Session Descriptions & Speaker Bios

SAHMA Leadership Conference Session Descriptions:

Active Shooter
ProActive Response Group will lead the discussion that educates participants in current trends of active shooter incidents, recognizing early warning signs of violence, appropriate actions to increase chances of survival in an active shooter event, and introduction to basic medical equipment to save the lives of victims. 
 
Disaster Preparedness Panel
Session description coming soon!
 
Fair Housing Hot Topics Panel
Session description coming soon!

Framing Lasting Change: Where do We GROW from Here? (Overview)
The last two years have been beyond anything most of us ever imagined. As we move back into what many are referring to as “a new normal”, it is a good time to take a breath and have a new look at ourselves and our organizations.
 
We know that throughout life we are continuing to learn and grow – and likewise, our organizations are doing the same. The pandemic has caused us to make and adjust to many changes. For example, we have especially noticed the ways the use of technology has advanced. Many of us have been stretched in ways we never anticipated, expanding our roles and the ways we accomplish tasks.
 
This opening session is designed to help us reevaluate ourselves and our organizations, with a focus on how growth can create the structure for lasting change. We need to be reminded of the passion we have for our field and the strengths we bring for personal and organizational growth. 
 
 
Framing Lasting Change: Where do We GROW from Here? A Deeper Dive
In the session, we will take a deeper dive by exploring some aspects of the GROWTH model developed by Denise Hyde. It will help us identify and recognize opportunities for both personal and organizational growth. We will explore why growth and change should feel normal and be expected as well as support us in framing lasting change. We will use interactive experiences to discover why we put on the brakes when we have the opportunity to grow and find new ways to develop and use our strengths to support and strengthen wellbeing.
 
We will take a deeper look at ourselves and our organizations as we work through the GROWTH model. We will determine where we are now and create some innovative ideas around moving forward while at the same time creating meaning in our work and how we support our teams and residents. To add to this model, we will talk about ways to create and enhance well-being both individually and for the residents we serve. 
 
We will leave the session with a sense of renewal and ideas on how to focus on what’s next.  We’ll be ready to GROW.
 
How to be a Grassroots Advocate
Effective grassroots advocacy is a critical part of the policy-making process at all levels of government. Now more than ever, affordable housing advocates require knowledge and skills to create and sustain effective advocacy efforts. The NAHMA Grassroots Advocacy session will provide a bottom-up approach for advocacy that grows the understanding and skills among participants and increases the effectiveness of your advocacy to reach out and influence the public officials, legislators, and agency leaders that can best get your affordable housing issues resolved. Participants need not have experience working on advocacy campaigns prior to participating in this workshop.
 
Insider Perspective to Navigating a Tough Insurance Market
This session will provide an insider perspective to navigating a tough insurance market including Deductibles, Flood zones, ACV/replacement cost, Determining replacement costs, Mortgage company requirements, and Assault & battery coverage challenges.
 
NAHMA National Update
The world of affordable multifamily housing is not only highly regulated by three federal agencies but also highly dependent on the ability of Congress to pass timely and sufficient annual funding bills. This session will focus on key current federal legislative and regulatory issues facing providers of multifamily affordable housing participating in HUD, rural housing, and Housing Credit programs.
 
New Civil Rights Guidance on Marketing and Application Requirements
HUD disseminated new guidance in April 2022 for subsidized properties on Title VI compliance in marketing and application processing. This session will cover the basics of this guidance, which will include a discussion of what new standards are being implemented by FHEO, the impact this may have on enforcement efforts, and what changes may be necessary for housing providers related to marketing efforts, screening practices, and waitlist procedures.
 
PBCA Roundtable
Join the SAHMA region PBCAs to discuss hot topics and the latest updates and changes to regulations.
 
Pre/Post RAD Roundtable Panel
The panelists will discuss the experience with the conversion from HUD’s PIH division to the Multifamily division under the RAD conversion. The panelists plan to discuss some of the challenges in conversion, Pro’s and Con’s of operating in each as well as, discuss why they made the
the decision to convert under RAD.
 
Strategies on Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent Panel
From all accounts, recruiting and retaining top talent has become more difficult than any other time in our history. Now is the time for all of us to develop new strategies to recruit and retain the best talent on the market. What recruiting tools are working best? What can you do to draw new and great talent, from leasing assistants to high-level executives, into your organization? Once we hire top talent, what performance management tools should we be using to retain and develop the best teams. Do tools like career pathing and mentoring really work to retain the best teams? Please join our panel of top property management professionals as we tackle these complex issues and help you figure out how to recruit and retain top talent.
 
Risk Management and Mitigation
Risk Management and Mitigation is a very important parts of a property professional’s day-to-day responsibilities. They have both legal as well as financial implications. Do you know what to look for? In this session, you will learn:

  • Risk Identification and Their Impacts
  • Risk Assessment Techniques
  • How to Prioritize Your Assessment Results
  • Developing Site-Specific Mitigation Plan
  • Risk Tracking and Ongoing Monitoring
 
Tax Credit: Forms, Policies, Procedures
Session description coming soon!
 
Teamwork and Team Building
Session description coming soon!
 
Top 10 Post COVID Employee Handbook Policies Every Employer Needs
This interactive session will address the rapidly changing workplace environment post-COVID to assist you in understanding the newest policy changes after the pandemic. Legal compliance continues to evolve at the federal, state, and local levels. Employers should address these issues head-on through their handbook policies on leaves of absence, workplace respect and bullying, remote work, privacy, time and attendance, and wage and hour requirements.  Handbooks are the best way to communicate with employees about these changes.  Out-of-date, incomplete, and vague handbook policies create employer risk and employee morale issues. Dena Calo, HR strategist, and employment lawyer, will lead this session to assist you in understanding best policy practices that minimize risk and lead to a more cohesive workplace. 
 
Train the Trainer
Think you have what it takes to stand up and be the trainer? Want to be able to train, but not sure how to start? Join this session and we will talk about important parts of the training that you may never have thought about, ways to engage your audience, and some helpful tips on actually doing the training!
 

Speaker Bios:

Andy Sexton
Co-Founder, ProActive Response Group
Andy Sexton spent 12 years with the Greenville County Sheriff’s office in South Carolina, where he held the rank of Uniform Patrol Sergeant. During his time with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Andy gained vast experience in criminal investigation, including armed robbery and homicide. He was a member of the SWAT team for six years and served as an assistant SWAT team leader. He was involved in numerous high-risk incidents, including hostage rescues as well as the protection of high-level dignitaries. Andy served on the training committee for Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. This committee develops and implements training for Greenville County Deputies. Andy was also chosen to assist in the creation and implementation of the Greenville County Sheriff’s active shooter response curriculum. In 2012, Andy was awarded the Medal of Valor. The Medal of Valor award recognizes a deputy who willingly risks his or her life in the furtherance of a law enforcement mission or to save the life of another. Andy is a 2006 Honor Graduate of the Citadel where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a 2006 graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy where he was an Honor Graduate and received an award for outstanding physical fitness.

David Sprowl
Founder/Managing Partner, WD International Consulting & Co-Director for The Eden Alternative SPAIN
Before forming WD International, David was the Executive Director of Lutheran Towers, located in midtown Atlanta, Georgia. He led a transformative journey in developing a person-centered approach in affordable housing. His prior experience included 16 years in the corporate arena.  As a certified Leadership Coach credentialed through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), David is committed to the mentoring and coaching of individuals with a focus on their professional and personal growth. As a seasoned educator, he has a demonstrated ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. He Master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management, from Georgia State University and is a Certified Eden Educator via The Eden Alternative.  

Dena B. Calo, Esq.
Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Ms. Dena Calo, a Partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP and Vice-Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group, counsels companies through complex labor and employment risks that pose a threat to their reputation in the marketplace. As a seasoned HR strategist and employment lawyer, she understands employers are facing increasing scrutiny of their labor and employment policies and procedures from government regulators and employees. She advises management clients, particularly in the hospitality, construction, and multifamily real estate industries throughout the country on the application of employment laws to their particular business needs, and the implementation of legal HR policies. Ms. Calo is a frequent speaker and writer for our industry, both regionally and nationally.

Eddie Garrett

Vice President, National Real Estate and Hospitality Practice / Risk and Insurance Advisor, McGriff Insurance Services

Eddie Garrett joined BB&T (Commercial Bank Group) in 2001 and McGriff Insurance Services f/k/a BB&T Insurance Services in 2004 in Atlanta, GA. In 2017, he relocated his family back to East Tennessee to initiate a middle-market growth strategy in the region as well as support a growing affordable housing and multi-family risk practice. He is responsible for offering innovative and creative solutions to controlling risk and mitigating losses. He has expert knowledge and specialized experience working in the construction and real estate sectors; strong proficiency in working with senior and executive management to identify and analyze enterprise-related risk; implementing a strategy to accommodate risk tolerance, and market conditions, and developing an organizational risk culture. As a commercial insurance agent with McGriff, Eddie has consistently been a top 10% property and casualty producer in his region and nationally achieving McGriff’s Presidents Club 9 times. He also spent 10 years as a Middle Market and Corporate Banker arranging debt, treasury, capital market, and other financial solutions for publicly traded and privately held corporations in the Southeastern Region of the United States with Regions Bank f/k/a AmSouth Bank and Wells Fargo f/k/a First Union National Bank. Eddie is an active member of several industry associations including the National Affordable Housing Management Association (serving on a panel for industry experts as it relates to affordable housing), the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association, and the Association of General Contractors. He serves the community in various capacities such as a volunteer at Boy Scouts of America, a board member of Young Life of Upper East Tennessee, and YMCA Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton, GA.


Kris Cook
Executive Director, NAHMA
Kris joined NAHMA as its Executive Director in November 2002. NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing. NAHMA's mission is to support legislative and regulatory policy that promotes the development and preservation of decent and safe affordable housing. NAHMA serves as a vital resource for technical education and information, fosters strategic relations between government and industry, and recognizes those who exemplify the best in affordable housing. NAHMA is the voice in Washington for some 20 regional, state and local affordable housing management associations (AHMAs) nationwide. NAHMA's membership represents 75 percent of the affordable housing management industry and includes its most distinguished multifamily management companies and owners.

Leslie Tucker
Owner, Law Firm of Williams Edelstein Tucker, P.C.
Leslie Tucker is the owner of the Law Firm of Williams Edelstein Tucker, P.C., defending and providing consultation for housing providers nationwide in fair housing matters. She also provides clients with live training on fair housing, federal programs, and landlord-tenant issues. Leslie also specializes in physical accessibility in multifamily housing, including local building codes as well as ADA and FHA requirements, and travels around the country performing inspections on new and existing properties.


Michael Simmons

Senior Advisor, Business Development Officer & Broker of Record, Community Realty Management
Michael Simmons is Senior Advisor, Business Development Officer, and Broker of Record, Community Realty Management, headquartered in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Mr. Simmons is responsible for new business development as well as maintaining client and agency relations. Michael has more than 40 years of experience in the property management industry, is currently serving as NAHMA’s Board President, and is also a proud member of SAHMA.


Scott F. Ployer
Founder and President, National Property Management Strategies Group, LLC
Scott Ployer is an established, well-respected 33+ year real estate, property management, facilities, construction, and safety management executive. His unique blend of capabilities and proven track record for affecting positive changes have saved owners many millions of dollars over three decades. During his career, Mr. Ployer has managed all types of properties including; residential, commercial, industrial, office, and government buildings. He also served as a receiver’s administrator by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the RTC and for Ocwen Federal Bank to manage and reposition REO/MIP properties. Mr. Ployer’s specialties include, but are not limited to all facets of property operations and asset management, development and oversight of environmental health & safety, risk management and mitigation programs, financial analysis and due diligence, capital planning, and asset preservation, as well as implementing energy and sustainability initiatives. Mr. Ployer is also a national trainer, speaker, subject matter expert, and curriculum advisor. Mr. Ployer also provides owner’s project management (OPM) oversight for a variety of construction, renovation, rehabilitation, and insurance restoration projects. As a licensed construction supervisor and former general contractor himself, he understands an owner’s needs and objectives and knows how to achieve them, in accordance with prescribed Codes and standards and within budget. Mr. Ployer holds many industry-specific certifications, designations, and licenses including Certified Property Manager (CPM®), Certified Safety Manager (CSM), Master Facility Executive (MFE), National Affordable Housing Professional – Executive (NAHP-e), The Credential for Green Property Management (CGPM), Certified Financial Manager (CFM), Tax Credit Specialist (TCS), Site-Based Budget Specialist (SBBS) and Senior Housing Specialist (SHS), Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License, OSHA 10 / OSHA 30, and Lead Paint Safety Practices – RRP & LSR Certificate. 
 

Stacy Day
Vice President Operations, Innovation, Karen A. Graham Consulting, LLC
A highly experienced professional in the multi-family property management industry, Stacy Day has over 25 years of experience in the affordable housing industry. Ms. Day has held Vice President roles in both Compliance and On-Site Operations, so she understands the challenges to keep the bottom line in check while staying in compliance! She focuses on training tips for lease-ups and resyndications by blending management and compliance operations for optimal results. She has always been hands-on and works closely with the on-site property staff to ensure a true understanding of what is happening in “the real world”. Her years of experience allow her to provide next-level support regardless of the circumstances.

  
Steve Harville
Senior Vice President / Agency Manager, McGriff Insurance Services

Stephen Harville currently serves as Senior Vice President and Agency Manager of McGriff Insurance Services. His responsibilities include managing the agency as well as being the account manager for his commercial insurance clients. He has over forty years of experience in this field. Mr. Harville has a B.S. degree in Insurance and Finance from the University of Tennessee. He also has held the CPCU designation since 1978. At that time, he was the youngest person to receive that honor. Mr. Harville joined the agency in 1977 as a salesperson. He became the sole owner of the agency in 1987 and guided the agency to become one of the largest independent insurance agencies in the Southeast. Since merging with McGriff in

2003, Mr. Harville has been one of the top producers in the McGriff organization each year.



Walter Coffey  
Founder/Managing Partner, WD International Consulting & Co-Director for The Eden Alternative SPAIN
Before forming WD International, Walter was the CEO of Leading Age Georgia and the Georgia Institute on Aging for 18 years. His career spans from Georgia Council on Aging to the Alzheimer’s Association to various senior housing settings. He is committed to the education and development of individuals with an emphasis on supporting organizations to empower and retain their staff. Walter is an international leader in the culture change movement and has the demonstrated ability to transform organizations to become person-centered. Walter is a national leader in focusing on care for people living with dementia. He has a Masters degree in public administration with a concentration in Gerontology, from Georgia State University and is a Certified Eden Educator via The Eden Alternative. 


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