Building On Our Legacy

arizona multihousing building legacy

Growth, improved technology among key AMA goals in 2017 and beyond

The celebration of 50 years of the Arizona Multihousing Association gave our board and members a platform for the year to think about where our greatest successes have been and where we want to lead moving forward. It’s been my privilege to serve on this board for 10 years. This experience, as well as working with the NAA as a Region 7 regional vice president, will inform my work as your board chair in 2017.

Our board, working closely with Tom Simplot and the staff of the AMA, is charting a course to build on what we have accomplished over the past years and grow the impact that we have at the national level. Thanks to the vision of our recent board chairs in creating training and leadership development opportunities for our members, we have started to deepen the leadership bench for our future. Dale Philips, vice chair and strategic plan monitor, will begin to help us monitor our progress on the strategic goals set out for the next three years. In addition, I’m looking forward to working with chairs of the committees charged with the various areas of implementation.

Keeping up with technology

Our board understands more about our members and how they are using technology to connect with the AMA. Our communications committee, the AMA staff, and key supplier partners are developing technology to allow members to sign up for programs and training and connect to each other. We have recently launched the AMA app and soon you will see the launch of an AMA YouTube channel.

The app allows members to tap into information more quickly on their mobile devices and serves as a gateway to our website.

Growing our membership

I’m looking forward to developing strategies to bring more members into the AMA. Key sectors of our industry like student housing have not typically been active members in our association at either the local or national levels. We are seeing the NAA also look to further engage with these potential members and provide more resources for them to grow and impact their business.

The AMA has been fortunate that most of the largest operators in Arizona have brought their portfolios fully into membership giving us the opportunity to expand our offerings and share the benefits with other emerging multifamily sectors.

Growing outreach to operators, companies around the state

My work in the Flagstaff market has given me a different perspective on this association and its benefits. Over the years, I have developed a personal network of people throughout the state that I can call on. And I have a national network of peers who can help me when I need to talk with operators in similar markets to mine and get best practices and creative solutions. We are in a unique position being in northern Arizona.

As Flagstaff grows I’ve learned that many in my market simply aren’t “joiners.” Our association has struggled to bring industry networking to Flagstaff. Given the increased number of AMA members in Northern Arizona, I’m hoping to start small and offer some combination networking/training event this year to build bridges here. Our community is coming into its own and I want the camaraderie felt in the Phoenix area and Tucson to come into this market too.

Leadership development and taking it national

Thanks to Kimberly Fitch’s dream of a local Lyceum program to develop the next level of association leaders, the AMA is graduating our third Lyceum class. We have a great pool of people to choose from as we develop local leadership and we have a growing bench for executive positions too. When I started working on appointing chairs and vice chairs for our committees, I looked for those that had graduated Lyceum. The leadership program is working and 2017 will be a reflection of intentionally reaching out to those people.

With my connection to national association, I’m also looking for talent that can get involved with the NAA. We could have a stronger voice at the national level. Arizona’s engagement has been focused on the Capitol Conference and some attendance at the Education Conference. We are in a position to build on this to include service to the association. Arizona delegates will be coached and networked into greater NAA participation with the goal of making our state and region voice stronger on the national stage.

This article was originally published in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Apartment News, the official print publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association. To order copies of this magazine, contact the AMA.


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Amy Smith-Montoya
Amy is managing partner at Flagstaff-based property management firm Bella Investment Group and board chair for the Arizona Multihousing Association.