Get to Know...
Geoff Wardle, BOMA Fellow
"By being actively engaged in BOMA, I’ve found I often know more than my competitors and I’m much more effective in representing clients. You really need to stay involved to get the full benefits of BOMA."
Geoff Wardle is a real estate lawyer in Boise, Idaho, with more than 20 years of legal experience. He currently serves as the chair of BOMA International’s Government Affairs Committee. Wardle also is a past president of both BOMA/Boise and the BOMA Pacific Northwest Region.
When did you first get involved with BOMA?
My law firm at the time was representing a bank that had a lease dispute over building measurements. The building owner claimed to have used BOMA’s 1996 Office Standard. I became fluent in the standard very quickly, and I discovered the owner had misapplied it. That was my first experience with BOMA and, shortly thereafter, I went to work for a firm that was doing a lot of commercial and land use work, and my knowledge of the standard was a big selling point for me. I decided I should join BOMA and discover what else I should be learning.
Ever since, I’ve kept every copy of the BOMA Office Standard in my office, including the newest one from 2017—just in case!
What’s the best advice you’ve received in your career?
Former BOMA International Chair Kent Gibson once told me that if you haven’t figured out how to make money from your BOMA membership, you’re not working creatively enough. I’ve found that to be very true for me. By being actively engaged in BOMA, I’ve found I often know more than my competitors and I’m much more effective in representing clients. You really need to stay involved to get the full benefits of BOMA.
You’re the chair of BOMA International’s Government Affairs Committee. Why is it important for BOMA members to get involved in advocacy?
BOMA International’s legislative staff does great work advocating on our behalf, but lawmakers also want to hear directly from their constituents. The Government Affairs Committee works to empower BOMA local associations and members in their advocacy efforts.
It’s easy to become cynical about politics, but the voices of real constituents are incredibly powerful. I think many people are timid about getting involved with advocacy. People have this idea that they’re going to get quizzed on something they don’t know. You really come to realize that lawmakers are just normal people who value the perspectives of other people. The personal anecdotes about how issues affect people in their jobs—that’s what’s most valuable to many legislators.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I proposed to my wife in a movie theater during a showing of "The Hunt for Red October." I suppose most people don’t really think of that as a romantic film, but it still has great sentimental value for us. We watch it with our kids every year.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2019 issue of BOMA Magazine.