In an announcement to the VRMA’s membership, VRMA President Ben Edwards said, “We are excited about this opportunity to partner with SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. SmithBucklin has extensive experience in managing and growing professional trade associations such as VRMA. In particular, its experience in government affairs and advocacy efforts will assuredly help us navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape and help fight anti-vacation rental legislation.”
As the association moves under new management, several VRMA members expressed their appreciation for RGI’s performance over the last six years.
“RGI is a class act, with great people who I will personally miss,” said Kyle Buehner, CEO at NAVIS. “They did a tremendous job helping our organization (VRMA) transition during a very difficult period. Further, during my five years on the board, I found them to be an exceptional management organization.”
Alex Risser, President at Outer Beaches Realty agreed. “RGI was a main reason for the success of VRMA over the past number of years,” said Risser. “Our Association has increased revenues, exceeded our goal of over 1,000 attendees at annual conferences, taken corporate sponsorships to levels exceeding initial expectations, and provided extremely competent and efficient staff to undertake the routine and many projects assigned by the Boards.”
The following tweet from outgoing Executive Director Mark McSweeney demonstrates the growth in key performance metrics during RGI’s leadership.
— Mark McSweeney, CAE (@mcsweeneyCAE) December 2, 2015
Risser added, “They were extremely professional, provided extensive in-house education for their own staff, and were very active in their own professional association. Several years ago, a consultant was hired to assess the performance of RGI for VRMA. Their report was very favorable that RGI was serving the VRMA well. What’s happened since to have made this decision is beyond me, but we have to trust that the current Board has sound reasons for having done so.”
Alan Hammond, Managing Director at Holiday Vacation Rentals, also conveyed appreciation for RGI”s performance saying, “During my time as a board member I felt that RGI served the Association well, particularly in planning VRMA conferences which are extremely important to membership growth, education and professionalism. RGI not only guided the VRMA through tumultuous times, but was instrumental in helping the Association in reaching sound financial health. I trust the new board made its decision wisely and in the best interest of professional managers and the Association.”
“Having served on several committees and as a Director for VRMA, I had the opportunity to work closely with each team member at RGI,” said Betsy LaBarge. President and CEO at Mt Hood Vacation Rentals. “To a person, everyone was always very professional and very friendly. The RGI team cared about the vacation rental industry and it showed in their work; they represented the best interests of the vacation rental industry and the association in everything they did. It will be a tough act to follow and I hope the new management team will be able to ramp up quickly to meet and exceed RGI’s accomplishments.”
“The VRMA is not your typical association,” said Heather Weiermann, Systems Consultant at NAVIS. “Therefore the individuals RGI assembled to work for VRMA could not be typical either. They were hand selected for our organization. As a result, they lived and breathed VRMA. Their collective knowledge, passion and dedication made them a very effective team that will be hard to replace.”
“I wish the staff at RGI the best, they will be missed,” said Hammond.