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We are a community: TAAEF’s Room to Grow campaign is shaping how others view the Texas apartment industry


TAAEF strives to show Texans that being a part of the Texas apartment industry means being a part of a supportive community, a family.

Key takeaways

  • The Texas Apartment Association Education Foundation’s career awareness campaign, Room to Grow, is reaching out to military members and their spouses, among other appropriate audiences, to encourage those who are exiting the service and their spouses to join the Texas apartment industry because it provides a sense of purpose and stability, as well as family.
  • TAAEF Room to Grow ambassador Neci Shephard is a U.S. Army veteran who found stability and camaraderie in the Texas apartment industry.

What does it mean to work in the Texas apartment industry? To us, it means being a part of a community that supports you and that you are proud to call family.

The Texas Apartment Association Education Foundation’s Room to Grow ambassador, Neci Shephard with Madera Residential in Fort Worth, would be one of the first to agree.

Since TAAEF launched the Room to Grow campaign, our staff and members alike have been lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know Neci, and share her story with individuals across the state of Texas. As a U.S. Army veteran, Neci served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq before separating from the military after a 12-year career. Unsure whether she would find the same sense of community or not, she decided to take a chance on making the Texas apartment industry her career home.

“In the Army, my platoon was my family, and I worried that I wouldn’t find that same sense of camaraderie and service to others in another work environment. Fortunately, the apartment industry has given me exactly those qualities and let me transfer the skills I gained while spending time in the service,” Neci says.

If you attended this year’s annual TAA Education Conference & Expo, you likely witnessed firsthand the sense of camaraderie that Neci and countless other professionals in the Texas apartment industry feel daily. Neci performed the National Anthem in front of conference attendees at the General Opening Session. When her microphone cut out halfway through, the quick reaction of those in the audience was nothing short of powerful.

Watch the video of Neci’s National Anthem moment below, and please share with your colleagues. It is a great example of why the apartment industry is the best of the best–we’re one big family.

To all those who have served or are serving our country, thank you.

If you have any questions about Room to Grow or what TAAEF can do for you, please reach out to our staff at

More from June/July 2018 Member Newsletter

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