Industry Speakers, Consultants Form National Alliance

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorGreeley, Colo.—Professional speakers and consultants in the multifamily industry have recently come together to form the National Multifamily Speakers Alliance (NMSA).“It’s a group of people coming together for one cause: maintaining a high standard of performance for professional speakers in multifamily,” says Toni Blake, founder and president of NMSA. “Our real goal is about establishing professionalism and creating a set of criteria that people can work toward to establish themselves at a higher level.” All members must meet a certain set of criteria and sign a code of ethics.Additionally, NMSA creates a forum for speakers and consultants to share their experiences and mentor those new to the industry. Though Blake notes that she has been coaching and mentoring others informally for years, she found there to be a need for “a formal environment to seek out best practices and create uniformity.”NMSA offers memberships for professional speakers, professional consultants and corporate trainers. Additionally, new speakers and consultants have the opportunity to join as apprentices.  “Rather than having to seek out and find new talent, this will create a place for new talent to come,” Blake tells MHN.The Alliance, which has filed for 503(c) not-for-profit status, offers an “emergency speaker exchange,” in which, in the case of an illness or other emergency, one NMSA member may fill in for another, creating an assurance for the client, notes Blake.The first official NMSA meeting was held in August in Charlotte, N.C. In addition to Blake, the 2008 officers, who were installed at this meeting, are Anne Sadovsky, vice president; Doug Chasick, secretary; and Lori Snider, treasurer.