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November 2017
Every November, The Rental Housing Alliance Oregon nominates its new board members. This may seem to be just another administrative chore, but it is the single activity that creates the heart and soul and strength of our organization. I asked one of the new board members, Ken Schriver, a few questions and I think we could all be inspired by his responses.
What is your current landlording status/experience?
I helped defray my living expenses while I was attending Reed College in the early 1980s by working as an on-site manager at a 28 unit apartment complex in Portland. Twenty-five years later, my wife and I became “accidental” landlords in 2005 when we combined our households in Nashville, TN and ended up with an extra house that we rented out to students. Over the next ten years, we expanded our holdings to several single-family homes and a duplex in Nashville. In 2016, we moved to live full-time in Portland, where my wife is a research neuroscientist at OHSU. Our rental properties here in the Portland Metro area are comprised of two houses, a duplex, and a triplex. By managing and maintaining these properties myself, it gives me something to do in my retirement.
How long have you been an RHA member and how did you hear about us and what prompted you to join?
As we shifted our property holdings from Nashville to Portland over the past few years, I learned that the being a landlord in Portland was somewhat more involved than it had been for us in Nashville. I attended the City of Portland’s Landlord Training in May 2016 and learned about the existence of RHA. The first RHA meeting I attended was the Under a Starry Night dinner in
July 2016, where I met John Sage and Liz Carpenter, who encouraged me to get involved. I attended a member-mentor meeting run by Phil Owen a week later, and joined RHA the following week.
How did you come to join the board?
I have served on the boards of both for-profit and non-profit entities in the past. Shortly after joining RHA, I started attended board meetings from time-to-time as a guest. After about a year, I felt that I knew enough about the workings of the organization that I could provide value to RHA as a board member. Coincidentally, a couple of positions came open this summer so the timing of my appointment worked out well.
Have you benefited by your involvement?
Absolutely! Being a member of RHA provides access to “hard assets” like forms and training, as well as “soft assets” such as networking with other landlords, property managers, and service providers. Being a member of the Board amplifies these benefits: I feel more informed about legislative and regulatory trends and am much more confident that I am a responsible housing provider.
Why would you encourage other members to join?
I believe that RHA provides the greatest benefit to our stakeholders when we have input from all of our stakeholders. We have a great team in the front office but they cannot possibly do it alone. Many RHA members have enjoyed attending a Dinner Meeting, our Under a Starry Night fundraiser, or the Annual Picnic. The success of these events depend on volunteers who are able to commit their time and experience. More broadly, the success of RHA in providing effective resources to landlords large and small also depends on volunteers who are able to commit their time and experience. Since we have a relatively large board, the time commitment of just a few hours a month is not a burden.
Thank you Ken. I am honored to serve along with you and all of the other Board of Directors.
Ron Garcia
RHA Oregon President