Better Together

by Candy Maxey, Greystar, AATC's 2019-2020 President

Henry Ford once stated, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” There are many unknowns during this scary time, and we’re all taking it day by day. The #AloneTogether website states, “Just because we’re serious about stopping the spread of the virus, doesn’t mean we have to face each day alone – we’re in this together.” It has been such a joy to see our member companies come together in such creative ways while remaining physically apart. The entire world was thrown into a new virtual reality, whether ready or not, and we have so many great examples of leadership and comradery right here within AATC.

AATC has worked hard to stay committed to its members, providing up-to-date information and resources as they become available from local, state, officials, as well as our colleagues at TAA and NAA. John Gillespie and the Government Affairs committee have been so diligent about gathering and sharing information that changes continuously. The proactive approach of this group is greatly appreciated as they continue to look forward to the unknowns yet to come.

Darcy Bixby and the Education Committee have more than delivered. While the “new normal” was quickly filling everyone’s schedules with webinars and video conferences, this hard-working group knew they needed to act fast to do a full transition to virtual teaching and claim their spot on already overflowing calendars. Providing weekly webinars all month long, our members had the opportunity to hear best practices and words of encouragement from fellow industry peers. Not only were the webinars full, but they were also free! Special thanks to our member volunteers who quickly stepped up and made these webinars possible. Our weekly webinars included courses on virtual leasing, employee engagement, connecting with your residents, service operations, and more—all centered around COVID-19. AATC also partnered with TAA for an online legal seminar to address the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape. Most recently, AATC and AAGD teamed up for a special presentation for our supplier partners. All of these have been instrumental in guiding folks through the chaos.

How can you touch a life while social distancing? Organize efforts to both touch and save lives, which is precisely what Cayce Coon and the NextGen committee has successfully done. The American Red Cross brought their donor coach to AATC on April 7th and April 15th for AATC members and regular blood donors in the community to donate blood safely. The available appointment times were more than cut in half each day, but despite these challenges, our blood drives resulted in 27 collected units for The American Red Cross. That could potentially save 80 lives!

While I have only mentioned a handful of the great things happening within our association, I think the abovementioned quote by Henry Ford is a great way to summarize the underlying attitude you feel while being part of AATC.

“Coming together is a beginning.” At AATC, coming together is easy; from our executive team to our committee members, I have rarely seen a group of people so willing to lend a helping hand.

“Keeping together is progress.” From the start of this pandemic, we have seen every volunteer step up and ready to help. Not once did they waiver. They were in line with their colleagues, shouting, “Sign me up!” They also stayed with each and every task to the very end—all the while doing their own jobs!

“Working together is success.” Between the examples shared above, the stories flooding social media, and team spirit unlike anything we’ve ever seen, I’d say working together comes naturally at AATC. AATC feels like family, and that brings success that can’t be measured.

Togetherness is a message that you’ve seen across countless platforms outside of our industry; it is something you feel at AATC. With that, I am excited to share AATC’s new campaign: BETTER TOGETHER. We want the sense of togetherness and unity felt being part of AATC to have a reach as far as possible. Our world will be different for the unforeseeable future, and we can’t promise what tomorrow will bring, but we can promise that AATC will continue to support its members in all possible ways. In good times and bad, we are better together.

Our companies are better together.

Our communities are better together.

Our leadership is better together.

Our members are better together.

AATC is better together.