the Industry Forward

On Wednesday, members exchanged ideas on how the association can help the commercial real estate industry bolster its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts during a Town Hall meeting hosted by BOMA International’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Among other highlights, the insightful panelists shared strategies for widening the talent recruitment pool, expanding access to industry education and making the business case for D&I initiatives.

Sandrena Robinson, BOMA International Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, opens the Town Hall Meeting with the message that diversity drives innovation.

Sandrena Robinson, BOMA International Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, opens the Town Hall meeting with the message that diversity drives innovation.

Getting Inspired

Later that afternoon, members attended a Keynote Session (sponsored by thyssenkrupp Elevator) featuring renowned author and television host Sebastian Terry. Terry, known worldwide for pursuing an incredible list of 100 Things he wants to achieve in his lifetime, grabbed the attention of the virtual audience as he shared the story behind his unique and action-packed journey and the wisdom he has acquired along the way. While it might not be everyone’s desire to marry a stranger for a day or crash a red-carpet event—both of which Terry has done—BOMA members took inspiration from his relatable insights on goal setting, benefiting from change, altering one’s mindset and connecting with others.

Some of Terry’s key messages, which can be applied both to one’s personal life and professional life, included:

  • Put your oxygen mask on first: What do airplane safety protocols and Sebastian Terry have in common? They both state that one must put on their own oxygen mask first before assisting others. With this example, Terry makes the point that a person who prioritizes their own aspirations and well-being will ultimately be a better resource to those around them. That’s why Terry states that the first step to creating your own “100 Things” list is to give yourself permission to think about yourself.
  • Know what matters to you: Getting what you want begins with knowing what you want, which is why reflection is another key piece to Terry’s success. Identifying specific, defined goals like “increase revenue” or “mentor a colleague” can help a more general goal like “career success” seem more attainable.
  • Get out of your comfort zone: "When we’re nervous and we don’t what’s going to happen, that is when we grow,” says Terry. “Personally or professionally, when we feel that discomfort, it’s usually a good opportunity and we should step into that growth.”

Keynote Speaker Sebastian Terry shares 4 Steps for creating one’s own version of his famous “100 Things” List.

Keynote speaker Sebastian Terry shares four steps for creating one’s own version of his famous “100 Things” list.

P.S. It’s not too late to visit the Partner and Sponsor Pavilion! If you didn’t have a chance to check out all the booths—or if you
just can’t get enough of the cutting-edge solutions and resources—you can still stop by the Pavilion any time through March!


Until Next Time

With our first-ever virtual Winter Business Meeting in the books, members are set to take on the industry’s next can’t-miss event coming this July 18-21: the 2021 BOMA International Conference & Expo in Boston. Please visit for more information.