2017 - Year in Review

Posted By: Jim Wiard (deleted) WMFHA Updates,

2017 – A Look Back at a Record-Breaking Year


As excited as I am in closing out a very successful and fulfilling year in 2017, I am more excited and energized by the prospect of a new year of challenges and accomplishments in 2018 for the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association.

WMFHA reaches our 15th anniversary in 2018!  The genesis of starting a statewide housing association, as a charter affiliate of the National Apartment Association (NAA), was the same then as our mission holds today – to serve the multifamily housing industry, its employees and businesses, to promote professional property management, and to encourage quality, safe and affordable housing options for residents of our housing. 




In 2017, WMFHA’s Career Development programs for Residential Property Management (RPM) saw a record number of professionals who took advantage of the NAAEI designation programs taught through WMFHA. 

  • 98 candidates attended the CAM, CAMT, NALP, CAPS or CAS credential training.
  • In addition, over 1,300 students in Western Washington and 140 students in Eastern Washington attended other educational offerings such as Budget Bootcamp, Advanced Instructor Training, Fair Housing and Beyond, Legal Seminars, and maintenance skills training.
  • Over $9,600 in education scholarships were awarded to members, allowing them to take career building classes that they might not otherwise could have attended. 
  • The highlight of our year in career development was being awarded the NAA’s Excellence Award for Education, honoring WMFHA and the Career Development Committee, led by Sloane Cerbana with an award for our RPM JumpSTART program, a program designed to address the most pressing need for our industry, to find and recruit new talent for career positions in apartment management. 


The power of relationships, have propelled WMFHA to provide more outstanding Signature Events like Emerald AwardsNetworking Opportunities, and our annual Education Conference and Exposition (EdCon).  

2017 was a break-out year in the expansion of our community service and charitable partnerships. 

  • A record donation of $32,000 was raised from our Chili Cook-Off event supporting DAWN, the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network.  This was our 11th Chili Cook-Off in partnership with DAWN, and our contributions to this organization have exceeded $147,000 since inception.
  • The Holiday Giving Gala, benefiting Childhaven, was only in its 3rd year, but after raising $46,800 from this year’s dinner event, total contributions to Childhaven’s good work in just those three years totals $96,600
  • WMFHA also partners with Rebuilding Together to allow volunteers and supplier partner members to renovate homes of low income seniors and veterans, improving quality of life for these homeowners.
  • Our other community partners include Northwest Harvest, Move For Hunger, Toys for Tots, Work of Honor, Shelters to Shutters and Mary’s Place.

 To learn more about WMFHA’s commitment to serving our communities, visit our Community Service page on our website!

 A special thank you goes to Tricia Johnson, our Director of Events, for her hard work and dedication in making our events meaningful, productive, and most of all, fun.


Led by our Director of Government Affairs, Brett Waller, our Government Affairs Team worked hard on behalf of the industry in educating policymakers on what makes sense for residents of our communities and our businesses. 

Never before has it been more essential for public officials to get local and state housing policy right, but special interest groups, lobbying from tenant advocacy organizations and campaigning to a voter base have made our role in contributing to sensible legislation impacting rental housing more challenging than in past years. Misconceptions about the housing industry are impediments to equitable planning and policies.  

Our Political Action Committee, or WMFHA PAC, raises money to support political candidates who understand the valuable contributions the rental housing industry provides for cities and communities across our state.  Our members’ small annual contributions to the PAC add up to give us a stronger voice.  We thank all of our members for their contributions to our PAC and for their efforts to help influence sound legislation and prevent poor public policy

More of our resources are being devoted to contributing to housing policy.  In 2017, WMFHA hired a public affairs consultant, Natalie Quick, to guide our planning efforts and open doors so that we can collaborate with the City of Seattle in finding balanced policies that incentivize, not dis-incentivize, housing growth.  The work that we do is immensely important to the communities we serve.   

2017 Capitol Conference - Washington DC



Membership Growth: 

As our association continues to strengthen our role as a leader in housing for the state of Washington. 

  • In 2017, our membership grew by 14%, as we surpassed 1,500 members.
  • The National Apartment Association awarded the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association as one of the top 5 NAA affiliates across the country for membership growth in 2017.
  • Our Members Using Members (MUM) campaign emphasized the importance of members supporting other members in our efforts to grow and prosper.  It is our culture for our property management members to use our supplier members for their products and services.  We are lucky to have the best supplier members in the industry.


Member Services: 

At the end of 2017, WMFHA rolled out a new website and member service software platform.  Integral to that website is the Membership Directory, where members can find each other and connect.  Our website contains news releases, housing resources, best practices and information on pertinent legislation affecting our industry.  Check our calendar periodically so you don’t miss out on any important dates. 

 Follow us on the following social platforms where we post regular updates and photos from association happenings. 



We could not serve our membership without the exceptional leadership of our Board of Directors, and dedicated committees doing outstanding work.  Without all the many volunteers devoting their time to providing valuable service to our industry, WMFHA could not have accomplished all that we did this past year.    

The WMFHA team of Sloane Cerbana, Tricia Johnson, Brett Waller, and our newest staff member, Katrina Bishop, as well as our government affairs consultants Kathryn Hedrick and Joe Puckett, work tirelessly to meet our mission goals, values and strategic objectives.    

I’d like to thank our Eastern Washington Council for allowing us to bring our services to the eastern part of the state.  Our educational classes, meetings and events such as Emerald Awards, Chili Cook-Off and Corks, Forks & Brews offer our members in Eastern Washington the benefit of our partnership across the mountains.  

For more on Eastern Washington happenings, follow their facebook page!

Seeing our collective vision, our passion for the industry, commitment to our residents and each other, and the desire to support and celebrate each other’s successes, is the most rewarding part of my job as Executive Director.  Residential Property Management is a service industry and a people industry, and our people are what make us thrive and grow as an organization.  WMFHA feels more like a family than a non-profit association.  

I thank you all for being part of the immense success of WMFHA, and I look forward to an even better year ahead.


Jim Wiard – Executive Director, WMFHA