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Observations from Ron Shelton, CAPS.

AMERICANS' EMBRACE of green technology grows stronger every day. It seems most every product and service available has sustainability in mind. What was once an effort is now a lifestyle.

This attitude--especially when it comes to saving money on operations--has been part of the multifamily housing industry for years. Recalling a discussion during an NAA meeting a few years ago, when asked what they think of the green spirit and green innovations, many members said, "If it's going to help save money and save the environment, we're behind it."

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That time is now. President Obama's recently signed stimulus bill includes billions of dollars dedicated to green renovations that can be applied to apartment communities. And later this month, NAA hosts its first Green Conference & Exposition in downtown Phoenix. It takes place April 28-29 at the LEED-certified Phoenix Convention Center. The event features 28 panelists who will cover 10 breakout sessions, as well as an opening general session CEO panel and our keynote speaker James Brew, the Principal Architect of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Each panel will share ideas that companies have put to use.

This issue of units will be distributed at this conference. Inside, you will find many familiar examples of things that communities have implemented in relation to the green movement. Consider these a reminder of what our industry is doing to further energy efficiency. Hopefully, some of the strategies will be new to you. I hope you can learn from them and are able to incorporate them into your daily businesses.

Each of the department sections in the front of the magazine includes several green-related items. From urban planning and marketing language to pest control and solar panels, these techniques will get you started on going green on new and existing apartment product.

On page 46, "When It Pays to Go Green," by attorney Mark D. Polston, outlines how apartment owners may jump on the green bandwagon now by taking advantage of state, local and federal government incentives.

The issue also focuses on hiring and compensation trends. "The Compensation Crunch," by CEL & Associates' Jim Wright on page 31, explains why talented professionals remain the key to strong operations and profitability, but that increasing pressure has forced downsizing in many apartment firms.

"Corps Competency" is a feature article on page 31 about the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) partnership with government program Job Corps that provides the training of enthusiastic, qualified maintenance employees.

NAAEI recently hired former apartment maintenance supervisor Pablo Paz as a trainer for its Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT) program. Read about Paz's background and how he can help train your maintenance staff in this feature on page 42.

I again want to thank the NAA Green Conference & Exposition sponsors ista North America, Minol, TXU Energy, Valet Waste, Sherwin-Williams and Waste Management for their support of our conference. I hope you plan to attend. Be sure to visit www.naahq.org/events/green for information.

--NAA Chairman of the Board Ron Shelton, CAPS
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Title Annotation:Chairman's message
Author:Shelton, Ron
Publication:Units
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:499
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