Our Lyceum Community

by John Mitchell, AATC Executive Director

AATC's Leadership Lyceum Chair, Darcy Bixby, Westdale, and the Leadership Lyceum Title Sponsor, Tony Sims, Centruy A/C.

Community is a powerful word typically defined by a group of people with common interests choosing to work with one another in order to reach common goals. Communities often share common geography, common philosophies, and common economic and social interests as well as common political ideologies. Communities usually rally around an event or need. Regardless of the purpose, the best communities intentionally ensure good people are thoughtfully leading the cause.

“We’ve worked for many years to make sure the Association has well-informed leaders serving the interests of DFWs multi-housing industry,” said AATC President Nicolle Block. “Our Lyceum has empowered the last 10 association presidents as well as multi-housing leaders representing several other regions across the State of Texas, to step up and take charge.”

Since 2005, AATCs Leadership Lyceum program has hosted 86 DFW area multi-housing professionals including presidents Nicolle Block (AMLI Residential), Patti Thomas (AIG), Traci Hall (AMLI Residential), Sherry Jordan (LumiCorp), Char McCurdy (Summit), Lisa Clark (Olympus), Mike Clark (Alpha-Barnes), Michael Walker (Walker-Holder), Anthony Wonderly (Olympus) and Jodi Spurrell (Milestone). Twenty of AATCs 24 current directors are Lyceum grads. “One of the most important things we do is identify and encourage new association leaders,” said Block.

“I was honored to be asked by Nicolle to chair this year’s Lyceum because I enjoyed my own Lyceum experience many years ago and appreciate the long-term impact it has had on my career,” said Darcy Bixby (Westdale). “This year’s class impressed me with their talent as well as their passion for giving themselves back to our profession.”

The Association’s 2019 Leadership Lyceum class featured an all-star group including Debra Claytor (American Landmark), Bryan Downer (Community Enrichment Center), Jeff Duerstock (Reliant), Jeina Parker (Pinnacle) and April Royal (Capstone). The 3-month Lyceum curriculum is focused on the basics of association management as well as community service and advocacy initiatives. “AATC hosted the first local affiliate Lyceum program in the nation,” said Block. “We’ve done a great job developing leaders for AATC, as well as many other organizations.”

2019 AATC Leadership Lyceum

Debra Claytor Bryan Downer Jeff Duerstock
Jeina Parker April Royal

One small addition to our core Lyceum program includes a class project. Prior-year projects have focused on developing a strong apartment recycling program in the City of Fort Worth, they designed and installed a playroom supporting the kids at Union Gospel Mission’s, helped our struggling veterans find comfortable new apartment homes and this year – created a social media outreach initiative showcasing our member’s amazing community service projects.

“This year’s Lyceum project exceeded the entire committees’ expectations,” said Bixby. “The class Like a Local presentation highlights the vision and drive our members have for serving the communities where we live and work.” Bixby continued, “I’m excited to share the project with TAAs Public Affairs Committee this summer and look forward to working side-by-side with of our newest grads during the years ahead.”

The Association’s Lyceum program began in 2005 following a similar effort launched by NAA the previous year. When confronted by a nation-wide leadership void, the original Lyceum was designed to provide a wealth of well-informed new leaders who were excited and empowered to volunteer time and resources in order to strengthen the communities where they live and work as well as the industries they serve. Although community leadership programs feature a wide variety of different concepts, AATCs Lyceum has developed a strong reputation of success. At last check, more than 30 of NAAs 160 state and local affiliates host similar leadership development programs across the nation.

John Mitchell has served as AATCs CEO for the past 27-years. For additional information on the Association’s Leadership Lyceum, check-out the AATCnet.org webpage or reach out to John at jmitchell@aatcnet.org.