One issue that comes up frequently in community association management is the frustration that many homeowners or boards have in finding tools that help them build effective governance in their community. In fact, a lot of the issues we deal with at Associa arise from a lack of understanding by either the resident or the board on the roles and responsibilities of the various players in the community association world. This issue has become so acute, that some states and provinces have looked at mandating education and training for association volunteers. What’s most surprising is that these tools are out there, waiting to be used by boards and residents either through their management company like Associa our industry trade organization the Community Associations Institute (CAI).
Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I am the former Vice President of Government Affairs for CAI. It was at CAI that I became immersed in the challenge of helping empower residents to govern their own communities. From day one I was hooked. To me community associations are the embodiment of the American principle of self-governance; neighbors electing their neighbors to set rules for the community and enhance property values.
That said the responsibilities of governing a community are not as easy as they may seem. In a time where local, state and federal politicians provide no leadership on consensus building, there are few role models for board members and residents. Volunteer board members need resources on budgeting, rule enforcement and consensus building. As the only national membership organization dedicated to serving the community association market, CAI has a wealth of resources for board volunteers and homeowners. These resources include best practices, educations sessions, more than 60 local chapters and the ability to connect with key community managers and business partners from local and national markets. Some CAI chapters even have special designations dedicated to community association board members. The CAI Nevada Chapter for example, has a notable program where board members can earn a Dedicated Community Association Leader (DCAL) designation. Most importantly, CAI creates a community for community leaders to discuss and share information.
You can find more about CAI by clicking here.
And if you’re in Orlando, FL, visit Associa at booth 712 at the CAI annual conference!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew S. Fortin is the Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Associa. He works to engage government officials, the media and clients in building stronger community associations and help shape laws that support vibrant community associations.