As CAMICB continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary, we reached out to CMCAs who’ve held the credential for 25, or more, years. Many CMCAs graciously offered to share their experiences, highlights, career paths and advice with us.
Pamela D. Bailey, CMCA, AMS, PCAM who is the CEO/Founder (Retired) of Chaparral Management Company, Inc. AAMCstarted her company in 1985, in Houston, Texas, where most management companies were owned by men. She knew that in order to stand out as the best and the brightest, she had to do everything possible to earn her place at the table. She recalls the Houston market was very competitive but her peers were some of her biggest cheerleaders. According to Pam, “Earning my CMCA credential and then later earning additional designations from CAI, gave me the opportunity to compete head to head.”
Pam adds that her father was her biggest fan, and while he never received his college education, he understood the importance of a well-educated professional. She notes, “Each time I earned a credential or designation, I sent Daddy the press release first. Prior to his death in 2012, he had written part of his obituary that included me with all of my credentials following my name! Soon after I received a sympathy card from another PCAM in Virginia Beach – who I did not know – but who had read the obituary. This powerful moment is when I realized the community of professional managers is truly a tribe.”
One word describes Pam’s favorite aspect of community association management: relationships. “It’s a profession that’s all about people, and people are about relationships,” she said. Pam’s company was a well-known player in the Houston market for more than 30 years before she sold it, and she proudly notes that she maintained her very first client for all those years, “Simply put, caring about our communities and our homeowners, made us the best in Houston,” she said.
After Hurricane Harvey battered the Houston area in 2017, Chaparral Management had 42 inches of water in their office building and they lost everything on the first floor. Pam fondly recalls as they were hauling wet furniture to the curb, a truck pulled up with homeowners from one of their communities. “They got out of the truck and starting hugging us, helping us and assuring us it would be fine. Thirty minutes later, several more cars of homeowners arrived to feed us; they brought food, tables, flowers, napkins, the works! Our entire office was so touched and moved by their sense of community, empathy and generosity. We will forever be bound to them.”
Pam shares that the first, most important thing new managers must do to get off to a good start is, “Put down your phone and get out in the community! Be seen, show them you care and listen to their stories. If you see a baby stork, cap and gown, or other signage in the front yard signifying an important milestone or achievement, send a card of congratulations, and sign it. And if or when they call about a letter or delinquent statement, listen to their back story. If you show them you genuinely care, you will be repaid tenfold.”