Board of Directors Debrief: Kristin Howell, Meissner Jacquet
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Section: Committee Announcements

Q: How long have you been a member of BOMA San Diego?

A: Since 2007.
Q: Why did you decide to join BOMA San Diego? 

A: My company’s previous “designated BOMA member” left the company, so I volunteered to step in. I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to learn more about what BOMA was about.
Q: How has BOMA San Diego helped you personally in your career? 

A: Many different ways, depending on my role within BOMA at the time. As a committee member, BOMA helped me find and develop relationships with service providers that I know I can trust.  Seeing how people interact on committees and honor their commitment to a committee shows how a person will work with their clients. As a member of Government Affairs, and participating in BOMA Cal and BOMA International a whole new world was opened up to me – before that, I had no idea about what was going on in Washington DC, Sacramento, or at City Hall as it pertained to our industry.  I became aware of how important it is, no matter how busy our real jobs are, to pay attention to what politicians are doing because there is constantly legislation that could have a HUGE impact on what we do on a daily basis – every year, more than 2,000 new laws are introduced by the State Legislature, and roughly 1/4 of those bills directly impact the commercial real estate industry!  These bills, in addition to local and Federal government actions related to taxation, water, energy, infrastructure finance, and land use, can have a significant impact both positively and negatively on commercial real estate’s ability to thrive and prosper. Travelling to BOMA International expanded my horizons by exposing me to a variety of service providers (at the International Conference and Expo) and technologies that I might not have seen otherwise.  Also, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from around the country who do what I do.  The convention is a great opportunity for a property manager to ‘geek out’ on industry stuff – news, training, service providers, new technology, etc. During the planning for the 2013 International Convention here in San Diego, I was constantly blown away by our members’ creative ideas and enthusiasm, and that continued when I became President and worked with the various committee chairs and Board members.  As President of the Board, I learned how to be a better leader – I learned to listen to all sides of the story, that I don’t always have to have the answers, but I do need to surround myself with good people, and I need to listen to their ideas. After my two years as President of BOMA San Diego, I was promoted to Vice President of Operations at Meissner Jacquet.  I know that this was a direct result of the work I did in BOMA - it proved to my supervisors that I was ready for the role.
Q: How has BOMA San Diego helped your ownership, building or business? 

A: Because of what I’ve learned, my portfolio gets the benefit of that experience. All of the things I mentioned above just carry over into daily life. I think that makes me a better ambassador for Meissner Jacquet and a better manager for my clients.
Q: What are three things you like the best about being on the BOMA San Diego Board of Directors?
  1. I enjoy the connection with fellow BOMA members – the feeling that we, as a group, are making a difference for the organization.
  2. I loved traveling to the International Convention and Winter Business Meeting - meeting legislators was a great experience and seeing new cities was an added benefit.
  3. My favorite thing when I was Board President was seeing the synergy between the various committees and being able to pair those committees up and watch the results of their collaboration. Ok, one more favorite thing…when people told me that I inspired them to step out of their comfort zone or become a better leader – that was an incredible feeling. THAT has to be my favorite thing – hearing someone say I made a difference in their life or career  - that was humbling and amazing at the same time. 
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to a new BOMA San Diego member?

A: GET INVOLVED. You get out of BOMA what you put into BOMA so don’t do what I did for the first year and show up late to lunches and sneak in the back – you will get very little out of that experience. Join a committee and get involved. Come to the lunches a little early and use that time to network. Force yourself to meet new people. Wow – is that a way to step out of your comfort zone!  I used to make it a point to find someone with a hand-written name tag – it was a way to make the newcomer feel welcome as well as to expand my network.  Attend all of the events you can – they are fun, and they are another great networking opportunity.   Pay attention to the government affairs announcements – they might seem mind-numbing sometimes (sorry Craig!), but if there’s an e-blast or an announcement coming from the podium, that means it’s a big deal, and that action is needed because whatever they are talking about will have a huge impact on what you do on a daily basis.  Before BOMA, my world was so small - I went to work, I did my job, and that was it. There is so much more depth to my life, my knowledge, and my network now – all thanks to BOMA.  

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