It is an honor and a privilege to be kicking off 2018 as the WMCCAI Chapter President. Community Association Management is the only industry I know as my humble career got started while employed for a small developer as I was working through college. After all, I had to find some way to pay for my beloved equines. Upon graduation, I was moved to a site position where I had a lot more interaction with homeowners, boards, and committees. I was still blissfully unaware of the ins and outs of the industry with which I am now so grossly entwined. It wasn’t until I was in the dogged pursuit of earning more income that I interviewed at a professional management company and, upon eyeing the large office building with floors stretching the length of the building full of cubicles and offices and departments dedicated to covenants and resale, customer service and management, insurance and maintenance, with a hierarchy of administrators, managers, division directors and vice presidents that I realized that this was an industry, nay, a career path.
Thankfully, this company embraced the educational programming that CAI has to offer and I was quickly enrolled in courses designed to mold me into a professional manager. The first class, the widely known M-100, spends a good bit of time driving home the importance of keeping proper books and records. It outlined the significance of everything ranging from the essential familiarity with recorded legal documents to proper recordation of meeting minutes to best practices for retaining financial documents. This is the most fundamental groundwork of community association management. Have you ever been faced with an insurance claim denial for having the legal name of an association wrong on the policy because the Articles of Incorporation weren’t reviewed? Perhaps you transitioned financial records from another company only to find they do not have account history that outlines where owner balances come from? Maybe you need to verify a late fee waiver was approved by the board but the minutes are missing any such motions. Or you have a concerned owner who missed the annual meeting and is challenging whether proper notice was distributed in accordance with the governing documents of the association and state statute. These items and more will demonstrate to even a rookie manager or new board member the importance of good record keeping.
This month we devote our magazine to helping you understand books and records of an association. You’ll find expert advice you can apply in real life situations. Get expert tips on electronic storage of data as the industry catches up to the 21st century. Review best practices on minute taking and when to use Executive Session. Looking for a simple checklist for your records retention? We’ve got all that and more in this issue of Quorum.
2018 WMCCAI Board President
SARAH GERSTEIN, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM
Sarah is the general manager of Broadlands, a 3,800 unit HOA in Loudoun County. She has been in the community management industry since 2000, first as a portfolio manager before transitioning to large-scale on-site management in 2012. Sarah has been active in the Chapter for more than 10 years and has served on various committees during that time. She has served on the Chapter board for six years, holding the offices of treasurer, secretary, and vice president. Sarah was named to Loudoun County’s Class of 2015 Top 40 Under 40 Business and Community Leaders.