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