Pouring on the praise: Tapped & Uncorked celebrates Inland Empire success

0

Laughter, applause — even some hoots and hollers — reverberated in the Riverside Convention Center on Wednesday night.

The source? The California Apartment Association’s first Tapped & Uncorked event, where more than 300 rental housing professionals received a well-deserved evening of proud reflection and fun.

After all, 2014 has brimmed with political and philanthropic achievements in the Inland Empire.

Before sending attendees to dance, network and sample regional wines and craft beers, the Association addressed some cheerful-but-important business.

CAA officially announced the division’s new name, honored its legislator of the year and thanked members for a year of victories in politics and good deeds. Putting it in perspective, Capture the Market streamed a 2014 highlights video.

CAA officially announced the division’s new name, honored its legislator of the year and thanked members for a year of victories in politics and good deeds.

After greeting attendees with enthusiasm and humor, Jen Halstead from Alliance Residential discussed part of CAA’s marketing initiative, which includes updates to some division names.

The marketing team asked each division to step back, examine its name and make sure it clearly resonates with the members it serves and the work it performs.

In some cases, names seemed tailored more for association insiders than the public — including elected officials. After much reflection and discussion, several boards have agreed on new monikers.

To great applause at Tapped & Uncorked, the division became the first to formally announce its new identity: the California Apartment Association Greater Inland Empire.

Listen to Jen Halstead’s complete explanation of CAA Greater Inland Empire’s name change.

Click Jen Halstead’s photo to hear her complete explanation of CAA Greater Inland Empire’s name change.

Before the grand reveal, though, Halstead emphasized the local board is proud of its legacy and holds great affection for its longtime nickname, AAGIE.

“As fond as we are of AAGIE, though, I think we can all agree that the California Apartment Association-Apartment Association of the Greater Inland Empire is a mouthful,” she said, earning some chuckles.

To great applause, Tim Johnson, executive director of CAA Greater Inland Empire, went on to introduce the division’s first-ever legislator of the year.

“This year, we had a local leader who protected not only our local industry in the Inland Empire but across the state,” Johnson said of the honoree, Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino. Johnson added that Brown cast the deciding no vote on state Sen. Mark Leno’s SB 1439, which would have greatly weakened the state’s Ellis Act. “This would have paved the way for local governments to force you to stay in business whether or not you are making money.”

Johnson lauded Brown for her “willingness to listen, learn and then lead,” adding that she sets the bar high for all elected officials in the Inland Empire.

Brown recalled the controversy that swirled around Senate Bill 1439, which would have forced many rental property owners in San Francisco to wait at least five years before removing their units from the market, even if waiting caused financial hardship. And while the bill would have applied only to San Francisco, it threatened to have statewide ramifications. Click here for CAA coverage.

Johnson lauded Brown for her “willingness to listen, learn and then lead,” adding that she sets the bar high for all elected officials in the Inland Empire.

Brown voted against the bill in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

“I can say that in casting that vote, it was a very, very contentious kind of situation in Sacramento, but those of you who voted for me and those of you who live in our district sent me to do the hard work,” Brown said.

“I appreciate that when I come back home that I can get something like this. Thank you very much.”

Besides thanking elected officials for their part in a successful 2014, Johnson expressed gratitude  to members of the rental housing industry.

“Your reputation as good actors allows us at CAA Greater inland Empire to do our job — to successfully partner with cities and counties, to strengthen our industry, which helps improve the quality of life in our region,” he said.

CORT-300x143

CAA Greater Inland Empire Chairwoman Jennifer Bedford made a point to thank the event sponsors — sentiments echoed by Johnson, who gave a special nod to CORT after the event.

“CORT not only provided all the furniture, they designed the layout for both the lobby reception and the main event upstairs,” Johnson said. “CORT did an amazing job in creating the perfect atmosphere for us to celebrate our 2014 achievements!  Thank you CORT!”

The presentation culminated with a 2014 highlights video, which Bedford introduced by recognizing how the association has matured into a community partner over its 40-year history.

“We’re recognizing and seizing the opportunity to make a difference in society,” Bedford said. “No longer focused on the individual, but united together, we’re taking the next step and improving the quality of life throughout the Inland Empire.

“This year, all of you have made a positive impact on your community, and you have made a difference in so many lives. So tonight, we are here to celebrate you.”

Tagged: Greater Inland Empire