In my final message as Chair of the IDA Board, I’d like to take a moment to thank the IDA staff for everything they do to make sure that we in the industry are equipped with the information, resources and policies we need to create safe, happy and vibrant communities. In my time as chair, they’ve supported me every step of the way so that we could adapt to the essential needs of our members during these trying times.
We provided more virtual resources and educational programs that were a lifeline to many of us during the pandemic.
We pivoted to an all-inclusive membership model that now equips all of our members with IDA’s full breadth of resources, such as webinars, publications and access to IDEA Connection.
We launched the Leadership in Place Management Certification in 2021. This all-important program allows place management professionals to broadcast our professional superpowers to the world. We have been doing the work as convenors, partners and doers, and it is time for people to see the true badasses we are. We have already graduated two cycles of this certification, and I proudly display LPM behind my name.
And finally, we have doubled down on our efforts to affect change by launching federal advocacy campaigns in Canada and the United States. This work is significant, as our voices are a vital component when crafting and adopting legislation that impacts our neighborhoods.
I don’t need to tell this audience that our work as place managers is not for the faint of heart. The struggles we face in our downtowns and urban centers today are real. They are complex, challenging, and can seem almost insurmountable at times. The pandemic, homeless crisis, increased drug use and crime levels, inflation, climate change, and significant political divisions have shortened everyone’s fuse. Yet, in what seems to many like an almost stagnant environment, people just want to see an effort to create change. We are the people that can do this for our communities. I know. I see it happen every day. Through IDA, I have had the honor of meeting and building relationships with the most caring, dedicated, smart, resilient and fearless leaders on this planet. I am so proud to know each and every one of you.
We are the great implementors. We get sh*t done. At this moment, collaboration and consistent communication are more critical than ever in our line of work. Use every tool – partners, financing and project support are out there. Meet everyone, talk to everyone and work with everyone to do what’s best for your district. You just have to start. Be open to inspiration and you will find it. You are part of a small but mighty group of extraordinary people. Your colleagues around the world are just waiting to share their thoughts and ideas with you. You are not alone.
Speaking of fearless people who inspire me, I am honored to pass the gavel to Kate Borders, LPM, President & CEO of the Downtown Tempe Authority. I cannot think of anyone better suited to lead the IDA Board of Directors and the organization into the renaissance of our post-pandemic world. Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey with you. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as chair, a true highlight of my 25 years in this crazy industry that I love.