We’re more than halfway through the year – the perfect time to reconnect with our BOMA San Diego President, Thor Emblem! Rumor has it the chapter has a few new committees in the works and there’s no one better to provide readers with the “inside scoop.”
BOMA San Diego: We’re more than halfway through the year! What has it been like leading the BOMA San Diego chapter thus far?
Thor: It is very rewarding. The motivation to be involved with BOMA should always be the betterment of our chapter and industry. But there are benefits that come with volunteering. There is the satisfaction that is gained by helping to reach chapter goals, there is the professional development by being in BOMA leadership and the relationships developed by working closely with other industry leaders.
BOMA San Diego: Rumor has it the chapter has a few committee updates in the works! Can you share a bit more about that?
Thor: We are very excited to have launched a Life Science Committee - the first of its kind. BOMA International is developing floor measurement standards and a TOBY category for life science, so we decided to be the first local chapter to launch a committee to serve this growing market segment.
Our vice president, Melanie Bamba Milinkevich, serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee for BOMA International. This committee exists to ensure that BOMA offers a welcoming and safe community that ensures diversity, equity, and inclusion with equal opportunity and a sense of belonging for all. She has partnered with Anastasiya Plotina to create our DEI subcommittee within our programs and seminars committee. They are excited to be programming two events in 2022.
We are splitting our Membership and Emerging Professionals committee back into two separate committees. The Membership committee will continue its mission of strengthening our chapter by implementing effective recruiting and retention programs. And the Emerging Professionals committee will work to prepare and mentor the next generation of commercial property owners, engineers, and administrative personnel. Additionally, Emerging Professionals is implementing a college outreach program to educate college students about the opportunities in our industry.
BOMA San Diego: What was the purpose behind creating these committees and subcommittee?
Thor: San Diego is the third largest life science market in the country and growing. We want to make sure that we are offering programming that serves this growing segment of our membership.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) needs to exist to make sure that we are creating opportunities for underserved communities and to strengthen our organization. And by starting a college outreach program, we can help our membership reach their hiring goals and we feel that outreach can also have a positive effect on our goals of increasing diversity in our industry.
BOMA San Diego: When can we expect to see these committees up and running?
Thor: Life Science and DEI are up and running now. DEI is offering its first two seminars, “DEI in Focus”, on August 16th and October 18th. Life Science is offering “Life Science 101” (differences between CRE and LS) on September 29th and “Life Cycle of a Drug” (what drugs are developed locally, what is the process and how does that affect building management) on December 8th. I hope members will keep an eye on their inbox or visit the events tab at www.bomasd.org for more information.
The new Emerging Professionals committee should be up and running by September.
BOMA San Diego: How can our chapter members help to support these committees?
Thor: Members can join one of these committees and attend the upcoming seminars. We will be looking for some volunteers in the coming months to participate in the college outreach program and in 2023, we will be seeking mentors to pair with students that show interest in our industry.
BOMA San Diego: With these new committees in action, how do you expect the chapter to grow and change?
Thor: Our core mission to provide legislative advocacy, educational offerings and networking opportunities remains the same but it is important to evolve to stay relevant. Our market is rapidly changing with a focus on Life Science. And we see the difficulties our members have in filling positions and believe that we can have a positive impact on that by focusing on increasing diversity and by implementing outreach to people entering the work force.
BOMA San Diego: Anything else to add?
Thor: Yes, if you haven't already, please join a committee. It really is the best way to get the most out of your BOMA membership.
BOMA San Diego: Now we all know you’re not really the “god of thunder,” but you do have the name. What’s the story there?
Thor: Having the name Thor really wasn’t a big deal until the movies started coming out 11 years ago. Since then, my name gets a lot more attention. I am often asked if that is my real name or if it is short for something. Sometimes, people tell me it is a really cool name and I always thank them and let them know it was a birthday present. Others inquire whether or not my parents were comic book fans and I generally say, “I don’t think so, but my brother Iron Man insists they were.” The real explanation is that it is a family name. My father was also named Thor and I named my son Thor. Names like: Thor, Olav, Severin, Leif, Lars, and Erik are common in my family. While I possess no superpowers to serve humankind, I am so honored to serve as your chapter president.
Thank you for your leadership, Thor! (Heads up: If you missed our last Q&A with Thor, you can find it here.)