February President's Message
Tom Magnussen
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Section: President's Message

I wanted to provide a brief recap of the Executive Committee’s attendance at this year’s BOMA International Winter Business Meeting. Every other year, BOMA International hosts a conference in Washington DC to review national legislative priorities, focus on emerging opportunities and threats to the commercial real estate industry, as well as provide an opportunity to us to interface directly with our elected officials and their staff.
With the unveiling of a new tax regime, increased focus on the balance of convenience and security as it relates to technology in our buildings, and in the wake of devastating natural disasters, this year’s meeting generated provocative discussions yielding meaningful action items as well as opportunities for collaboration amongst Associations. I want to touch on just a couple key points I valued from the meetings:
Emergency Preparedness
Members from BOMA Huston and BOMA Florida shared their respective roles as communication facilitators between their membership and the disaster teams. A role they had not considered 
prior, but realized the benefit during as there needed to be consistent participation in stakeholder meetings that would have been impossible for individual members to attend. Issues such as credentialing of property management, tenants, and service providers to allow each access into the buildings as law enforcement and first responders were managing safety of ingress and prevention of looting. Thankfully, we do not have to worry about hurricanes, but the recent wild fires and the ever-present threat of a catastrophic earthquake compels us to be ready and have relationships established with disaster relief agencies to anticipate this challenge.
For me, what really drove this point, was while Houston and Florida navigated these challenges with the audience, a BOMA member from Puerto Rico raised her hand and added the compounded effects of a prolonged recovery.
On the positive side,
the success of BOMA San Diego’s Emergency Drills is being recognized by other Associations looking to establish their own. A testament to our Emergency Preparedness committee and all our members who have participated in the drill, I have been asked by BOMA Orange County’s Board of Directors to share information in an effort to enable their Association to drill similarly. An enhanced, regional understanding and active participation surely serves us all.
If there were a single meeting that drew more attention than others, it was the technology committee meeting. A new committee at BOMA International, it draws heavily on the input of members and best practices of Associations. Of the Associations with active technology committees, the consensus was acknowledgement of technology’s influence is pervasive across all traditional committees (for example communications, emergency preparedness, education), and that since the rate of technological influence is so rapidly changing, it is most effective to train on what to ask/what to expect from technology instead of focusing on a specific component of any given technology. Our colleagues in Oakland/East Bay have embraced technology and we are working with their BAE to bring in resources that have been successful for them. I look forward to seeing how we can incorporate that feedback into our programs and seminars. Please stay tuned.
Our Executive Committee had two days of meetings on the Hill with our local congressional delegation. This was an opportunity to provide meaningful anecdotes as to how policy impacts our industry as well as educate on what the bills they are voting 

Of the three top legislative priorities, advocating for the 
preservation of Energy Star, was simultaneously a unique opportunity to articulate industry demand as well as provide congressional education. Thought only as a rebate for commercial appliances, congress members, and their staffs were intrigued as to why commercial real estate was so interested. Being able to discuss Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager as a necessary benchmarking tool highlighted the business community’s buy-in to an effective government-run program that assists our industry in achieving legislated sustainability goals. Amber Molina, Kami Nutt, Thor Emblem, and Michael Nelson did a great job in identifying this part of the program that none of the legislators with whom we met were aware of, and certainly unaware that supporting its elimination would drastically impact sustainability and greenhouse gas emission goals.
BOMA San Diego is fortunate that a local congressman, Scott Peters, authored and is promoting BOMA International’s number one bill – Federal ADA reform of technical violations. BOMA maintains accessibility is paramount to effective management and supports efforts to provide building owners a reasonable time to address deficiencies under ADA without being subjected to drive-by
law suits.