Dear VRMA members:
It is my distinct privilege to join your organization as executive director, particularly during this extraordinary time in history that has been so challenging for the professional vacation and holiday rental industry. As I have come to know many of you in my time as interim executive director, I have learned quickly that VRMA’s members are resilient and do not back down from challenges.
I join VRMA with more than 25 years of association management experience, with a focus on public policy and driving strategic growth. Most recently, I had successful tenures leading the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) and the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS). In working alongside their leadership and volunteers, I gained a tremendous amount of experience engaging and retaining members, advocating on the Hill for the industry, generating new revenue channels, navigating complex financial situations, and addressing adverse market conditions with unique, strategic solutions.
In both of those roles, my goal was to collaborate with the volunteer leaders of the associations to forge new initiatives that would advance their missions and maximize the networking, educational, and professional development opportunities available to their members. I make the same commitment to you, and I hope that my passion and dedication for helping professional organizations and their members succeed matches the commitment I have witnessed first-hand throughout the membership ranks of VRMA.
We have a lot of work to do, as you well know. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the professional vacation rental industry. In the most recent issue of Arrival, VRMA President Toby Babich described the pandemic as a situation that required “immediate, powerful, and sustained triage.” But he also said this, which I believe is a rallying cry for all professionals in the industry: “We must continue to dedicate ourselves to several ongoing efforts to see our industry recover—and, more importantly, reset and come out of this catastrophe stronger.”
I stand beside Toby, the rest of VRMA’s capable and committed board of directors and staff, and every one of you in that commitment to recover—to continue bolstering the image of an industry governed by professional standards and accreditation, and to advocate for the advancement of this profession with a unified voice at the local, state, and federal levels.
Personally, I also am excited to work with an industry I care about deeply. I have seen firsthand the value a professional company brings to management of my family’s beach and ski rental homes. I intend to continue raising the bar, protecting the entrepreneurial spirit of VRMA’s members, and growing this organization in size and lobbying strength. I am confident that, together, VRMA will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever. Vacation rentals bring people together, and that will never change. I look forward to working, collaborating, planning, strategizing, evolving, and celebrating with you every step of the way. We are #VRMAStrong!
Megan Cohen, M.P.A, CAE
Vacation Rental Management Association