By Greg Smith, CMCA, AMS, PCAM , Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners
At the CAI Annual Conference and Expo in Dallas this month, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to offer a special recognition to a dedicated, passionate and devoted industry leader who has spent countless volunteer hours supporting and advancing the community association management profession and the CMCA credential.
Sandy Denton was Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners for the past two years, but her service to CAMICB, and our profession, began long before that.
From her continued work as a Subject Matter Expert on the CAMICB Exam Development Committee for the past eight years, and her service on the Board of Commissioners from 2017 – 2022, to her former roles as CAI President as well as Chair of the Foundation for Community Association Research, Sandy remains a steadfast advocate for the profession and a devoted champion of the CMCA credentialing program. In fact, I believe Sandy is the first and only person ever to chair all three organizations—CAI, FCAR, and CAMICB!
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Sandy for many years; she’s one of those volunteers who consistently contributes in both visible and invisible ways. She’s the type of person you always know – or hear about – because she’s so impactful.
During her tenure as Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners, it was very important to Sandy that CAMICB focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Under her leadership, we developed and adopted a DEI statement and approach which is now a significant element of our strategic plan. Sandy also felt strongly that we revisit and reestablish our strategic plan – not a small undertaking – which we accomplished at Conference last year thanks to her clear and thoughtful guidance.
To say it’s inspiring that Sandy contributed so much over the years while simultaneously building her own extraordinary career in her home state of Texas – is an understatement.
We’re grateful Sandy continues to generously share her time, knowledge and passion as an SME on the CAMICB Exam Development Committee, and she remains a renowned CAI faculty member and legislative advocate through her work on the CAI Government & Public Affairs Committee and the Texas Legislative Action Committee.
On behalf of the officers, commissioners and staff of CAMICB and on behalf of our profession, thank you, Sandy, for your extraordinary service and unwavering support.
Is this glass half full or half empty? The median asking price for homes in New York City jumped back over $1 million last month for the first time since June 2018, StreetEasy reports, signaling healthy values. But the 2,092 listings that went into contract represented a 29% drop from April a year ago, signaling a shortage of inventory.
With today’s elevated mortgage rates, it’s no surprise that sales this year have been more modest compared to 2021 and 2022, when unusually low mortgage rates led to surging buyer demand. The important trend to note right now is that buyers have not retreated from the market, even though mortgage rates have more than doubled since early last year.
The city’s housing market was on a correction course in 2019 due to a glut of unsold condo inventory. Now, market conditions are nearly the opposite of 2019: there’s a shortage of inventory relative to demand, particularly for pricier homes as buyers who can afford higher mortgage payments remain in the market.
The luxury segment — the top 5% of the market, priced above $3.5M — also saw steady buyer activity. In April 2023, 125 listings at this price point entered contract, compared to 146 in April of last year. The luxury market is normalizing after its record-breaking performance in 2021.
Buyers in the market for more affordable homes also saw strong competition, although it wasn’t as fierce as the market for more expensive homes. An average listing priced below $700,000 — roughly the bottom third of the current market by price point — received 13.7% more buyer inquiries in April of this year compared to April 2019. These homes are popular among first-time buyers or those hoping to downsize, due to lower carrying costs including monthly mortgage payments and maintenance fees.
The neighborhood with the most listings below $700,000 was Forest Hills, Queens, where in April there were 299 listings below this price point. Next up was Lenox Hill, Manhattan with 215 listings, and the next three were Jackson Heights in Queens (187), Riverdale in the Bronx (165), and Rego Park in Queens (145).
HOAs usually charge fees that add to monthly housing costs.
There are benefits of HOA living despite the fees and restrictions.
When you are buying a house, you’ll likely come across many neighborhoods where there is a homeowners association. HOAs often impose rules about what you can do with your home, and they also charge fees you’ll have to pay each month on top of your mortgage payment.
While the added cost of an HOA may seem undesirable, there are actually a few big benefits of living in a neighborhood with an association. In fact, here are some of the biggest upsides of living someplace with an HOA.
1. The HOA protects your property values
Your property values are affected by the quality of your neighborhood and by how your neighbors maintain their houses. After all, no matter how nice your own property is, no one will want to buy it if it’s next to a slum.
Homeowners associations set and enforce rules related to the upkeep of property in the neighborhood. They may also set other restrictions such as requiring approval before painting a house or adding lawn ornaments. These rules help keep the neighborhood looking nice, which in turn keeps property values higher.
2. The HOA maintains the neighborhood and amenities
HOAs usually maintain common areas, and some neighborhoods with strong associations have lots of amenities such as pools or golf courses.
These features can add value to your home since they are desirable to buyers, and they can also make it nicer for you to live in your neighborhood since you can take advantage of them.
3. Fees may include common utilities and maintenance tasks
In some cases, HOA fees include things like internet service, pool maintenance, or lawn care. When that is the case, it’s convenient to pay one common fee to get many different services rather than having to arrange for them individually and contract with companies to pay for them separately.
In some situations, you may actually end up saving money because it can be cheaper for internet companies or landscaping companies to provide their services to an entire neighborhood rather than to just individual households. The fees you’re paying could actually be a better value than paying for these services privately.
4. The HOA can deal with neighborhood disputes
When people live in close proximity to one another, it’s often inevitable that disputes arise. There could be issues for a huge number of reasons, from barking dogs to lawns that aren’t maintained to loud music playing and more.
When you live in an HOA neighborhood, you don’t have to directly deal with a neighbor who is causing you problems in your enjoyment of your own home. The HOA most likely has regulations related to common nuisances or issues that come up regularly. They’ll take care of addressing the issues that arise among neighbors so you don’t have to sour your relationship with those living near you or cope with the stress of a confrontation.
For all of these reasons, it’s worth considering an HOA neighborhood when you buy a property. Just remember you need to be comfortable with the rules the association sets as you’ll have to live by them too.
Companies making significant changes in how work gets done, WTW survey finds
Only one-third of U.S. employers effectively managed people, business and operational risks during pandemic
ARLINGTON, VA, May 9, 2023 — The drive to reshape work at organizations keeps on trucking, according to a new survey by leading global advisory, broking and solutions company WTW (NASDAQ: WTW). Furthermore, a relatively small number of organizations reported they are effectively managing the various business and people risks associated with the ever-changing work landscape.
According to WTW’s Dynamics of Work Survey, the number of companies in the U.S. that automate some of their work is expected to climb to 74% in three years, up from 65% this year and 51% three years ago. Additionally, those organizations expect that more than one-quarter (27%) of their work will be automated in three years, nearly double (14%) from three years ago. Respondents also said they expect over half of their employees (55%) will work either fully remotely or hybrid in three years, compared with 15% before the pandemic.
“As employers emerge from the pandemic, their need to reimagine how and where work gets done is at an all-time high,” said Tracey Malcolm, global leader, Future of Work and Risk, WTW. “This transformation, including the shift to remote work, has led to an increase in people, business and operational risks. Unfortunately, many employers believe they are falling short in the critical responsibility of managing these risks.”
Indeed, only one-third of respondents (33%) report they have effectively managed the risks associated with the dynamics of work — changing work conditions, digitalization and alternative sources of talent — over the past three years. Employers are currently taking or planning to take action to address these risks. These include:
Digitalization: One in five U.S. respondents (22%) is expecting and is prepared for greater use of digitalization and automation. This compares with one-third of respondents (33%) globally. Among those, 39% are redesigning jobs or roles to reallocate work between employees, nonemployees and new technologies; another 19% are planning to do so this year.
Working conditions: Two in five U.S. respondents (40%) are expecting and are prepared for greater use of changing working conditions. Globally, over four in 10 respondents (44%) are expecting and prepared. Among those, 37% have conducted employee listening activities to identify changes in employee preferences or measure the impact of changing work conditions. Another 36% are redesigning the employee experience to promote the shift to the new work culture.
Alternative talent sources: Over one-fourth of U.S. respondents (28%) are expecting and are prepared for greater use of alternative talent sources. Two in 10 respondents globally (21%) are expecting and prepared. Among those, 39% are redesigning the employee experience to align with new work and career models; another 15% are planning to strength external communication about changes to potential employees this year.
“The dynamics of work will continue to evolve for many years. Creating a sustainable competitive advantage will require robust strategies to unlock the potential of these shifts and careful management of people and operational risks. Effective plans will start by placing talent at the heart of work changes by understanding employee preferences and perceptions, aligning work and total rewards programs, and strengthening risk management frameworks,” said Amol Mhatre, head of Intellectual Capital, Research and Innovation, WTW.
About the survey
A total of 720 respondents globally, including 264 from North America, participated in the Dynamics of Work Survey. It was conducted during February and March 2023. Respondents employ 8.5 million workers.
At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.
Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.
The Community Association Managers International Certification Board’s (CAMICB) CMCA credentialing program has been awarded international accreditation by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) as complying with standard ISO/IEC 17024, a conformity assessment for personnel certification bodies. ANAB establishes the specialized system for worldwide standardization, setting the requirements and the framework, at a global level, for the operation of certification bodies. ANAB accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17024 Standard supports the increasing technological and global specialization of skills and personnel.
Said Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners, Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, “Earning this ISO/IEC accreditation is critical because it shows the CMCA credential meets the global benchmark for certification programs and assures the CMCA credential is serving the field of community association management in a consistent, comparable, and reliable manner worldwide.”
Added Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) Chief Executive Officer, “As the demand for education in community association management has grown considerably outside of the United States, so too has the need for an internationally accredited credentialing program. Earning this prestigious accreditation means the CMCA credential has achieved the highest standard in professional certification and stands alone in the community association housing profession.”
The CMCA credentialing program ISO/IEC accreditation came as a result of a rigorous evaluation conducted by ANAB, that included a thorough analysis of test data, and detailed audits of CAMICB’s management systems, test development and psychometric procedures.
Setting The Stage
Over the past 25 years, the CMCA credential has been a catalyst in establishing community association management as a discrete profession. The common interest community housing model exists around the world and there has been consistent interest in the CMCA credential, the educational pathways to achieve the credential and the continuing education requirement to maintain the credential. As the credential grew within the United States it became an important tool to building professionalism in the field outside of the Untied States.
CAMICB has strong support from a number of community association managers outside of the United States including Pepe Gutierrez and Michael Hurley. Pepe serves CAMICB as an active International Subject Matter Expert. He’s an internationally recognized proponent of the CMCA credential and advocate for professionalism in the field of community association management. Pepe, a professor at Burgos University in Spainand the founder of Megafincas Alicante management company, is a frequent speaker at international gatherings of community association managers and has written extensively on the issues common to community association management around the world.
“Earning ISO accreditation puts the CMCA credentialing program in a league of its own,” said Pepe Gutierrez, CMCA. “It’s the only accredited certification for community association management professionals around the world and it represents a baseline of professionalism, no matter where a manager is working.”
Michael Hurley has been a consistent force in helping CAMICB ensure all international partners are working for the betterment of our profession and industry. He continues to serve CAMICB as an International Subject Matter Expert. His perspective on the profession of community association management as it is practiced in Australia and elsewhere in the world has been invaluable in guiding our efforts to expand international delivery of the CMCA exam in a way that is responsive to all candidates, no matter where they are practicing.
Added Michael Hurley, Director of the Australian-based Strata Title Management Pty Ltd., “Gaining ISO/IEC accreditation is particularly important as recognition of the value of the CMCA credential has grown around the world. CAMICB already delivers the CMCA exam in Dubai, UAE, Australia, Canada, Panama and elsewhere outside of the United States; it’s particularly exciting to see the next phase of this expansion.”
A Major Milestone: Dual Accreditation
The CMCA credentialing program was first accredited in 2010 through the US-based National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), representing third-party validation of compliance with the highest domestic standards in professional credentialing. It has since been reaccredited twice by NCCA, most recently in 2020.
Achieving both NCCA and ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation places the CMCA credential in an elite cohort of professional certification programs and speaks to the importance the CAMICB Board of Commissioners places on conducting the CMCA program in full accordance with best practices in professional credentialing. “We take this responsibility to the profession seriously and are extremely proud of this achievement as we continue to establish the credential as a baseline for building the profession worldwide,” added Mulhare.
Always Maintaining High Standards
Community managers from around the world report that the responsibilities of a professional manager for condominiums, homeowners associations, housing cooperatives and master-planned communities are comprised of the core competencies identified by the CAMICB Job Task Analysis, including governance, legal, budgeting and reserves, contracting, financial controls, risk management, facilities maintenance, meetings and human resources. Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, former Executive Director of CAMICB and CAI’s Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs said, “The ISO/IEC accreditation of the CMCA program provides assurances to homeowners, developers, regulators, and legislators that professional managers who have earned and maintained the CMCA credential have the comprehensive competency and ethical standards to serve their communities.”
Both NCCA and ISO accreditation require continued compliance with their respective standards. To maintain NCCA accreditation, the CMCA credentialing program must undergo a rigorous reaccreditation process every five years. Following the initial ISO/IEC accreditation, the CMCA credentialing program will be reexamined on an annual basis through an in-depth document review and on-site assessment of the program.
Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google, discusses the importance of creating a culture of inclusivity where everyone feels they can bring their best selves to work.
The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) role is becoming critical for organizations, with about 53% of Fortune 500 companies now having a CDO or equivalent role.
But the role comes with its own challenges at a time of significant setbacks in social and economic inclusion. How can DEI efforts be strengthened as a strategic imperative?
“Our workplaces should be safe havens, where we can bring the best of who we are into them.
“[When we do], innovation is better. We work better together. And we accomplish the business strategy faster,” Melonie Parker, Google’s Chief Diversity Officer, tells the Forum.
The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) role is becoming critical for organizations. Among Fortune 500 companies, 53 percent now have a CDO or equivalent role and more than 60 have, since May 2020, appointed their first-ever diversity leader, estimates from McKinsey suggest.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 found that more than two-thirds of the organizations surveyed have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programme, with women as the most common priority group for surveyed organizations’ DEI programmes across all regions and industries.
The timing is also critical, with the events of recent years showing that any progress made is easily reversible. The pandemic has caused a generational loss in gender parity, for example, increasing the projected time to reach global parity from 100 to 132 years.
LGBTQIA+ individuals continue to face stigma and discrimination, and only a small percentage of businesses are focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities.
The role itself comes with its own challenges, with about 60% of those holding CDO positions and their equivalents in 2018 having left the role. The reasons range from ambiguity about what the role should entail to the limited availability of organizational resources and support.
How can organizations address these struggles and strengthen efforts made towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? We sat down for an interview with Melonie Parker to discuss the importance of her role, her journey, and what it takes to overcome challenges at an organization that operates in 200+ countries.
The transcript has been edited for clarity.
How would you describe this role?
The role of a Chief Diversity Officer is about influencing every part of the company. It feels like many jobs wrapped up into one.
What we’re influencing from a cultural standpoint is that everyone feels like they belong in that environment. And by belonging, I mean they feel they can come in and bring out the best parts of who they are. It also means that every group represented can progress, come in, and get promoted at the same rate.
What we’re looking for is: Are there any gaps in how people are experiencing the culture, how people are progressing in the environment, and how we are retaining that talent across as well? And then, that is important to innovation for the company’s products or services. And it’s also crucial to how the company can meet business goals and achieve its business strategy.
What does success mean in this role?
Success at the highest level means that everybody, across every identity, can see themselves working at Google and that they don’t see any barriers to their success.
When we released our first diversity annual report, we were focused on women and minorities. But looking at lived experiences through our employee survey, we now have 18 different identities we include because we’ve matured to look at our communities intersectionally.
We’re not flattening people by making them like a single dimension.
Who comes into the frame of being underrepresented or marginalized continues to expand. And so we have to be on watch and attuned continually. This is why the data is essential – to understand what needs to happen to continue to close the gaps to parity. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Why is it important not to ‘flatten people by making them like a single dimension’ at work?
I identify as a black woman, and for a very long time in my career, I did what was called code-switching, where I checked a part of myself at the proverbial door.
I took the part of myself that I thought would be acceptable in corporate America, and that was how I navigated work. And then, on my way out the door, I picked it up. My vernacular changed, and I could embrace all of myself outside of that.
“We’re not flattening people by making them like a single dimension.”— Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer, Google
But when I made the switch and no longer did that, my experiences were richer and deeper because I didn’t have to leave part of myself behind to be accepted.
What are some of these challenges you’re currently looking at?
We are currently looking to ensure that we’re retaining our talent. I have a ‘Stay and Thrive’ team that works with underrepresented communities.
When we find out that people are considering leaving, we assign a case manager to help them navigate what’s going on, whether that’s internal mobility or a challenge in their work environment. And then, we help make Google small enough for people to navigate. We follow them one year after being in our program to ensure they’re still having success.
We also ensure all our Googlers can progress in their career. So we have programs for women and underrepresented minorities in the United States that are part of our ‘Pathways to Sponsorship’ programs. We co-curate an environment where they have access to mentors and a network they wouldn’t have otherwise had. And we see success with promotions coming across those groups.
We first saw this for women getting into executive leadership through promotions rather than hiring externally, which is a healthy organic metric to track. And we extended that program to underrepresented minorities as well.
We’re now looking closely across all demographics to understand where the gaps to parity might be. And we’re designing initiatives that are tailored to those groups so that we can make progress.
You’ve called diversity a superpower. How did your professional journey prepare you for this role?
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, where my father was a factory worker. My mother worked at the bank and later at the post office.
My brother and I are the first generation to go to college, and I’m also first generation corporate America. When I came into this space, I was able to leverage those experiences of growing up in a predominantly black community to working-class parents: towards empathy that’s required to make sure that everybody around me feels included, towards personally creating a safe environment for others, and then using that to ask intuitive questions.
I have used diversity as a superpower to ask strategic questions around ‘what’s missing at the table?’ and open up the space for dialogue to do a calling in, not a calling out. And that has helped.
Often, I have found that there are blind spots that happen and people don’t recognize some others are being left out or that people don’t enjoy the same access or advantage that they have. And it’s appreciated to help bring that insight to them in a way that is a ‘calling in’.
I have used diversity as a superpower to ask strategic questions around ‘what’s missing at the table?’ and open up the space for dialogue to do a calling in, not a calling out.”— Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer, Google
What advice would you give to Talent from diverse backgrounds on bringing themselves to work?
One of the things that helped me was having a wide range of mentors who could tell me: what are the unofficial norms? How do you navigate this path?
When I went to corporate America, my parents couldn’t help me navigate because they hadn’t been there. And finding these mentors helped.
I advise others to find a mentor or even a mentee that’s different from you. I went to a high-potential talent program at my previous job, and they gave me a black woman as a mentor. And I said, ‘I have access to black women all day. Could you find me a white male mentor? Because I haven’t had a lot of access to white men.’
Be curious about other people, the other point of view, and then have empathy and put yourself in the other person’s position.
And how can organizations help?
In diversity, it’s important to curate spaces where we can bring people together. One of the things we do at Google is to celebrate Heritage Month, and we open this up to everybody so you can learn about experiences that are different from how you grew up.
These experiences are for people to learn and grow in a safe way so they can be better allies.
How can we go beyond seeing DEI efforts as ‘nice to have’ and make it a strategic imperative?
We must look beyond diversity as more than a moral imperative and as a critical part of our business strategy.
Google’s diversity goals are part of our overall business strategy, and I am proud to report we met our Racial Equity Commitment of increasing leadership representation of Black+, Latinx+, and Native American+ Googlers by 30%, three years ahead of our intended schedule.
For our employees beyond the US, we adopt a local approach. For example, in India, we have a program called DigiPivot that focuses on digital upskilling for women as part of our efforts to close the digital gender gap.
Data empowers us, and we believe that data powers progress. We leverage our employee resource groups to ensure our products are universally accessible, and it has led to incredible innovation, like our true tone technology in the Pixel phones.
Companies should look at this as a key part of the business strategy and then understand what their data says regarding the baseline of how people are experiencing their company and progressing. And then design initiatives that address gaps based on the data.
So what comes next?
The efforts of early investment we made have paid off. Over the last ten years, we normalized discussing diversity and inclusion in the workplace and externally. So that’s helped us contribute to the broader diversity landscape across the world.
But it’s important to note that no company or organization can do this alone. We have to do this work as a collective.
So over the next five years, creating a set of common global standards and competencies and linking virtual arms will be incredibly important to build a society we all want to see.
After a long tenure at AT&T, this CEO thought carefully about her transition to board service. Here’s what she learned.
Since very early on in my career, thanks to an enlightening conversation with a wise headhunter, I’ve viewed corporate careers in the form of trimesters. And for those entering or amid their metaphorical third trimester, there’s a lot to consider.
I say this because I was in this position not too long ago and have watched and coached countless colleagues through the same transition. Like me, these leaders knew they wanted to keep contributing, but weren’t sure that what they were currently doing was what they wanted to continue doing.
The third trimester sounds like the beginning of the end to many. But in reality, it could mean another 20 or even 30 years of a productive and impactful life. I’ve always had an aversion to the word retirement. Not only is it so very tired, but it’s filled with biases, many of which presume the person is old, done and over. I don’t view this new phase as retiring, but rather rewiring. Rewiring is all about revitalizing what you do, as well as how and when you do it, while building off the success of what you’ve already accomplished. And a desired role for many in “rewirement” is service as a corporate board member.
This point in time also requires being introspective enough to answer two pivotal questions: Why? And for whom?
’ll share my personal example: My long tenure at AT&T as our business transformed over numerous decades taught me many things, including the kind of work that brings me joy through growth: I find complexity and challenges at scale a unique leadership opportunity to contribute across key constituents of people, from communities to partners to shareholders to employees and more. I’ve often said that I’m a context kind of leader, and connecting the dots—whether strategically, operationally or tactically, whether internally and/or externally—is something I enjoy doing. And because I love contributing, especially at the intersection of innovation and inclusion, I knew that not having the ability to do this in my rewirement would leave a void.
When it came time to leave AT&T, I vetted numerous opportunities to augment my board portfolio and found that my experiences were applicable to numerous diverse industries. The vetting process involved serious thought and a continuous reframing of what,who and why was most important in this potential work.
For those in the final trimester of their corporate careers, this introspection can be intimidating. Most of us have seemingly spent our professional lifetime developing an identity formed by our name, a comma and the title at the organization that follows.
One of the hardest parts about this transition is that many of us have spent decades absorbed in our professional pursuits, so much so the comma has all but disappeared. At times, in various settings, our title even precedes our name. Our personal and professional identities have fused to become one. The thought of giving that up can be scary. And the thought of having to reinvent yourself in a way that focuses on an unknown future versus the past and present can be even scarier.
You don’t have to choose between the past and the future. Embracing this third trimester means calibrating your level of desired engagement in what means the most to you and getting ready to focus on where you feel you’ll have the greatest impact. It’s partly why so many executives and managers end up consulting— they no longer want to be the doer, but instead want to help with the strategic thinking and path forward at a higher level. This can be a major reason for the allure of the corporate board.
So many people in this position lean into the first thing offered to them or take on an immediate role similar to their previous corporate career. Perhaps a strategic advisor to a company in a related industry, or as an operating partner in a private equity firm that has portfolio companies in related industries. There’s nothing wrong with those choices. But like any transition, the move out of your third trimester should be one that is a result of some soul searching and time for reflection. An opportunity to be vulnerable and deeply consider what really matters to you in life.
If that means considering board assignments at companies that are in only high-interest industries, or headquartered in only certain geographies, that’s your choice. If you’re passionate about certain nonprofits and community imperatives, board service could be an option there—or some other type of greater involvement. If your why and for whom comes down to spending more time with family and loved ones, then embrace that choice and move forward.
The transition from a corporate career is a golden opportunity. It’s a chance to explore motivations, enduring interests, continued growth and joyful purpose – considerations that, for nearly everyone, will no doubt have changed since their careers, or first trimesters, began.
Prioritize embracing your why, choosing your for whom and living your life on purpose—your purpose.
Anne Chow is lead director on FranklinCovey’s Board of Directors, a director of 3M and co-author of the best-selling book, “The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias.” Chow is the former CEO of AT&T Business and was twice featured as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business.
Drama over drag is taking center stage in a valley homeowner’s association after a community drag bingo event dropped the drag queen.
The drag bingo event planned for next month was supposed to feature local drag queen Rusty Waters, but the HOA board abruptly sent a memo to community members saying they’d made the decision to remove Waters from the event “based upon concerns voiced by some members of our community regarding Mr. Waters.”
Trilogy resident Cathy Smithweiss installed gay and trans pride flags outside her home to show her support for the LGBTQ+ community. She said she was outraged by the HOA’s decision and spoke out at the board meeting on Thursday. News Channel 3 was not permitted inside.
“I believe that there were some people here that are homophobic,” Smithweiss said, “We’ve now discriminated against people who are our friends and our neighbors.”
In a statement to residents, the HOA board said that the event was rescheduled “out of concern for the entertainer, and not because of the type of entertainment. The board claimed that the decision was not made in a discriminatory manner towards Rusty Waters, who they support performing at their community.
Cathy Smithweiss, a resident of Trilogy La Quinta, installed gay and trans pride flags all over her home She called on community leaders to reverse their decision at the HOA’s board meeting Thursday, saying, “We’ve now discriminated against people that are who are our friends and our neighbors.”
The HOA board issued a statement to residents saying that their decision hold the event with a drag queen was “Out of concern for the entertainer, and not about the type of entertainment…” and that it was not done in a discriminatory manner towards Rusty Waters. The board also emphasized that Trilogy is an open and inclusive community, saying the event would be rescheduled at a later date, and that people who don’t like it can choose not to attend.
However, Smithweiss remains skeptical of the board’s explanation and says that they haven’t said when they plan to reschedule the event.
“I think they’re trying to push it under the rug and pretend they didn’t make this mistake,” she said.
“Too many small decisions like this are snowballing and they’re really hurting a lot of very good people. These are our friends and our family members. And discrimination is wrong. And we have to stop doing this,” she said.
News Channel 3 spoke with Rusty Waters, the queen who was removed from the even. She said she doesn’t necessarily want to perform at Trilogy in the future and that people against drag should spend their energy on more important issues.
A bill in the Missouri House could allow homeowners from across the state to be freed from the constraints put on them by homeowners’ associations.
“If I could afford a helicopter pad for the property I just bought and I couldn’t build it, I’d be suing everybody,” Rep. Donna Baringer, D-St. Louis, said during a hearing on House Bill 1089, referring to building restrictions imposed on people by homeowners’ associations (HOAs).
Many members of the House Committee on Local Government criticized homeowners’ associations during a hearing Tuesday morning. The bill would create a standard for HOAs across the state and require them to incorporate as a nonprofit. It would also, broadly, compel homeowners to be more active in their HOAs through mandating a certain percentage of a community serve.
“I’m here today to urge you to vote in favor and consider HB 1089. If passed, HB 1089 will establish a Homeowner’s Bill of Rights within the state of Missouri,” said Phoebe Neseth, the director of government and public affairs for the Community Associations Institute, an organization that advocates for HOA members and other community associations.
The Community Associations Institute, according to Neseth, has been advocating for standard regulations across the country for HOAs.
“Each state has the opportunity to create and establish these types of acts that best impact their community associations, homeowners, volunteer board members and managers,” she said.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Brad Christ, R-Sunset Hills, who said it could potentially erase all HOAs in Missouri.
Some lawmakers still raised issue with the bill, despite their personal experiences with HOAs.
“I don’t agree with everything with my HOA, we’re in the process of changing our bylaws, which is an extremely difficult situation,” said Rep. Gretchen Bangert, D-Florissant.
A clause in Christ’s bill would force all active HOAs to incorporate as a mutual-benefit nonprofit corporation. Bangert took issue with this clause, saying achieving nonprofit status would be a “big feat” for local HOAs to take on.
“I have a little bit of a concern with that … a lot of associations are not incorporated,” she said.
“Yes, that was a piece of the opposition to it, there’s a lot of rules that come together with a nonprofit association like that,” Christ replied.
The bill has changed since it was first introduced 15 years ago, according to Todd Billy, an attorney in favor of the bill. Billy said the bill would address restrictive covenants in cities like Kansas City and St. Louis, a practice that, according to the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, historically kept Black people from owning homes in many neighborhoods in the state.
An article published by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council — an organization that “seeks to ensure equal access to housing and places of public accommodation for all people” — outlined how deeds for houses often had specific clauses that prevented owners from selling, conveying, leasing or renting homes to Black people. Despite no longer being legally enforceable, many of these laws are still on the books to this day.
These laws are called “uniform restriction agreements.” The article states the city of St. Louis saw Black homeowners as a nuisance. These agreements had language that said some cites in the St. Louis region needed to “preserve the character of said neighborhood as a desirable place of residence for persons of the Caucasian Race.”
“If you’re on the St. Louis side, … most have restrictive covenants. On the Kansas City side, there’s usually a declaration of a homeowners’ association and then a declaration of conditions covenants and restrictions,” Billy said. “We’re not even using the same terms through the state. So because of that variety, what we consistently struggle with is associations’ inability to adapt — and properly balance its relationship — with homeowners.”
Billy addressed some concerns raised by lawmakers about title companies and how they often fail to notify homeowners about bylaws their neighborhoods have, including restrictive covenants imposed by HOAs. He said incorporating HOAs as nonprofits would fix this.
“So a nonprofit is actually very easy to form in Missouri. We are not tax exempt, so we don’t have to go through the IRS stuff. So in terms of creating a nonprofit, if I had my computer, I could do it in less than five minutes,” Billy said. “With title companies, (they) don’t know that there’s an HOA and the nonprofit statute already has very good protections.”
Billy said the bill could address the apathy many people have to their HOA, by giving the community greater control and investment in its management. It would require a quorum of at least 20 percent of households in a neighborhood for an HOA to function.
The bill would also mandate a two-thirds vote to pass a raise in the fees charged. Billy used the example of an unincorporated municipality in St. Louis County that brought an internal dispute in their neighborhood to court.
“Their burden on the government is absolutely tied to the HOAs inability to help,” he said. “Instead we empower the owners too, the board proposes a budget and the owners can reject it, which is the same thing we’ve been doing for condos since 1983.”
Arnie Dienoff, a self-identified public advocate and frequent witness during public testimony at hearings, testified against the bill.
“Homeowners associations are a mess, but they’re the (most local form) of governance in our state,” Dienoff said.
While he agreed with much of the bill’s language, like requiring more participation and notifying homeowners of the bylaws in their community, he was concerned by a clause in the bill that would require an audit of an HOA every three years.
“In my HOA, we’ve never had a financial audit and that’s going to be very expensive and very cumbersome for HOAs that are, I would say, 1,000 homes or less,” he said.
HB 1089: Establishes the Missouri Homeowners Bill of Rights
ANNA MARIA – City officials continue to lead the opposition to proposed state legislation that would curtail local governments’ ability to regulate short-term vacation rentals.
Senate Bill 714 and House Bill 833 seek to preempt the regulation of vacation rentals to the state, specifically to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
According to the April 15 staff analysis provided to House of Representatives Commerce Committee members, HB 833 would still allow local governments to create local vacation rental registration programs and charge an annual registration fee, but the fees could not exceed $50 to register a single vacation rental home or unit, or $100 to collectively register vacation rental homes or units.
The proposed legislation would make the regulation of online vacation rental advertising platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo exclusively the state’s responsibility and take enforcement abilities away from local governments.
The staff analysis notes the proposed legislation would not supersede the authority of condominiums, cooperatives or homeowners’ associations to restrict the use of their properties and prohibit short-term vacation rentals.
On April 12, HB 833 successfully passed through the House Ways & Means Committee by a 13-10 vote. State Rep. Will Robinson Jr. (R-Bradenton) was among the 13 members who voted favorably on the bill.
The bill was scheduled to be discussed and potentially voted on by the House’s Commerce Committee on Monday, April 17, the third and final committee stop for the bill before it can be brought to the floor for a final vote by all House members.
SB 714 was scheduled to be discussed and potentially voted on by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government Committee on Tuesday, April 18. This is the second of three committee stops scheduled for the Senate bill.
On May 13, SB 714 successfully passed through the Senate’s Regulated Industries Committee by a 5-2 vote.
The proposed legislation dies if it does not successfully pass through three preliminary committees. The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to end on May 5.
Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy provided the city commission with an update on the city’s opposition efforts on April 13, noting the issue is the city’s primary legislative focus this year.
Murphy referenced the emails and letters that continue to be sent to state legislators through the city-owned and managed Home Rule Florida website, http://www.HomeRuleFl.com.
“It’s very impressive the amount of mail that this little city has generated. It didn’t all come out of this city. It comes from across the state because of our website. The lobbyist has assured me our efforts have not gone unnoticed, but we need to keep the pressure on,” Murphy told the commission.
“This thing is sailing through the House and the Senate along party lines. The Democrats are voting no and the Republicans are all voting yes. If it sails through along party lines, which it very well might do, it’ll then go to the governor’s desk for signature. If the governor sees that we already have all these letters, he’s going to think twice before he would sign off on it knowing there’s mass opposition amongst the public,” Murphy said.
Murphy said it’s premature to start lobbying Gov. Ron DeSantis before the proposed legislation reaches his desk.
“The governor’s not going to interfere in the legislative process,” Murphy said. “We need to save our thunder for when and if this thing gets to his desk. That’s when we really need to put a full-court press on.”
Commissioner Charlie Salem asked if the city’s lobbyist has at least informed DeSantis that the proposed vacation rental legislation might be headed his way. Murphy said that’s a good idea.
Murphy implored the city commissioners to urge their constituents to continue sending emails and letters to the Senate and House committee members who will determine whether the proposed bills make it to their respective floors for a final vote.
Murphy said the city’s recent labeling of the proposed legislation as a “party house bill” has gained a lot of traction in Tallahassee.
City Clerk LeAnne Addy and her staff manage the Home Rule Florida website that issues email updates and calls to action to those registered to receive them. The website contains pre-formatted email messages users can use to quickly and easily contact multiple state legislators at one time.
During the April 13 meeting, Addy said HomeRuleFl.com users have sent 30,489 emails to state legislators since the legislative session began in March.
“I’m very impressed by the work LeAnne and the mayor are doing,” Commissioner Jon Crane said. “I’m very impressed with the use of party house branding for this issue.”
“It takes away our right to regulate occupancy and they can jam as many people into a house as they want,” Murphy said in response.
Commissioner Deanie Sebring said most people who vacation in Anna Maria don’t want to stay next to a “party house.”
“If I was going on vacation and renting a house, I wouldn’t want all that madness next to me because it would ruin my vacation,” she said. “If you want to party, don’t rent a place in Anna Maria. Rent it someplace else.”
“It’s a family destination,” Commission Chair Mark Short added.