Member’s Corner – January 12, 2016

Suzanne De LuciaBy Suzanne De Lucia CBI
Fellow Of The IBBA
CABI Past President

Part 1 . . . . Part 2 . . . . Part 3 . . . . Part 4

CABI – Past Present & Future
Part 2 – The Early Years

Disclaimer: This is the second in a series of short essays intended to educate current CABI members about the association’s history and lay the groundwork for the Annual meeting discussions to take place on January 20, 2016. As technology has changed dramatically and the CABI leadership has changed since the early days, much is being written from memory. Please forgive any slight inaccuracies or omission of names, as it is not intentional.

The first CABI Board’s goal was to create an organization that would work. That meant cheap and no conflicts. Dues were an affordable $50 per year, a philosophy which carries through with CABI to today. I’ve always joked that a CABI member can get back the cost of membership just by showing up at the meetings and eating the food.

No conflicts meant that the requirement to co-broke was off the table. The Board wanted the brokers and affiliates to meet and get to know each other. What happened after that was up to the individuals. This no pressure approach allowed CABI members to get together with no agenda other than getting to know each other and learn from each other.

Keeping the number of meetings per year to only 3 or 4 was decided as the best strategy. This generated high attendance levels at every function and created a pent up demand. Except for one misstep at the Hotel Giorgio, we met at great locations like the Wellshire Inn and the Marriott and enjoyed great food, networking and informational meetings. Our one meeting at the Hotel Giorgio made us appreciate the other venues. There was so little food served there that we ended up eating the decorative kale on the serving platters. We were way ahead of the curve on the kale diet.

Some of our great associate sponsors deserve a round of applause for their early financial contribution to CABI’s success, including (but not limited to) Wells Fargo (Kevin Doyle, John Wahl, Steve Sexton), Key Bank (Horace McCowan, Yolanda Russell), CIT Small Business Lending (Annemarie Murphy) and Compass Bank (Dave Otteson). In the early days, an associate member would sponsor an individual event rather than the sustaining sponsorship model we work under today.

Education was one of the primary drivers in CABI’s mission. It was felt that the greatest benefit to the public was the education of our membership so that CABI became synonymous with competency. CABI aligned with the IBBA and began offering the industry specific courses that the growing national organization was developing.

We were extremely fortunate to have our first course, “Mergers and Acquisitions of Privately Held Companies,” taught by the late, great Darrell Fouts in March, 1999. Darrell, founder of the M&A Source, generously donated his teaching fee to CABI which helped our fledgling organization’s finances tremendously and positioned us for survival and success. The student fee for the two day course was $245, of which $50 went to the IBBA.

Here’s where the memories of your aging CABI ex-leadership start to fail. In the early 2000’s, Shawn Sanborn, Michael Marks, Suzanne De Lucia and an unidentified fourth party whom none of us can remember (sorry), went to the Colorado Real Estate Commission and were able to get all of the IBBA courses approved for real estate renewal credit. What a boon! We were then able to cost-effectively offer IBBA courses for both CBI and real estate credit. Those were the glory days.

CABI put on between 2 and 4 courses a year for the next decade, providing its membership with great and relevant education. With this schedule, members were able to satisfy all of their real estate renewal requirements and didn’t have to take courses on lead-based paint!

Kudos to Michael Marks, who launched the original CABI website and email communication in 2002. Goodbye fax machines. Paul Chambliss soon jumped in and has been handling our communications in the digital age.

One last early CABI highlight was in 2000, when the IBBA held one of their annual conferences in Broomfield. CABI proudly hosted the event and we even had a hospitality suite for members to relax in between classes, workshops and events. This leads into our next article celebrating CABI as the model IBBA Affiliate.

Part 1 . . . . Part 2 . . . . Part 3 . . . . Part 4