NAA Conference Preview: Top Sessions to Watch

naa conference


NAA conference lineup sure to get the competitive juices flowing

About the time that the National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition hits full stride, most of the sports world’s heavy hitters will be in their annual summer lull. By late June, the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association champions will be a few days into basking on beaches after their successful runs. The start of training camp in the National Football League will still be a couple of weeks away. Major League Baseball and golf will be the only major sports holding down a daily or weekly schedule.

However, that’s not stopping an event that is sure to embody the spirit of competition June 21-24 in Atlanta. A former Olympic medalist, an ex-ESPN anchor and the woman who probably has the toughest job in America – changing the image of the NFL – will attempt to inspire, impress and awe apartment executives at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Industry update, business intelligence sessions highlight agenda

But first, anything and everything multifamily will be on tap. Apartment industry professionals can hear about the latest trends in leasing and property management, and experience all there is to see and do in one of the great southern cities (home to the Atlanta Braves, Falcons and Hawks).

A number of stellar breakout sessions highlight the agenda, including a couple that will get the competitive juices flowing.

Industry economists will give their spin on where multifamily housing is headed. Jay Parsons of MPF Research, Suzanne Mulvee of CoStar and Krishna Rao from Zillow offer their inside looks at the gears driving today’s apartment industry in “Bracing for Impact: The Economists Speak” on Friday, June 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Keith Dunkin of RealPage and Marcellus Mosely of CWS Capital Partners, LLC, offer how to recognize actionable data that drives improvement, leads to execution of objectives, improves efficiency and increases effectiveness for businesses in “You Don’t Have to Be Smart to Use Business Intelligence” on Friday beginning at 9 a.m.

Both Parsons and Dunkin will also present at the RealWorld Property Management Conference July 16-18 at the Wynn Las Vegas.

naa conference

Phelps, other sports personalities headline list of speakers

The conference took a little more competitive spin in recent weeks when the most decorated swimmer in history, Michael Phelps, agreed to pinch-hit for planned keynote speaker, Alec Baldwin when a scheduling conflict forced Baldwin to cancel his appearance.

Phelps has been one of the most inspirational stories in Olympic history. He retired following the 2012 Olympics, having garnered 18 gold medals since beginning his Olympic career in 2000 at age 15. Adamant that he was done with swimming, Phelps put down his goggles to focus on the Michael Phelps Foundation, which he began following the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The competitive fire, however, prompted him to come out of retirement in 2014, and two years later he racked up five golds and silver at age 31 at the 2016 Olympics.

Retired again, Phelps devotes much of his time today to his foundation, which promotes water safety, swimming, wellness and goal-setting primarily for children. He’s also published two autobiographies and a children’s book.

He will address the NAA assembly on June 22 from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Former ESPN anchor, “Good Morning America” host to speak

Roberts is no stranger to talking to large audiences. Since growing up in Mississippi, she has been in front of a microphone and on national television for the last 27 years.

Roberts parlayed her experience as a sports reporter for a Hattiesburg, Miss., television station into a notable career as an anchor ESPN from 1990-2005. Today, she is co-Anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Her journey has included numerous accolades, including induction into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2016, as well as fights with breast cancer and bone marrow disease. She has won over the hearts of America, being voted the “Most Trusted Person on Television” in a 2013 Reader’s Digest poll.

She will speak June 23 from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Hudson sees opportunity for change when chips are down

Hudson, the former CEO for Pepsi-Cola, will host “The Power of Marketing” on the conference’s opening day, June 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. She has worked since 2014 changing the image of the NFL as its chief marketing officer. One to take challenges straight on, she left a five-year practice at The Parthenon Group before taking the NFL job as the league was embroiled in a domestic abuse controversy. Hudson quickly put a plan into action for the NFL to publicly condemn domestic violence and sexual abuse that included a Super Bowl XLIX ad featuring a distressing 911 call.

She believes the best opportunity for change arises when things are in flux.

“When I joined, it was a tumultuous time,” Hudson told Adweek in 2015 after being named to the magazine’s top of a list of most indispensable executives in marketing, media, tech and advertising, “but when there’s turmoil, there’s an opportunity to do things differently.”

The NAA conference features a number of other speakers, as well as many more educational sessions. For the complete lineup, visit the conference website.


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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