Planning for Success: How to Get Back on Track with Your Education

WMCCAI’s vision is to be recognized as the leading resource for community associations and business partners. One way we achieve that goal is through education; in 2020, we delivered nearly 20 individual education sessions in addition to the 21 sessions offered at Conference & Expo.

For the manager, CAI offers relevant, multi-discipline professional instruction concerning what we deal with daily. It is imperative to our career advancement that we acquire the knowledge that comes with this instruction.  Our designations are essential to our upward mobility in our careers and serve as an indicator of our education, experience, and professional development.  These designations are the hallmarks that an informed board member can use to help determine the degree of professional development necessary for the proper management of his or her asset.

All WMCCAI education sessions are approved for CMCA credits and can be used in the initial PCAM application process. For each hour of instruction, you will receive one CEU credit if you register and attend the session, whether online or in-person. In 2021, the chapter will offer virtual sessions until it is safe to gather again in-person; from that point on, attendees will be able to choose their attendance model as we will offer virtual and in-person options. For PCAMs recertifying, Virginia Leadership Retreat offers recertification credits, and we are hopeful that the 2021 Conference & Expo will do the same again next year.

For the board member/homeowner, CAI will also offer you multi-discipline professional instruction, however it will be tailored to your unique position as a stakeholder. You will have the benefit of decades of experience being made available to you regarding a variety of specialties including periodic jurisdiction-specific legal changes to best practices on everything from conducting board meetings and financial management of your asset.  Your investment will decline or advance based on good governance and proper management.  With access to a diverse array of professionals offering relevant instruction from the chapter, there are no valid reasons to leave these critical decisions to chance.

Homeowners will have multiple education options in 2021 through WMCCAI. The Board Leadership Development Workshop will be offered in 2021 – it is a full day of learning best practices in community management led by experienced managers and attorneys. Attendees will earn the CAI Board Leader Certificate, demonstrating commitment to effective governing and board leadership. Additionally, homeowners are encouraged to attend any session offered by WMCCAI; an educated board leader is essential to good community management.

WMCCAI has changed the way that they provide education to allow the members a more varied means to learn and thrive in their careers.

The chapter has taken the opportunity to invest in a future with hybrid instruction and continues to strive in the virtual education world.  Chapter members will no longer be slave to traffic; they will also be able to exercise the option to tune in virtually should that prove convenient.  This alteration is the silver lining of the global pandemic that has, in part, forced us to equip and embrace virtual connection with our colleagues. It is paramount for our new future, and we should set the table for it as the mechanism as well as the content will be of merit.

The chapter will start 2021 delivering education in a virtual platform. Once it is safe to gather in large groups again, we will offer hybrid options. Attendees will be able to choose to attend in-person or virtually for sessions. In-person attendance will be managed according to any CDC and state guidelines at the time of the session and virtual attendees will be live-streamed into the session.

WMCCAI is pivoting, making changes despite a reduced budget and staff. It is important that the members support the chapter by taking advantage of these virtual courses and seminars. Encourage your boards to join and to learn more about what their responsibilities and roles mean to the community. The support of the members and the industry will ensure and encourage these changes, providing a platform that supports all learning modalities.

There are many opportunities one has with WMCCAI to grow your knowledge base along with obtaining much needed CEU to propel your career path upward and better serve the client.

For the latest education schedule, visit

By Todd El-Taher & Kathryn Hutchison, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

 Todd is the vice president of sales and marketing at Hann & Hann Construction Services and has been with the firm since 2005. He is the co-chair of the Education Committee for the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of CAI. He is an inventor, awaiting the awarding of his second patent from the United States Patent and Trademark of Office, holds a BA Cum laude in International Relations from Canisius College, Buffalo NY and is a US Army Veteran.

Kathryn is an experienced community association manager, starting in the field in 2009 with SCS, an Associa Company. In the last 11 years, she has achieved in earning her CMCA, AMS, PCAM and a Degree in Psychology. As an active member of WMCCAI, Kathryn is the 2020 co-chair of the Education Committee and is currently general manager of the Greenhouse Condominium in Alexandria, VA.

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