Spotlight : Industry Associations

  • Various
  • Rafn Company

At Rafn we love being involved in our industry associations as it keeps us up to speed with what's going on in our industry and affords us the opportunity to influence the market conditions we work in. We also benefit from participating in the industry associations of our clients so we can serve them better by being attuned to their industry. Highlighted below are just a few of the associations that Rafn Company staff participate in. Maybe one is right for you to join? We'll see you there.

Urban Land Institute (ULI)

By Heather Bunn, Rafn Vice President

Established in 1936, the Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute with over 30,000 members across the globe - more than 800 here in the Pacific Northwest. Their mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI Northwest carries forth that mission by serving the Northwest's public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education.

As a nonpartisan organization, ULI has long been recognized as one of America's most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth and development. ULI hosts the annual Emerging Trends Forum that is one of our most trusted sources of future economic and development trends. ULI puts on a Young Leaders Regional Cascadia Conference as well as host 14 different boards and committees.

Rafn is an active participant in the Housing Task Force and has assisted in the creation of educational events for national events held here at home. Members represent a spectrum of land use and development disciplines, including developers, builders, investors, designers, public officials, planners, real estate brokers, attorneys, engineers, lenders, academics, and students.

For much more information on how you can become involved with the Urban Land Institute go to

Housing Development Consortium (HDC)

By Erin Murphy, HDC Communications Manager

The Housing Development Consortium Seattle-King County is a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 100 non-profits, public partners, and businesses working to develop affordable housing and provide housing-related services in King County. HDC and its members are dedicated to the vision that all people live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes within communities of opportunity.

Through policy advocacy, civic education, and capacity building, HDC supports the creation, preservation, and operation of nonprofit and public housing for low-income individuals. HDC and its members work across the continuum of need, including homelessness housing and services, income-restricted rental homes, and affordable homeownership.

For more information on how you can become involved with the Housing Development Consortium go to

NAIOP Washington

By Chip Gregory, Rafn SPG Operations Manager

NAIOP is a diverse network of developers, contractors, architects, engineers, designers, brokers, and property managers in the Puget Sound commercial real estate community. Their mission is to "create a favorable climate for the conduct of commercial real estate through the participation of a professionally diverse membership and to be recognized as the foremost commercial real estate association in Washington."

With nearly 800 members and a 30 plus year history, NAIOP is a group of influential and interested individuals focused on seeking the best strategies and resources to advance their commercial real estate businesses. In terms of resources, NAIOP provides it members with educational programs for career development, networking opportunities to develop business, and current information that affects the commercial real estate industry. Together, the association also advocates for responsible development as well as legislation that creates a stable environment for the industry.

For more information on how you can become involved with NAIOP Washington State go to

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

By Steve Stroming, Rafn Senior Project Manager

Why does preserving history matter? Certainly being a student of history provides context which helps inform our perspective on the present and future, hopefully for the good and betterment of our world. However, at a more basic level, history is about knowing where you come from. It is crucial to our identity at many levels ranging from family, to community, to institutions, to place. Historic buildings and structures are those touchstones of place enabling us to experience the same environments and spaces as previous generations, and by this connection absorb the history and culture of our past. This is where the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation plays an important role in our State by advising and advocating for the protection, retention, and relevance of cultural and historic resources.

Besides preservation advocacy, the Trust is a resource for advice and guidance to owners of older/historic buildings looking to find solutions for preserving and repurposing old buildings, while at the same time creating a clear economic benefit for doing so. Federal and local tax credit programs are an available option to assist in making such projects economically feasible.

For more information on how you can become involved with the Washington Trust go to

CREW Seattle & Sound

By Kay Wilson, Rafn Project Manager

CREW Seattle & Sound began in 1985 as an informal lunch among women involved in the commercial real estate industry. Over the last 30 years it has grown into an organization of over 200 active professionals. Their platform promotes community, networking, education and business development. The CREW members are men and women professionals (a mix of Property Managers, Architects, General Contractors, and subcontractors) who are committed to sharing best practices to advance the industry.

The CREW Seattle & Sound host monthly luncheons and events. These events are opportunities to build strong business connections in commercial real estate and offer access to top speakers, educational sessions and leadership training. Past speakers have included real estate developers, brokers, corporate real estate executives, and city/governmental officials and have covered a range of topics including public and private development projects, the state of the local economy, and transportation issues.

CREW's main focus is to sustain the growth of the commercial real estate industry and develop their member's careers. They began a CREW Leadership Series which are eight sessions focusing on key leadership topics presented by regional industry leaders. Each topic is introduced through a book selected by the moderator and to be discussed at each session. The Crew Network Foundation Champion reaches out to women and girls in the community to help educate them about the vast career opportunities in commercial real estate. They achieve this through various volunteer and outreach activities throughout the year with community organizations and local universities.

For more information on how you can become involved with CREW go to

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