Newsletter | December 2017 Print

Holiday Luncheon Highlights!

This year's Holiday Chapter Luncheon at The Club with over 50 people in attendance was a great one to close out 2017! A big thank you to our luncheon sponsors: Community Management AssociatesNatureScape and Northwest Exterminating.


Visit or to view more photos from this luncheon.

SOLitude Lake Management Ad

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Upcoming Events

January 17, 2017
Webinar: Mindfulness -The Key to Effective Leadership in the 21st Century
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT

Register Now

Earn one credit toward redesignation and recertification for CMCA, AMS and PCAM!


January 25, 2018
CAI Alabma Chapter Luncheon
"Cities and Communities"

Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm CT
Location: Hoover Country Club

Register Now

Member Benefit

Members, don't forget to take advantage of the 4 complimentary webinars that are inlcuded in your annual CAI membership!

Access On-Demand Webinars here


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Welcome our 2018 Chapter Officers!

Welcome to the new 2018 Chapter Board of Directors: Fields Greer (The Green Team), Jamie Phillips, CMCA, AMS (J.H. Berry & Gilbert), Mildred Lanier (Hayesbury Townhomes HOA), Susan Rucks (Deer Valley Homeowners Association) and Andy Turner, AMS, PCAM (Spaces Management).

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2017 Awards Recipients

Congratulations and a big thank you to our 2017 award recipients and winners!

Member of the Year Award and Appreciation Award
Lee Mason, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Community Association Management)

Rising Star Award
Nicki Simmons, CMCA (Spaces Management)

Past President Award
Andy Turner, AMS, PCAM (Spaces Management)

Committee Volunteer of the Year Award
Pat Hillen, CMCA, PCAM (Alliance Association Bank)

Membership Drive Winner
Andrea Jones (NatureScape)

Social Media Sharing Contest Winner
John Barnes, Esq. (Law Firm of Alford & Barnes)

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A Plate of Cookies and Community Service by Mildred Lanier

By Mildred Lanier (CAI Alabama Chapter Board Member, Hayesbury HOA President and Pelham City Councilor)

The Cookies

It has been an exciting and sometimes challenging experience serving as president of my community’s HOA.  I did not grow up in a neighborhood that had an HOA, so I knew nothing about it.  Yet, I can clearly recall my sweet elderly neighbor, Mrs. Brinker, bringing me a plate of cookies and welcoming me to the townhome community.  Mrs. Brinker has since passed away, but never could I have imaged she would ask me to run for president of our HOA after bringing me that plate of delicious cookies.

In my new position as president, I spent a weekend reading the covenants.  I eventually got to know more people in the community and soon learned that being an officer was more than reminding neighbors to put garbage cans in the back of the townhome and cut the grass.  As a community, we were all subject to the legal requirements set forth in the protective covenants whether we agreed to them or not at the purchase closing for our homes.  Now it was my responsibility, along with the other officers, to carry out those requirements on behalf of every homeowner in the community and I really did not have resources to guide me.

As if heaven heard my prayer for help, I received a notice in the mail about a year later that our city was providing a free Saturday training session for HOA officers presented by an organization called CAI. I attended the session and that began my connection with CAI.  I eventually joined the organization and it has been one of the best decisions I have made as a community leader.

The Benefits

There are many benefits associated with CAI membership.  One of the greatest benefits is relationship building.  Getting to know professionals from various areas of HOA management is priceless.  The continuous professional development training and resource materials ensure that volunteers can become more confident and successful in serving their communities.  Not only does CAI provide a positive local and state connection but also a national connection with the Open Forums that allow men and women serving as an officer or property management company to ask questions and get advice from other individuals facing many of the same issues. 

The Service

Joining CAI and serving within the organization have given me valuable insight into the evolving face of communities and what it means to be an HOA leader in society today.  The two dominating styles of governance that will at some point confront all HOA is whether to self-manage or to hire a management company.  As a self-managed HOA, I know that I am able to provide sound leadership because of what I have learned through CAI. 

When I look back over my years of serving as president of my community’s HOA, I will always be appreciative of the quality training and leadership skills I have gained through CAI.  And I will forever be grateful to sweet Mrs. Brinker for stopping by my home to bring me a plate of cookies and starting me on my path to community service.

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Nominate an Outstanding Homeowner Leader

CAI Outstanding Homeowner Leader

CAI would like to acknowledge successful association board members who go above and beyond to serve their communities. Help us highlight these special individuals by nominating a board member colleague, client, or acquaintance as we salute the world's Outstanding Homeowner Leaders. We encourage you to nominate your fellow CAI members for this recognition! Nominations must be submitted by Jan. 12, 2018 by filling out the form here.

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2018 Sponsorship Brochure is now available!

Please support the CAI Alabama Chapter next year by signing up for a chapter partner sponsorhsip or one of the many available event sponsorship opportunities! Also, consider advertising in our newsletter or on our website!

Click here to view the sponsorship and advertising brochure.

2018 Marketing Opportunities Brochure

Submit your order form by December 31, 2017 and receive a 5% discount on your selected sponsorships and advertising.

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4 Ways Gossip Hurts Your Community (and How to Stop it!)

By Morgan Place, Vice President at Associa McKay Management

This article was originally published on Associa’s Living Better Blog.

Gossip is harmful in all organizations, and community associations are no exception. For communities, the spread of rumors and misinformation creates a toxic environment where residents don’t feel comfortable in their own homes; it causes division and reduces the sense of community boards work so hard to build. But the damage doesn’t stop there – left unchecked, gossip among board members and homeowners hinders operations, undermines productivity and further affects quality of life for the entire community as a result.

Below are the specific ways gossip hurts communities along with tips for keeping your community gossip-free.

  1. Gossip prevents board members from making business decisions. In a community where board members are afraid of what residents – or even vendors – will say or do behind their backs in reaction to a decision, it’s common for boards to take a long time to make decisions or to avoid making them at all. For example, in one community a resident submitted an architectural review request to their board and waited months to hear back simply because the board was afraid of creating backlash with the resident for not approving the request or with neighbors for approving a request they didn’t like. Situations like this one keeps communities from delivering services to residents and making progress on its goals.

  2. Gossip encourages emotional decisions. Board decisions should rely solely on business facts. But in a gossip-filled community, boards can be swayed by emotions, rumors, and past events, diminishing their ability to fulfill their fiduciary duty.

  3. Gossip creates confusion and unrest. Constant rumors obscure facts and serve to upset residents and board members, which only adds to the difficultly of leading the community objectively and competently. For example, in another community residents spread a rumor that an unlicensed security guard was working on site. Instead of reporting their concerns, residents took the fact-finding process into their own hands and needlessly created confusion and fear among residents, guards and the security company.

  4. Gossip wastes the board’s time. We’ve observed that gossip requires the board to engage in constant communication and hold extra informational meetings to correct misinformation. This takes away from time that could be spent on more pressing business. In one scenario, a condo association was voting to sell an easement and the community talked amongst themselves about how the vote would be affected by how the board decided to use the funds that were awarded. This convoluted the situation and the board had to address rumors instead of simply handling the sale of the land.

Ways to Prevent or Reduce Gossip

Try these tips to discourage gossip in your community.

  • Residents should be encouraged to bring their questions directly to the board and management to get the facts instead of asking each other.

  • Strive for factual transparency with your residents and make this goal known to them. Answer questions as completely as possible and maintain regular communication through channels like TownSq.

  • Ask your fellow board members to commit to avoiding all gossip themselves and to lead by example. As leaders of the community, when board members engage in gossip it breaks the trust residents should have in the board.

  • Be patient. This problem will take time to solve. Continue to display transparent leadership, resist gossip and present a united front to residents.

With a complete understanding of the havoc that gossip can wreak on a community along with ways to address it, you and your fellow board members will be much more equipped to tackle this issue and restore trust throughout your community.

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2017 Community Manager Compensation and Salary Survey

The 2017 Community Manager Compensation and Salary Survey is hot off the press and now available in the CAI bookstore. Managers can use this publication to access the latest statistics on salary trends in the community association management business. The information in this report can be used as a negotiation tool for career opportunities, or it can be referenced to hire new employees: >>Learn more about the Community Association Manager Compensation and Salary Survey.

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M-202: Association Communications is coming to Birmingham in 2018!

The M-202 Association Communications is the only M-level class that can't be taken online. Take advantage of this class being offered in Alabama!

10 registrations are needed for the class to be held. So please register as soon as possible and spread the word! Click here for more information and registration.

M-202 Ad

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