Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute
A Magazine for Community Association Volunteer Leaders, Professional Managers and Business Partners
People of the Community
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Community Harmony & Spirit Community Association Volunteers ... and more!
2 | Quorum
CONTENTS 12 Working with a Great HOA Board… What’s That? By Rippy Gill,
14 Community Harmony & Spirit Reprinted with permission from Foundation for Community
17 Arlington Oaks: Doing Its Part for the Environment By David Thompson
18 Community Association Volunteers By Mary C. Horner,
20 Why Neighborhood Watch?
DEPARTMENTS AND MORE
By Liliana Martinez,
Message from the Executive Director
Chapter Benefactor: Rainbow International Restoration Company of Northern Virginia
Quorum Magazine Editorial Calendar
Welcome New Members
Event Flyer: 2017 WMCCAI Conference & Expo People & Places
Event Flyer: 2016 Membership Recruiting Contest
Event Flyer: Jump Start January
Index to Advertisers
Cul de Sac: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
WMCCAI MISSION STATEMENT To optimize the operations of Community Associations and foster value for our business partners.
22 Unsung Heroes
By Mira Brown,
24 The Importance of Volunteers By Ron Unger,
26 The Essence of Community: Coming Together During A Tragedy By Kathleen N. Machado,
28 Engaging the Next Generation By Crishana L. Loritsch,
CMCA, AMS, PCAM
30 People of the Community: Broadlands By Broadlands Board of Directors
Reader comments and suggestions are welcome. Address your comments to: Quorum 7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100 West Falls Church, VA 22043
We also welcome article submissions from our members. For author guidelines, call (703) 750-3644 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Articles may be edited for length and clarity. DECEMBER 2016
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OFFICERS President Jeremy M. Tucker, ESQ President-elect Bruce H. Easmunt, ESQ. Vice President Sarah Elise Gerstein, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Secretary Crishana L. Loritsch, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Treasurer Rafael A. Martinez, CTP Immediate Past President Donna G. Newman, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Executive Director Matt Rankin, CAE (ex officio)
COUNCIL CHAIRS Communications Council Ruth Katz, ESQ. Education Council Donald Plank, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Member Services Council Orlando Ramirez COMMITTEE CHAIRS Conference & Expo William Cornelius and Jennifer Bennett, CMCA, AMS, PCAM D.C. Legislative/LAC Jane Rogers, ESQ. Education Debra K. Johnson, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, and Kevin A. Kernan, ESQ. Golf Jim Pates and Elizabeth Rudolph, AMS, PCAM Maryland Legislative Mitch Farrah, CMCA Outreach David Jensen and Lenard Goldbaum, AMS, PCAM Membership Joe Inzerillo and Jarold Martin Quorum Editorial Susan L. Truskey, ESQ. and Nicole Williams, ESQ. Chapter Events Toni Partin, CMCA, AMS and June Chulkov Virginia Legislative Ronda DeSplinter, LSM, PCAM and William A. Marr Jr., ESQ. QUORUM Editor Rickey E. Dana, email@example.com Design Support Services QUORUM EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Co-chairs Susan L. Truskey, ESQ. and Nicole Williams, ESQ. Members Mira Brown, CMCA, AMS, Chris Carlson, PE, Deborah Carter, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Bruce Easmunt, ESQ., Michael Gartner, ESQ., Laura Goguet, CMCA, AMS, Scott Greges, CMCA, AMS, Shannon Junior, Ruth Katz, ESQ., Crishana Loritsch, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Thomas Mugavero, ESQ., Ed O’Connell, ESQ., Kara Permisohn, Brandi Ruff, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Lauri Ryder, CIC, CRM, CMCA, Kim Veirs, Aimee Winegar, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Michael Zupan, ESQ. Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute, a 501(c)(6) organization, serves the educational, business and networking needs of the community association industry in 80 cities/counties in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Members include community association homeowner volunteer leaders, professional managers, association management companies, and other businesses and professionals who provide products and services to planned communities, cooperatives and condominiums. WMCCAI has more than 3,000 members including 300+ businesses, 1,100 professional managers from 85 management companies, and approximately 1,500 community association homeowners. WMCCAI is the largest of Community Associations Institute’s 60 chapters worldwide. Quorum is the award-winning premiere publication of WMCCAI, dedicated to providing WMCCAI’s membership with information on community association issues. Authors are responsible for developing the logic of their expressed opinions and for the authenticity of all presented facts in articles. WMCCAI does not necessarily endorse or approve statements of fact or opinion made in these pages and assumes no responsibility for those statements. This publication is issued with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services and nothing published in Quorum is intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on as such. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought directly by the person requiring such advice or services. Articles appearing in Quorum may not be reprinted without first obtaining written approval from the editor of Quorum. In the event that such permission is granted, the following legend must be added to the reprint: Reprinted with permission from Quorum™ magazine. Copyright 2016 Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute. Quorum is a trademark of WMCCAI. Receipt of Quorum is a privilege of WMCCAI membership for which $65 in nonrefundable annual dues is allocated. The subscription price for nonmembers is $75 per year; contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 750-3644.
welve years ago, the leadership of WMCCAI designed a new way to support our work as a whole – the Chapter Partnership Program. It was structured to offer unique opportunities and value for annually supporting the Chapter at levels ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. I often say to prospective partners that sustained growth for WMCCAI depends on continually demonstrating our value to current and prospective members. The annual financial support of our Chapter Partners ensures that the prices we charge members for education and networking activities does not become a barrier to participation. Due in large part to the financial support of our Chapter Partners, we have hit several major milestones in the last several years, including surpassing 3,000 members, reaching 2,000 registrants at Conference & Expo, and winning multiple chapter excellence awards from CAI. We have engaged in strategic planning, reorganized, added staff and new technologies, and grew the Chapter 25% in a relatively short amount of time. As we approach our 40th anniversary we are extremely grateful for every company that has donated through the Partnership Program. Looking back through our records we were pleased to see that several companies have been partners since the program launched in 2006 - eleven years straight! 8 Associa-Community Management Corporation, AAMC 8 BELFOR Property Restoration 8 Goldklang Group CPAs, P.C. 8 Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered 8 McFall & Berry Landscape Management, Inc. 8 Miller Dodson Associates 8 Thomas Downey, Ltd. 8 Zalco Realty, Inc., AAMC
from the executive director
DIRECTORS Gordon Boezer, Dorothy Firsching, PMP, Michael Gartner, ESQ., Airielle Hansford, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Jose Ignacio, CPA, Judith McNelis, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Ted Ross, Todd A. Sinkins, ESQ., Elizabeth Schultz, CMCA, AMS, and Stephen Wright, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM
Giving Thanks for our Chapter Partners
Furthermore, four companies have been Benefactors (the highest level of support) from the start. 8 Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn, P.C. 8 Minkoff Company, Inc. 8 Rees Broome, P.C. 8 Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP Looking back at our leadership’s vision for the Partnership Program a dozen years ago, it’s clear they got it right. Not only did they plant the seeds for Chapter growth, but we have been able to gradually reduce our relative reliance on Partnership income in our operating budget. That’s smart growth.
Matt Rankin, MPA, CAE
Matt Rankin, as the chapter’s executive director, is responsible for implementing the organization’s mission and goals and managing its staff. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications, and George Mason University, where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree, concentrating on nonprofit management. Rankin has 20 years of nonprofit/association management experience and is a Certified Association Executive.
To advertise in Quorum, contact Rickey E. Dana, editor, (703) 750-3644 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information about Quorum or WMCCAI, visit www.caidc.org.
C H A P T E R
B E N E F A C T O R
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Rainbow’s water damage restoration technicians are trained in current procedures like Rapid Structural Drying in order to dry the entire structure as quickly as possible by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Rainbow’s service technicians can also help with, Board-Up, Tarp-Over Service and/or Reconstruction Services.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rainbowintl.com/Alexandria Year Established or Incorporated: 1987 Areas you serve: Maryland, Northern Virginia & Southern Florida CAI Member Since: 2013 Certificate of Insurance: Yes Bonded: N/A Areas you serve: Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC Corporate Associations: Capital Building & Facility, Building Owners and Manager Associations, Property Management Association and National Association of Residential Property Managers. Licenses Held: Virginia – A licensed contractor. Services Provided: Based on 33 years of experience in flood restoration, fire restoration, smoke damage and mold removal, Rainbow International has put into practice a comprehensive and customer care-focused protocol system. Rainbow’s Emergency Service Teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Because we comprehend just how important it is to act quickly in the face of an emergency, you can rely on Rainbow International to provide the quick emergency response and efficient professional services that are on-call 24-hours a day. Rainbow’s foremen and superintendents will oversee reconstruction of the damaged property/building from the beginning to the end. Exceeding customer expectations is what sets us apart. We are committed to the four tenets of customer-service excellence: Fast Response, Quality Results, Genuine Concern, Clear Communication. Company Philosophy: We live our Code of Values by; 8 Respect 8 Integrity 8 Customer Focus 8 We Restore, You Recover!!
QUORUM MAGAZINE EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Month January February March April May June July August
Theme Securing Your 2017 Our 40th Anniversary Community Associations of the Year Dirty Jobs Summer Recreation Covenants Legislative Update Annual Meeting Review
*Themes subject to change.
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Article/Submisions Due Nov. 1 Dec. 1 Jan. 1 Feb. 1 March 1 April 1 May 1 June 1
Ads Due Nov. 17 Dec. 17 Jan. 17 Feb. 17 March 17 April 17 May 17 June 17
Welcome New Members WMCCAI proudly welcomes the following members who joined the chapter in October 2016.
AWESOME Service WOW Technology GREAT Pricing
Community Association Volunteer Leaders from the Following Associations Lionsgate at Woodmont Corner River Place North Housing Corporation Shenandoah Homeowners Association Westmarket Homeowners Association
Full Service Management for Community Associations Susan Blackburn or Heather Graham (703) 821-CAMP (2267)
Individual Managers Alanna Floyd, EJF Real Estate Services, Inc.
Shelly Friend, Associa-Community Management Corporation, AAMC Ashley Gonzalez, AssociaCommunity Management Corporation, AAMC Lisa Moriole, Brownstone Property & Asset Management LLC dba Moriole Management Lisa Anne Mulloy, Sequoia Management Company, Inc., AAMC Kenyarda Stone, Gates Hudson Community Management, AAMC Business Partners Dominion Property Restoration Services, Inc. Innovative Mechanical Systems TD&D Unlimited, LLC Tree Care & Landscaping Management Company Capitol Management Corporation
For more information on WMCCAI meetings or upcoming events, contact the chapter office at (703) 750-3644, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.caidc.org. DECEMBER 1-2
M-206: Financial Management
This course gives you the tools to understand and apply the principles of financial management to your community association. You’ll learn the entire budget process, from identifying line items to reconciling accounts to gaining board approval. Register through CAI, www.caionline.org/pmdp. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Northern Virginia Registration Fees Member Nonmember
Roundtable: Manager and Legal
8 Do you want to bounce ideas off of an experienced manager and attorney? 8 Get some valuable perspective and useful information from the area's top community association managers and lawyers!
12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Maggiano’s Tysons Corner Registration Fees Homeowner Manager Business
Member $30 $35 $85
Nonmember $40 $50 $100
Lunch will be provided; happy hour to follow. Register at www.caidc.org. Please bring an upwrapped toy for our 2016 Toy Drive, see page 10 for details.
JANUARY 12, 2017
Jump Start January 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. Fairview Park Marriott Registration Fees Early Bird
After Dec. 15
Homeowner Member Homeowner Nonmember
Manager Member Manager Nonmember
Business Partner Member $85 Business Partner Nonmember $135
Kick off 2017 with an all-star event at WMCCAI’s Jump Start January. Score new contacts, toss your name in the hat for championship prizes, and learn how to maximize your playing time in the Chapter. WMCCAI’s annual membership meeting will be followed by our featured speaker, Rick “Doc” Walker. Registration fees include continental breakfast and lunch. Visit www.caidc.org to register online.
FEBRUARY 25, 2017
REGISTER NOW Conference & Expo
Don’t miss the largest and most important conference and expo in the Washington metro area for the community association industry. More than 200 industry-leading companies will exhibit at the 2017 Conference & Expo, and last year we welcomed more than 2,000 attendees.
Walter E Washington Convention Center 801 Mount Vernon Place NW Washington, DC 20001 Registration Fees Reg Rate
After Feb. 1
Homeowner Member Homeowner Nonmember
Manager Member Manager Nonmember
Business Partner Member $170 Business Partner Nonmember $200
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Visit www.caidc.org for more information.
people & places
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Recognized as National Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report
10 | Quorum
The 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report - Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms” has awarded Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP exemplary ratings in its seventh annual rankings of law firms. Twenty of the firm’s practices were ranked at the national level, as well as thirty-seven in Maryland, ten in Washington, D.C., and two in Roanoke, VA.
Please Support the 2016 WMCCAI Toy Drive Please bring new unwrapped toys and gifts to the WMCCAI office November 14 - December 9, 2016. You can also bring a toy to the December 6 Happy Hour and get a free drink ticket! See page 8 for details.
For questions about the toy drive, email email@example.com.
2 0 1 6
M E M B E R S H I P
R E C R U I T M E N T
C O N T E S T
Win A Trip to the Homestead 4TH ANNUAL RECRUITMENT CONTEST For every new member that signs up for a one year membership with WMCCAI—you get one entry in a drawing for a trip to the Omni Homestead Resort or other prizes!
WE CAN REACH 4,000 MEMBERS! 1st prize is Two Nights – Three Days at the Omni Homestead Resort for two adults! Daily Breakfast for two is included. PLUS...
Step 1. – Go to caionline.org and click ‘Join Now’
Other great 2nd and 3rd place prizes!
Step 2. – Select your member level and fill out the form; Don’t forget to add your referral name!
7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100 West Falls Church, VA 22043 T: (703) 750-3644 F: (703) 941-1740 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.caidc.org
Working with a Great HOA Board…What’s That? 12 | Quorum
By Rippy Gill, CMCA, AMS Rippy is a long-time Realtor, and now is an onsite manager for a large-scale community in Loudoun County with the Cardinal Management Group.
uch fortunate happenstances are rare indeed. Rather, how often do we see the only too familiar stereotype of a power drawn individual who enjoys the sound of his own voice and barking orders? Never happened to you. Er…sure, okay. We work in an industry where a significant amount of power is given to those with, oftentimes, no experience in the community association world or have never been responsible for such large amounts of financial resources. Typically, many whom we do encounter are confident they know so much more, simply based on the fact that they live there - in that community. In this very special universe of its own, a board may routinely disregard the fact that you, the appointed professional hired for your expertise and experience, is a professional who may actually have earned and warrant some regard and respect. Sigh…such a fantasy of working with a dream team seems so far-fetched and absurdly unrealistic. Come to think of it, such a likelihood is hard to imagine in any arena; definitely far less likely in this community association business where emotions underlie so many decisions made for an entire community. How curious that few qualifications or significant screenings occur for managing the future of so many. Okay, now that the grim and bleak shadow has just been so glibly cast over HOA and condo boards with such hearty rhetoric and pomposity, allow me to offer a newsworthy and media shattering revelation! Wait for it – yes, and this is entirely true; I work with an amazing, professional, attentive and engaging group of people who make up an HOA board in a fine large scale community comfortably situated in this fast growing and once considered “out in the country” world of Loudoun County. Yes, civilization has reached this far away region beyond the beltway and what a great job is being performed here. People working here seem invigorated, able, and willing to give of their time and relate in a friendly, warm way that quite frankly would astound most of my former peers in the DC area – how utterly fabulous! Yes, although one may still be expecting that sardonic and dismissive air oft found in the City and the Northern Virginia ‘burbs from where I transferred, quite frankly that taciturn air has still to make a showing. These board members are complete professionals: punctual, dispassionate and impartial, happy to make choices for the betterment of the entire community, and not just making the easiest of choices. Granted, there is not full agreement on all issues, but sound calculated conclusions come about with an earnest involvement and no resentment if a decision does not mirror their own individual preference. The Board liaison ensures her availability on set days; the Board president, whom so many have insisted continue his tenure ship, merits much respect in the community; the treasurer is not afraid to get involved if any issue is requiring immediate attention; and a very busy secretary
working in a high-powered position in DC, manages to make it to meetings (frankly which must surely seem so droll compared to his life in a high level appointed post!). Oft times when comparing notes with peers, it has become apparent that it is not what this lovely assembly of volunteers do, so much as what they do not do - no compulsion to be obstructive, trusting the management team to perform well, and offer assurances of trust that essentially decrees that a job will be performed well. How rare is that - respecting and believing in the team retained to perform a function and allowing the system to operate effectively with little interference or power plays! Remarkable and oh so satisfying. In fact, this has ensured that the team who now never wants to let the Board down, works even harder at each aspect – so truly rewarding for all around! An example to put forward is the one-time newsletter, for which a staff member had a strong vision for its development. The Board supported the changes and the final product is a pretty fine specimen, one might even now refer to it as a magazine level publication. This could only have happened with the editor being permitted to have ease of direction, design freedom, and fulfilment. The Board was not disappointed. A perfect relationship of trust and mutual respect. Right, so how do you too compile the perfect board? Well funny you ask that – because frankly I have absolutely no idea! How such a fortunate situation came about is an occurrence for which I can take no credit and yet, rest assured, it is being fully relished by all staff members (I am sure) and certainly by appreciative and grateful residents. So, let’s reflect: perhaps there are some critical components for this successful group. There is little question that our quiet, industrious, and dedicated Board leader sets not only a superior standard and expectation of professionalism, but also a high level of perfunctory performance that continues to be replicated. Undoubtedly it is easy to see why such an individual is respected by both board members and management alike: a kind, fair and fully engaged individual working to better an association for the sake of its own overall betterment truly an uncommon individual; one working with such a selfless intent is rare to encounter. Perhaps he should run for office? Hah! Have I crossed a line this election year…I can feel the heat! Working with a great HOA board can definitely happen. I shall forgive the envy that I sense building and no, I will not trade positions. Covet away as I bask in the rays of this magical place far away from the big city and its environs. Perhaps the key is having a great leader and that matters to all of us be it for a nation or an HOA community but putting a community ahead of one’s own agenda is a rare trait to encounter at all levels.
Yes, civilization has reached this far away region beyond the beltway and what a great job is being performed here.
Does your community association struggle to attract volunteers? Are you looking for new ways to energize and strengthen community relations, but have run out of ideas? If you haven’t explored the variety of resources available through your membership in CAI or the Foundation for Community Association Research – now is the time. Featured below is a portion of the Foundation’s Best Practices report on Community Harmony & Spirit.
Community Harmony & Spirit A
ccording to Foundation for Community Association Research’s National Survey of Community Association Homeowner Satisfaction, the average community association resident volunteers twice a year for community-sponsored events. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said that they participate in each of the following community-wide events: parties, holiday celebrations, neighborhood watch programs, and community holiday decorating. Forty-five percent of respondents said that they participate in other social events. However, 45 percent of community association residents also admitted that they either never volunteer or only volunteer in their associations once a year. How do managers and boards increase resident involvement within community associations? By treating all residents as stakeholders and developing and conducting community harmony and spirit-enhancing programs and including residents in the initial stages of program development. Building community spirit is more than informing residents about board action and improvements. It’s asking their opinions and developing programming that they will enjoy that will spur further community involvement. Community spirit means pride in a community. The community associations of today are neighborhoods of yesterday. Spirited communities, like safe neighborhoods, have higher sale values. Community spirit creates an emotional equity that sets communities apart from the rest.
Ways to Promote Community Spirit To promote community spirit in your community, try one of these activities: Create a neighborhood assistance program. Seabrook Island Property Owners Association in Johns Island, South Carolina, established the Good Neighbor Connection. Residents volunteer to provide neighbors with all types of assistance and a monthly coordinator assigns volunteers to their respective jobs. Ford’s Colony at Williamsburg Homeowners’ Association, in Williamsburg, Vir14 | Quorum
ginia, chartered Caring Neighbors under its Activities Committee. These volunteers provide cards and personal calls, transportation for medical appointments and rides to the airport, meals for families with an illness or death in the family, loaner items for medical equipment such as canes and crutches, loaner items for grandparents with visiting grandchildren such as cribs and high chairs, handyman services for small jobs, and an extensive resource of those willing to discuss their medical experiences with those facing these challenges. Volunteers coordinate each major service under an elected program director. Hold a neighborhood swim-a-thon. The Greenbriar Community Association in Greenbelt, Maryland, held a community swim-a-thon. Residents solicited pledges from neighbors for each lap they swam. Greenbriar donated the event’s proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Print a community T-shirt. The management of Village Cooperatives, Inc., in Ann Arbor, Michigan, printed community Tshirts and sold them for $10 each. The back of the shirt read, “I Live on 64 Acres,” and the front had the community’s logo. Not only does this increase community spirit, but it also generates additional revenue for the association and serves as a marketing tool. Hold a clothing drive. The board of Atrium in Arlington, Virginia, developed a program to support the work of the charitable organization, Unity Health Care. The organization put bins in Atrium’s health club. Residents put items—both new and used—in these bins. Unity Health Care then distributes these items to other charitable organizations in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Build and install park benches along walking trails and ponds. Find the craftsmen in your community and have them build community park benches with materials provided by the association. This saves money and is a great community spirit project both for the volunteers and the enjoyment of the residents. Rent an auger for easy installation and don’t forget to call your local utility companies to help you mark underground utilities! Discover ways in your community to support local charities and schools. A measure of success and contentment can be evaluated in the level of dedication to giving back to the greater community. Sharing your time, talents, and financial resources as individuals, small groups, and as a corporate entity is a true reflection of community spirit. Examples of such efforts at Ford’s Colony includes: collecting food at the community center each Thanksgiving for a local food bank and the Salvation Army; opening the community twice each year to a Walk/Run for Hospice and Housing Partnerships with corporate sponsors; sponsoring golf tournaments to support local schools and charities; and contributing direct financial support to public and private school booster clubs, a humanitarian medical center, and an environmental monitoring group. In addition, the clubs in the Ford’s Colony Activities Committee sponsor a charity of choice. The Craft Club makes booties, hats, and blankets for the hospital and nursing homes. The nature club, Trailblazers, support environmental monitoring and education in a critical wetland habitant. The William and Mary Fan Club supports the local college athletic department. The Theater Club performs for the nursing homes. The Garden Club collects an extra dollar per person at the monthly luncheons for donations. The Country Club restaurant hosts dinners for charities, such as the Make a Wish Foundation. Given this level of public outreach, the community association is often mentioned in local newspaper articles.
Recognize children. Use your newsletter to noteworthy accomplishments in academics and athletics for the teenagers in your community. Coordinate with high schools and your neighborhood parents to get a list of national honor students, first honor students, varsity athletes, and other special honors. Ford’s Colony publishes these noteworthy events twice a year. Sponsor a safety seminar. Did you know that more than 80 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed in vehicles? Coordinate a safety seminar with Emergency Services to educate parents and grandparents on this and other issues such as bicycle safety, Ident-a-Child, medical and medicine alert folders for 911 EMS responses to your home, and Neighborhood Watch. Promote health and well-being. Use your community center to host a blood drive and/or blood pressure and cholesterol screening. Call your hospital for area coordinators and services. Provide lemonade and cookies as snacks. This is also a great time to pass out a resident survey or just meet residents and gauge their needs. Schedule a poolside movie night. On Friday nights, the aquatic center at First Colony Community Services Association (FCCSA) in Sugar Land, Texas, is turned into a movie theater where people can relax on a lounge chair or float on a raft while watching a movie. Conduct a resident survey. Every year since 1994, FCCSA contracts with a professional research firm to conduct a survey of membership opinions on service and issues facing the community. The results of the survey help the board and management budget services. If your association can’t hire an outside firm to conduct the survey, go door to door, send the survey via snail- or e-mail, or conduct it on your association’s Web site. Facilitate neighborhood block parties. Use your newsletter to encourage each neighborhood in your community association to have an annual block party. It is a great way to meet new neighbors and foster community spirit. Friends tend to work out concerns without involving the Rules Committee. One or two families can be the “Block Heads” that coordinate the time and date; determine the needs for salads, entrees, and desserts; provide a few portable tables; secure the cul-de-sac from traffic; open their homes for restrooms; and dispose of trash. Potluck with a dish that serves six to eight usually works well. Individuals bring their own lawn chairs. Choose a signature shrub or tree and celebrate each Arbor Day. Ford’s Colony chose the Pink Crepe Myrtle as its signature tree. Each Arbor Day, the community plants a dozen crepe myrtles in a ceremony keyed to our environment with adults and children participating. The association negotiated a price with a landscape company to install a six-foot crepe myrtle in resident yards on request and uses the monthly newsletter as a reminder. Publicize upcoming events via e-mails and the Web. More and more community association members have Web sites and email addresses—why not use them? They’re an inexpensive way to promote upcoming special events and meetings. Additionally, residents can reply to the e-mails and boards can obtain instant feedback! Publish event photos. What better way to promote community spirit than to show non-participants all the fun that they’re missing? All of the above-mentioned activities are great in theory, but how do you really get residents involved? Here are some tips: Hook them from the get-go. When new owners move in, send over a board or committee member to welcome them to the DECEMBER 2016
community. Find out a little about the new residents and their interests. Let them know about the community and how it works. Don’t just bombard them with copies of your community’s rules, regulations, and CC&Rs. Follow-up with a phone call approximately four- to six-weeks later just to check in and see if the residents have any questions. This is also a great time to have them fill out a questionnaire to find out the activities in which they would participate. Ask those who give you new and exciting ideas if they want to help organize the activity. Create activities for new residents. For instance, Ford’s Colony has a Newcomers Club. New residents mingle each month with other new residents. Information is provided at each monthly meeting, with rotating subjects, to help indoctrinate the members into the area. Mostly it is a social opportunity for those with a common bond of being newcomers. An effort is made to not duplicate the interests served by the Activities Committee and to integrate the newcomers into the mainstream activities. Discharge papers are officially presented to Newcomers Club members after their two-year eligibility is up. Give away freebies. Everyone likes to get something for nothing. Solicit a donation of goods, services, or the money to purchase give-a-ways for your next event. The sponsor will gain visibility within your community and you’ll draw more people to the activity. When the residents do make it to the activity, they can mingle with each other and learn more about the association and its benefits. Send thank-you notes. When someone volunteers—in any capacity—say thanks. Knowing that the board or manager appreciates their involvement goes a long way. It also may start a chain reaction of positive publicity for the board. Practice positive customer service. If a resident writes a letter, sends an e-mail, or leaves a message, make sure that you reply within 24 hours, even if you don’t have a definitive answer yet. Let the resident know that you’ve received their message and that you’re working to find an answer—and give them a realistic time period during which you will respond. This does two things: it acknowledges their concern and it provides a realistic expectation of the time that it will take to get back to them. Make the 24-hour policy known—post it on your Web site, put it on your e-mail away message, and spell it out on your voicemail. Sometimes, a perceived lack of customer service creates animosity between residents, board, and management, and results in lack of resident participation in association-sponsored activities. Hold board office hours. Have one or more members of the board available once every month to address residents’ concerns or questions. With a five-member board, this is only about two nights out of the whole year for each board member. Publish the office hours and location—whether it is at the association’s clubhouse or the board member’s home itself. This openness counteracts the rumor that boards are not open to input. Have the association’s governing documents, resolutions, and meeting minutes available just in case someone wants to see them. Again, this interaction shows residents that the board cares about the community and is open to new ideas. It also personalizes the board and puts faces with sometimes-infamous names. Hold quarterly town hall meetings. Ford’s Colony holds quarterly town hall meetings that are dedicated to information sharing. While board meetings are held for two hours beginning at 3:30 p.m., town hall meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. The board presents an agenda of current issues and conducts a question and answer 16 | Quorum
forum. The board responds to questions but doesn’t take action as a board in this forum. Town hall meetings are very well attended with five to ten percent of the adults expected. Look for a reason to celebrate. Celebrate your association’s success. Celebrate hol-idays—big and small, traditional and quirky. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and get people enthusiastic about the community. Sponsor association participation in community-wide events. Don’t limit involvement to the boundaries of your association. Encourage resident participation in local organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, or Rotary Club. Send local officials and organizations your association’s newsletter and upcoming programs so that they know about your association—and that your residents are ready to participate in their events. Support community awareness in local politics. Use your community clubhouse to host a Candidates’ Night in October of election season. It is a great way for residents to meet the candidates in either a night dedicated to each political party or in a debate forum. The candidates will eagerly provide refreshments for this opportunity. Allow an insert, paid by the candidates, in your November or October newsletter in a standardized information format that includes a 3x5 inch picture along with the candi-date’s short bio and campaign focus points. Appoint a group of volunteers that are willing to rotate attendance at each local government meeting as liaisons for the association. The liaisons demonstrate your community’s interest in governmental affairs, get early leads on issues, and report back to the board. The liaisons should also have direct relationships with the local government planning department for early warnings as well as feedback into the very important planning staff recommendation. Establish standing committees with meaningful responsibilities and clean charters. If people have defined roles and responsibilities with a goal in sight, they’re more apt to participate. Also, hold your social events at locations where people are already gathered. Have a pool party or a volleyball contest during operating hours. You might involve people who weren’t planning on it.
This following content was borrowed, with permission, from the Foundation for Community Association Research (the “Foundation”), an underutilized and lesser known resource that every stakeholder in the industry should be familiar with. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to research, development and scholarship specific to homeowner’s associations, condominiums and cooperatives. It produces high quality and authoritative publications focusing on community association trends, issues and operations. Copyright and Use Permission
©Copyright 2014. Foundation for Community Association Research. 6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 500 Falls Church, VA 22042
To read the report in its entirety, please visit www.cairf.org.
By David Thompson David has been a resident owner at Arlington Oaks since 1987. He serves as chairperson of the Landscape Committee and as a member of the Recycling Task Force. In prior years, he headed the Parking Study Group and served on the Finance Committee. He recently retired after 31 years with the Hariri Foundation, a Lebanese education development organization, where he served as Vice-President of Programs and Public Affairs.
Many do not know what is appropriate for recycling and what should be tossed as refuse.
Arlington Oaks Doing Its Part for the Environment
onservation and stewardship of the environment are ideals by which Arlington County residents live by, and strive to incorporate in every aspect of their lives. Over the past several years, renewed focus has been given to recycling efforts in the County and, as a result of these efforts, Arlington enjoys one of the highest recycling rates in the region. Arlington Oaks Condominium is pleased to have been a part of this renewed focus and shares in the success, not only at a County level, but also at a property level. In January 2009, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, in partnership with Arlingtonians for A Clean Environment, launched a pilot recycling program for multi-family dwellings in Arlington County, Virginia. The Arlington Oaks Condominium (AOAC), a 374-unit garden-style condominium situated on 18 acres, readily accepted an invitation to join ten other multi-family dwellings in establishing the pilot recycling program. Education was the most critical part of the program. While most would say itâ€™s important to recycle, many do not know what is appropriate for recycling and what should be tossed as refuse. The County recognized this need and conducted a training session where members of the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services went over the list of materials to be
recycled, the necessity of placing recycling containers next to trash containers, the use of signage, ways to publicize the recycling program, activities to encourage recycling, and the role of on-site management in the program. I, along with a few of my neighbors, attended the training session and it was very valuable and we knew we had to get this information into the hands of our residents. From there, we sprang into action. As a follow-up to the training session, the AOAC volunteers invited representatives of the County, the president of the trash hauling company servicing the condominium, and the on-site manager to join them in an inspection of potential recycling sites throughout the 18 acres community property. This inspection resulted in the creation of a plan for placing recycling toters in the six enclosures large enough to hold both recycling and trash containers. To compliment these recycling sites, the hauler also placed recycling containers in two of the AOAC parking lots. With support from the Board of Directors, we launched the AOAC recycling program with a post-Earth Day kick-off at our community center. We encouraged residents to attend the kick-off by including activities for children and ice cream treats with all of the fixings. A representative from the County was also on hand to answer questions and
provide additional information to our residents on the Countyâ€™s recycling initiative. Participation in the recycling program by residents grew steadily in the months following its establishment and continued to grow in more recent years as new management and a new hauling service introduced single stream recycling. The recycling task force works in cooperation with Management and the Board to monitor the recycling program and continually implement ways to improve the program. One such improvement was the enlarging of several trash and recycling corrals and the construction of an additional corral in an area serving a large number of residents, which we hope will increase our overall recycling rates in the community Recycling at Arlington Oaks Condominium continues to grow and, at present, constitutes a little over 60 percent of materials discarded by residents. The community is striving to increase this percentage through e-mail blasts from management, flyers posted in lobbies, and signage at the recycling sites. Today, recycling is an important part of the community culture at Arlington Oaks thanks to the concerted and sustained efforts over the last seven years of management, hauling services, community volunteers, the Board of Directors, and chief among all, the residents. DECEMBER 2016
C A I
PU B LIC
SU M MA RY
By Mary C. Horner, ESQ. Mary recently joined MercerTrigiani as an associate attorney after serving as a judicial law clerk to the Judges of the Alexandria Circuit Court.
Community Association Volunteers A Precious Resource that Should be Protected
This is the third in a series of articles about public policies developed by the Government and Public Affairs Committee of Community Associations Institute (CAI). These public policies are designed to provide guidance to associations and set standards to which common interest associations and those who support the work of community associations may aspire. 18 | Quorum
n order to be successful, community associations depend on the time and expertise of volunteers who lead and support important community goals. Volunteer participation is essential to community connectivity and preservation. The rewards that come from an active and involved volunteer base are immeasurable. Community association volunteers are called upon to make difficult decisions and lead their communities through routine and not so routine matters. Volunteer decisions and actions can be questioned and can provoke opposition. As a result, volunteers may be exposed to potential liability. CAI Public Policy â€“ Protection for Community Association Volunteers â€“ provides recommendations and tools to aid communities in protecting volunteers from potential liability. The policy presents a three-prong approach: statutory protection, indemnification through insurance coverage, and association adopted guidelines that promote fair and responsible governance.
Statutory Protections Statutory protections for volunteers vary from state to state. Community associations, as volunteer led entities and the individuals who serve as board members, are subject to the federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 (42 U. S. Â§ 14501 et seq.). The Act bolsters state statutory protections, generally providing that volunteers are not liable for acts or omissions if acting within the scope of responsibility and the harm is not caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference. Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia have each enacted statutory protections for volunteers. The Maryland and District of Columbia statutes apply to all volunteers; the Virginia law is specific to community association volunteers.
Indemnification Even with statutory protections at both the state and federal level, volunteers are not entirely sheltered from potential liability.
For this reason, CAI supports indemnification of community association volunteer directors and committee members – funded through insurance coverage. Governing documents for most communities contain indemnifications for volunteer leaders and often require insurance coverage (directors and officer’s liability coverage) as a budgeted, common expense.
Responsible Governance The best protection for community volunteers is to govern fairly and ethically. CAI strongly recommends that volunteers participate in annual training and seek other educational opportunities to ensure volunteers understand obligations and duties to their communities. CAI has established a model for board member training, outlined in CAI Policy Board Member Education. The training offers essential tools and strategies for learning about roles and responsibilities, fundamentals, and avoiding or limiting liability. CAI’s Center for Community Association Volunteers developed and published Community Association Governance Guidelines. The Guidelines articulate best practices for common-interest community association volunteers. Adoption of the Guidelines by an association board can lead to a strong, harmonious, and well-functioning community. It is recommended that community association boards adopt and annually renew these Guidelines by resolution. Similar to the Guidelines, the Model Code of Ethics establishes a framework of values that community leaders should strive to attain in leadership and service. CAI recommends that community volunteers attest to and annually renew commitment to the Code of Ethics. CAI offers training opportunities to enhance volunteer knowledge, effectiveness, and competence. The Washington Metropolitan Chapter offers programming that include stand-alone classes as well as a serious of workshops on a variety of topics at the Annual Conference and Expo. Community association management and association legal counsel may also offer training. While concern about potential lawsuits cannot be eliminated, following recommendations presented in the CAI Policy – Protection for Community Association Volunteers – may serve communities well as a way to make community association volunteers mindful of the significant role in which they serve. As always, state and local laws differ and boards should consult with the professionals who support them in their work to ensure compliance with the law and to avoid liability.
State Statutory Protections In Virginia, the Nonstock Corporation Act provides that an officer or director who serves a community association without compensation is not liable for damages except if the officer or director engaged in willful misconduct or knowingly violated the law. See Va. Code Ann. § 13.1-870.1. In Maryland, the Volunteer Services Act provides that volunteers for an association, including officers, are not liable for personal actions beyond the limit of personal insurance available. See Md. Code Ann. § 5-407. In the District of Columbia, any person who serves in good faith as a volunteer, including an officer or director, is immune from civil liability for acts and omissions within the scope of duty, only if the organization maintains a certain amount of liability coverage. See D.C. Code § 29-406.90. DECEMBER 2016
By Liliana Martinez, CMCA, AMS and Pete Hughes Lili is the office manager at National Realty Partners, LLC (NRP), where she has been part of the NRP management team for over five years. She is an active member of the Quorum Editorial committee and has been working in community association management for almost 10 years. Pete recently retired from NCIS after a 34-year law enforcement career to join First Coast Security, an armed and unarmed security service provider to residential communities and commercial buildings in the National Capital Region.
Why Neighborhood Watch?
or a community manager, it can be a challenge to attract volunteers within the community, specifically volunteers that are willing to band together and effectively help keep the community safe. Neighborhood Watch is a well-known program that has been around for many years to inspire residents to become the watchful eyes and ears for law enforcement. Fortunately, there are people willing to donate their time to keep the community safe. The challenge lies in maintaining a strong and consistent group of volunteers that can help Neighborhood Watch be effective for the community. Awareness, support, and consistency are vital for a program such as Neighborhood Watch to be successful. Make the community aware of the issues to encourage them to participate for even a small amount of time will go a long way. Support the volunteers with the resources they need to continue with the program. Finally, be consistent in motivating the community to unite towards keeping the community safe, it’s a team effort!
Make the community aware of the issues to encourage them to participate; even a small amount of time will go a long way.
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I would now like to share the spotlight on Pete Hughes, as he shares his experience as a homeowner volunteer for his community: “In January 2016, I turned in my gun and badge after a 35-year career in law enforcement. I subsequently entered the private sector and have had the luxury of working from my home in Northern Virginia. I live in a fairly nice neighborhood, but like most, it has its share of criminal activity consisting of car break-ins, vandalism, and an occasional burglary. In the Spring, there was a rash of vandalism throughout the neighborhood. I met with the community manager only to learn the Neighborhood Watch program was on “life support.” The community manager confirmed my suspicions in that our Neighborhood Watch program has historically been “hit or miss” based on the personalities of its key members and the ability to sustain it. Without hesitation, I volunteered to support the program, as I now had the time since I work from home. I was committed to help reenergize and revalidate it. A group of volunteers from the neighborhood attended the mandatory training required by the local police department and we had meetings to map out a strategy for complete neighborhood coverage. We sponsored a table at the community picnic where we handed out Neighborhood Watch flyers, magnets, and had Officer McGruff make a dynamic entry. Needless to say, the event was a complete success with the recruitment of a host of volunteers. Our program was up and running. Since revalidating the program under the slogan, “If you see something, say something,” there has been a steady increase in calls to the local police department’s non-emergency number. In addition, we have utilized the social media to encourage dialogue and successfully utilized the community’s website to update and provide information on the Neighborhood Watch section. One of our biggest advocates in our efforts to rebuild the Neighborhood Watch program was, and continues to be, our community manager.
Due to her close working relationship with the (HOA) Board of Directors, she was able to leverage them to support us financially to create our flyers and magnets. She has also encouraged active residents to volunteer and support the program. We have drawn energy from her enthusiasm for the program. Our collective efforts have paid off admirably. Initially, there was a spike in the number of non-emergency calls to the police department on suspicious vehicles and/or persons in the neighborhood. This resulted in an increase of police visibility. In turn, there has been a significant reduction in the number of car break-ins and acts of vandalism. It is clear the individuals responsible for the criminal mischief know of our active Neighborhood Watch program and have either totally ceased or have taken their activities elsewhere.” The unsung heroes of today are the people of the community that volunteer their time to observe and report any unusual or suspicious activity, helping to prevent crime. It’s remarkable what observing and taking action can do for the safety of everyone in the community. According to LT Dan Murphy, a 30-year veteran of the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), “The biggest challenge in developing an effective Neighborhood Watch Program is long-term participation. When residents take ownership of their neighborhood and maintain a relationship with law enforcement, crime prevention strategies and crime detection are much more successful.” As a community manager, our role is key to work diligently with the association to support the volunteers that want to make sure that the community is not only beautified and well maintained, but SAFE. It takes people of the community to make it happen. Many thanks to the many residents and homeowners that make Neighborhood Watch a success in keeping their communities safe.
By Mira Brown, CMCA, AMS Mira is the Manager of Property Operations at Delbe Management. She has held a variety of positions within the company, as well as managing several condominium associations in D.C. and one in Virginia. Mira has been a member of CAI for several years and is currently a member of the Quorum Editorial Committee.
orry board presidents, this one’s not for you. You’ve volunteered for years, served the association to the best of your ability, and deserve all the praise we can give. But, that’s for a different article. Everyone knows you. Your name is on the newsletter, you preside over all the meetings, and everyone knows your name, your face, your email, your phone number and, bless your heart, probably even where you live. It’s not for you either community managers. Even though you’re getting paid for this, hopefully they all know you try to go the extra mile. But again, most everyone knows your name. It’s on the memos posted in the common areas and on the letters that arrive in everyone’s mailboxes announcing the news of the association. This one’s for the unsung heroes of the association. The committee members who volunteer their time to the association. The volunteer supporting cast to the volunteers. Quietly donating their time to ‘look into’ some issue for the board. Attending meetings to give reports, while not having a vote in the governance of the association. Giving up their Saturday to walk the grounds to check into architectural compliance. Going to the nursery to speak to the experts about potential plantings to beautify the neighborhood for all their neighbors. Spending hours researching articles and case history to advise the 22 | Quorum
board on the latest trends in governance surrounding the House Rule modification they are currently contemplating. Organizing the underfunded social events designed to try and bring neighbors closer. Let’s raise a glass to the other members of the board. The secretary who comes to every meeting and records the business of the association. And after the meeting, goes home to type it up into a template for approval at the next meeting. Subsequently absorbing the debates over what was and wasn’t said, a direct critique of your work at all times, with a smile, knowing that you’ll be going back to the drawing board and redoing the work. The treasurer who picks through the tedious numbers presented by the community manager and distills the important details into sound bites to be appreciated by the rest of the board, and the ownership, as a whole. And let’s not even mention the time spent on the budget every year. Or the paid unsung heroes: the cleaning staff. Those lovely people who turn up every day to clean up the messes that somehow always appear. Who smile at you as you come and go. Pet your dog whose hair they will be vacuuming off the carpets in the hall in a couple hours. Hold the door for you when you’re laden with groceries. Hopefully you know their names, maybe you know their stories, but for many, these people blend into the background of their
lives in condos and HOAs. Can we talk about the other members of the management staff? Sure, you may know your site manager and your community manager. But they have support staff. Assistant managers who handle the small day to day items allowing the managers to focus on the bigger picture, long-term issues. The accounting staff who handle your payments and make sure the association has the money to keep paying bills. Those on the accounting staff who pay your association’s bills so you continue to have reliable service. What about the person who actually answers the phone when you have to call the office? They all play a part in the success of your association. Finally, let’s take a moment to consider the families and partners of these people. Those close to the board president who wait patiently while someone bends the ear of the president on the way to the car. Those awakened while lying next to the person whose phone rings in the middle of the night when an association is faced with an emergency. The ones who listen and care when someone needs to vent about their day or the contents of the latest association-related email. It’s definitely not said enough, but thank you to all of you unsung heroes for all you do for your association. Actually, for all you do for our homes. You deserve more recognition than you get.
By Ron Unger, CIC Ron is the vice president of Commercial Lines at the Griffin Owens Insurance Group. While assisting various businesses in the D.C. Metro area, he continues to grow the firm’s presence with WMCCAI and educate their members.
The Importance of Volunteers “Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.” ~Albert Schweitzer
olunteers are the lifeblood of any community. These individuals give their time and expertise to help make their community a better place to live. Some go as far as serving on their board of directors, and some help run a community Fun Run. Without the support of volunteers, communities would not thrive. The board of directors can only do so much on their own. Without the assistance of committees, such as those that review a community’s financial figures and architectural review items (just to name a couple), much of the business side of the community would be drawn out. While volunteers are essential for any community, the difficult part is finding volunteers to serve. Not everyone has the time or energy to serve on their board of directors or in a committee. Others feel as if they do not have the skills necessary to serve in their community. Finding volunteers isn’t the only problem; some communities find it just as difficult to retain volunteers. Once a volunteer has been discovered, it is important to keep that individual in the stable of active volunteers. So how do you keep volunteers? Making a volunteer feel appreciated will go a long way in retaining their services. Something 24 | Quorum
as small as a write-up in the community newsletter can be a catalyst for keeping existing volunteers coming back and finding new volunteers as well. In my large-scale community, the Board of Directors hosts a volunteer appreciation party each year. During the annual fireworks display, the Board blocks off the recreation center closest to the display. Volunteers who have served on committees over the past year are invited, along with their families, for a night of food, fun, and fireworks. Food is catered and the volunteers have a front row seat for the most anticipated event of the year. This event allows the Board, as well as management staff, to remind volunteers how important their service has been to the community. Perhaps a community is not quite large enough to host an entire event for volunteers, but something as simple as a thank you in the association newsletter or recognition during a Board of Directors meeting can help ensure that volunteers understand that their service is appreciated and necessary. Volunteers will tell you they do not need the recognition, but letting people know they are appreciated is always a welcome endeavor.
By Kathleen N. Machado, ESQ. Kathleen represents community association clients, including condominiums and homeowners associations located in the District of Columbia and Virginia. Her experience includes representation of associations in collections and other covenants enforcement efforts, as well as working with boards of directors to handle the associations’ various general legal needs including interpretation and amendment of governing documents and contract negotiations.
The Essence of Community: Coming Together During A Tragedy In a time of crisis, communities will come together to provide support and make positive changes.
have lived in a homeowners or condominium association nearly all of my 36 years. Like many of my neighbors, I enjoy and appreciate the benefits of the shared recreational facilities, the beautiful landscaping in the common areas, community social events, and private road maintenance. But, it wasn’t until the past month that I truly understood the benefit of the unique level and forms of communication that come with living in an established and clearly defined association. Last month, our community experienced a horrible tragedy. A pedestrian mother and her infant were struck by a vehicle while walking home from a neighborhood school. The infant did not survive, but the mother did. Needless to say, the community was, and is still, devastated beyond imagination. But, throughout the process of learning about, reacting to, and managing this tragedy, our community revealed to me an amazing power through its connectivity and activism. An unofficial association Facebook Group page was constantly updated with information advising residents of how they could support the families in need. This Group coordinated a candle light vigil, collected food and other care items for the family, spread the word regarding fundraising, and generally provided residents with a place to note their concern and support for the victims. Although the Group was not officially organized or administered by our 26 | Quorum
homeowner’s association, it was a powerful tool. The administrator handled the flow of information well and appropriately deleted posts that divulged too much or unreliable, possibly libelous, information about the accident, including its cause. Seeing the realtime flow and exchange of information evidenced the power and peril of this medium. After this experience, I can see the true value that an online real-time forum can have for an association to stay connected and come together in a time of need. However, a qualified administrator who is charged with the duty to constantly watch the forum is required to avoid posting of inappropriate, inaccurate, and potentially damaging information. Further, rules for the forum should be established at its creation, to bolster the administrator’s discretion and authority to remove and edit posts. Other valuable tools our community used were online crowd funding sources, such as Go Fund Me. These sources raised approximately $100,000 for the victims through online donations. If an association were to become involved in such efforts, it would be important to note for contributors whether any fees are deducted from the donations and to make it clear who the recipients of the funds would be. In addition to these efforts, the community clubhouse was used as a pick-up point for support ribbons which were displayed throughout the community on mailboxes.
And, traffic concerns were placed on the Board of Directors agenda for the very next Board meeting. All of these were meaningful and effective ways to show support, raise awareness of the tragedy and possible causes thereof, and to provide members a place to voice concerns that the association might be unaware of and/or able to act on. Residents throughout the community were provided with the contact information for the local government representatives and Virginia’s Department of Transportation, so that they could voice, collectively as an association, and individually in mass numbers, concerns related to traffic on the public roads throughout the community, including the one where the accident occurred. As a result of that simple step of disseminating contact information, pedestrian safety measures have already been improved and are still under consideration. Overall, this experience has shown me the power of community. While we may not always agree or even get along with our neighbors, in a time of crisis, communities will come together to provide support and make positive changes. Associations and their various representatives need to do very little to encourage this coming together which is a natural human instinct, but they can be instrumental in channeling this positive energy in the right direction to help those in need and make the biggest impact.
By Crishana L. Loritsch, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Crishana is the general manager for Arlington Oaks, A Condominium in Arlington, VA. She serves on WMCCAI’s Board of Directors as the secretary, is a member of both the chapter’s Quorum Editorial Committee and Outreach Committee, and has served as Outreach Committee chair and Communication Council chair.
ENGAGING the Next Generation A
lot has been written over the years about engaging the next generation. But what exactly does this mean and more specifically, what does it mean to the community association management industry and the communities it represents? For starters, it means that we must resist the urge to do things as we’ve always done without looking for inspiration, input and dare I say energy from those around us, especially younger people. They have a different perspective that can breathe life into our industry and if we are honest, a shot in the arm to those who have been in the trenches for a while. We must endeavor to evolve as an industry and the next generation of owners and managers hold the keys to our continued success.
Embrace the Technology Age Technology is now and it is the future. Gone are the days where communicating via email was considered technologically advanced. With the advent of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, we are used to being able to get information at the touch of a button and in a moment. Effective communication should incorporate various forms of technology to address the needs of your audience. For example, in the community where I manage, the demographic of our ownership is changing and we are attracting younger first time buyers to our community. As digital natives, the expectation is that we will have information about 28 | Quorum
the community readily available and updated regularly. In reviewing the current communication avenues we use, it’s evident that an update to the website is critical, and a greater social media presence on the Facebook and Twitter platforms would only boost the optics of the community. The same can be said of the workforce that is now entering the community association management industry. The latest innovations should also be employed so that we can attract and retain new talent. Equipping a manager with the latest smart phone is not sufficient. We must also provide them with tools that help them serve the needs of our residents effectively. Web based resident management software that is multifaceted to handle communications, covenants inspections and reports, maintenance tickets, and key control is just one of the recent changes in our industry designed to make the lives of our residents and managers easier.
A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way It has been said that ours is a thankless industry and while this may be true in some cases, it doesn’t have to be. The next generation wants to hear thank you and be shown appreciation for a job well done. This is an opportunity to express to your team that they are needed, they are valued, and our continued success depends upon them. It’s amazing how a simple word of thanks goes a long way. As I often say to
my team, “We get our fair share of abuse from without. Let’s be sure we don’t abuse one another from within.” A simple thank you goes a long way in ensuring good will amongst your team and keeping them for the long haul. Our residents also need to hear thank you, especially our committee and board members who serve as volunteers in the community. Who doesn’t love to be recognized or have a party? Combine the two and have a social as part of your next annual meeting or community meeting and take a few moments to thank your community association volunteer leaders. Make it a part of your annual budget planning process so that you can cater your event with refreshments and maybe even a few door prizes. I personally have been known to literally jump up and down for a Starbucks gift card. It’s the little things that mean so much, and it will allow those on the fence as to whether or not they should serve in the community take note of how much their efforts would be appreciated.
Flexibility, the Other F Word The next generation of workers has come to embrace flexibility, especially as it pertains to work/life balance. These workers want to be able to give their best to their organizations but also have something left to give to their friends and loved ones outside of the workplace. Are you able to accommodate flexible work schedules? Do you offer perks such as early dismissal on
...we must resist the urge to do things as we’ve always done without looking for inspiration, input and dare I say energy from those around us, especially younger people.
Fridays to allow your managers to get a jump start on their weekends? How about offering nap rooms to allow your colleagues to catch a few winks during those busy times (budget season, anyone?). I recently visited a company who offers these perks (and many more), and I must say that in walking through their space and talking with their team members, many of whom are part of the millennial generation, their enthusiasm for their company and the work they do was contagious.
Mentorship…I want to be like Mike If you want to engage the next generation, be willing to mentor. You cannot simply state orders and expect them to be followed. Your workers want to learn from you so give them opportunity to do just that. Include them in your decision-making processes as it relates to projects that you are working on to allow them access to how you do your job. Equip them for the next level of leadership by mentoring in those soft skills that can only be learned by shadowing someone and watching them in action. In my career as a community association management professional, I had and have many mentors, both in and outside of the industry. I cannot begin to express what their investment of time and attention given me has yielded in my career. Some of the best and hardest lessons have come at the feet of these mentors, and because of their willingness to share their knowledge, I
look to share my knowledge with any team member who has the hunger and desire to be the very best they can be. Mentorship is not cheap. It requires an investment of personal capital and as such, should not be squandered. There are times where mentoring an individual is not possible because they are not teachable. At that point, shake the dust of your feet and move on to the next who is ready to receive from you.
Diversity of Training Finally, if we are to engage the next generation, we must provide a diversity of training to develop their skills. Most people excel in areas where they are naturally gifted but it doesn’t mean that they cannot succeed in areas where a little grit is needed. Expose your team members to different areas of training, not only cross training them so that they can handle any gaps that may occur on the team but also in new areas altogether. For example, I am a huge proponent of exposing every member of one’s team to public speaking. After all, an effective leader is also an effective communicator. As our profession is one where difficult messages are par for the course, it would behoove all of us to improve these skills at every level of our team so that when we speak, we speak as one voice, clearly and concisely communicating our message. Enough reading about what it takes to engage the next generation. Get out of your office chair and make it happen! DECEMBER 2016
By Broadlands Board of Directors The Broadlands Association Board of Directors is composed of nine volunteer members; eight homeowners and one elected Declarant member. The Board is responsible for carrying out the business and affairs of the Association and has opted to employ Ms. Sarah Gerstein with the authority to act on behalf of the Board on matters relating to the duties of the managing agent.
People of the Community: Broadlands I
f your large community association is like most, it’s run by an elected board and a paid small staff, led by your general manager. It’s likely that your board includes volunteers with a wide range of interests and expertise. However, it’s quite possible that none of them has ever managed a community and its related assets. That’s why your board – and community members – rely on the expertise of your general manager. Broadlands Association encompasses nearly 4,000 residential units, three community buildings including fitness areas and rental facilities, three pool complexes, miles of private streets and paved trails, acres of open common areas, nearly two dozen playgrounds, a historic stone house built in 1874, and a Nature Center full of live animals. Without question, Broadlands residents – and the Association Board – look to their general manager to professionally manage the community and its assets. In essence, that person is the Association executive, running this large business with hundreds of millions in assets and an annual operating budget of several million dollars. While the Board sets policy and maintains oversight, the general manager manages the daily operations and is the outward face of the Association. Residents will often spot the general manager out in the community – inspecting facilities, meeting contractors, and working at events. Hot summer days might be spent supervising pool management and cold winters monitoring the work of the snowplow contactor. The general manager’s actions, and interactions, with residents directly relate to an increase in residents’ satisfaction – and happiness – with their community. The pools open like clockwork every May; the street and path lights all come on at dusk; the common area grass is mowed; the tennis court nets are stretched; and the animals at the Nature Center are fed – every day, without fail. 30 | Quorum
Residents may not notice the grass is mowed or the path lights are on – but they do notice when this maintenance isn’t done. Those calls and emails are swiftly and courteously handled by general manager and their staff. They deal with a myriad of inquiries – and complaints – most with an immediate conclusion. Unresolved issues may make it to the manager’s desk – but very rarely does a resident issue escalate to the Board for review. Certainly, the resident
Often, it’s the general manager and staff that provide the continuity. appreciates a speedy resolution, but it also allows the Board to focus on other issues in the community. The Association staff consists of professionals with a wide variety of skills and expertise. The general manager expertly manages this group – recognizing abilities, delegating responsibilities and encouraging ideas and innovation. They manage all hiring, terminations, performance reviews, benefits, and promotions, with prior notification to the Board. This provides clear advantages over Board management of employee actions – staffing issues are resolved quickly and the business of the Association continues uninterrupted. While the Association exists to provide services for its community residents, it is a business. It has income and expenses, employees, assets and liabilities, and a Board of Directors: A volunteer Board – residents that have other full-time work and personal responsibilities. Volunteers may stay a year, or three, or more – or less. The business of the Association continues, regardless of who serves on the Board. Often, it’s the general manager and staff that provide the continuity.
The Association has had several GMs since inception. The current manager brought a new perspective, “You don’t just maintain a community,” she said, “You improve it.” It’s an important distinction the Board has come to recognize. A good general manager will improve operations, reduce costs, and implement new programs. They employ new technologies to inform residents, process online payments, accept modification applications, track covenants violations, and manage elections. These improvements streamlined processes and enhanced communication while reducing the Association’s environmental impact by consuming less paper and resources. The GM continually works with committees to improve activities and events and organizes meetings with contemporaries in other Loudoun communities to exchange ideas and compare strategies. She continually attends educational sessions, locally and nationally, to stay abreast of current regulations, trends and best practices. It’s an important and essential partnership between the Board and General Manager; one that keeps operations running smoothly and residents happy. It’s built on trust, communication, mutual respect and reasonable expectations. The Board trusts the General Manager to manage operations and staff with little or no Board intervention. When issues arise, the Board is promptly notified and guidance is provided when appropriate. They recognize and appreciate the Manager’s training and expertise. Keen knowledge of state and county regulations provides valuable insight and, as well as being able to maintain the highest designations available in the industry. Her knowledge and experience help guide the Board, and, in turn, the Board provides leadership and direction. This excellent relationship certainly benefits the Board and General Manager, but ultimately, it benefits the community and its residents.
Directory and Classifieds ASPHALT PAVING/MAINTENANCE/REPAIR
Espina Paving Inc. 15441 Farm Creek Drive Woodbridge, VA 2191 Serving: MD, DC, VA
(703) 491-9101 (703) 491-9100 email@example.com
O’Leary Asphalt, Inc. 9629 Doctor Perry Road Ijamsville, MD 21754
OLearyAsphalt.com T: (301) 948-0010 F: (301) 874-8505 ATTORNEY
Thomas Schild Law Group, LLC 401 North Washington Street, Suite 500 Rockville, Maryland 20850 Thomas C. Schild, CCAL
www.schildlaw.com T: (301) 251-1414 firstname.lastname@example.org
BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
Alliance Association Bank T: (703) 856-7463 Direct F: (702) 818-8076 Tracy Burkhammer tburkhammer@AllianceAssociationBank.com
MANAGEMENT SERVICES (CON’T)
Cascade Insurance Group 1100 N Glebe Road, Suite 1010 Arlington, VA 22201 David Dodero
www.cascadeig.com T: (703) 551-2000 email@example.com
USI Insurance Services LLC 3190 Fairview Park #400 Falls Church, VA 22042 Steve Dickerson, CIC Theresa Melson, PCAM, CIRMS
www.usicondo.com T: (703) 698–0788 Steve.Dickerson@usi.biz Theresa.Melson@usi.biz
LAUNDRY ROOM EQUIPMENT
Caldwell & Gregory Your Commercial Laundry Professionals 129 Broad Street Road Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103
T: (804)784-6100 F: (804)784-7418
Community Association Banking/CondoCerts Mutual of Omaha Bank Noni Roan T: (301) 639-5503 Noni.Roan@mutualofomahabank.com
Associa-Community Management Corporation, AAMC 4840 Westfields Blvd., Suite 300 T: (703) 631-7200 Chantilly, VA 20151 F: (703) 631-9786 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 907 T: (301) 692-1700 Rockville, MD 20852 F: (240) 221-0443 Nick Mazzarella, MBA, CMCA, PCAM, LSM NMazzarella@cmc-management.com
National Cooperative Bank 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 800 Arlington, VA 22202 Don Plank, PCAM
Barkan Management, AAMC 8229 Boone Blvd., Suite 760 Tysons Corner, VA 22182 Michael Feltenberger, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
www.ncb.coop T: (703) 302-1928
ETC Engineering and Technical Consultants Inc. Water intrusion, roofing, exteriors, windows, balconies, property studies, structural & architectural services www.etc-web.com T: (703) 450-6220 Mindy Maronic firstname.lastname@example.org Falcon Engineering, Architecture + Energy Consultants 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 325 Rockville, MD 20855 www.falconengineering.com T: (240) 328-1095 Stew Willis email@example.com
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T: (703) 388-1005 F: (703) 388-1006
Capitol Management Corporation 12011 Lee-Jackson Highway, Suite 350 T: (703) 934-5200 Fairfax, VA 22033 F: (703) 934-8808 L. Peyton Harris Jr., CMCA, CPM firstname.lastname@example.org CAMP (Community Association Management Professionals) 1921 Gallows Rd., Suite 320 T: (703) 821-CAMP (2267) Tysons Corner, VA 22182 Heathergraham@gocampmgmt.com Susanblackburn@gocampmgmt.com CFM Management Services, AAMC Suite 100, 5250 Cherokee Ave. T: (703) 941-0818 Alexandria, VA 22314 F: (703) 941-0816 Christiaan Melson, AMS, PCAM email@example.com
Comsource Management, Inc. AAMC www.comsource.com 3414 Morningwood Drive T: 301-924-7355 Olney, Maryland 20832 F: 301-924-7340 Tony Martella, CMCA, AMS, PCAM firstname.lastname@example.org FirstService Residential DC Metro LLC, AAMC 11351 Random Hills Road, Suite 500 T: (703) 385-1133 Fairfax, VA 22020 T: (703) 591-5785 Daniel Bauman email@example.com KPA Management, AAMC 6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 700 Falls Church, VA 22042 Offering personalized service Ed Alrutz, CPM, CMCA, PCAM
www.kpamgmt.com T: (703) 532-5005 F: (703) 532-5098 firstname.lastname@example.org
Legum & Norman, Inc., AAMC 3130 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 200 T: (703) 600-6000 Falls Church, VA 22042 Direct: (703) 970-8811 John Rhodes email@example.com Select Community Services 4840 Westfields Blvd., Suite 160 T: (703) 631-2003 Chantilly, VA 20153 F: (703) 631-5380 John Tsitos, CMCA, AMS firstname.lastname@example.org Nick Mazzarella, MBA, CMCA, PCAM, LSM email@example.com Sentry Management 6395 Little River Turnpike Alexandria, VA 22312 Dave Ciccarelli, AMS, PCAM
www.sentrymgt.com T: (703) 642-3246, ext. 203 F: (703) 891-2378
Sequoia Management Company Inc., AAMC 13998 Parkeast Circle www.sequoiamanagement.com Chantilly, VA 20151-2283 T: (703) 803-9641 Craig Courtney, PCAM firstname.lastname@example.org Vista Management Co. Inc., AMO 1131 University Blvd. West, Suite 101 Silver Spring, MD 20902 www.vistacares.com L. Scott Wertlieb, ESQ. Zalco Realty Inc., AAMC, AMO 8701 Georgia Ave., Ste. 300 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Arthur Dubin,CMCA, PCAM, CPM Z.J. Chelec, CPM
T: (301) 649-2700 F: (301) 649-3560
email@example.com www.zalco.com T: (301) 495-6600
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS A Alliance Association Bank .........................................................................................................31 Associa-Community Management Corporation, AAMC.................................................................31 B Barkan Management, AAMC.....................................................................................................23 C Caldwell & Gregory, Inc.............................................................................................................31 Capital Painting Co. ..................................................................................................................15 CAMP Community Association Management Professionals ............................................................7 Cowie & Mott. P.A.....................................................................................................................19
PAINTING SERVICES AND RETAILERS
Capital Painting Co. 5520 Oakwood Road Alexandria, VA 22310 George Tsentas
www.capitalpainting.net T: (703) 313-0013 F: (703) 922-1826 firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVA Painting Company www.NOVAPAINTING.com 22831 Silverbrook Center Drive #150 email@example.com Sterling, VA 20166 T: (703) 401-2000 Painting/Drywall/Carpentry Serving DC/VA/MD Ploutis Painting & Contracting Co., Inc. T: (703) 360-0205 8365 Richmond Hwy F: (703) 360-5439 Alexandria, VA 22309 firstname.lastname@example.org Stella Ploutis www.ploutispainting.com
F Falcon Engineering, Architecture & Energy Consulting ...................................................................2 FirstService Residential, AAMC..................................................................................................35 L Legum & Norman, Inc., AAMC..................................................................................................27 M Mutual of Omaha Bank.............................................................................................................25 N
Reston Painting & Contracting 619 Carlisle Drive Herndon, VA 20170 David Hamilton
T: (703) 904-1702 F: (703) 904-0248
National Cooperative Bank........................................................................................................27
NOVA Painting Company ..........................................................................................................36
Williams Professional Painting 110 S. Floyd Street VA: (703) 768-8143 Alexandria, Virginia 22304 DC: (202) 751-2026 williamsprofessionalpainting.com Rick Williams Rick@williamsprofessionalpainting.com
O O'Leary Asphalt, Inc. ................................................................................................................25 P
PM+ (Specializing in Reserve Studies Since 1990) A Veteran Owned Company T: (703) 803-8436 www.pmplusreserves.com Ben Ginnetti, PRA, RS, P.E. email@example.com
Ploutis Painting & Contracting Co., Inc........................................................................................35 R Reston Painting Company...........................................................................................................2
TWC Services LLC 6700-M Springfield Center Drive Springfield, VA 22150 Linda Walker
Exterior Building Services T: (703) 971-6016 F: (703) 971-4161 firstname.lastname@example.org
S Sentry Management, Inc...........................................................................................................15 SIGMA Real Estate Services ......................................................................................................29
WINDOWS & DOORS
Windows Plus, LLC 14230 Sullyfield Circle, Suite F Chantilly, VA 20151-1660 Kimberly Wayland
T T: (703)956-6172 F: (703)956-6744
Titan Restoration ......................................................................................................................10 TWC Services, LLC ...................................................................................................................25 W Williams Professional Painting .....................................................................................................7 Windows Plus, LLC.....................................................................................................................4
By Kara Permisohn Kara has worked in business development for the Minkoff Company, Inc. for the past 12 years. She is the past president of CRCCAI, has served on both WMCCAI and CRCCAI Boards of Directors, and is active on committees in both chapters.
cul de sac
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? W
hen I look back at the 15 years I spent in my condominium, I often smile. It’s impossible not to stop and reflect on what wonderful people lived across, next door, and below me. Not to mention those in other buildings throughout our property. While we didn’t have a vast number of homeowner participation outside of the Board of Directors, I still always felt a sense of friendliness, safety, and community. WMCCAI often reminds me of the theme song from the old television show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, written by Fred M. Rogers himself. To paraphrase the song, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Please won’t you be my neighbor?” The show was all about building community and I automatically think of how WMCCAI assists Homeowners, Managers and Business Partners with education, and networking opportunities on so many levels. There’s no doubt that these experiences leave lasting impressions on our day to day lives and interactions with each other. CAI spoon feeds us the tools needed to create stronger communities. Would you believe that when I moved in to my condo two neighbors actually brought me some brownies to introduce themselves? All I could think was who does this these days? The conversation evolved around stopping by anytime to visit. I think their exact words were, “we can sit and have a chat.” Then they offered their phone number in the event that I ever needed help in an emergency. In my mind they had to be the exception and not the rule. However, I was wrong. Over the weeks, months, and many years that I lived in the
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community I learned that kind people who want to be neighborly do actually exist! Whenever, I walked my dog there was no question that we would be stopped a few times along the way. It was proper etiquette to visit with other dogs and their owners for “play dates” (most of whom became close friends). We were able to discuss current issues with our units, the grounds, lighting onsite only to learn that certain challenges were a problem throughout all of the buildings. Many issues were brought to the attention of Management and the Board of Directors. Proper action could then be taken quickly. A sense of teamwork and trust became apparent. I was so happy to be living in such a special community. After some time settling in, it became normal practice to smile and say hello to everyone that I passed. Some would look at me as if I had two heads, others reluctantly said hello back, and when I was genuinely fortunate the neighbor, our mail carrier, the UPS man, and others would stop for a brief howdy in return. I lived in the epitome of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.” A few invaluable things I learned were it was okay to rely on these people who lived so close by. It was easy to offer a key swap between units to help keep an eye on each other’s homes. If I received a package a neighbor would bring it in. This way no one would be able
to tell that I wasn’t home. Likewise, if we went out of town we took turns checking on each other’s units for any quirky issues with plumbing leaks, and other major functions of the unit. Plants were watered for each other, the mail was checked and brought in, and lights were turned on and off to make it appear that someone was home. It became the best kind of community watch! One final example of how our community worked together was during “Snowmagedon.” Even though we had a plow service for the sidewalks and parking lots we still had to dig our cars out. I saw complete strangers banding together, sharing shovels, being polite about dumping the snow somewhere other than in the spot that was just shoveled. Even more astonishing was how many neighbors collaborated to assist elderly neighbors and help dig out the fire hydrants. As a proud member of WMCCAI I can see why you might say, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
WMCCAI 7600 Leesburg Pike Suite 100 West Falls Church, VA 22043 www.caidc.org (703) 750-3644
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