- The National Multifamily Housing Association has named Sharon Wilson Géno as president-elect, succeeding current president Doug Bibby, who has led the association of 1,779 multifamily companies for more than 20 years.
- Wilson Géno will begin her term as president-elect starting on Oct. 11. She will work closely with Bibby to facilitate the transition process, then formally assume the role of president at NMHC’s Annual Meeting in January 2023, when Bibby will step down.
- Most recently, Wilson Géno served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Volunteers of America National Services, an affiliate of non-profit affordable and mixed-income housing operator Volunteers of America. She brings 30 years of experience in the housing industry, including positions as in-house counsel and outside general counsel on issues of housing policy and community development.
Bibby initially announced his retirement in January 2020, with the intention of stepping down at NMHC’s Annual Meeting in 2021. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he delayed his departure twice, first to 2022 and then to 2023.
“It has been a true privilege to lead NMHC for the past 21 years,” Bibby said in a press release on Wilson Géno’s appointment. “I am incredibly proud of the work our team has done to help foster a vibrant industry and I’m confident that Sharon will continue to drive the industry forward, confronting challenges and seizing opportunities. Over the course of my career, one of my proudest achievements has been to invest in the next generation of leaders. I know that I am leaving this organization and industry in great hands with Sharon and the team at NMHC.”
Wilson Géno was the unanimous choice for president among the members of the NMHC’s search committee, according to Ken Valach, chair of the NMHC and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential.
“We’re confident that Sharon is the ideal person to build on the work that Doug and the NMHC team have done. She has… an unparalleled understanding of housing policy and law, experience advocating on housing issues and a first-hand knowledge of what it takes to develop and operate both affordable and market-rate housing,” Valach said in a video message to board members shared with Multifamily Dive.
As an executive of Volunteers of America National Services, Wilson Géno was responsible for a 3,100-employee organization with a gross consolidated annual revenue of $300 million. The company operates 13,000 units in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“Having done this work for 30 years, I’ve never seen so much opportunity to really move the ball forward in housing policy in our country than I have right now. And it was a big attraction for me in taking this position,” Wilson Géno said.
During the transition period, Wilson Géno intends to learn as much from Bibby as possible, as well as spend time with the NMHC’s staff and members.
“I have been a student of housing policy for many years, and if you look back at how we got to this point, it’s because we haven’t had cohesive housing investment in our nation over time,” said Wilson Géno. “[Now] everyone is talking about housing, it’s on the lips of every politician, or every community that I’m invested in.”