Industry Inductee

Dallas apartment industry executive Ron Shelton will be inducted into the National Apartment Association Hall of Fame on June 23, the association said this week. Shelton is the 14th person inducted over the 72-year history of NAA and will be recognized during the 2011 NAA Education Conference & Exposition at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Shelton, the 2009 NAA Chairman of the Board, has been an apartment industry professional for more than 30 years with stops at Lincoln Property Co. and AIMCO, where he was a regional vice president for more than 13 years. In addition to serving as NAA chairman, Shelton was named the first NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) president, served twice as NAA Education Committee chair, and was chair of the Technology Task Force that created the first NAA website during the 1990s. Shelton began his career in the industry as a part-time groundsperson.

Serving the Services

Also from the NAA comes the announcement that military spouses are now eligible to receive career training funds to individuals interested in having a career in apartment management. The NAA Education Institute was approved by the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) to provide spouse educational assistance for career training. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, MyCAA helps military spouses pursue a license, certificate, certification, or Associate’s Degree necessary for gainful employment in a high-demand, high-growth, portable career field and occupation. MyCAA provides a maximum education benefit of $4,000 with an annual fiscal year cap of $2,000 to assist eligible military spouses in acquiring a professional credential needed to meet their Portable Career goal. Interested individuals should contact NAAEI’s Maureen Lambe at or visit Perhaps the next Ron Shelton is out there just waiting to happen.

Furry Fakes

Well, the secret seems to be out: Get yourself a doctor’s note and that “no pets” policy at your apartment community vanishes pretty quickly in the face of Fair Housing laws that stipulate renters are entitled by federal law to cohabitate with their service animals. Now, legitimate owners and trainers of those animals have their fur all riled up as an increasing trend of otherwise normal pet owners are passing off Fido and Fluffy as service animals simply by purchasing phony credentials off the web for anywhere from $20 to $400. “I don't want to say it's a scam, but it is a scam," says Elite K9 Academy and 40-year service animal trainer Nick Kutsukos in this article posted to the NMHC Facebook page this week.

According to the article, the best way to tell if a service dog is legitimate is to observe its behavior: service animals won't appear restless or jump or bark and will obey the disabled owner's commands, perform tasks and lie down passively where instructed. The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, protects the rights of the disabled, including their use of service animals. But there was confusion when monkeys, cats, ferrets, and other critters were utilized to help people with special needs function in public places such as restaurants and hotels. The U.S. Department of Justice last month amended guidelines to narrow the definition of service animals to dogs that are trained to perform specific tasks related to the owner's proven disability.

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