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central florida times

WWW.CAICF.ORG | SECOND QUARTER 2020


Second Quarter 2020

contact information

a message from the president Hello Everyone,

P.O. Box 941125 Maitland, FL 32794 www.caicf.org exdir@caicf.org 407-913-3777

2020 board of directors Matt Vice, President Chuck Strode, CAM, Vice President Frank Ruggieri, Esq., President Elect Kent Taylor, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Secretary Leslie Ellis, CPA, MSA, CGMA, Treasurer

This has been a crazy beginning of the year and we are all adjusting to the changes and staying as safe as possible. With that being said, we are still strong as a chapter and working hard to bring you all the benefits that we can. Between our hybrid meetings with in-person luncheons, as well as virtual meetings on Zoom, we are trying to stay engaged with our members. We are really excited that Meet the Managers is still a go and sold out. Many of our management companies will be attending. We are using all the safety protocols. We will have masks and hand sanitizer, but we are asking that people do not shake hands and we are spacing out all the tables. We are also asking our business partners to not bring as much paper items to give the managers and if they have something they want us to include in the bags, the committee is happy to stuff them. It is also a special year for our 10th Annual Golf Tournament and we are very pleased that we are holding the event at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes. This is a stunning course and will be a wonderful experience for us all. Our tee sponsorships are on sale as well as other sponsorships and foursomes. I hope you all will take this opportunity to help our chapter raise money for our charity, the Sunshine Foundation Dream Village. It is one of our best events. It won’t be long before we are back to normal and able to see each other in person and hold our luncheons at full capacity. We have all learned new ways to work and be productive. It is good to know that the services and business offered by CAI members are considered essential businesses and still working hard to support our communities. Thank you to all of our wonderful members, for your patience and support!

Jarad Pizzuti See y’all soon.

Lynne Sadowski Robert L. Taylor, Esq. Tom Wheir Kenneth Zook, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Past President

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Sincerely,

Matt Vice Matt Vice, Vice Painting 2020 President, CAI Central Florida Chapter


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a message from the ced As we are now in the second half of the year, I wanted to take a moment and express some thoughts on how we are doing as a chapter and what we can look forward to. From the moment our worlds turned upside down, we have made immediate changes, discovered new ways to stay connected and realized what is really important in our lives.

REINI MARSH

THANK YOU!

Central Florida Chapter Executive Director

First, I must express how grateful I am that we had one of the best trade shows in our history and that it went off in early February as a success. Many chapters had to cancel or postpone their CA Days, with no idea of when they could reschedule. I continue to have conversations through calls and Zoom with the other chapters and National CAI, and we are doing all we can to share best practices, learn new technology and new ideas. It is due to you, our wonderful members and volunteers, that we are as successful as we are and doing well as a chapter. Thank you for all you do for CAI; you are very much appreciated!

exdir@caicf.org 407-913-3777

CAICF UNIVERSITY Secondly, we have put into place CAICF University, which offers free Zoom webinars for CEU Credit for our managers who still need their CAICF credits for license renewal in September. I am very proud of the Education Committee for coming up with this great idea that helps to keep us connected. Also, this offers more opportunities for our business partners to

present their classes. We consistently try to find ways to add value to your membership.

UPCOMING EVENTS Next, we still have some great events coming up that are not cancelled and we are proud to be able to offer a safe and healthy way of giving you an opportunity to come out and meet in person. Meet the Managers, our award-winning event will be on July 9th and is sold out for the business partners, but we still have a few slots left for managers/management companies. We are also holding a Summer Social at Grills on July 2nd from 4pm-7pm. Next up is an inperson (plus Zoom) meeting on July 16th, which is our rescheduled meeting from April - Sitting for a Deposition CEU by Burg Simpson. Please check page 6 or your email for registration links. Lastly, our 10th Annual Golf Tournament will be showcasing The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes on September 25th. The event is booked and on sale now, so make sure you get your tee sponsorship and sign up for a foursome! This premier location will be our salute to the 10th year of supporting our wonderful charities and having a blast while doing it. Thanks to the Golf Tournament Committee for their hard work and securing the raffle prizes. We hope to be back to normal soon! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have a new idea or need assistance with anything.

SPONSOR AN UPCOMING CHAPTER MEETING IN 2020! Each sponsor for the Chapter Meetings receive face time in front of the membership with the microphone to talk about your company. You will also be able to put give-away items and collateral on all the tables. Space is also provided for our sponsors to display their marketing materials. Every sponsor is important to our chapter and your generous donation goes directly to offset the costs of the program. Only 3 sponsors are permitted per program. Please consider sponsoring today! Click the links below to register as a sponsor at one of the upcoming meetings! Jul 16th | Aug 6th | Sep 3rd | Oct 1st | Nov 5th

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LOOKING FOR AN ASSOCIATION SERVICE PROVIDER? CAI Central Florida has a list of great service providers in most every industry a Community Association could need! The best part is, they are members! Check it out at: caicf.org/directory.


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central florida chapter update 2020 tentative calendar of events More details regarding upcoming events will be posted to caicf.org under the “Events” tab. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date information. CAICF Board Meetings will be held before or after each of the Monthly Meetings. Please be sure to register for all events in advance, as we need an accurate head count for space and food purposes prior to the event. Thank you for your help! • June 25th: CAICF University on Zoom: Renovating the Landscape presented by Miguel Garces of Cepra Landscape. Registration is required to attend. Click here to sign up.

Harvest Food Bank. Registration begins at 11:30am and the meeting begins at 12pm. • August TBD: Educated Business Partner Event

• July 2nd: Happy Hour at Grills Lakeside from 4pm-7pm. • September 3rd: Monthly Meeting • July 9th: Meet the Managers at Dubsdread from 4pm-7pm. Business Partner seats are sold out, but there is still space for managers - click here to sign up. • July 16th: Monthly Meeting: Luncheon - Sitting for a Deposition CEU presented by Burg Simpson at Ace Cafe Orlando. Registration begins at 11:30am and the meeting begins at 12pm. Click here to sign up.

• September 25th: 10th Annual Golf Tournament at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes. Get your sponsorship and register to play! Click here to sign up. • October 1st: Monthly Meeting: Legal Panel • November 5th: Monthly Meeting

Introducing a NEW CAI benefit

• August 6th: Monthly Luncheon Meeting: Drones & Communities CEU presented by Arias Bosinger at Second

• December TBD: Annual Meeting, Gala & Fundraiser

Information and tools for condominium and homeowners association leaders VISIT WWW.HOARESOURCES.COM TO GET: z Practical advice on HOA & condo issues z Resources to share with residents z New content updated regularly Share www.HOAresources.com with your neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers today!

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c.o.p.e. BY LAURIE SHRADER, MARKETING DIRECTOR, ANGIUS & TERRY LLP

C.O.P.E.

(COVID-19 OPENS POSSIBILITIES for EVERYONE)

I

t’s time to make peace with “the new normal,” as it appears it will be with us for months to come. Some people are handling it with more calm grace than others; how do they do it, you ask?

The answer is how you CHOOSE to look at it. You can buckle and see it as a punishment of sorts that you HAVE to stay home or … you can choose to look at it as a new opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and create new lifelong memories. Maybe now is the time to learn a new language or take a cooking class online or rediscover playing your guitar that has sat in the corner for years. How about that box of craft projects you just never had time to get to? How much fun would THAT be? Challenge yourself to CHOOSE the high road at every opportunity! Positivity is contagious; catch yourself a big dose of THAT and pass it around by your own example in everything you do. It’s going to rain today, how depressing … OR … I love watching nature give everything a bath and a drink all at the same time! I’m stuck in the house all day, every day and I need to get out … OR … work in your planters to beautify your home; working in the soil is surefire therapy. Take a walk around the neighborhood in the sun and enjoy the fresh air; have an upbeat conversation with your neighbor across the street … from across the street! Sometimes you may feel 8

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overwhelmed by the unknown; make short term goals to minimize the stress. Studies have shown that 85% of what we worry about has a positive or neutral outcome anyway so don’t waste your energy worrying. Decide on the most helpful goals and achieve them, one after the other, and before you know it, you are back in charge! Humans are social animals … we crave interaction with all living things. There are LOTS of ways to stay in touch and interact from a safe distance. ZOOM and FaceTime allow us to do almost anything from a distance that we would usually do in close proximity if the circumstances were different. Cocktail parties with your friends on a Friday night with no worry if you have one too many … you’re already home! Playing games with friends makes for a really great time; Charades, Pictionary and so on for limitless options. Just video chat when you are missing the human connection to keep you feeling vital; it’s easy enough to learn and so uplifting! It is a scientific fact that hugging yourself, yes you read that right, will give you vital endorphins and a general feeling of well-being, so in the absence of another human, love yourself in every way. And laugh like it’s going out of style; that also creates endorphins. When in doubt … laugh it out! Continued on page 10


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c.o.p.e. continued It is also easy to relax too much … don’t forget the basics of staying healthy. Choose wisely on food options and control your portions. Get regular exercise; raising your heartbeat for 15 minutes three times a week will extend your life by three years! Not talking about running a marathon or swimming across the English Channel, but just MOVING at an energetic pace. Missed the gym? No problem! There are lots of ways to work out at home to stay toned; you can find a plethora of videos showing exactly how that is done. Work out your fingers and Google them; the goal is to get your heart rate up and generate those endorphins that create a sense of well-being.

Now that you have time to think about it, why not get rid of pesky bad habits that you will do better without. We all have them and know what they are but we never have the time to concentrate on eliminating them. Pick the one you want gone the most and concentrate on creating a new, healthier behavior; once you do it 21 times, THAT will be your new, even better habit. Then tackle the next one while you are on a roll to become the new and improved YOU! Be certain to get sufficient restful sleep. “Sufficient” sleep varies person to person, but you know when you feel tired or rested. Seven to nine hours per night of uninterrupted sleep is the recommendation; your actual needs can vary, but be sure you are aware of what your body is telling you. Eat when your body needs nourishment, sleep when your body needs rest and exercise to bring your energy level back up to optimum levels. Take care of your body and it will take care of you! And then, dum de dum dum, there is the ever-present pull of the OTHER “stuck at home” options. A couple glasses of wine is fine; two bottles of wine, not so much. This bit of tongue in cheek is now making the rounds: “What is the best way to avoid touching your face? A glass of wine in each hand!” Everyone has a new awareness of how often they touch their faces; one would think humans had eight arms! Find a way not to touch your face unless you are washing it; we are at the top of the food chain for a reason - we ALL 10

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can do this! And wear your mask in public for your safety and those around you; let’s show this bug who is in charge! Just keep things in perspective. If a problem should arise, consider your options and make a good decision. Be flexible, set limits for yourself when needed and be a problem solver. If you are feeling nervous or unsure, take slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and visualize the bad stuff leaving with each exhalation. Stretch your muscles and slow roll your head to stretch your neck. If you need a massage, go get one! Take time for you so you can be at your best; prepared for whatever comes. If you need to talk, call a friend who has the time and desire to assist. If you need professional help, make that happen sooner rather than later. Florida’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center is available 24/7 at 866-779-6121. You can also reach them at COVID-19@flhealth.gov. They are there for you, you pay for it through your taxes, so get your money’s worth if you need it! There is no negative stigma as 76% of Americans have talked it out with a therapist; it’s just another medical appointment. In closing, please remember to be kind in everything you do. Your kindness might bring another person out of a downward spiral; we all have our challenges and a smile and a kind word might start a victory that can spread like wildfire … and you made it happen! Always be grateful for the bountiful good in your life. There is always someone who is much worse off than you are; the beggar who had no shoes complained until he met the man with no feet. Volunteer to help others and both you and they will benefit immensely. Always be kind … always be grateful … always look to the future for the good things to come. Remember, this won’t last forever and we WILL survive this together. When it’s all over, we will miss the days at home where we could wear our jammies all day if we chose to do so. And we will be much stronger because of it.

Laurie Shrader is a retired Community Association Manager (CAM & PCAM) and currently the Marketing Director for Angius & Terry’s Florida offices. For more information, visit angius-terry. com, email lshrader@angius-terry.com, or call 407624-3070.


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contracts and the coronavirus BY PATRICK C. HOWELL, ESQ., BECKER

Association Contracts and the Coronavirus

D

espite efforts to contain the spread, the COVID-19 virus is already wreaking havoc on personal life and business dealings here in Florida. But are there legal ramifications for a community association that has a pending construction or renovation contract currently underway? Will the contractor be able to delay the completion of the contract, or even cancel the contract altogether? Is the association able to do the same? Depending upon the specific provisions in the contract, the answer to these questions may be “yes.” “Force majeure” or “acts of God” clauses are provisions that are often included in construction contracts here in Florida. Such clauses generally protect the parties in the event that the contract or a part of the contract cannot be performed due to causes which are outside the control of the parties and could not be avoided by the exercise of due care. The relief that is requested is typically a suspension of the parties’ obligations under the contract during the “force majeure” event and, if the event continues for a longer period of time, the right to terminate the contract. 12

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In order to obtain this relief, a party to the contract will need to prove that the event that has materially impacted or rendered impossible the performance of the contract, falls within the definition of “force majeure.” Secondly, the party will need to comply with any notice provisions and other preconditions that may be referenced in the contract. These preconditions may require that the parties to the contract take reasonable steps to mitigate the losses caused by the event. To maximize the chance of obtaining relief under a “force majeure” clause during this current pandemic, a party to a contract should consider both the direct impact the coronavirus may have had on their contract as an epidemic, as well as the effect of government actions, including travel restrictions, quarantines, rationing of supplies, and stay-at-home orders. The party considering a claim should compile as much evidence as possible on the effects of these events before making a claim. Continued on page 14


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contracts continued Should a contract not contain a “force majeure” or act of God clause, a party may still seek to rely on the doctrine of “impossibility of contract.” However, this doctrine will only be available in limited circumstances where performance of the contract has become truly impossible, or where there has been a change of circumstances so fundamental that it would be unjust to hold the parties to their original agreement. Where the doctrine is deemed to apply, the contract will terminate and the parties will be released from all future obligations.

pending contract. Either way, the association should consult with their legal counsel to go over all of their legal options.

Patrick Howell is Board Certified in Construction Law

Finally, it is important to consider that effects associated with the coronavirus may trigger other contractual provisions, for example provisions entitling a party to claim extensions of time for the final completion of the project or more money because of the extension of the contract. Bonds and insurance policies related to a project may need to be extended, and workers may remain on the project longer, which can be costly.

by the Florida Bar, a recognition for having the highest standards of skill, specialty knowledge, proficiency, professionalism and ethics. He has represented condominium and HOA clients in Central and Northeast Florida, obtaining substantial results in construction defect cases brought against developers, contractors, and subcontractors. He has also successfully argued appellate cases before the First, Second, and Fifth District Courts of Appeal. Patrick won the landmark case Maronda Homes v. Lakeview

In sum, any association that is in the midst of a contract may want to review their options during this crisis. Associations may also be approached by a contractor seeking to pause or even end a

Reserve before the Florida Supreme Court, which was a great win for all Florida homeowners associations. For more information, visit beckerlawyers.com, email phowell@beckerlawyers.com, or call 407-215-9660.

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aquatic ecosystem BY ERIN STEWART, AQUATIC BIOLOGIST & REGIONAL MANAGER AND KATELYN BEHOUNEK, AQUATIC BIOLOGIST, SOLITUDE LAKE MANAGEMENT

BACK TO BASICS: Consider the Rule of Three to Restore Balance to Your Aquatic Ecosystem When developing a management plan for a lake or pond, it is important to keep its purpose and priorities in mind. Is it strictly aesthetic? Is it used for fishing or recreation? Maybe it facilitates irrigation, drinking water, fire suppression, or stormwater collection? An effective freshwater management program can be compared to the importance of each leg on a “three-legged stool.” Just like the legs supporting the stool, many water resources are interdependent, meaning that the actions taken in the watershed could cause imbalances that have negative consequences downstream. Think of each “leg” of this metaphorical three-legged stool as representative of the (1) physical, (2) chemical, and (3) biological components of a freshwater resource. If one part of this trinity breaks down, the others will follow. To ensure each of these aspects is protected, it’s important to understand the ways in which they contribute to the health of a waterbody and how to identify imbalances when they arise. 16

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The first leg of the stool—the physical characteristics of a lake or pond—includes features such as size, depth, volume, bottom substrate, water source and exchange through the system. These are major components that can affect how a lake or pond responds to environmental conditions. For instance, shallow ponds with excessive build up of bottom muck and sediment, or those with limited water movement, will be more likely to experience algae and weed growth than a large, deep lake or one with lots of movement. The chemical characteristics, the second leg of the stool, refer to natural water quality components that can be measured, such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, nutrients, water clarity, dissolved metals, salts and many other parameters. Poor water quality in lakes and ponds often occurs when these parameters become imbalanced in one direction or another. This is often Continued on page 18


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aquatic ecosystem continued A proactive approach is most effective when it accounts for all elements of an ecosystem. Vegetative buffer management, shoreline stabilization, aeration, regular stormwater inspections, and even sediment removal are all proactive ways to support the physical leg of the stool. These tools limit the influx of runoff and pollutants, prevent erosion and sedimentation, increase water movement and maintain the depth and structural components of a lake or pond.

caused by polluted runoff entering the waterbody that contains fertilizer, pet or wildlife waste, landscaping debris (grass clipping and leaves) and other organic materials. This process of nutrient “pollution” is one of the most common causes of chemical imbalance in a freshwater ecosystem. The third biological component of the stool comprises all living things, including algae, plants, bugs, fish and microorganisms. Nutrient pollution is an example of how one component can directly affect another; nutrients encourage algae and aquatic plant growth. While moderate levels of growth are natural and provide habitat and food for fish and wildlife, algae and aquatic weed growth can proliferate under imbalanced conditions. Without proper management, nuisance algae and vegetation can block sunlight, limit access for fishing and boating, and compromise aesthetics. As these increased populations of plants and algae decay as part of their natural lifecycle, they will release more nutrients into the waterbody to fuel additional growth, creating a vicious cycle. In the process, the risk of fish kills, offensive odors, accumulation of bottom muck and nuisance insect populations can all increase—further offsetting the balance of the waterbody’s physical, chemical and biological characteristics.

Some of the more advanced management strategies utilize nutrient-locking products or beneficial bacteria to cycle and remove excess nutrients from the water column, reducing the potential for chemical imbalances. New technologies like nanobubble treatments can be used alongside these solutions to increase beneficial dissolved oxygen concentrations and enhance overall water quality. Aeration of all types can also help foster the health of fish, wildlife and beneficial insects through the biological food chain. These proactive tools can help give more “stability” to a freshwater management plan so serious, costly problems are far less likely to arise. Whether mosquitoes and bad odors are keeping you away from the water or nuisance algae is causing an eyesore around your property, there are always ways to counteract the issues you are experiencing. It is important to bring in a professional to educate you about the best proactive approaches for your waterbody and help design a custom management plan before problems get out of hand. Just like a master carpenter would use his knowledge and expertise to build you the best seat, a certified and trained lake management professional will take each “leg” of the aquatic resource into account to achieve your unique goals and objectives.

Erin Stewart (pictured left) and Katelyn Behounek

Having knowledge about the benefits of proactive management, and sustainable tools and technologies at our fingertips, adds a fourth, stabilizing “leg” to the “three-legged stool.” With a proactive management in place—even if one of the other components is slightly out of balance—the stool may wobble but will not fall over. In other words, problems that might normally be detrimental for a lake or pond can be identified and resolved early on, before they can impact other aspects of the ecosystem. 18

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(pictured right) are Aquatic Biologists with SOLitude Lake Management, a nationwide environmental firm that provides sustainable lake,

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welcome new members! BUSINESS PARTNERS Image Pools Florida, LLC Mr. Dennis Landis P. Marshall & Associates. LLC Mr. Brian Rivers REEF Technology Mr. Daren Lopez

Mrs. Jerri Amanda Whitney, CMCA Artemis Lifestyle Services, Inc. Ms. Anneke McCulloch, CMCA, AMS Georgetown at Celebration Condo Association Ms. Gail Spence Lake Ashton Home Owner’s Association Ms. Elizabeth Morris Leland Management, Inc.

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Associated Asset Management, LLC Mr. Terry Gormley

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MANAGER MEMBERS

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Ms. Delmarie Martinez

Ms. Diana Vassallo Celebration Residential Owners Association, Inc.

Ms. Jennifer Vo

WANT TO JOIN CAI? Homeowners, Managers, and Business Partners can become members. If you provide products or services to community associations, CAI can give you direct access to thousands of potential customers and provide unique opportunities through networking luncheons, socials, and other great events. Visit caicf.org/ resources/membership to learn more!

What’s Lurking Beneath the Surface in Your Community We handle claims on a contingent fee basis, advancing all fees and costs We have attorneys Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar We will partner with your current attorney for your association and solely handle the construction defect claim Do not let your claims expire! Call us at 407.455.5664 for a free inspection and report of any findings of construction defects

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coronavirus and insurance JOEL W. MESKIN, ESQ., CIRMS, CCAL FELLOW, MLIS, EBP, MANAGING DIRECTOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PRODUCTS, MCGOWAN PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS

Managing Expectations During the Pandemic

T

he Coronavirus Pandemic has found most of us with our arms up in the air. These are definitely unchartered waters. My question, as someone who has been spending a great deal of time answering questions on the Coronavirus and insurance coverage is: Did any prior pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of a communicable disease lead to the myriad of insurance issues we are now being asked to respond with clear and immediate responses? Maybe our standard response should be “maybe” or “it depends” on many variables before an intelligible response can be provided. This conundrum provides numerous opportunities for creative coverage attorneys representing Insureds to boldly assert and plausibly argue to find coverage where no such coverage was intended to exist. To trigger coverage under the Insured(s) Association Property Policy requires the existence of the Coronavirus in a common area constituting “property damage.” To satisfy the existence of property damage, most policies require that there is a “Covered Cause of Loss” (i.e. is the coronavirus a covered cause of loss) that results in direct physical loss of or damage to the Insured(s) covered property? I presume, but do not assume, that these requirements will not be met to trigger coverage for direct physical damage in the majority of jurisdictions. I also presume, but do not assume, that contingent damages arising or resulting from the alleged property damage will not be covered. These potential coverages include business 22

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interruption loss, loss of business income or loss of use. The anticipated arguments, protracted litigation, attorney fees and costs, as well as the fees and costs of countless multidisciplinary experts will depend on specific policy wording, state laws, court interpretation, judges and creative attorneys. All these factors will ultimately determine coverage or no coverage. These coverage issues and related litigation will undoubtedly go on for years, or until the insureds can no longer afford the fight. If you would like to get a taste of what we can expect, just Google Insurance Coverage Issues arising out of the World Trade Center Occurrence/Occurrences. On the other hand, insurers may choose to resolve such claims on a cost of business basis. This is less likely due to the nature and extent of the potential claims. I do not believe that insurers ever intended for coverage to exist under these circumstances. There are potential cases where express language, endorsements or definitions providing coverage exist. I also confidently contend that actuaries did not consider these exposures in developing rating and other modeling they use to best anticipate acceptable loss ratios and underwriting criteria, necessary to properly price coverage for the intended exposure. Again, this is different where there is specifically crafted or included provisions creating coverage. Continued on page 24


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insurance continued COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INSURANCE FOR CORONAVIRUS The following chart sets forth the basic community association insurance puzzle. It is anticipated that Insured(s) may seek coverage under the four highlighted policies below, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability Coverage, Workers Compensation Coverage and Property Coverage.

» Including State Amendatory endorsements » Added later As the issues below are reviewed, the structure set forth above will help understand why coverage is applicable to the potential coronavirus alleged claim for injury or damage. Issue No. 1: Most property insurance policies require that the Insured(s) property suffer direct physical damage to Insured property resulting from a covered peril. Does the existence, or possible existence of coronavirus constitute direct physical loss or damage to Insured property? Response No. 1: Probably not.

The focus of the issues set forth below involves the “common elements, property and amenities” of a not-for-profit community association such as a Condo, Coop or HOA. In addition, the focus here is on the alleged consequences from the existence of the coronavirus existing in/on a common element. These may have issues that differ from an analysis of a business where direct financial loss will result from the closure of a business due to direct physical loss to the Insured’s property. In order to analyze the existence of coverage under the various community association program, it is helpful to understand how to look and review an insurance policy. Notwithstanding the bad rap that insurance policies have for being filled with small print and legalese, there is a method to the madness. The carriers need to protect the intent they have behind an insurance product. Accordingly, if they do not cross every “t” and dot every “i”, they will be challenged on virtually every claim because without being this careful, the policy will be attacked as having language that is vague and ambiguous resulting in having the language being construed in favor of the Insured(s). For all intent and purpose, all property and casualty policies are built the same way. Specifically, they are structured as follows: • Insuring Agreement – Gives you the world • Definitions – Defines the World • Exclusions – Takes away a part of the world » Covered under another policy » Would make the policy unaffordable if not excluded » Against Public Policy • Conditions – What Insured must do to trigger coverage • Endorsements and Amendments – change the basic form. » Issued with policy 24

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Insured(s) will try and assert that the coronavirus introduced into the common elements constitutes direct physical loss or damage. Policy interpretation is subject to state law. Courts in some states have opined that contamination and other incidents that render property uninhabitable or otherwise unfit for its intended use constitutes a “physical loss.” I believe that this is the minority opinion. Moreover, this argument would not be to the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus issue in community associations is not really the existence of contaminated property as a result of the virus. One study concluded as follows: “The researchers behind the new study tested the virus’ life span in a 71-degree-Fahrenheit room at 65% relative humidity. After three hours, the virus had disappeared from printing and tissue paper. It took two days for it to leave wood and cloth fabric. After four days, it was no longer detectable on glass or paper money. It lasted the longest, seven days, on stainless steel and plastic.” (Business Insider, April 7, 2020 - www.businessinsider.com/ coronavirus-lifespan-on-surfaces-graphic-2020-3) The Coronavirus issue in community associations arising out of the closing of non-essential common elements to prevent social gathering and the spread of the virus. An association not heeding governmental orders or the recommendation of virtually all health care providers is


what the association should be concerned with. The Coronavirus as is discussed each day all day in the news has an extremely short life. By the time that the property can be tested for any contamination by coronavirus, or the governmental orders are lifted, the existence of the coronavirus would be moot. The coronavirus would no longer exist.

likely in an industry such as Restaurants and the Hospitality industry where the significant cost can be included in the cost of doing business. These supplemental coverages in the normal course will not include the direct physical loss of damage requirement. Accordingly, the mental gymnastics of whether there is property damage or not is avoided.

Issue No. 4: Is there coverage for consequential damages such as Business Interruption, Loss of Income or Loss of Use? Response No. 4: No. For these coverages for consequential damages, the damage must again result from Direct Physical damage or loss to The Insured(s) property. Accordingly, the same discussion in Response No. 1 above will apply here. The physical nature and life of the coronavirus is different than that of asbestos and mold where there are much stronger arguments that they constitute contamination of actual property damage and will not go away without remedial measures. Coronavirus will self-eliminate. Issue No. 2: Is there coverage for testing and or remediating costs? Response No. 2: Probably Not. There is no coverage for testing or remediation costs, again if there is no direct physical damage or loss. The discussion to this response is the same as Response No. 1. Issue No. 3: In the unlikely event that the coronavirus is considered “property damage” will there be any other impediment to coverage? Response No. 3: A. Yes. Even if the property damage is established, there are numerous exclusions that would apply. These exclusions further support that insurers had no intent to provide coverage. B. No. Coverage may exist where a policy may have a specific endorsement. This is not likely for community associations, however, because of extremely prohibitive costs. This is more

Keep in mind that Business Interruption insurance is intended to protect businesses against income losses sustained as a result of disruptions to their operations. Contingent business interruption coverage similarly provides insurance for financial losses resulting from disruptions to a business’s customers or suppliers, usually requiring that the underlying cause of damage to the customer or supplier be of a type covered with respect to the business’s own property. In the community association context, the interruption of operations may be argued to be the unit owner members’ inability to pay fees and assessments. This is not the result of coronavirus in the community association, but the result of the impact on their business or employment. This is too attenuated from the community association. With respect to the association’s inability to pay business partners such as landscapers, pool services or the like, the potential issue would not be a property policy issue. The potential risk will be a claim or suit against the association for breach of contract. As a breach of contract issue, there may be a defense pursuant to a Force Majeure provision in the contract (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.) Continued on page 26

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insurance continued Issue No. 5: If the Board opens common elements such as pools, clubhouses and gyms, will any insurance policy defend or indemnify the Board? Response No. 5: No.

Issue No. 6: If a unit owner or guest got sick with COVID-19 alleging the association negligently maintained the common elements that could not be closed (i.e. Elevators, entry doors or stairways)?

CONCLUSION In going through analysis of each issue above, it should be clear under which portion of the policy structure. (1) Does the alleged claim meet the elements of the insuring agreement; (2) If one is satisfied, does one of the definitions work to defeat coverage; (3) If there are no definitions to defeat coverage, are there any exclusions that apply and is the exclusion preclude defense and indemnity, or just indemnity still requiring the carrier pay for the defense; (4) Is there an applicable condition that has not been made, such as the time in which a claim must be reported to the carrier; and (5) Is there an endorsement that changes any terms or conditions or removes an exclusion or condition. I always make it a practice to review the endorsements first and be prepared to know if something I review in the actual policy has been changed. I opine that there is not going to be coverage under any of these policies for any of the issues presented. However, that does not preclude the possibility that attorneys will not challenge the basic policy forms. Insureds will have to do a cost benefit analysis in the event there is a possibility to challenge a policy provision.

Response No. 6: Probably No.

Issue No. 7: Is the COVID-19 disease covered under a workers compensation policy? Response No.7: No.

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION, IS NOT THE POSITION OF ANY SPECIFIC INSURER OR THE MCGOWAN COMPANIES. THESE ARE THE BEST THOUGHTS OF THE AUTHOR.

Joel W. Meskin, Esq., has been Vice President – Community Association Insurance and Risk Management, McGowan & Company, Inc., since January, 2005. McGowan & Company, Inc., now known as McGowan Program Administrators is a leading provider of Community Association and Property Manager Insurance Products nationwide. Joel is an attorney who spent 15 years specializing in insurance coverage, business and related litigation. Joel is also an insurance broker who first obtained his license in 1981. He obtained the designation of a Community Insurance & Risk Management Specialist (“CIRMS”) by the Community Associations Institute in 2005 and is a member of the CAI’s Insurance Networking committee. For more information, visit www.mymcgowan. com, call 800-545-1538 x2240, or email jmeskin@mcgowanins.com.

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financial impact of hurricanes HEATHER KARAMITSOS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/DIRECTOR OF ASSOCIATION BANKING, AMERICAN MOMENTUM BANK

5 Ways to Prepare for the Financial Impacts of a Hurricane

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ost Florida property owners know how to prepare their homes in the event of a hurricane. But, do they know how to prepare their community for the financial impacts that can follow? Hurricane Irma caused wide-spread damage throughout the state of Florida in August 2017. It also came on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. This meant insurance companies were overwhelmed by the volume of claims, and resources such as roofers, debris removers and water mitigation experts who would normally travel to assist the affected area were stretched thin. After Irma, many Florida communities were significantly delayed in conducting necessary repairs and remediation after the storm. In fact, some Florida communities are still receiving payouts for insurance claims, over two-and-a-half years later.

companies to have a financial plan ready before hurricane season. Here are five ways communities can prepare:

1. HAVE RESERVES AVAILABLE Irma taught us the valuable lesson that “Cash is King” after a storm. Ideally, communities should aim to have enough readily-available liquid cash to cover the expenses of disaster clean-up and/or to fund insurance deductibles immediately after the storm. After Hurricane Irma, communities with readily available cash and a network of local vendors on hand to support them were able to secure contractors for clean-up and repairs immediately after the storm. Properties that were dependent on insurance to fund their clean-up faced significant time delays.

2. OPEN A LINE OF CREDIT If your community does not have cash reserves specifically for

Hurricane Irma served as an important reminder – it is critical for community association board members and management 28

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Continued on page 30


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financial impact continued disaster clean-up or to fund your insurance deductible, consider opening a line of credit to have available in the event of a storm. A small line of credit such as $50,000 or $100,000 requires minimal expense for the community to have peace of mind. The line can be used to secure contractors, and if need be, can be increased later to cover the cost of insurance deductibles. Most lines of credit have an interest-only payment requirement. This is helpful if your line will be paid off by insurance in a short time frame. If your repair project could take months, or if you anticipate a lengthy wait for insurance funding, you can “term out” the line of credit to a more cost-effective longer-term loan with principle and interest payments.

4. HAVE A NETWORK OF TRUSTED VENDORS LINED UP Effective planning for a natural disaster or hurricane should include having a plan to secure the community before and after the storm, evacuation routes/flood zones, access to emergency services such as Police, EMS/Fire, FEMA contact information and regulations, and a network of trusted contractors to call on after the storm has passed. Have a list of who you will call for water mitigation, debris removal, roofing and other services after the storm. This list may include companies your community has worked with in the past or those you’ve identified in advance – just be sure to include only licensed contractors. The list should include both the companies’ names as well as specific contacts’ names and cell phone numbers, to increase the likelihood you can reach them after a storm.

5. WORK WITH AN ASSOCIATION-FRIENDLY BANK Your banker should be part of your trusted vendor list. Ideally, you’ll be working with a bank that is “association friendly” and understands the unique needs a community faces after a storm. For example, if your community needs a loan for repairs, Assignment of Assessment Rights is the only form of collateral your bank should require. If the bank wants to mortgage your clubhouse, which creates significant closing-cost expense, you may want to look for a bank that specializes in association banking. An association-friendly bank, like American Momentum Bank, can also consult on your line of credit for storm-related expenses, including sharing the process and time-frame for increasing your line to fund your deductible after a storm and making sure you can term out funds used on your line of credit and convert them to a longer-term loan. This will help your community’s cash flow while you’re waiting for insurance reimbursement. And lastly, ensure your term loan does not have a pre-payment penalty. This allows you to pay your loan off in full as soon as your insurance claims are settled, with no additional expense.

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3. HAVE UPDATED FINANCIALS READILY AVAILABLE

Heather J. Karamitsos is Senior Vice President / Director

Prior to a storm, make sure your community’s financials are upto-date and readily accessible. If you do need to try to open a line of credit or increase an existing line after a storm, you’ll have the required paperwork on hand. Print hard copies and keep them safe, that way if the power goes out, you can still access the financials.

of Association Banking at American Momentum Bank

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and is a state-certified continuing education provider for community association managers. She can be reached at hkaramitsos@americanmomentum.bank or by calling 941-806-0755.


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experience between our 6 ISA Certified Arborists on staff. Our biologist has 13 years of agency experience and spent over two years providing commercial environmental consulting services. We currently employ over 60 tree care professionals, heavy equipment operators as well as our biologist and Commercial Applicator. Our scope of work includes tree removals, tree pruning, root pruning & control, palm pruning and planting, cabling and bracing, storm and emergency work, tree surveys, environmental consulting, tree health care services and site clearing and mowing. Enviro Tree Service prides itself in having the most specialized equipment and certifications to complete your job in a safe and efficient manner. Our land clear-

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safety systems BY HONEYCOMB SYSTEMS

Saving on Fire & Life Safety Systems

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hat an incredible time. As we have paused economic activities, shifting our focus to the collective healthfulness of the world, it is certain that managing budgets are of critical importance for all. Recently CAI released the Community Associations & COVID-19 Impact survey stating, “the vast majority of community association board members express confidence in their current budget, but half expect their assessment delinquencies to increase going forward…” Furthermore, one third of the 600 respondents answered yes to already taking actions to reduce expenses because of the expected revenue impacts due to the global pandemic. As a small business, we routinely monitor and analyze our expenditures exploring where there may be room for reduction of cost without sacrificing quality. Like the survey respondents, we have outlined a plan forward anticipating the financial pressures both customers and vendors may face. Because this activity brings immense value in keeping our business healthy particularly during this time, here we offer some thoughts on reducing costs around your Fire and Life Safety Systems, including fire alarms, burglar 34

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alarms, video surveillance and access control systems.

1. OPEN COMMUNICATION Talk to your current provider about reducing system monitoring costs. Providers have an opportunity for flexibility in this area and may be able to offer competitive pricing. As is customary, requesting quotes from a few other providers can bring context to the monitoring landscape in your current area or for your current system. Be wary too of “too good to be true” pricing. Sometimes, the monitoring of systems can be offered at a very low rate which ties you to a proprietary system with pricey maintenance down the road, which leads us into our next point.

2. UNDERSTAND PROPRIETARY OR LEASED PRODUCTS Before agreeing to a new system installation, read the contract thoroughly. Some products, once installed, require a specific company to service the equipment. Furthermore, if your Continued on page 36


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safety systems continued community decides to switch providers, hefty fees can be charged for removal. There are enough manufactures of compliant and quality equipment on the market, which can be installed and serviced by any provider, allowing you the freedom of choice in servicing company. Leased products, similarly, may have a low entry cost that over time far exceeds the pricing of a system purchased outright at the onset. Any system a customer installs on their property should ultimately belong to the customer, particularly because the customer assumes the responsibility of the equipment being in working order. We dislike seeing communities held hostage by the equipment installed leading to unnecessarily high costs or noncompliance in avoidance of such costs. It is far more expensive in the long run to have to tear out an initially inexpensive proprietary system and replace it completely – every time.

3. CONSIDER SWITCHING TO A CELLULAR DIALER Though many may have been exposed to this in the past, switching from a plain old telephone service line (POTS) to a wireless monitoring method will reduce the total cost of monitoring a Fire Safety System. While the actual monitoring price will increase, the cost of the two lines per control panel needed to monitor over POTS will be eliminated. This creates a net cost savings. For multibuilding properties, this can limit the maintenance and service costs associate with the system because it also eliminates the need

for underground wire runs, which are subject to weathering and damage, leading to more frequent replacement. This especially holds true with Central Florida’s weather and climate. On a final note, installing a new cellular dialer can be considered a capital expenditure, which includes many favorable financial benefits.

4. PERFORM RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE Most practically, this is required by law. Most notably, it keeps both human life and property safe. Further though, over time, keeping a healthy system limits costs down the road. Like car trouble that may be small, initially a system that goes without necessary repairs can evolve into a much larger problem in the future. We understand it may be tempting to spend on something seen like landscaping or painting, which may be more attractive to prospective buyers or residents, but this unseen system keeps all safe long after it has been forgotten. Though Fire and Life Safety Systems may not be the most exciting part of an association’s operations they are essential. It is our hope these tips will offer some practical and fiscal support to you and your communities. Reach out to us directly with any questions or on the CAI forum if you believe your inquiry will be helpful for another. May you, your communities, and your Life Safety Systems stay well during these times!

For more information about Honeycomb Systems, please call 407-487-6166, email admin@honeycombsys.com or visit www.honeycombsys.com.

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board actions during pandemic BY ALAN E. TANNENBAUM, ESQ., TANNENBAUM SCRO

Some Board Actions Cannot Wait Until the Coronavirus is Squelched

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ommunity Association Boards around Florida have understandably curtailed activities. No live board meetings should be being held. Annual meetings have been postponed. Common area use has been curtailed. This will help us get through this national crisis alive and well.

with hurricane season approaching, needs to be kept up. If there is active water intrusion into a building or residence, repairs can’t wait. The Coronavirus Stay in Place Order will not be a viable defense to a negligent maintenance claim if repairs are neglected.

HURRICANE PREPARATIONS The challenge is, some Board actions cannot await the “all clear.” This list is not intended to be exhaustive. My friends on the general counsel side will invariably have more to add to this list.

The prediction is that this hurricane season will be more active than in recent years. Contracts to repair vulnerable areas of buildings need to be let now. June could be too late to start this process.

INSURANCE RENEWALS

COMPLETING ENGINEERING STUDIES AND PLACING RESPONSIBLE PARTIES ON NOTICE

You have to keep the property insured. If policies are up for renewal, they need to be acted upon. This is not a time to allow coverages to lapse.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR In hi-rises and mid-rises, fire-protection and air-conditioning systems need to be serviced. Pools, even though hopefully not in use, and pool equipment need to be serviced. Landscaping maintenance, 38

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Groups recently turned over from developer control need to complete their engineering studies and authorize the responsible parties to be placed on notice. Again, with hurricane season approaching, if, for example, a developer has left an association with defective roofs or drainage problems, it is crucial for associations to Continued on page 40


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board actions continued act quickly in transferring the risk of damage from these defects to the responsible parties.

required notice procedures in the process. They aren’t waived absent dire circumstances.

If the developer and other responsible parties are informed now, they have time to investigate the issues and propose solutions. If they don’t have time to do this, and a hurricane hits in June, they will defend any claim on the basis that the association did not notify them of defects in a timely fashion.

Directors must direct, even in the face of national crisis. So association activities cannot await this national crisis to be over. It is understandable that the focus of board members right now is to protect themselves and their families. At the same time, however, boards are obliged by statute and the governing documents to protect the interests of the community and its members.

The State Legislature has not extended applicable statutes of limitation. If you have a construction defect issue that was discovered almost four years ago which the association desires to pursue, the statute can run while the Board awaits this Coronavirus crisis to end. For associations with buildings approaching ten years of age that went through a late turnover or have recently-discovered defects where the Board has designs on pursuing responsible parties for defects, the Board can’t let the ten-year outside period be reached without authorizing the filing of suit.

Get into action on matters that cannot wait!

HOW DO WE MEET? Hold your meetings by conference call, with or without live video. Hold exempt meetings with your lawyer in the same fashion. Follow

Alan E. Tannenbaum is a Board Certified attorney in Construction Law. For more information, please visit tannenbaumscro.com or call 941-316-0111.

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Proudly serving Central Florida for 60 years.

• Landscape Maintenance • Irrigation Management • Tree Services • Landscape and Enhancement Services (407) 275-6200 www.carolkingscapes.com

Be sure to update

your board’s member names, titles (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Board Member), and contact information to ensure your board members receive all the latest CAI member benefits!

Update today: ONLINE at www.caionline.org EMAIL addresschanges@caionline.org MAIL to CAI, P.O. Box 34793, Alexandria, VA 22334-0793

Have your community association board members changed since last year? 2ND QUART ER 2020 | CENT RAL F LOR I D A TI M E S

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CAI CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS In addition to the many perks associated with a National CAI Membership, your local Central Florida Chapter offers even more value and engagement to its members:

HOMEOWNER VOLUNTEERS

COMMUNITY MANAGERS

If three members from the same board join the chapter, your first year of membership dues are FREE

CAICF will pay for HALF of your manager tuition fees for required education credits

MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

BUSINESS PARTNERS

Company recognition & networking Maximize business brand opportunities with current & recognition & enjoy exclusive potential clients, as well as face-to-face networking industry-specific business partners opportunities with potential clients

LOCAL CHAPTER EDUCATION AND NETWORKING EVENTS Quarterly Board Certification classes CEU credit hours at specified luncheon events Participation opportunity at the Annual Golf Outing Invitation to the Summer Social & Annual Gala Admission and exclusive perks at one of the best community association tradeshows in Central Florida

Opportunity to attend and speak at panels, Q&A sessions, education classes, and Business Roundtable events Participation & sponsorship opportunities at the Annual Golf Outing Invitation to the Summer Social & Annual Gala Admission, exclusive booth vendor pricing, and sponsorship opportunities at one of the best community association tradeshows in Central Florida

Professional Designations & Certifications Local Professional Management Development Program Classes Quarterly Board Certification classes CEU credit hours at specified luncheon events

ACCESS TO SPECIALIZED COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION SERVICE PROVIDERS Online service directory Personal interaction at monthly events Panels and Q&A sessions

SPONSORSHIP & MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES In addition to brand recognition, sponsors enjoy benefits like a free booth at the trade show, advertising opportunities, first consideration at speaking events, discounted pricing for future sponsorships and events & advertising on the chapter website Inclusion in the Service Directory

INCLUSION IN ONE OF THE LARGEST CHAPTERS IN THE US ENCOMPASSING OVER 7,500 HOA & CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS IN MARION, VOLUSIA, SEMINOLE, ORANGE, BREVARD, OSCEOLA, POLK, LAKE & SUMTER COUNTIES!

Interested in joining the CAI Central Florida Chapter? For assistance or more information, reach out to the Executive Director by calling 407-850-0106 or e-mailing at exdir@caicf.org. To join now, visit www.caionline.org for membership categories and dues. Prior to joining online you will be prompted to log in or create an account. Membership dues are non-refundable.

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CE N TRAL F L O R I D A T I M ES | 2 ND Q UARTER 2 0 2 0


got credentials? If you have credentials, you have credibility. More than just letters after your name, CAI credentials identify you as the right professional for the job. They give employers confidence that you have the knowledge, experience and integrity to provide the best possible service to their associations. CAI provides opportunities for industry professionals to fast-track their companies and careers and stand out from the competition. If you hold a CAI credential, you are automatically listed in CAI’s online Directory of Credentialed Professionals, where potential employers and clients can find you—and see that you stand above the rest.

»

CrEdEnTIALs For ProFEssIonALs: z association management specialist (ams®) z Professional Community association manager (PCam®) z large-scale manager (lsm®)

»

z reserve specialist (rs™) z Community insurance and risk management specialist (Cirms®) CrEdEnTIALs For MAnAGEMEnT CoMPAnIEs: z accredited association management Company (aamC®)

Learn how to earn CAI credentials today . . . visit www.caionline.org/credentials or call (888) 224-4321 (M-F, 9–6:30 ET) for more information.

interested in getting more involved? join a caicf committee! If you are interested in getting more involved in the chapter, joining a committee is a great thing to consider. Below are the different committees that we currently have active. Please feel free to contact any of the following committee chairs: CA Day/Trade Show Committee Gina Holbrook Premier Association Management gina.holbrook@premiermgmtcfl.com Chuck Strode Premier Association Management chuck@premiermgmtcfl.com Communications Committee Benjamin Isip Towers Property Management, Inc. ben@towerspropertymgmt.com Education Committee Negar Sharifi Assured Partners negar.sharifi@assuredpartners.com Fran James Sentry Management stonebridgeplace@csbonline.net

Gala Committee Lou Biron Sihle Insurance Group lbiron@sihle.com

Membership Committee Jason Martell Martell & Ozim jmartell@martellandozim.com

Golf Tournament Committee Scott Pollock Sentry Management spollock@sentrymgt.com Legislative Committee Lou Biron Sihle Insurance Group lbiron@sihle.com

Jessica Cox Leland Management jcox@lelandmanagement.com Social Committee Tara Stone Your Private Adjustor tara@yourprivateadjuster.com

Meet the Managers Committee Chuck Strode Premier Association Management chuck@premiermgmtcfl.com

Sunshine Foundation Committee Jennifer Agravat Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems jennifer.agravat@asphaltnews.com

2ND QUART ER 2020 | CENT RAL F LOR I D A TI M E S

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2020 MEDALLION SPONSORS!

platinum Alliance Association Bank Angius & Terry, LLP AriasBosinger Asphalt 365 Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems AssuredPartners Atlantic Southern Paving Ball Janik, LLP BB&T Association Services Becker BEHR & KILZ Paints & Primers BrightView Landscape Services Castle Group Cepra Landscape Driveway Maintenance EmpireWorks Reconstruction and Painting Enviro Tree Services Expert Inspectors Inc.

Gerstle, Rosen & Goldberg, PA Glickstein, Laval, Carris, P.A. Heron Home & Outdoor I&E Construction, Inc. Kings Access Control Larsen & Associates, P.L. Leland Management Parmley Environmental Services Reserve Advisors The Ruggieri Law Firm The Sherwin-Williams Company SOLitude Lake Management Stratus Roofing Union Bank Vestra Property Services, Inc. Vice Painting Yellowstone Landscape

gold Artemis Lifestyle Services, Inc. Sentry Management, Inc. Sihle Insurance Group

Towers Property Management Valley National Bank

silver Bel-Mac Roofing, Inc. Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine Carol King Landscape Maintenance Centennial Bank 44

CE N TRAL F L O R I D A T I M ES | 2 ND Q UARTER 2 0 2 0

Cohen Law Group Lanco Paints RealManage

Profile for Overflow

CAICF | 2nd Quarter 2020 Newsletter  

CAICF | 2nd Quarter 2020 Newsletter  

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