President's Desk

Relief Efforts Continue

Months have passed since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. While the damage occurred overnight, the recovery will require years of planning, support, and hard work. I commend the CCIM Institute and its members for the unyielding support we as a group have contributed to this massive relief effort. I'd like to take this opportunity to recognize some of the important contributions we've made.

Within days of the hurricane the National Association of Realtors' Realtors Relief Foundation donated $50,000 each to the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Realtor associations and called on all members to reach out. The institute donated $15,000, and countless CCIM members made individual donations. The institute also quickly created an online forum that allows real estate professionals to communicate, offer assistance, and provide status updates on their progress. In the immediate aftermath, the forum was a critical tool for those affected by the hurricane. Several CCIMs used the site to offer temporary living and office space.

Within weeks of Katrina institute leaders banded together to brainstorm ways to help the area's displaced real estate professionals get back on their feet. As a result, several CCIMs, including Richard E. Juge, CCIM, president of Re/Max Commercial Brokers in Metairie, La., and Tim Hatlestad, CCIM, president of Re/Max Commercial Investment in Scottsdale, Ariz., mobilized real estate experts from around the country to participate in the Gulf Coast Relief Tour, three free one-day seminars for regional commercial real estate professionals funded largely by the Education Foundation of the CCIM Institute. At the sessions, which were held in New Orleans, Gulfport, Miss., and Beaumont, Texas, experts provided insight on issues such as filing insurance claims, insurance litigation and dispute resolution, real estate law, and many other topics.

Today the institute continues its mission to assist the entire Gulf Coast region. The Education Foundation has raised more than $30,000 for relief efforts and provided CCIM course scholarships for many affected students. In addition, the institute and the CCIM Louisiana chapter have created a unique educational lineup for real estate professionals in the area. The institute is offering the four core CCIM courses in New Orleans at a discounted rate for students in affected ZIP codes, which will allow many candidates to complete the program and take the comprehensive exam this fall. We expect 163 students to take at least one course and nearly 100 students to complete four CCIM courses this year.

While the efforts to date deserve recognition, this is just the beginning of the financial and business support needed to help the Gulf Coast recover. I encourage you to continue your contributions to the hurricane relief efforts. One opportunity is just around the corner: Mark your calendar now for the June 8-9, 2006, CCIM Partners networking event in New Orleans and visit www.ccimpartners.com for details. Together we can help our affected colleagues regain their livelihoods and move forward with their careers.

Steven R. Price, CCIM

Steven R. Price, CCIMPresidentsprice@ccim.net

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