New England Relocation Association Holds Fall Meeting

Katie Oden - Nov 17 2022
Published in: Mobility

On 3 November, the New England Relocation Association held its fall meeting in Norwood, Massachusetts.

On 3 November, the New England Relocation Association (NERA) held its fall meeting, “Money in Mobility: The Inside Story from Global Mobility Partners,” in Norwood, Massachusetts. The meeting started with an introduction from Alicia Browne, the new corporate president. Browne introduced the new board, which consists of seven newly elected members, and thanked NERA’s 22 sponsors for their support. A bylaws vote was also raised to the entire membership, which would allow the NERA board to adjust how the group currently operates.

Michael Hughes, vice president of global business development for the Arpin Group, kicked off the meeting with a sponsor spotlight on China. Hughes presented on what it is like for an expat to live in China, sharing cultural norms, adapting to expat life, highlights on safety, and what it was like to be in China during COVID-19. Next up was Miki Matrician, partner at WR Immigration, who also shared a sponsor spotlight around U.S. immigration trends. Matrician reviewed USCIS backlogs and processing times, along with the perm (green card) cases, impacts to foreign nationals due to recession, shared some positive immigration changes due to COVID-19, the impact to foreign nationals due to recession, and highlighted humanitarian causes such as uniting for Ukraine and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

A panel presentation focusing on the meeting’s namesake, “Money in Mobility: The Inside Story from Global Mobility Partners,” was moderated by Katie Oden, with panelists:

  • Bob Olmsted, President and Chief Operating Officer, Global Relocation Services, SIRVA / BGRS
  • Bill Duggan, Owner and President, WM. Duggan Co. Inc. an Atlas Interstate Agent
  • Emily Johnson, Director of Sales, Relocity Inc.
  • Karl Thuge, President, NOMAD Temporary Housing Inc.

The panel focused on financial mechanics such as revenue models and how these will need to change based on current industry challenges such as inflation and increasing home prices. The panel also focused on how innovation and technology will play a large role in the mobility industry going forward as customers are looking for quicker responses, tracking, and user-friendly apps. Lastly, the panel focused on industry challenges such as the increase of remote work and how this has affected vendors with culture, less physical relocations, and vendors needing to find new revenue streams.

Wrapping up the day was an interactive “table hop” session with our four panelists. Meeting attendees had the chance to bounce between tables and sit with three different panelists where they could ask them questions relating to their specific services and any challenges they are currently facing. The NERA board then invited all guests to attend a fall themed networking event.

Be on the lookout for a save the date for NERA’s spring meeting, taking place in downtown Boston next year.