The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces the winners of its annual Industry and AHMA Awards, which will be presented during its Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing winter conference, March 8-10.
The list of award winners includes individuals and organizations whose professionalism, dedication, and accomplishments in assuring quality housing for low-income Americans raise the multifamily affordable housing industry standards. More detailed descriptions of award winners will be provided in the March-April issue of NAHMA News.
NAHMA Industry Statesman Award
Given annually to NAHMA Executive Council members either in or nearing retirement, in recognition of many years of outstanding leadership and service to NAHMA.
Nancy Evans recently retired as CEO of CSI Support & Development, headquartered in Warren, Mich. She joined the company in 1986 after earning her bachelor’s degree in general business. Before that, she had been a stay-at-home mom. While at CSI, Evans earned her master’s degree in accounting. When she started with the company, it had 15 buildings. Today, CSI has 61 properties with over 6,500 units in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Her career marks an unmatched commitment to advancing affordable housing, and her service to NAHMA has been tireless over the years. Evans joined the NAHMA Board of Directors in 2013 and served as its secretary from 2017-2021. Beginning in 2010, she has held leadership positions on the NAHMA Budget & Finance, Federal Affairs, and TRACS and Contract Administration committees.
Johrita Solari and her husband, Bruce, founded the California-based Solari Enterprises Inc. in 1993 to create a working environment where a high level of ethics and integrity are maintained. With drug use rampant in the 1980s, Solari organized a poster contest for the children living in the committees they managed, extolling the benefits of being drug-free. The contest eventually became the NAHMA’s annual AHMA Drug-Free Kids poster and art contest. Over Solari’s career, she has dedicated time and energy to a variety of industry organizations, such as being a past president and founding member of NAHMA, past president of the California Housing Conference, member of the National Association of Home Builders and Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, and past president of AHMA-PSW. Solari also assisted in establishing several AHMAs across the country. She has served on every NAHMA committee, including as the president from 1994-1995. Additionally, she served as a board member of NAHMA’s Educational Foundation. In 2015, Johrita and Bruce Solari were honored to receive the foundation’s inaugural Inspire Award.
NAHMA Chair’s Award (formerly the President’s Award)
Given annually by NAHMA’s chair of the board for outstanding leadership or other contribution to NAHMA and the affordable multifamily housing industry.
Michael Simmons is the immediate past president of NAHMA. Simmons is CEO emeritus of CRM, a New Jersey-based management company he has been involved with since 1972. Simmons also holds a Certified Property Management designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and is a licensed real estate broker in four states. He has served on the Atlantic City and County Board of Realtors, was a long-term member of the Federal Housing Advisory Board for IREM, and has served as national president of IREM and president of the IREM Foundation. He also served on the Drexel University Real Estate Management & Development Advisory Board. Simmons joined NAHMA’s Board of Directors in 2012 and served as a vice president from 2015-2018 and as its final president from 2021-2022. In October, NAHMA’s Executive Council voted to rename the position chair of the board.
NAHMA Industry Achievement Award
Given annually to a NAHMA Executive Council member who has contributed significant or noteworthy leadership or other contributions to NAHMA within the past year or two.
Michael Alexander began his career in affordable housing and immediately became a member of AHMA East Texas. Alexander served on the board of directors and for two years as president. Fifteen years ago, he became the executive director of AHMA East Texas. He retired from that position in October 2021. While at the AHMA, he organized education programs and served as the AHMA representative for NAHMA for the past five years. He worked with NAHMA on the Education Committee and as a nationally certified trainer.
Amber Day and Stefanie Lee are beingrecognized for their commitment of time, energy and leadership these past several years in making the NAHMA Educational Foundation annual fundraising gala a resounding success. Their leadership resulted in an incredibly successful gala, which significantly increased the foundation’s ability to provide deserving residents living in affordable housing with meaningful scholarships to advance their educational goals and the opportunity for them and their families to move toward financial self-sufficiency.
Jo Ann McKay is being honored posthumously for her many years of outstanding leadership as executive director of JAHMA. Her career marked an unparalleled commitment to advancing quality affordable housing for Americans in need, and her service to JAHMA, PennDel AHMA and NAHMA over the years. Her tireless support was instrumental in the success of the organizations.
AHMA of the Year
Given to AHMAs using criteria such as size, number of members, success in membership recruitment, membership retention, education and training course attendance, financial stability, and other factors.
Large: SAHMA, which serves eight states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, had an 84% renewal rate, added 17 new members and welcomed back 31 members who rejoined the association in 2022. The opportunity for virtual and in-person certification courses allowed SAHMA to offer four Certified Professional of Occupancy, two Accelerated Certified Professional of Occupancy, and six Fair Housing Compliance Certification courses. SAHMA offered one SHCM Prep series of webinars for students to complete the coursework required for the SHCM designation and two Tax Credit plus SHCM exam courses. SAHMA hosted seven in-person state conferences and trade shows throughout the spring and the in-person Leadership Conference in August.
Medium: JAHMA, serving New Jersey, has continued to increase membership, welcoming four new executive members companies, 24 property members and six vendor members over the last year. This year, JAHMA leadership continued to stay connected virtually but focused on expanding in-person events, ranging from breakfast meetings to education courses and the annual Spring Management Event conference. The JAHMA Foundation Annual Scholarship Golf Outing was held in conjunction with the Spring Management Event. With proceeds from sponsorships and contributions made at the golf outing, it was announced that The JAHMA Foundation would reach a momentous milestone in 2022 with over $1 million in scholarships distributed since the program’s inception.
Small: Rocky Mountain Heartland AHMA over the past year, the AHMA expanded from its original six states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota to include Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. The association used both virtual and in‐person formats for educational opportunities offering over 20 live webinars, three in‐person training classes, and moved forward with its annual conference for the first time since 2019. The AHMA also provides an on‐demand training library and two self‐paced online courses. The AHMA attempted a live‐streaming option in conjunction with one of its in‐person classes, with unexpected success.
AHMA Communities of QualityProgram Award
Given to AHMAs according to size that have a substantial number of COQ awards in their area, demonstrate support for the program, and introduce new or innovative activities.
SAHMA saw seven properties qualify as nationally recognized Communities of Quality since November 2021. In all, SAHMA has 612 COQ member properties. Additionally, seven SAHMA member companies have received the corporate designation. The association markets the program through social media posts, marketing, and at its state conferences and leadership conference. It prominently recognizes the properties participating at each state conference by devoting a page in the on-site agenda to the COQ program. The AHMA also provides specially designed ribbons for participants to wear at conferences.
AHMA Innovation Award
Given in recognition of a new program, service, or activity that an AHMA began sometime in late 2021 or in 2022.
Large: SAHMA successfully implemented and completed the first year of its SAHMA Leadership Academy with 19 graduates in the inaugural class. The SAHMA Leadership Academy offers the SAHMA community a challenging and engaging learning experience. It is designed to engage and support staff at any level in their organization through an enriched experience of shared learning with colleagues, guest coaches and facilitators. Through the program, participants gain knowledge of who they are as a person and as a leader; individualized growth opportunities through coaching; tangible tools to help them further develop their skills; the confidence to lead and grow others around them; a realization that leaders are found at all levels of organizations; an understanding of trends, changes, and innovation in affordable housing; and valuable relationships within SAHMA membership.
Joint: JAHMA & PennDel AHMA: In the last quarter of 2021, both the JAHMA and PennDel AHMA executive boards realized that virtual learning as a viable option for continuing education and affordable housing training was an aspect of its training models that was not fully realized. To expand, the AHMAs joined their education and training committees together to form an on-demand learning option for members. JAHMA and PennDel AHMA established a marketing plan and set to work on the first 10 featured courses. For two months at a time, 10 courses are offered. Members must sign up on their respective AHMAs’ websites. Once registered and paid, the member will receive an email with instructions on accessing their chosen course. Each registrant has 14 days to complete their selection and will receive a certificate of completion specific to their completed course.
NAHMA Communities of Quality Award
Given annually to a NAHMA Executive Council member who has the most newly listed properties on the NAHMA National Recognition Program COQ Registry―based on data maintained by NAHMA staff.
Michaels Management, headquartered in Camden, N.J.,is the recipient of the 2022 NAHMA Industry Award for having the most newly certified Communities of Quality in 2022.
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing. NAHMA supports legislative and regulatory policy that promotes the development and preservation of decent and safe affordable housing, is a vital resource for technical education and information and fosters strategic relations between government and industry. NAHMA’s membership represents 75% of the affordable housing industry, and includes its most distinguished multifamily owners and management companies. Visit www.nahma.org for more information.