MassLandlords, Inc. is a 501(c)6 nonprofit trade association. Our mission is to create better rental housing in Massachusetts by helping current, new, and prospective landlords run profitable, compliant, quality businesses. We are democratically governed by our annual election for the statewide Board of Directors, as well as our ongoing policy priorities survey. The next annual election is in December 2021, and nominations are needed now.
Two Formal Ways Members Can Give Input
MassLandlords members can steer our actions through two formal voting channels. The first is our policy priorities survey. The second is our annual election for director.
On December 31, 2021, a Director from our statewide Board of Directors must step down. Our form of term limits prohibits consecutive terms, ensuring that every election is an open race with no incumbent. (Any past director can run again in a subsequent year.) We use score voting (highest average score wins) instead of a plurality (most votes win). This diminishes the impact of polarization. The directors who get elected tend to be those widely accepted by the most members at the time.
Russell Sabadosa, Outgoing Director
This winter we lose Russell Sabadosa, whose term expires Dec 31, 2021. Russell founded Premier Choice Realty in 1993, which has grown from a property management company to a full-service real estate brokerage. Russell is president and oversees all aspects of the rental and sales on a daily basis. Russell is the owner of over 100 rental units across multiple LLCs with property sizes of 2 units to 28 units. Russell has brokered over 50 million in multi-family units across several multi-million-dollar and or multi-property transactions. Other positions held adding to Russell’s management and leadership skills were project engineer 1989-1995 for large corporate Raytheon aerospace, IT director for small private company Commonwealth Packaging 1995-2002, and public sector for the state of Connecticut Manchester Community College as full tenured professor 2002-2015. Since 2015 Russell has been focusing solely on Premier Choice Realty growth and community service. He serves on the board of directors for:
- MassLandlords, member since 1995, he intends to keep volunteering even after his term ends;
- Realtor Commercial Alliance MA since 2018 - President 2021;
- MA Association of Realtors since 2017;
- President Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield - 2008-2015; and
- The Meadows Masons - Assistant Treasurer since 2015 - Board of directors since 2018.
He enjoys mentoring young entrepreneurs and encouraging them to engage in volunteering and leadership positions at professional and community organizations. Personal interests include travel, skiing, and motorcycle riding.
Will you or a colleague step up to carry Russell’s work forward? We have a great team of Directors in place.
Continuing Board of Directors
Rich Merlino, whose term expires Dec 31, 2022, has been the MassLandlords Worcester event emcee since October 2015. When he started volunteering, event attendance increased from 64 to 83 per month, and the average feedback card score increased from 67% positive to 91%. Rich is extremely busy as a moderately large landlord in his own right. He has experience managing a team of on-site and remote employees, and was instrumental in helping MassLandlords learn to hire the best people anywhere in the world. Rich’s sense of humor, strong sense of legal compliance, and general business savvy make him a great addition to the Board of Directors.
Alec Bewsee, whose term expires Dec 31, 2023, is a managing partner of Forge Property Management based in Westfield, MA. He received his B.S., Cum Laude, in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Western New England University in Springfield, MA before going on to support various Fortune 100 companies in the high-technology sector including United Technologies and Lockheed Martin. Alec specializes in productivity systems, automation software, financial analytics, and project management which has allowed him to scale his company and better serve the Pioneer Valley. Alec has been involved in real estate since high school when he started analyzing local market growth and purchased his first rental property while still in college. Since then, Alec has built a portfolio of rental housing throughout Western Mass that particularly aims to help college students and their parents find quality, safe, and affordable housing near New England campuses. Alec is also a founding member of a successful real estate investors community group that helps newer investors learn the ropes in renovating houses, landlording, personal finance, and technology. Alec currently serves as a volunteer on the board of advisors of the Greater Springfield chapter of MassLandlords. When Alec isn't enthralling himself in real estate ventures, he loves to play volleyball, enjoys Thai cuisine, and writes on his blog - The Landlord Engineer. Alec currently resides in Westfield, MA where he grew up and continues to engage with local leaders and give back to the community.
Michele Kasabula, whose term expires Dec 31, 2024, has been a MassLandlords member since 2014 and was on the Worcester Board of Advisors from 2017 to 2019. She is a Massachusetts real estate attorney, practicing since 2002. She started her own law office in 2017, The Law Office of Michele F. Kasabula, PLLC located in Sutton, MA. She represents buyers, sellers and lenders in both residential transactions and small commercial real estate purchase and refinance transactions. She also performs most of the real estate titles exams for those purchase transactions. She owns 3 single family rental properties on the south shore. She was also asked for a short time to manage one of her client’s rental properties which consisted of four 6-unit buildings (24 units). She was the main contact for any and all issues. She also handled the remodeling of the units which increased the rental income by over 50% on some of the units. She is a member of the Real Estate Bar Association and a member and the Vice Chair of the BBB of Central Mass, a Title Agent for Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. and a Massachusetts Real Estate Broker.
Steffen Landrum, whose term expires Dec 31, 2025, brings a wide array of experiences to the Board of Directors. He was born to teenage parents in what was then known as the Bromley-Heath Housing Projects in Boston. He’s a benefactor of social programs. Steffen started on welfare Head Start and from there went to high school at Lincoln Sudbury through METCO. He then enlisted in the army and served for five years, with a leave to start and complete college at Bridgewater State. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science, was commissioned as an army officer (lieutenant), and flew as an army aviator for six years. Steffen then transferred to the air national guard. He has flown C-130s, C-21s, Hueys, and Black Hawks. Simultaneously he became an airline pilot for a regional carrier (an express branch of a major airline). He then became a pilot for United Airlines in 2013, where he is now a 737 captain. All this time he has helped his father maintain his rentals. Steffen bought his own property in 2011 (a two-family). He has since grown to roughly 18 units across four properties, nine units of which are commercial. He has two properties in Boston and two in Worcester. He uses and highly values the MassLandlords services, forms, and training.
Reach Out to Us
Each region where MassLandlords members meet has a local volunteer board. There are volunteer jobs to do! You can get involved at one of these local boards, which have historically met over dinner in a small group (now the message boards, or zoom calls). The local boards may be by appointment or by local decision.
You can also run for state-wide director yourself. But remember it’s a state-wide race! You will need to prepare a biography detailing what you can bring to the Board and what is your vision of MassLandlords in five years. You will also need to campaign on the message boards at a minimum.
The Good Neighbor Award
One last thing we vote on in December is which non-member’s efforts have best advanced property rights or the quality of rental housing in Massachusetts. Past winners include Attorney Stuart Schrier of Dorchester for his testimony at the Just Cause Eviction Hearing in Boston in March 2017, the late Representative Chris Walsh for his work on rent escrow, and the former chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Jamie Williamson for her educational outreach to owners and managers. Firefighters, inspectors, judges, and many others have been nominated.
The Good Neighbor Award is a fun way to bring recognition to a friend or colleague. All nominees no matter whether or not they win a state-wide vote will receive a personal letter of thanks from the Executive Director on behalf of the association, and if possible, we will address a second letter to their boss so they get a raise (at least, we’ll say they deserve it!).
The Board of Directors
Submit nominees for Good Neighbor or Board of Directors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Members in good standing can learn more about our bylaws and voting at MassLandlords.net/governance.
Read more about our Annual Business Meeting and Annual Elections.