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NAA PAC State Ambassador profile: Rick Koontz, Michigan. (Capitol Beat).

NAA launched the NAA PAC State Ambassadors Program last year in an effort to expand NAA's influence and to continue the commitment of developing a first rate PAC. Serving as an NAA PAC State Ambassador gives NAA members the opportunity to educate fellow members about the benefits of supporting the NAA PAC.

An Ambassador helps increase the number of members who are authorized to be solicited in their state and helps ensure that their state meets or exceeds its fair share goal. In addition, Ambassadors develop long-term relationships with members of Congress and multifamily housing industry leaders.

Rick Koontz is a property manager for Stone Brook Apartments in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has served as an NAA PAC Ambassador for the past year. He is one of 49 Ambassadors serving the NAA PAC.

For information on becoming a PAC Ambassador, contact Bradley Hix, NAA's Manager of NAA PAC and Grassroots, or call 703/518-6141.

Why did you volunteer to be a PAC Ambassador?

I wanted to become more involved with NAA. I saw it as a great first step to taking an active role at the national level. I have always been involved at the local level and I wanted to become more involved in national political efforts.

What have you found to be your biggest challenge?

At first, it was a challenge to get members to understand why it is important to support the NAA PAC. Most people tend to focus on local issues and don't pay attention to what goes on in Congress. It took a good deal of effort to educate members on why it benefited them to get involved in national politics. Now that the groundwork has been laid, it is easier.

What is most rewarding about being an Ambassador?

It has been very rewarding to have the local affiliates in Michigan get behind my efforts and to have them help exceed our fair share goal. We have really put together a great team effort in Michigan. It has been very rewarding to be involved in increasing our political involvement at the national level. Getting people involved in the PAC has increased their interest in attending the Capitol Conference and lobbying their Congressional members. We had a record number of members go to Washington, D.C., and it will only reinforce the importance of being involved.

What goals have you set for yourself this year?

I noticed when I went to Washington, D.C., and Lansing, Mich., this year to meet with our elected officials that many are not aware of the issues we face in the multifamily industry. They all understand what position the real estate agents, trial lawyers and insurance industry advocate.

I'd like to be a part of helping the NAA PAC become one of the more influential PACs on Capitol Hill. We have numerous issues that impact our bottom line and we need to have the ability to support those elected officials who support us.

I want to recruit an Ambassador for each affiliate in Michigan so we raise the awareness of the NAA PAC and have the ability to contribute to all members of the Michigan delegation who support our point of view.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming an Ambassador?

Just do it. It really isn't that hard. If you educate your members and ask for their support the majority will help out. Every little bit helps and you are only trying to help make our industry stronger.

Rick Koontz, Michigan
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Author:Obrinsky, Mark
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Previous Article:Analyst questions homeowner rates. (Capitol Beat).
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