The Final Networking Roundtable

roundtable george allen
Manufactured housing industry veteran George Allen greets guests prior to the start of the Final Networking Roundtable.

George Allen has entered the building.

The long-awaited day had arrived, after the many months of canceled gatherings. The Final Networking Roundtable was held on Aug. 12 at the Hilton Nashville Downtown with a full schedule of presentations, mixers, a dinner, and a special event to honor the career and achievements of George Allen.

George Allen’s latest book “From ‘SmittyAlpha6’ to MHMaven”

The Networking Roundtable was founded by Allen, MHInsider’s contributing editor and the author of the Allen Legacy column. The annual event has enjoyed a nearly 30-year run and has attracted a great number of executives from all parts of the industry. The 2021 Roundtable will be the final in a series, and a culmination of Allen’s time as a community owner, property manager, trainer, consultant, and industry advocate.

Allen has said he will continue to write in his retirement, building on a collection of stories he’s told, including the latest title “From ‘SmittyAlpha6’ to MHMaven”, a 188-page text handed out to ’21 Roundtable attendees that details his boyhood years in New Jersey, college, his time in the Marines, including in combat during Vietnam, and then his entry into the manufactured housing industry.

“I’ve lived a pretty interesting life,” Allen writes in the introduction to his book. “This is my way of sharing life lessons learned… Nothing disgraceful is revealed, no lies; just how I’ve lived and learned these past seven, soon to be eight, decades.”

Attendees at the Roundtable come from the many diverse aspects of Allen’s life.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” UMH Properties Vice President of Sales Christine Lindsey said. “George has been so important to this industry, and he’s always been there for me.”

George Allen’s State of the Industry Address

Allen manages the Roundtable introductions and provides the state of the industry address.

The Final Networking Roundtable kicked-off with a round of introductions for each of the attendees, its namesake activity, and went into an industry update provided by Allen himself.

Allen covered the many changes he’s witnessed in the industry during his career.

“What has happened since 1970? The large absorbing the small,” Allen said about the homebuilding sector of the industry. “There were 26 major firms at that time, and today we talk about the big three Cs — Clayton, Champion (Skyline Champion Corporation, and Cavco.”

Though we see news reports about portfolio owners consolidating as well, there has been an overriding expansion of community owners in the last 30 years.

“In 1987 there were 25 land-lease community portfolio owners,” Allen said. “Now there are 500 portfolio owners in the United States, averaging 25 communities in each.”

Family-owned Community Owner to Provide Keynote

Scott Roberts of Roberts Communities provided the keynote address on strategies in new community development, followed by a fireside chat with Allen and others, as well as a cocktail mixer, and celebratory dinner and a special presentation to conclude the evening in honor of an industry icon. Thank you, George!

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