December President's Message
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
by: Kristin Howell, RPA, Meissner Jacquet

Section: President's Message

As my term as President comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my time on the Board and the Executive Committee. The past six years have been a wonderful experience - I have lobbied on your behalf in Sacramento and Washington DC. I have represented you before the City Council and at the BOMA International Winter Business Meeting and annual convention. It has been an incredible growth experience that has given me a deeper appreciation for the commercial real estate industry. There are so many things going on at the local, state, and federal level that when I was stuck in my office just doing my job, I was unaware of. Yet things that happen at these levels can have a devastating impact on what we do on a daily basis. 
My “take away” for you is this - we have to care. We have to stay in tune with what is going on because if we don’t, those in government will pass unnecessary laws that create an undue hardship on our industry. I know it is easy to just stick your job and not pay attention to the political stuff, because let’s face it, the political stuff is generally not that sexy. But people, we HAVE to care because if we sit by and do nothing, Sacramento and DC (and even our beloved City) will just roll right over us with ridiculous, unrealistic mandates. 
Generally, lawmakers have no idea what we do or the impact their proposals have on our industry. It is up to us to tell them. It is not just the Government Affairs Committee’s responsibility, not just Craig Benedetto’s, but all of US. We have to stay in touch, and when issued a call to action by the Government Affairs Committee or Craig, we need to respond. 
I wish BOMA San Diego had the budget to bring members with us to Washington DC or Sacramento during the lobbying trips. My eyes were opened and my appreciation for our legislative committee deepened during these trips and I wish you each could experience that.
Locally, I have loved seeing the synergy between our different committees. There are so many fantastic ideas being developed as to how to make our BOMA better. This past year, we took some great steps forward with the formation of the new Emerging Leaders committee, but there is much more to do. We need to make sure we lead the industry in sustainability and we need to make sure our members are prepared in the event of a disaster. 
Get involved. Join a committee. Pay attention. Don’t just come to lunches and expect to be enriched. The luncheon speakers are great, don’t get me wrong, but the deeper experience, the vibrant experience, can only be had by getting involved. 
I feel like I’ve grown as a person, as a leader, and an employee and I will be forever grateful for this experience.  I have learned that I don’t have all the answers but I don’t have to because by surrounding myself with smart people of good character, together we can find the answers.
Thank you for this experience. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous and peaceful 2016!
Kristin Howell

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