Anniversary Pins

CMCA credential holders celebrating 10, 15 and 20 years as credential holders were sent a commemorative pin to recognize their achievement.   Congratulations!

All CMCAs work with CAMICB to set and maintain the standard for the community association management profession worldwide.  Take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved:

·         You earned the CMCA credential, the only internationally recognized credential for community association managers, making a clear and visible commitment to professionalism in your field and becoming part of a highly respected community of over 17,000 CMCA-credentialed managers around the world

·         You committed to uphold the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct, a commitment indicative of genuine respect for your clients, your peers, and your profession, and you have honored that commitment

·         You have reaffirmed your commitment to professionalism in your field by maintaining your CMCA credential in good standing and completing an ongoing program of professional continuing education

For those of you with a new pin, wear it with pride!  Take a selfie with your pin and send it to CAMICB at info@camicb.org – we’d love to share your accomplishment on our Facebook page.

CAMICB’s mission is to ensure that community association managers practice with professionalism, integrity, and knowledge.  For more than 20 years we have been dedicated to working on your behalf, maintaining the strength and integrity of the CMCA credential and advancing the community association management profession.  Your commitment to your CMCA credential represents your commitment to your career, your peers, and your profession.

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CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this month to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October 1, 2017. Here are a few helpful links:

§  When to recertify

§  Continuing Education  

§  Recertification Application

A few things to note:

1.    It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.

2.    Only courses completed between October 1, 2015 and October 1, 2017 present will count as continuing education.

3.    If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.

4.    Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5.    The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Contact CAMICB at info@camicb.org with any questions.

 

Share Your Expertise

We get questions all the time about different aspects of the community association industry.  Your peers want to hear from you.  Share your expertise in the comments.

Eric from California asks: How does everyone deal with dog bite issues?  Do you do more than the state law?

Sandy from Virginia asks: What kind of onboarding or training does your management company do for new employees?  Is it different for ones with experience?

Bob from Texas asks: I can’t get anyone to run for the board.  Any ideas to motivate my large community?

TS-working

CMCA CE Policy

The CAMICB Board of Commissioners approved a new continuing education policy for individuals seeking CMCA recertification in February 2017.  The policy is as follows:

CMCA recertification requires the completion of 16 hours of continuing education within a two-year certification period.  Current CAMICB policy states credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria:CAMICB_CMCAseal_Web

·         It pertains to community association operations or management

·         It contributes to the professional development of the CMCA

Further continuing education credit specifications include:

·         Educational courses are offered by approved course providers.

·         One half of the continuing education credits may be obtained through in-house training courses.

·         Local law seminars and local college or university courses pertaining to accounting, business practices, computers, or foreign language will count toward the continuing education requirement

·         Courses related to buying and selling real estate are not acceptable.

·         Self-study credit must be pre-approved by CAMICB and is limited to no more than four hours every two years.

·         Teaching a course related to community association management can qualify for credit.

·         Publishing an article in a regional or national community association publication may qualify for credit.

·         One hour of credit equals one hour attended.

·         Credit for a course may only be submitted one time per recertification cycle.

·         Online learning must be interactive.  Interactive coursework is defined as requiring proof of participation.

The CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee has reviewed and approved a list of coursework for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  This list can be found on our website.

Coursework approved by a state regulatory agency for manager licensing requirements will be approved for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  These states currently include: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia.

Community association management company in-house training material must be reviewed and approved by the CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee. Only one half or eight (8) continuing education credits may be obtained through pre-approved in-house training courses.

CMCA prerequisite coursework is also approved for continuing education.  CMCAs may not use the coursework to meet both examination eligibility and continuing education requirements.  For example, if a CMCA used CAI’s M100: The Essentials of Community Association Management as their prerequisite education to sit for the CMCA examination, they may not submit it for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.

Coursework which meets the standard criteria may be submitted for review and approval to CAMICB. If proposed coursework is judged to meet the criteria set forth, it will be approved for a two-year cycle.

Coursework which has been previously approved by CAMICB, may be re-submitted for staff approval in consecutive years, if the coursework has not been altered between years.

cmca_blogheader.jpgA CMCA may seek approval from CAMICB for a course not provided by a pre-approved course provider.  CAMICB staff will review the learning objectives and credit allocation to determine eligibility.  CAMICB staff may consult a member of the Continuing Education Review Committee when necessary.

The changes mostly pertain to the approval of coursework.  Check to make sure your CE course providers have been approved by CAMICB by checking our online list.  If they haven’t, send over the course info (I.e. learning objectives, outline, etc.) to our office at info@camicb.org.  We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Hurricane Irma and CMCA Recertification

To our CMCAs in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina:

The thoughts and prayers of the CAMICB Staff and Board of Commissioners go out to you, your communities, and everyone affected by Hurricane Irma. 

We join you in offering deep gratitude to the thousands of first responders — men and women in rescue and law enforcement, military, and government — for their tireless efforts to save, comfort and restore, now and in anticipation of a lengthy period of recovery.  And, we share your pride in the tremendous dedication shown by so many committed professional community managers who worked through dangerous conditions to assure the safety and security of the residents of their communities.

We’ve heard from some of our CMCAs in the path of Hurricane Irma as the storm raked Florida, Georgia, South Carolina.  The impact and the aftermath are overwhelming. Technology is down, transportation is compromised, and daily life will not be back to normal for a very long time. 

Recognizing the extraordinary circumstances many of our credential holders are confronting, we will extend the CMCA renewal /recertification deadline for CMCAs living in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and due to renew and/or recertify by October 1st to December 31, 2017.

Our colleagues at CAI are instituting a similar policy applicable to CAI membership and designation renewal. Details will be provided by CAI in a separate notification.

Please contact the CAMICB office if you have questions or concerns about your CMCA renewal or recertification. If you feel that your particular circumstances will prohibit completion of the renewal/recertification process by December 31st please be in touch as soon as you are able. We can be reached at 866.779.2622 or info@camicb.org.

 

In The News: Irma

Hurricane Irma could slam homeowners’ wallets statewide

By Gray Rohrer of the Orlando Sentinel

If Hurricane Irma slams Florida as forecasters predict, the damage could wallop state residents’ pocketbooks for years to come.

The storm’s massive size, intensity and path means it could drain the surplus built up by insurers and a state reserve fund in the 12 years since the last major storms struck.

That could lead to fees being assessed on policies for homes and automobiles, something that happened after the 2004-2005 seasons when five hurricanes hit the state.

Back then, home and car owners were hit with additional payments to help replenish $3.3 billion drained from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and a $1.7 billion deficit in the state-run insurance company. And yet another assessment was added after several small insurance companies went belly up after the storms.

“[The insurance industry] is in the best position we’ve ever been in, having said that . . . this is a very large storm and it looks like it will affect all of Florida,” said Fred Karlinsky, a lobbyist for more than two dozen insurance companies with the Greenberg Traurig law firm.

The Cat Fund helps insurance companies endure massive payouts after disasters. It has the ability to cover $17.6 billion.

According to a report from Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, a storm identical to Hurricane Andrew, which struck South Florida in 1992, would cause $50 billion to $60 billion in damage today.

The last Cat Fund assessment was a 1 percent charge on policies beginning in 2007, which went up to 1.3 percent in 2011. The assessment wasn’t ended until Jan. 1, 2015.

Citizens Property Insurance, a state-run company that acts as an insurer of last resort for properties the private market won’t cover, is projecting Irma’s path to affect 262,000 of its policy holders, more than half of its 442,800 policies in force as of March 31. The company anticipates more than 100,000 claims will result but could not estimate what the total dollar amount would be.

Citizens has the ability to pay up to $12.2 billion in claims. It says its projected claims from a 100-year storm are $6.6 billion.

“We think we’re in as good a shape as we can be from that perspective. You don’t know what’s going to come until it hits,” said Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier. “We would have to exhaust our claims paying ability before assessments would be levied on Florida policyholders.”

But if Irma’s off-the-charts wind power slams the priciest part of Florida real estate and depletes Citizens’ ability to pay claims, it could even trigger a taxpayer bailout.

After the storms of 2004-2005 produced the $1.7 billion Citizens deficit, lawmakers gave it a partial bailout of $800 million and an assessment of 1.7 percent was placed on property owners’ insurance premiums to recover the remaining $900 million. The assessment was reduced to 1 percent in 2011 and ended in 2015.

Another concern is just how equipped some of the small, Florida-based insurers are to handle a storm like Irma.

If a company gets an influx of claims and becomes insolvent, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association would cover those losses, but it could issue emergency assessments of up to 2 percent on policies statewide to pay for hurricane losses.

The last time FIGA approved a 2 percent assessment was in 2006, to cover $400 million in losses at Poe Financial Group. About a dozen companies went bankrupt after Andrew.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation conducted stress tests on several companies in 2015, checking to see how they would fare under different historical hurricanes – the 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane, the 1921 Palm Beach hurricane and the 2004 series of four hurricanes. All of the companies passed the test by having the legal minimum amount of surplus.

But Irma’s strength and projected path over much of Florida are threatening to leave the record books behind.

“If there’s a large storm, all bets are off and the numbers are what they are,” Karlinsky said. “There’s no way to pay for an X billion dollar even with only Y billion dollars in the system. The math just doesn’t work.”

 

Improve Brain Overload

The Ways Your Brain Manages Overload, and How to Improve Them

by Srini Pillay

Information overload is everywhere, from non-stop news to rat-a-tat email inboxes. At the receiving end of this deluge of verbiage is the human brain—your brain— metaphorically endowed with a vacuum cleaner that sucks up information; a container for short-term memory; a blender for integrating information; a memory bank for storing long-term information; a garbage disposal for getting rid of information; and a recycling machine extraordinaire. Using each of these functions effectively is critical if one wants to manage information overload ̶ simply using your brain for crossing items off your to-do list is poor use of a very sophisticated machine. Yet few people build the habits and lifestyles that allow for their brains to function at their best.

At the core of managing information overload is the ability to know which function to use, and how and when to use it. The six principles below can serve as a guide to the proper brain hygiene for managing information overload on a busy work day.

Setting the vacuum cleaner: If you leave the brain’s vacuum cleaner on its default setting, it will pick up every piece of information on its path. You need to fine-tune its feedback setting from “global” to “local”.

Local feedback means that you reflect on what just happened. Global feedback means that you reflect on all prior activities. Training your brain for local feedback makes it a more efficient multitasker, allowing it to manage more information and do more tasks as well. So when your day is chockfull of things to do, take a brief “unfocus” break. During that time, take stock of what you last completed to simply evaluate how it went, and how it might relate to the next task. Avoid thinking about the entire day.

Placing a filter on the container: Short-term memory is like a cup filled with ideas. It has limits. So it’s especially annoying when information you don’t need to remember takes up space in your memory cup or distracts you. For that reason, you need to filter information throughout the day. There are two ways in which you can do this: proactive and reactive.

TMI (“Too much information”) is a form of self-talk that constitutes reactive filtering. It sends a message to your brain to not absorb what you just heard. Proactive filtering is a kind of preparation for your brain. Rather than waiting for the TMI moment, you prepare your brain to ignore it. The ding on your Facebook page, for example, is something you can decide ahead of time to ignore, or you could turn notifications off on your computer too.brain

Turning the blender on: You can make space in your brain by connecting ideas. When you do, they become paired, and your brain can handle more information. When you are focused, your brain is in collection and not connection mode. You need to build unfocus times into your day to turn your brain’s connection circuits on.

When you have too much information coming your way, do the counterintuitive thing—add another task into your day. But let this task be something fun that turns on your connection circuits. For example, walking gives your ideas some legs—it boosts connections and creativity. And walking outside beats walking on a treadmill too.

Cement your memories: Long-term memory can be made in minutes by using a technique known as spaced learning. Rather than working non-stop, build deliberate distractions into your day. It can confer huge benefits. It empties your short-term memory cup quickly. And it cements what you need to learn much faster than if you persevered with your work non-stop. This lightens the load of information deluge.

Turn on the garbage disposal: We often fear that we cannot remember things. Yet, there are also things that we cannot forget either. For example, a brief reprimand can stay on your mind all day long. And when you mess up too, even if nobody else knows, it can worry you too.

As we get older, we get less good at deliberate forgetting—paradoxically, troublesome memories linger longer (in part because we have a general worry about our memories fading so we automatically strain to remember.) One strategy is to substitute memories quickly. As soon as the troublesome memory starts to form, turn on your favorite music, or look up your favorite image. Calling deliberate or directed forgetting, you can effectively disrupt troublesome memories early so that they never take hold.

 Activate the recycling machine: Your brain consumes 20% of the body’s energy even though it only uses 2% of the body’s volume. This means that when your body lacks energy, your brain will suffer too. This is probably why conditioning your body with yoga can improve your quality of life, or why exercise helps your body manage its energy more effectively. Doing either also gives your brain a break. Building time in your day to take your mind off your work will help to rejuvenate your brain.

When you organize your day with these principles in mind, you will have a new, improved day sculpted to manage information overload. There are many more ways to build strategic unfocus into your day. But to start this exercise, simply break up your workday into 45-minute segments with 15 minutes in between each segment. Exercise at the beginning or end of your day. During your first break, do proactive filtering. In all other breaks, check in with yourself to see if anything is disturbing you. Use reactive filtering (TMI) and thought substitution (positive for negative) early. When things start getting overwhelming, go for a walk to make connections or use local feedback control. Practice using these techniques often, and you will likely increase your brain’s efficiency significantly, and you may improve your quality time at home as well.

Srini Pillay, M.D. is an executive coach and CEO of NeuroBusiness Group. He is also a technology innovator and entrepreneur in the health and leadership development sectors, and an award-winning author. His latest book is Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind. He is also a part-time Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the Executive Education Programs at Harvard Business School and Duke Corporate Education, and is on internationally recognized think tanks.

 

Hurricane Irm

The Board of Commissioners thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by Hurricane Irma.  We express our condolences for the loss of life and for those injured and suffering. We are grateful to the men and women in rescue and law enforcement, military, government, and community management for their sacrifices and relentless effort to save, comfort and restore, now and in anticipation for a considerable time of recovery.  God Bless.

 

Be More Assertive Not Pushy

By: Andy Molinsky

In the workplace, we all run into conflict. Many of us would love to speak up and assert ourselves to correct it. And, in a perfect world, it would be easy. You could finally tell that colleague who keeps interrupting you exactly how you feel. You could give him a piece of your mind, releasing the frustration and anger that’s been gnawing at you for months. You could finally express that part of you that feels so underappreciated and marginalized.

But speaking up can be difficult — and sometimes overwhelming — especially if you are shy, lack confidence, or come from a culture where it is inappropriate to speak up. It can feel pushy and overly aggressive to be assertive, especially if you’re timid or hate conflict. It can also feel awkward and unnatural, not least if you’re more inclined to voice your frustrations and discontent in an indirect or passive manner.

But there is hope for the chronically unassertive among us. Fears about speaking up are hard but not impossible to overcome. Voicing your frustration with an “assertiveness formula” can help.

I first learned about the idea of an assertiveness formula many years ago, reading the book People Skills, by Robert Bolton. Although Bolton applied his formula to instances of everyday life (for example, discussing household chores), I found it equally appropriate for the workplace. Over time, I’ve developed my own three-part version of it in my teaching and training.

1.      Start with a short, simple, objective statement about the other person’s behavior — what you’d like to see changed. For example: “When you interrupt me during meetings” or “When you take sole credit for the work we’ve done collaboratively.” Your goal here is to get the other person’s attention and, in doing so, minimize their defensiveness. The statement should be short, to the point, and evenhanded and unemotional enough that they can hear your message and not immediately disagree or disengage.

2.      Describe the negative effect that this behavior has had on you. Explain why the person’s behavior is causing a problem. For example, if the first part of the formula is “When you continually interrupt me during meetings,” you might then add, “I don’t get a chance to voice my opinion.” Or, for “When you take sole credit for the work we’ve done collaboratively,” you’d add, “I don’t have a chance to highlight my role and contribution.” The goal here is to build a cause-and-effect logic, linking an objective statement of their behavior to the impact that the behavior has had on you.

3.      End with a feelings statement. Here, you want to indicate how their offending behavior has not only negatively impacted your actions but also hurt your feelings. An example of a feelings statement might be “I feel marginalized” or “I feel underappreciated.” While the other person may feel surprised— and even uncomfortable — to hear this, it’s hard to refute a person’s feelings. Adding this element makes the assertiveness message as a whole that much more powerful.

Putting it all together, you have something like this: “When you continually interrupt me during meetings, I don’t get a chance to voice my opinion, and I feel marginalized.”

A well-crafted assertiveness message can be effective on the spot, if you have the emotional wherewithal to deliver it. But it can also be something you hone and craft in preparation for an upcoming conversation, especially if you don’t feel particularly practiced at the craft or if you’re anticipating a defensive reaction from the other person.

Of course, even with a formula in hand, assertiveness isn’t always easy. It’s quite possible that the recipient of your message will react negatively, so you’ll want to meet any response with a calm, steady, and confident presence. You’ll also want to accumulate as much evidence as possible to support the first part of your message — the statement about the other person’s offending behavior. Your goal is to provide enough clarity and specificity about this behavior that your statement impossible to refute. What also helps is demonstrating a pattern of behavior over time, which might require you to keep a diary of instances when you’ve felt hurt, undermined, or offended by the person’s actions. Don’t use this record as an opportunity to harp on your colleague for the many times you felt they were at fault; use it only as backup material if your counterpart refutes you and needs convincing. This evidence will be key for increasing the likelihood that your message will be heard and ultimately have the intended effect on the recipient.

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all version of the message. You can tweak it to your own style to make the message feel as authentic as possible. For instance, I’ve interviewed one manager who liked to pace up and down the hallway a few times, with what she called an “executive-style” walk, to get up the courage to confront her colleague. Someone else made sure not to use “qualifiers” in her speech (“I’m really sorry, but…” or “Maybe it’s just me, but…”), and instead aimed to get right to the point (“I’m not comfortable with…”). Others drew on their convictions — the reasons they were speaking up — to give them the courage. For example, someone who wants to teach their children to stand up to others used that conviction as a guiding purpose for speaking up themselves. The point is that you have more power than you think to craft a personalized way to speak out, one that works for you.

In the end, speaking up is genuinely hard for many of us. And the results are far from guaranteed. The other person may respond in a positive way immediately; they might respond positively and productively but with a significant delay; or they might not change at all. But for you, getting up the courage to voice your frustrations in the first place can be a significant win.