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HONORING THEIR COMMITMENT AND LEGACY WHILE BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

by CCA Executive Vice President Billy Gatlin

As many of you are aware, on Oct. 14, 2022, CCA closed escrow on the sale of our 1221 H Street building. The decision to sell the CCA building was not taken lightly. In early 2020, I began having preliminary discussions with CCA’s officers about selling our building. At the time the discussions were informal and slow moving. Later that year, I learned that the California Rangeland Trust was interested in potentially selling their half of our shared building.

In early 2021, the CCA Officer Team and Executive Committee began intently discussing and building a plan to explore if selling was in the best interest of CCA. By July of 2021 a committee was created to further research and determine if selling the building was the right decision.

The committee was chaired by CCA

President Steve Arnold and comprised of the CCA Officer Team, joined by John Lacey and Myron Openshaw . Both Lacey and Openshaw were involved in the purchase of the office building and provided sound advice and critical insights as the committee navigated this decision.

From the outset the committee wanted to not only ensure what was best for the future of CCA was done, but that the investment of those that enabled us to be in a position to make this decision was honored. Everyone involved wanted to guarantee that this incredible asset provided to the organization by previous generations of CCA members was appropriately managed.

One of the major reasons selling 160 bulls and 30 Commercial replacement females

CCA started to explore the sale of the building is that it was an underutilized asset. The approximately 6,000 square feet of office space was more than double of what was needed. Did it make sense for us to continue to occupy a building that was too large?

The committee also considered the condition of the current neighborhood of the CCA building. With the shifting dynamics of downtown Sacramento and a growing homeless population it was not uncommon to regularly find people sleeping at CCA’s front door. This raised health and safety concerns for staff.

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Also, discussed was the change in lobbying and office dynamics since 1985 when the building was purchased. Emails have replaced fax machines, computers have replaced typewriters, cell phones have replaced landlines, information now is more routinely shared through text messages than conversation and research is done online. Working in government affairs has changed too— in person monitoring of legislative committees is now more efficiently done online and often legislators and staff prefer to meet by Zoom opposed to in their office.

The shutdown of the Capitol during COVID-19 accelerated even more change, with no indication that the Capitol will return to its pre-pandemic norms. The world has changed vastly in the last 37 years, as have the needs of CCA.

By December of 2021 the committee came to the conclusion that selling the building was in the best interest of the Association. During the 2021 CCA Convention the reasons for selling the building were presented to the CCA Finance Committee and the CCA Board of Directors. Armed with all the details, the CCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to list the building in early 2022.

When the building was finally listed in early 2022 the economy was beginning to shift and CCA leadership was skeptical that a sale would occur in 2022. But everything aligned perfectly and CCA accepted an offer from the California Federation of Teachers near asking price.

The decision to sell the building was years in the making and thoroughly researched and discussed by a very smart group of CCA’s members, all who are dedicated and 100 percent committed to ensuring the best business decision was made to set the Association up for continued success. At the heart of those conversations was also, “What’s best for staff?” Everyone involved in the sale wanted to not only ensure the committee did what was best for CCA but also our staff.

A thorough search over the last six months has finally concluded with CCA moving into its new office at 3841 North

Freeway Blvd., Suite 130, in Sacramento on Jan. 16. We are now located in a beautiful office complex, with easy freeway access and plenty of free parking. We are all moved in, and the CCA staff is enjoying the new office space.

Locking up and leaving for the last time was bittersweet. I’ve spent the last 12 years of my professional life in that building. It was a second home for me. Early mornings, long afternoons and late nights working with members and staff dedicated to our industry. We’ve all celebrated a lot of professional and personal achievements in that building and have many memories of our time there. It was sad to close that chapter in CCA’s history.

I was quickly comforted by warm, excited smiles of the CCA team when arriving at our new office. Everyone has already settled into the new office, and it was buzzing with activity and excitement. That afternoon we all had a picnic lunch at one of the many picnic tables outside our office, perched next to a fountain under towering redwoods. We were all laughing and sharing stories about the old building and our excitement for the new location. We were already making memories in our new office.

As someone who appreciates history and recognizes the promise of progress I am excited to start this next chapter in CCA’s long history. With the team that we have at CCA I know that we will continue to add to the legacy of those that came before us while building a strong future for the next generation of leaders.

Part of honoring that legacy and building for the future is ensuring that we protect the assets from the sale of the CCA building. CCA leadership has met with our financial advisors and have identified a conservative investment strategy that will protect our principle investment and deliver modest returns over the next three years. We will continue to monitor the commercial real estate market and if the right opportunity presents itself we will be ready to purchase a new building.

For over a century CCA has had a talented, dedicated staff working hard to secure the future of our industry, regardless of location, that is one thing that will never change.