The Fort Wayne Emergency Rental Assistance Program is Open

15 Minutes with 2021 AAFW-NEI President, Michele West

I recently sat down with Michele West and we were discussing 2021 and the plan of action for the AAFW-NEI. Here’s more about Michele and where she would like to lead the Association in the next two years. - Peggy Meyer

What Experience Do You Bring to the Office of AAFW-NEI President?
I have over 20 years of experience from the accounting department to Executive Director and all positions in between in housing. I have worked with affordable, senior & conventional housing. I have also managed from as small as 78 units to 551 unit communities and staffing up to 13 persons. I have been on the Board of Directors since 2016.

What Do You See as the Biggest Obstacle That the AAFW-NEI Faces in 2021?
We are going to need to focus on continuing to build our membership and offering value to both Regular Members and Associate Members. Offering educational resources to all our members that is utilized by the membership as well as advertising opportunities that are beneficial to our members.

What is Your Primary Focus as the New President?
The main focus needs to be one of financial responsibility to ensure that financially the organization will be here long after I am gone. We need to grow the organization to bring back the income that has been lost from the loss of the printed Apartment Guide. New ideas and out of the box thinking to bring new opportunities to replace the loss of income.

What is the Best Advice You Would Give Someone That is Interested in Being on the AAFW-NEI Board of Directors?
The direction of the Association is a fluid opportunity for all of our members. We can make it great and take it to new heights with new ideas and out of the box thinking in these times. Where else would you get a chance to really make a difference over a short time period? Working alongside some of your peers can be a learning experience that you can take with you long after the term of your service on the Board of Directors.

What is One Thing That You Have Learned About Yourself From Being on the Board of Directors?
I learned that I have a lot of passion for this Association and I will do what needs to be done to make sure the Association continues to succeed.

What Do You Want People Outside of the AAFW-NEI to Know About Our Organization?
AAFW-NEI is here to help not only our members but the general public in need of assistance with finding housing. We are a great resource for those consumers that are looking for subsizided, section 42 or senior housing. Our redesigned website is also valuable to those looking for
their next apartment home. I would also like for any potential Associate Members to know that the loyalty of our membership is great. The Association is great for those that are seeking a wider base of clients.

Where Do You See The AAFW-NEI in Two Years?

I want to see our membership continue to grow and to be able to continue offering valuable resources for our Regular and Associate Members in education as well as National Apartment Association certifications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Michele. Montrose Square - (260) 485-3475; email - montrosesquare@gmail.com

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