On Wednesday, March 16th, The Cooperator hosted its 18th Annual Co-op & Condo Expo at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. The event featured more than 200 exhibitor booths and drew over 4,000 registrants from all corners of the co-op and condo community.
Each year, The Cooperator and its parent company, Yale Robbins, Inc. host the Expo as a way to bring together a vast array of professionals, service providers, vendors, board members, and shareholder/owners for a day of information sharing, business, and socializing. In between all of that, there are educational seminars, door prizes, givaways, and lots of valuable (free!) advice.
This year, nearly 3,000 guests attended the Expo, representing not just vendors and companies, but individual buildings and their communities. Aside from the booths, the highlight of the Expo for many was the educational seminars organized and presented by The Cooperator. These panels each featured four expert speakers and covered a range of subjects of interest to both co-op/condo administrators and residents.
The first seminar of the day kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with "On the Hiring Line: Finding Qualified Personnel." This seminar touched on a subject faced every day in buildings all across the city: who do we hire, how do we hire them, and how can we be sure they're the best possible person for our building?
Panelists for the first seminar included Joseph F. Bulfamante, director of management for Lawrence Properties; Margie Russell, executive director of the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM); James Berg of the Realty Advisory Board (RAB), and Gregory Carlson, executive director of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums (FNYHC). The main thrust of the seminar dealt in large part with the sometimes delicate relationship between hiring administrators, job applicants, and union personnel, with Russell and Berg speaking at length on what makes someone a good staff manager and how boards, management, and building staff can work together to solve employee/employer issues before they become full-blown problems. The last third of the seminar was spent fielding questions from the audience regarding situations in specific buildings.