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IREM remembers Doug Collins, CPM®

Honoring a leader dedicated to ethics

By Journal of Property Management
Tulsa, Oklahoma, hometown of Douglas Collins, CPM®
Tulsa, Oklahoma, hometown of Douglas Collins, CPM®

The portrait that accompanied the JPM President’s letters of Doug Collins, CPM®, in 1988.

IREM is sad to announce the passing this past September of 1988 IREM President Douglas Collins, CPM®. He was 84 years old.

Doug inherited the reins of IREM at a tumultuous period in the real estate industry after a series of tax law changes throughout the 1980s created an unprecedented rise and fall in inflation and interest rates. In 1988, investments boomed, inflation dropped, and the housing market rebounded, but bookkeeping anomalies were common.

IREM needed someone to ride the wave, and Doug’s law degree, magnetic charm, and obsession with ethics helped him in his leadership role. In fact, his most significant contribution to IREM was perhaps his championing of additions to the IREM Code of Professional Ethics that still exist today.

“It was a wonderful thing to see someone so welcoming and friendly and fun also know how important ethics were,” says Doug’s contemporary, 1991 IREM President John Magnuson, CPM®. “I don’t think that our ethical structure today would be as thorough as it is, or as professional as it is, without his input.”

“Without the ability to look forward, to analyze, to plan, each of us will be forced to look behind at what might have been, at opportunities lost, at problems unsolved.”
—Douglas Collins, CPM®
Beyond his contributions to the industry, Doug Collins was known as a friendly and intelligent man who was proud of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, roots. Doug lived in Tulsa his whole life, graduating from Central High School in 1957 and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tulsa and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law. Magnuson remembers hearing Doug’s voice always cresting over the din of competing voices at conferences and summits, always introducing himself to everyone with a big smile and a handshake and “Doug Collins, Tulsa, Oklahoma.”

“I really liked Doug. You weren’t a stranger after five minutes of conversation with him; you were a friend,” says Magnuson. “He was everyone’s universal best friend—even though he was an attorney!”

Doug is sorely missed by many, particularly his son, Tony; daughter-in-law, Lauren; granddaughter, Sylvie; sister, Timmie Hanna; and his wife of 47 years, Carolyn. They remember Doug in his obituary as an expert at grilling a steak or mixing a martini, an excellent trivia player, and a lifelong learner who “gave his whole heart to his family…what more could you ask for?”

Many in the industry remember how fond Doug was of his family and how they would accompany him to events. Magnuson remembers he and his wife sharing plates of all-you-can-eat spaghetti with Doug and Carolyn, and 1987 IREM President Frank Livingston will never forget laughing until he cried with Doug’s family over dinner at a convention in Hawaii.

“The whole table was laughing and laughing at a joke Doug’s son, Tony, made, and I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face,” says Livingston. “And Tony looks up at me and says, ‘Mr. Livingston, why are you crying? It was supposed to be a funny joke!’

“I’ll never forget their family,” he said.

In the March/April 1988 edition of JPM, Doug says in his President’s letter, “Without the ability to look forward, to analyze, to plan, each of us will be forced to look behind at what might have been, at opportunities lost, at problems unsolved.” And according to the words of his contemporaries, Doug left no stone unturned, personally or professionally.

“He would have seen through the difficulties that are present today and said, ‘This is a process. This is just what we have to do to get where we need to be. Don’t worry about it. Learn it. Do it,’” says Magnuson.

Doug’s commitment to ethics, dedication, and intelligence continue to impact people in the industry today. The world was better with him in it, and his IREM family extends their condolences to everyone affected by his loss.

If you would like to support the Collins family in their time of grief, in lieu of flowers, they ask that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Journal of Property Management

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