BY BRIAN D. CAPPELLI, BOMA FELLOW, RPA
I feel so privileged to take the reins as chair of BOMA International at such an exciting time for our industry, and I’m humbled that, through this role, I am able to give back to an association that has helped me so much over the years.
As I look back over my own career, BOMA has always been there. I got my start in the industry as an assistant property manager in Detroit in the 1990s. My boss at the time told me that, while college had prepared me for the business world, I still needed to learn more about commercial real estate. She wanted me to start with the basics, and, while I was interested in tenant lunches, lease deals and talking about our company’s newest developments, she insisted I instead catalog and file construction drawings, perform janitorial inspections and put together a key management system. She also knew it was important for me to understand everything from cooling towers to gross-ups, and that I needed to make contacts in the industry and understand what was happening in the marketplace. For these things, she told me I needed to join BOMA, and I’m so grateful that she did.
Over the years, I moved a few times, and each time, I joined the BOMA local association in my new market. Along the way, I noticed that, through my active engagement in BOMA, I knew more people and better understood the industry and the trends shaping it. When I moved to Cleveland, I joined the BOMA/Greater Cleveland Board of Trustees and took over as chair of its Government Affairs Committee. And, that’s where my involvement both on the local level and with BOMA International started to really grow. I eventually served two terms as president of BOMA/Greater Cleveland, joined BOMA Ohio’s Board of Governors and became a member of BOMA International’s Executive Committee—and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve certainly benefitted from the knowledge and skills I’ve developed through BOMA over the years, but for me, a significant piece of the BOMA value proposition has always been the connections we are able to make with others in this industry through our involvement.
As I shared with the audience after I was sworn in as chair during the TOBY® Awards banquet in San Antonio this past June, I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the role of chair of BOMA International. As someone born in Indianapolis, the home of the Indy 500, and who started his career in Detroit, the Motor City, you might find it no surprise that I’m looking for us to kick the organization into high gear and drive engagement. Don’t get me wrong—BOMA is already firing on all cylinders! But, in an era of shortened cycles, constant connectivity and rapid change, I believe it is more important than ever for folks looking to put their career into overdrive to get involved with BOMA like I did those many years ago.
I’ve certainly benefited from the knowledge and skills I’ve developed through BOMA over the years, but for me, a significant piece of the BOMA value proposition has always been the connections we are able to make with others in this industry through our involvement. Throughout my BOMA journey, I’ve connected with many of you while serving on task forces and committees, or at regional and BOMA International meetings, and it will be a pleasure to continue meeting many of you over the course of my term as chair. Together, we will shape the future of BOMA, and I look forward to working with you in the year ahead!
This article was originally published in the July/August 2018 issue of BOMA Magazine.