BRI News

Summers at the Building and Realty Institute (BRI) – Our Staff Is Always Available, and Never on Hiatus!

By Maggie Collins

Director of Membership, Builders Institute (BI)/Building and Realty Institute (BRI)

ARMONK – Improbably, the 4th of July is actually behind us. As so many of you have said to me: “Wasn’t it just January?”

Yes, it does seem so – 2017 is flying by at warp speed. Vacations will occur, but the BRI’s office staff is never, ever, really on hiatus!

It’s worth gaining some insight through the prism of summer. It feels quieter, as I recall, from last year, and yes, momentum slows slightly, but the phone inquiries are still coming. And so are questions through e-mails, and even texts!

Planning for the many events of the BRI – our very successful Summer Networking Reception that took place on Jul. 17 at the Ocean Grille at Rye Beach; our Sep. 12 Golf Outing at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills; our Annual Baseball Outing, this year at the Aug. 14 Subway Series Game between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx; and our Second Vendor Showcase on Oct. 5 at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains – was, and is, a constant process! So, as you can see, the planning of many of our events does take place during the summer months.


And there is more. Much more! Many, many strategic efforts on advocacy fronts are discussed and planned for. Those efforts are definitely some of the BRI’s most fundamental mandates.

Phone inquiries are another common occurrence. Each and every day calls come in with any number of “need to know” answers. The calls often deal with:

*Questions from Owner/Manager Members of our Apartment Owners Advisory Council (AOAC). The calls are related to properties that are affected by The Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) and its complex procedures. Questions regarding ETPA and its relevance to the Buildings and Complexes of our AOAC members are many – and frequent! They include calls related to Vacancy Leases, Lease Renewal Processes, applications to the New York Homes and Community Renewal Agency (HCR) regarding Major Capital Improvements (MCI’s) and routines related to Non-Paying Tenants.  Those are just a few of the calls we receive from that sector of our membership!

*Inquiries from members of our Cooperative and Condominium Advisory Council (CCAC). Board members of Co-ops and Condos often call the CCAC/BRI offices and ask the staff of the BRI for referrals regarding experts that they can consult with on many of the issues associated with the daily operations of their respective facilities. The calls include requests for Accountants, Tax Specialists, Attorneys, Landscapers, and Property Managers, to name just a few. Questions to our staff regarding Contractors and Sub-Contractors are also received on a routine basis.


*Questions from members of The Collective Bargaining Group (CBG) of the BRI related to labor issues. The BRI has a Labor Contract with Local 32-BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that governs the responsibilities of Supers, Porters and Handymen in Co-ops, Condos and Rental Apartment Buildings and Complexes. More than 450 buildings and complexes are part of the CBG. Complex questions related to lengthy scenarios are received by our staff on a regular basis. They often focus on the Labor Contract and its governance of our member CCAC/AOAC/CBG buildings.


*Queries from members of the general public. The calls ask for referrals from our association on matters related to just about every sector of the local building, realty and construction industry. Callers ask for referrals on Builders, Remodelers, and Contractors, as well as from many of the sectors of our Suppliers/Professional Services membership bases.

*Inquiries to Albert Annunziata (our Executive Director) and Jeff Hanley (our Associate Executive Director) from members of the media on a range of issues affecting our area’s building, realty and construction industry.

*Questions related to submitting articles and ads for IMPACT newspaper. And, questions related to the many informative and convenient features of our Web Site –

Please keep in mind that the planning processes are in full swing for our Sep. 12 Golf Outing at Glen Arbor in Bedford Hills, as well as for our Oct. 5 Vendor Showcase at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains.

When, you ask, is the next General Membership Meeting of the BRI? Our regular schedule of Membership Meetings resumes in September. So, our next General Membership Meeting is set for Thursday, Sep. 14, 6 p.m., at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains. A full article on that event – written by Jeff Hanley, our Editor – is in this newsletter. The planning processes for that meeting are now underway.

No hiatus, indeed!

The Winner (Subhead)

The winner of our Monthly Membership Drawing at the Jun. 8 General Membership Meeting of the BRI was Michele Lavarde. Ms. Lavarde is a member of the Board of Directors of the CCAC. Amazingly, Ms. Lavarde was sitting at the very table where we picked out her name tag. Surprise, indeed!     (-30-)




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