News from the Chicago Chapter

IREM Chicago - 2020 Year in Review

Posted by [email protected] on 12/30/2020 2:52 pm  

The year 2020 started out like most others; but by the end of the first quarter, the world as we knew it began to change dramatically. IREM Chicago responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, financial downturn, and civil unrest by staying focused on providing members and Industry Partners with support, education, and advocacy on behalf of the commercial property management industry. Here is a month-by-month recap on noteworthy events and activities from the past year.

JanuaryIREM Chicago leadership and staff made its presence known while exhibiting at the 18th annual Commercial Real Estate Forecast Conference hosted by RE Journals on January 9.

At the Job Analysis meeting held at IREM headquarters, Chapter leaders joined with colleagues from across the nation in meetings to help provide a framework for course content and certification exams.

February – IREM Chicago 2020 President Angela Aeschliman, CPM®, of The Missner Group, LLC Joined more than a dozen other outstanding women commercial real estate professionals February 20 at the 1st Annual Women in Real Estate Summit hosted by RE Journals.

March – Two companies and four individuals were recognized for excellence and outstanding contributions to the property management industry at the 16th Annual Premier Awards held March 6 at the Drake Hotel. Hundreds attended the gala, which featured a Roaring ‘20s theme.

Chapter Treasurer Colleen Needham, CPM®, ARM® participated in the Capitol Hill FlyIn March 10 and 11, where she met leading members of Congress from Illinois as part of the delegation of commercial real estate professionals.

April – As the pandemic led to shutdowns and restrictions, IREM Chicago posted U.S. Small Business Administration and IRS documents to guide applications for government assistance.

Six members of IREM Chicago were recognized for earning the Certified Property Manager credential: David Feller, CPM®, Globetrotters International; Gina Fortune-Harmon, CPM®, The Habitat Company; Louis Gouletas, CPM®, NRS Rental Property & Management; Jeremy Lyons, Colliers International; Keith Retterer, CPM®, Colliers International; and, Allyson Smith, CPM®, Evergreen Real Estate Group

May -- Straight talk on ways managers can lead during the COVID-19 pandemic was the subject of “Managing a Way Forward,” a webinar hosted May 8 by IREM Chicago and colleagues from the IREM Greater Phoenix and IREM Tucson chapters. Featured speaker was Dr. Debbie Phillips, CPM®.

Six strategies on how property managers can work with tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic were presented May 11 by IREM Chicago 2020 President Angela Aeschliman, CPM® during the Property Management Forum webinar presented as part of the 2020 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings.

June IREM Chicago 2020 President-Elect Steve Schimmel, CPM®, was among four panelists who participated in “Re-Opening Your Office Safely and Successfully,” an hour-long webinar June 4 hosted by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®

On June 18 IREM Chicago and other IREM Chapters hosted “The Fearless Mind,” a Zoom presentation led by Dr. Craig Manning, a human performance scientist.

July – The Chapter website – – was relaunched, offering visitors a cleaner and more contemporary look, with continued access to information on events, education, advocacy and more.

Thoughts and statistics on the state of the Chicago commercial real estate market were shared during the IREM Chicago Mid-Year Market Review Webinar held July 23. Danny Nikitas, Principal of Avison Young, moderated the panel consisting of: Gail Lissner, CRE, SRA, Managing Director, Integra Realty Resources; Susan Bergdoll, Vice President at Duke Realty; Deena Zimmerman, Vice President at Sperry Van Ness; and, Brandon Svec, Director of Market Analytics, Co-Star Group.

August -- On August 3, IREM Chicago hosted its biggest summer bash – the popular Golf Outing and Silent Auction. This 34th annual event attracted more than 100 golfers to test their skills on the beautiful course at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club.

IREM Chicago leadership gathered – socially distanced, of course – to participate in the 2020 IREM Virtual Chapter Leadership Retreat, an event designed to elevate skill levels, collaborate with other leaders, and learn ways to implement strategic initiatives in the year ahead.

September -- During the first IREM Chicago Power Up –Virtual Boost webinar September 9, featured presenter Stephen Todd shared strategies property managers could pursue to help mitigate potential liability in the months ahead.

Starting in September, the Chapter featured short perspectives from members of the 2021 Executive Council. In “The Year Ahead” essays, leaders shared thoughts on challenges faced by property managers seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, what they’ve learned, and a little bit about themselves and their lives away from the workday.

October – At the start of the fourth quarter, the Chapter shared an infographic to highlight the wide range of activities, events and resources undertaken to help members maintain business operations and advance during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as highlight member communications, scholarships, IREM certifications, and money raised for the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

On October 22, IREM national and Chicago Chapter leaders gathered virtually to conduct the formal installation of members who earned IREM credentials. President-Elect Steve Schimmel, CPM® welcomed the more than 20 participants and introduced national leaders Barry Blanton, CPM®, the 2020 IREM President-Elect and 2021 Secretary-Treasurer Renee Savage, CPM®.

A mask wearing pumpkin captured the most votes in the first-ever IREM Chicago Pumpkin Decorating Contest. The top prize was awarded to the team at Industry Partner Kimley-Horn.

November -- Industry Partners and members supported the IREM Virtual Fun Run & Walk by raising more than $1,000.  Teams from USA Fire Protection/Smart Elevators, J.C. Restoration (which fielded two teams with a total of 21 participants!), Landscape Concepts Management and Harvard Maintenance participated, along with individual members and a team from Draper and Kramer, Incorporated.

The Chapter has formed a new committee – the Industry Partners Action Committee (IPAC) – to expand and strengthen the current member network into 2021 and beyond. Kristen Alessi, ARM® of Draper and Kramer, Incorporated and Tim Farmer of USA Fire Protection, will serve as co-chairs.

December – The Chapter partnered with IREM December 10 to host the CPM Open House, a webinar for property management professionals interested in the Certified Property Manager credential. Steve Schimmel, CPM®, 2021 Chapter President, was among the leaders participating.