Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 24, 2014

Apartment People Rebrand, Add Veeps | Downtown Moves

The apartment industry’s trade group is making a slight change to its name and brand, while adding three new vice presidents.

First, the name change: The National Multi Housing Council will henceforth be known as the National Multifamily Housing Council. After all, as a council statement said, explaining the move, “Our research told us that many in the industry know us as the acronym NMHC, but the name National Multi Housing Council caused some confusion.  What after all is multi housing?” Multifamily housing — on the other hand — apparently nothing says apartment living like that. “This new brand is designed to bridge the gap between who we were 36 years ago and who we are today, and it is designed to better reflect the sophistication of the $1.1 trillion apartment industry,” NMHC President Doug Bibby said in a statement about the rebrand.

Of note in the NMHC’s release is its mention of one of its founders: “In 1978, a small group of industry legends, including Sam Zell, Preston Butcher, Trammell Crow and others, got together to form an organization to fight rent control.  Since then, the apartment industry has evolved dramatically from its mom-and-pop roots,” the organization said on its rebranding release.

Zell might mean a lot to the industry, but he’s also known as a billionaire who cratered the Tribune Co. and its proud newspapers and sold the Chicago Cubs in a byzantine transaction that left a bad impression with many Cubs fans in the Windy City and beyond. Interesting branding.

Now for the new peeps. Lisa Costello, most recently at the American Hotel & Lodging Association as its vice president of government affairs, will be the NMHC’s new vice president of political affairs. Her duties will include managing the council’s political action committee. She had been with the hotel people since 2001. She’s a former congressional staffer who started her Washington career with then-Rep. Bob Smith, R-N.H. She left the Hill to work for the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and the U.S. Telecom Association.

The NMHC also promoted a couple of its own to vice president slots: Jim Lapides and Sarah Yaussi. Lapides will be VP of strategic communications and Yaussi VP of industry communications.

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