It's that time again - time to mark the date of The Cooperator's Annual Co-op and Condo Expo on your calendar, get registered, and prepare for a full day of information, networking, new products, engaging seminars, and (of course) freebies on Thursday, March 18th at the New York Hilton on 53rd Street and Avenue of the Americas.
This is the 17th annual Expo, and over the last nearly two decades, the event has grown from a modest affair with only about 40 exhibitors to the largest trade show in the New York metro area specifically catering to the unique needs and interests of area co-op and condo shareholder/owners, managing agents, board presidents and members, supers, and related professionals. This year, the event promises to be bigger and better than ever.
For the 2004 Expo, The Cooperator has assembled yet another distinguished array of vendors, managing agencies, legal and accounting firms, service providers, and other co-op and condo industry professionals all under one roof, and scheduled a full day of free educational seminars for Expo attendees. After the Exhibition Hall opens its doors at 9 a.m., the day's activities will kick off at 9:30 in the Americas Hall II on the third floor with "Dollars and Sense: Money-Saving Ideas for Your Building," a primer on trimming the fat from your building's operations budget. The panel of experts from the insurance, building management, accounting and financial fields includes moderator Peter Grech of the Superintendents Technical Association; and panelists Robert E. Mackoul of Mackoul & Associates; Neil Sonenberg, CPA of Rosen Seymour Shapss Martin & Co.; and Steve Geller of Meridian Capital.
From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - in what promises to be one of the more interesting, highly-charged seminars of the day - a panel of legal experts will present "Push & Pullman Decision: Evicting Objectionable Tenants," to discuss the impact of the landmark 40 West 67th Street vs. Pullman court decision on the city's cooperatives, and what your board can do if faced with a similar decision. The panel includes moderator Robert Grant of Midboro Management; and panelists John T. Van Der Tuin, Esq. of Balber Pickard Battistoni Maldonado & Van Der Tuin, PC, who was the lead attorney that won the case for the cooperative; and Joseph G. Colbert, Esq. of Rosen & Livingston. Plan to get there early - this seminar will be standing room only!
After a break for lunch at the food court and a lap around the booths, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., The Cooperator will offer "An Honest Appraisal: Safeguarding Your Apartment's Value." This seminar will outline the importance of knowing how to maintain your home and its contents to maximize your investment over the long haul. Panelists include Jacky Teplitzky of Douglas Elliman; Stephen N. Carter of The Carman Group, LLC; Marilyn Sygrove of Sygrove Associates Inc., and Alejandra Ligotti of Tango x 4.
The last panel discussion of the day, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., will spotlight a cross-section of attorneys, managing agents and education and advocacy specialists that will present "Not All Rules are Made to be Broken: Making & Enforcing House Rules." The panel will discuss the standard rules and regulations of apartment life, how to enact new rules, and - most importantly - how to get residents to follow the rules of your roost. Panelists include Marc H. Schneider of Marc H. Schneider, PC, Attorneys at Law; Gregory J. Carlson of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums (FNYHC); Mary Ann Rothman of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC); and Leslie Kaminoff of AKAM Associates.
But Wait, There's More
In addition to the booths and seminars, as in years past The Cooperator is also hosting free advice booths on the third floor to help answer any questions you may have on accounting, insurance, finance, and the law. Booth 2713 will feature property managers, insurance brokers, lenders and mortgage brokers, while Booth 1909 will be home for a day to attorneys and accountants. Feel free to drop by for some pro bono face-time with some of the industry's best.
Beyond the wealth of information exchanged at the Expo, there are, of course, giveaways and prizes. Be sure to stop by Booth 1820 and pick up the latest copy of The Cooperator's Official Directory of Co-op & Condo Services - an indispensable compendium of useful names, numbers, and contacts, compiled and updated annually. If you're a board president with a question about hiring a new super, a new shareholder/owner looking for a licensed interior decorator, or a long-time shareholder in need of legal advice, the Co-op & Condo Services Directory is an invaluable tool that saves time and effort, giving you a Yellow Book's-worth of resources without all the filler.
And while you're picking up your new directory, fill out a slip for the Expo's ever-popular raffles - this year, prizes include dinner for two prepared by a gourmet chef right in your own home; a digital camera; gift certificates to Gracious Home, and the 1 p.m. drawing for the Grand Prize: a whole month's maintenance, up to $1,000, courtesy of The Cooperator. You have to be there to claim your winnings, so take your time browsing the booths and exploring the array of resources for the taking.
This year, the Expo welcomes the addition of The New Jersey Cooperator to the Yale Robbins Inc. family of publications, and in honor of the new magazine, The New Jersey Cooperator will raffle off a $100 gift certificate towards the choice of EZ-Pass, MTA, PATH, NJ Transit, or NY Waterway services. Proof of residency is required to collect your prize.
The Annual Co-op and Condo Expo is a terrific opportunity to learn new things, network with new people, and check out the latest developments in the thriving microcosm of New York's co-op and condo community. So whether you're running a board, maintaining a building, or just thinking of buying a new apartment, you're guaranteed to find something useful and enlightening at the Expo. We at The Cooperator and The New Jersey Cooperator invite you to stop by, (remember, we're at Booth 1820) and we look forward to seeing you there. Registration and admission is free. Call 888-249-0367, log onto www.coopexpo.com or register on site the day of the show.
Hannah Fons is Associate Editor of The Cooperator.