2013 National Communities Council Fall Leadership Forum Enjoy a Chicago, Lake Michigan – Odyssey Dinner Cruise – US Destination

Odyssey-Lake Michigan-Chicago Skyline-Photo-credit-Sun-Times-News-Group

Odyssey-Lake Michigan-Chicago Skyline-Photo credit: SunTimes News Group

The National Communities Council (NCC) division of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) held its first annual Fall Leadership Forum on October 16-18, 2013 in Chicago, IL.


While most of the event was held at the W Center on 111 West Adams, the dinner on the 17th was held on the Lake Michigan cruise ship Odyssey, docked near the Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.


View from the rear deck of the Odyssey, with Chicago skyline behind NCC Forum attendees.

A pair of shuttle buses, compliments of Cavco Industries, whisked attendees to the event. A near hit – avoiding a jogging pedestrian who cut in front of the bus – brought applause on our bus for the driver.


The crisp fall night air outside melted away into the ideal comfort inside the dining deck, where dinner, hor dourves, deserts and drinks were all available in copious quantities.


The NCC event was headlined by Sam Zell, of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) fame. Mr. Zell and some others skipped the cruise, but his firm was well represented by Marguerite Nader, CEO of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) and others.


Nathan Smith, SSK Communities and MHI Chairman,
Sam Zell (r) Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Chairman


Jim Clayton, Clayton Bank Chairman and author of First the Dream, Betty Whitaker, KMHI

Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes – (l) Ryan Howertown, 21st Mortgage,
Sam Lady, CEO UMH Properties, Chris Lindsey, VP UMH Properties
Charley Lott, Fleetwood Homes

The NCC Fall Leadership Forum attendees read like a Who’s Who of the Manufactured Home Community (MHC) world, including new and rising stars in the industry. Manufacturers, finance, insurance, legal and associations were also well represented.


Wally Comer, Adventure Homes and Janice Gonzalez

One of the recurring themes of the event was how to enhance and improve the customer experience. Specific examples were shared on proven ways to deliver ever more customer satisfaction.

patrick-waite-els-left-marguerite nader-ceo-els-equity-lifestyle-properties-dick-ernst-finmark-usa-manufactured-home-living-news-ncc-cruise-

Patrick Waite, ELS, Marguerite Nader, President and CEO of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS),
Dick Ernst (r)


Brooke and Robert S. Coldren, founding partner of HK&C Law and MHC investors

The Odyssey boasted big screen TVs, so that major league baseball fans on board could watch the game. Lakeside photo opportunities of the Chicago Skyline was another appealing attraction.

Richard-Jennison-Barry-Noffsinger-CU-Factory-Built Lending-San-Antonio-Credit Union-Jenny Hodge-National Communities Council.jpg

Richard “Dick” Jennison, MHI (l) Barry Noffsinger, CU Factory Built Lending/San Antonio Credit Union, Jenny Hodge, National Communities Council

DJ’d music and a dance floor complemented the sparkling ambiance and conversations that kept the three hour evening moving at a brisk clip.

For an inaugural event, the 2013 NCC Fall Leadership Forum was a big hit with attendees, with some 200 industry professionals coming from coast to coast. The three hours on the Lake Michigan dinner cruise ship Odyssey certainly was a fine way to cap off the second day of this informative and enjoyable gathering. ##

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