As we get ready to start our final approach and prepare for this year’s Business Exchange on August 21st, I can’t think of a better place to land than at The Cavanaugh Flight Museum with our 2019 Business Exchange Committee Chair, Ian Mattingly. It was indeed an honor to be able to visit the museum and view all the impeccably restored aircraft that helped set the course for aviation history.
It was awe-inspiring to take a step back behind the ropes and visualize how far the industry has progressed over time. As we walked through the bays and past remarkable airplanes like the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 biplane and the infamous Fokker Dr.I Triplane, commonly known as “The Red Baron,” my thoughts slowly drifted back in time to the beginning of aviation history when the wonder of flight began back on December 17th, 1903.
It seems almost impossible to imagine how far the aviation world has come and how much it has impacted our lives since the Wright Brothers set out to make aviation history in the small coastal town of Kitty Hawk on the outer banks of North Carolina. While I am almost certain that Orville and Wilbur Wright recognized in the hours and days that followed that they had achieved a significant personal milestone and took great pride in finally realizing their dream of flying; it is, however, unlikely they could have imagined that 12-second flight would turn out to be a turning point in history that would ultimately revolutionize the way we travel.
Their dream to achieve what others thought to be impossible fueled the growth of the aviation industry for the next 65 years until another aviation pioneer from Ohio achieved the next impossible dream of flight by rocketing into space and ultimately stepping on the surface of the moon. In fact, Neil Armstrong was so inspired by the Wright Brothers pursuit of their dream to fly and their perseverance to see it through that he carried a piece of muslin fabric from the wing of the original 1903 “Wright Flyer” plane on his mission into space when he became the first astronaut to walk on the surface of the moon.
What does all this aviation stuff have to do with the Business Exchange you ask? Well, sometimes we need to go back to the beginning to truly appreciate the importance of these moments in our own multifamily world to get a true sense of their significance over time. So, as we approach the 18th anniversary of the Business Exchange on Wednesday, August 21st, I am also thinking back to that moment in time when the first concept for the Business Exchange came to fruition and initially took flight back on May 2nd, 2000.
I can’t help but wonder if Danny Beck and Steve Roach, the inaugural co-chairs of the event, could ever have possibly imagined the impact the event would have on the multifamily industry and how it would revolutionize the way we raise money for the NAA PAC. Who would have thought that the event that began with the simple yet powerful idea to have a networking event that reversed the roles of a traditional trade show and allowed individual meetings with owner executives would soar to the heights it has risen to today.
Could they ever have imagined that the inaugural event that was held in The Diamond Club just 18 years ago would grow from 120 attendees to over 650? Could they ever have imagined that the fundraising it provides to NAA PAC would soar from initially raising $3,400 that first year to generating $146,000 this past year? Could they ever have dreamed their reverse trade show concept would eventually rocket into NAA history this past year as it surpassed the $1,000,000 mark in total lifetime funds raised for NAA PAC?
While I certainly would never try and answer any of those questions, the most likely answer centers around the infamous words of Napoleon who said, “Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.” However, what I can say with absolute certainty is that the reason The Business Exchange has continued to soar focuses around the relationship between our supplier partners and owner management partners and the leadership within the local, state, and national apartment associations. Members, you are the engine that drives this event, and you are the wings that allow us to fly!
So, whether you are an owner-member looking to identify new trends, new technology to prepare your capital budgets for 2020, or you are a supplier member looking to become the next “Top Gun” in multifamily sales, you definitely don’t want to miss your opportunity to be the next Orville or Wilbur Wright or even become the next Neil Armstrong and help set the course for the next chapter in the history of The Business Exchange.
Registration is still open until August 16; however, just like any other great value in today’s aviation world, these seats will fill up fast. The ticket window will be closing soon so don’t risk scrambling last minute for those available overhead bins or risk having to fly stand-by. To register your co-pilots and ground crews, go to https://www.aatcnet.org/business-exchange.html
After 18 incredible years, the Business Exchange is at 40,000 feet and still climbing and has provided many of us a runway for success in the multifamily industry.
Don’t wait, please register today, this is a flight you don’t want to miss!
Paul Brown, Maintenance Supply HQ, is the title sponsor for the 2019 Business Exchange. For more information on this event, contact Perry Pillow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 817-616-0354