Welcome to 2017. We may only be in the first quarter of the year, but it has already been a busy one. Our chapter leadership was in Washington, D.C. at NAIOP’s Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat. This annual event provides a platform for us to meet with key legislators representing the interests of our industry.
Legislative advocacy is a major advantage of NAIOP membership. However, I can’t emphasize enough the importance for our members to understand the issues, get involved and let your voice be heard on the many issues threatening the future of the commercial real estate industry. Even now, there are a number of initiatives on March ballots in Southern California that represent the ongoing assault on our industry and, in turn, job creation and economic growth. Please take the time to read our Legislative Update in this issue to learn more.
While the election brought new leadership to the White House, it also seemed to quell some of the economic uncertainty we had been experiencing at the end of last year. However, our California political leadership has chosen to double down against the new administration. There is evidence the state intends to propose greater regulatory burdens on real estate and, moreover, the possibility of targeting commercial real estate to make up for budget shortfalls that result from their political posturing on issues unrelated to our industry.
An important goal for our chapter this year will be greater integration of our outstanding Young Professionals Group and Developing Leaders. These groups represent the future chapter leaders. We will be working to encourage more involvement at the chapter level and in leadership roles, as well as increasing membership of our next generation. If you know a young professional who could gain from NAIOP SoCal’s knowledge and business networking, encourage them to get involved.
Finally, I want to congratulate the chapter on receiving two awards at NAIOP’s Leadership Retreat. We received a Merit Award for our 2016 Kick-Off Event at Big Newport. Congratulations to everyone who made that event possible and especially Shea Properties who was our headline sponsor.
Cynthia Fusco, our chapter’s executive director for almost three decades, was recognized for her work and dedication with the Chapter Executive of the Year Award. If you have had the great pleasure of working with Cynthia, then you know that she has and continues to give her heart and soul to this chapter. I give a great deal of credit to Cynthia’s commitment and consistency to ensuring that we have been a sustainable organization, no matter the economic cycles. It is a credit to her that this chapter is as strong as it is today. Congratulations, Cynthia, for your well-deserved recognition.
I look forward to seeing everyone at our events this year.
Lance Ryan, President