Revamp Your Processes

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Upgrading your association’s processes can seem like an inconvenience, but even small changes can better your organization.

No organization is perfect, but continually updating processes that push your association forward can get you closer. That said, instituting organization-wide changes can seem like more of a hassle than anything positive.

“Revamping takes energy,” says Mary Byers in a post on Association Success. “All of us are on deadline, and as soon as we finish one project, we have to dive headlong into another one. It’s easier to just pull out last year’s agenda, process, or format with a slightly altered look, instead of revamping.”

To make upgrading less time-consuming, Byers suggests starting small and focusing on how to better the member experience. You can also look to other organizations to see what has and hasn’t worked: Is there any inspiration you can draw from them, or would any of their processes benefit your association?

“It helps to think about things as a work in progress, always,” Byers says. “Revamping is an ongoing project that will never be truly finished, so enjoy the process.”

By / Nov 8, 2018 for Associations Now,  a publication of the American Society for Association Executives.

Do You Need CE Credits By October 1? New Courses Have Been Approved for CMCA Recertification Credits

CAMICB’s Continuing Education (CE) Review Committee recently approved nearly 100 new courses that qualify for CMCA recertification credits. That means webinars, classes and on-demand learning is available to CMCAs from California to Dubai. Managers who need CE credits by October 1 can find a list of close to 1,000 pre-approved programs on CAMICB’s List of Approved Continuing Education. Approved topics include pets, insurance, effective communications, board elections and more.

A Snapshot of Available Resources and Tips For Finding CECs

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning CECs as well as the Continuing Education Page at for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

You can also find approved CAI courses at the CAI Education for Managers page. Here you can also learn more about CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP). Through this program, CAI provides comprehensive, expert education courses for community managers, all of which are CAMICB approved CE courses.

Other Active Credentials

Any manager who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the below credentials will satisfy the current CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Free or Low-Cost Options

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:

Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge and is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. CAMICB supports and applauds your commitment to professional development and the recertification process.  Please email CAMICB with any questions – we’re here to help!


Keep an Eye Out for CMCA 30-Day Notices


Reminder: CMCA 30-day notices have been sent to CMCAs whose Recertification Application and/or Annual Service fee are due October. 1. Not sure of your CMCA status? Visit CAMICB to find out. To Re-certify and/or pay the Annual Service fee online, log onto CAMICB with your email address and select the appropriate option under the “Recertification” tab.

Please contact CAMICB at with any questions.

Have You Embedded the CMCA Digital Badge into your Email Signature?

Adding a hyperlinked badge image to your email signature is a great way to make sure your professional network is aware of your certifications, credentials and other badge-worthy recognition.  Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to add your badge to an email signature, using Outlook and Gmail as examples. 

These instructions are for PC users. If you’re on a Mac, click here for instructions on adding your badge to email using Gmail.  If you’re having any trouble with adding your badge to your particular email client, contact the Acclaim Support TeamThey’ll be happy to help you troubleshoot. 

Step-by-step: Outlook

  1. ​From Acclaim, click the badge you’d like to embed in your email signature. Click the blue ‘Share’ button. 
  2. Click the ‘Download’ icon. Choose the small image – that will fit best in your email signature. 
  3. Click the ‘URL’ icon and copy it to your clipboard. 
  4. Over in Outlook, create your new email signature by opening a new message, then clicking ‘Signature.’
  5. Click ‘New’ to create a new signature. If you’d like to modify an existing signature, highlight it. 
  6. Name your new signature.
  7. Type any text you’d like in the signature, then click the ‘Image’ icon. 
  8. Locate the badge image you downloaded, then click ‘Insert.’
  9. Next, hyperlink the image  by clicking the badge, then selecting the ‘Hyperlink’ icon.
  10. Paste the URL you copied from Acclaim. 
  11. Click OK to save your new signature. 

Step-by-step instructions: Gmail

  1. From Acclaim, click the badge you’d like to embed in your email signature. Hover your mouse over the badge and right click to copy it.
  2. Within Gmail’s settings, access your email signature.
  3. Right click to paste the badge image into the signature. If the image appears too large, click the badge and select Small from the options presented.
  4. Back in Acclaim, click the blue ‘Share’ button underneath your badge.
  5. Next, click the ‘URL’ icon and copy it to your clipboard.
  6. Within your email signature, highlight the badge image and create a hyperlink with the URL you just copied. 
  7. Click OK to save your new signature.

How Associations Can Become Expert Storytellers


(bmelofo/iStock/Getty Images Plus) 

A whitepaper from the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association points to the importance of storytelling as a marketing tool. One marcomm expert discusses takeaways from the whitepaper and how associations can use them to improve their storytelling skills.

The Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association recently released a whitepaper called “Storytelling 2020: What You Need to Know About Storytelling in Marketing.”

According to the whitepaper, storytelling allows brands “to foster engagement in ways that inspire consumers to take action, whether it be a click, like or purchase. Even more, it creates an evolving narrative that naturally connects with consumers, adding value to—and ultimately becoming part of—their everyday lives.”

Although the Storytelling 2020 whitepaper is geared toward for-profit marketers, Associations Now spoke with Kate Sigety, senior manager of strategic messaging at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, about some of the takeaways from the whitepaper that apply to associations.

Find your authentic voice. One of the whitepaper’s key takeaways was the importance of being an authentic storyteller.  “It’s very easy to push out messaging, but to truly find your authentic voice, you have to start by listening to these audiences, whether it’s at your annual meeting or on social media or your member’s only community,” Sigety said. “Listen to your key audiences and identify their key values and challenges, and I think this will help associations to truly and effectively craft a genuine voice that will best serve their members and their needs.”

Listen to your audience. According to Sigety, the profusion of online platforms makes the job of listening to your audience a little easier. “It will help you identify what topics your audience really values, and then you can start tracking those online interactions, and it will allow you to analyze patterns and use that data to drive your storytelling,” she said. “That way, you’re not just trying different messages—you’re backed up by the data and what your members are saying.”

Build your story from your mission. Knowing your mission and vision as a brand is critical to effectively storytelling, according to the whitepaper. The same is true for associations, said Sigety. “When you’re telling your association’s story, instead of promoting just a specific product or benefit, you can use your vision or mission to help guide your messaging, and it helps you remember that stories are about people—not just your mission, so finding members who help make your association’s cause and mission come to life,” she said. “That will be the story that resonates.”

Create a journey map. The whitepaper recommends that brands create a customer journey map to have a better understanding of how customers interact with their brand. Sigety said associations can use this tactic, too. “When I think about associations, we’re not just selling a product, we’re helping members excel in their careers,” she said. “And hopefully, we want to keep our members for their lifetime, so I think another key strategy that will help associations better understand their members’ journey is creating a map that follows their career journey.”

By for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

Keep Homeowners & Employers Confident in Your Ability to Provide High Quality Service

If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the October 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.

Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.

CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential

The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.

Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.

There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.

Continuing Education

It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Recertification requires the completion of 16 hours of continuing education within your two-year certification period.

Not sure of your recertification date? Go to:

Visit for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.

10 unmistakable habits of utterly authentic people

Photo by Stefan Stefancik

To live authentically, you must own your actions and ensure that they align with your beliefs and needs. This can be a difficult thing to maintain when external forces pressure you to do something you’re not comfortable with or to be someone you’re not.Most people have experienced the discomfort that comes with failing to behave authentically. Researchers from Harvard, Columbia, and Northwestern joined forces to measure this phenomenon scientifically. They found that when people failed to behave authentically, they experienced a heightened state of discomfort that’s usually associated with immorality. People who weren’t true to themselves were so distraught that they felt a strong desire to cleanse themselves physically.
It’s clear that our brains know when we’re living a lie, and like all lies, being inauthentic causes nothing but harm. But how do you start living authentically? That can be tough, especially if you’ve been playing a role for most of your adult life.

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” – Oprah Winfrey

Authentic people are deeply in tune with who they are and what they want. Their ability to live their life in harmony with their true selves comes from some clearly discernible habits that any of us can study and incorporate into our repertoire.

They help others to be their authentic selves

Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either. They don’t make people feel as though they have to fit into a certain mold or to project a certain image to be a part of their lives. Their commitment to being authentic gives other people the freedom to live authentically too.

They let go of negative people

Authentic people have too much self-respect to put up with people who treat them badly or have ill will toward them, and they have too much respect for other people to try to change them. So they let go — not out of anger, but out of their need to be true to themselves.

They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular

Authentic people don’t live a go-along-to-get-along lifestyle. They’re simply not capable of acting in a way that’s contrary to what their principles dictate, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. This means that they’re willing to live with the repercussions of staying true to themselves.

They are confident

Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact that they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they really are.

They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter

Eleanor Roosevelt nailed this one. She once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They know all of that stuff is nothing more than cultural trappings, and they choose to talk about things that matter.

They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first

It’s not that authentic people aren’t willing to take advice; they are. But they don’t put that advice into action just because other people have. First, they’ll run it through the wringer from a critical perspective so that they can be sure it makes sense for them.

They don’t complain about their problems

Complaining is what you do when you think that the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people, on the other hand, are accountable. They understand that they — and no one else — are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.

They’re internally motivated

Authentic people don’t sit at their desks thinking, “Well, if my boss would just make this job worthwhile, I’d do a better job.” The carrot-and-stick approach just isn’t relevant to them. They’re motivated from within.

They make the best out of any situation

Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way, they don’t get trapped in denial, and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it.

They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them

It’s never fun accepting that someone doesn’t like you, but a lot of times that discomfort comes from trying to figure out what you did wrong or how you can fix it. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion. They accept that other people have a right to be authentic about their own feelings, even if those feelings are negative toward them.

Bringing it all together

Living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It’s a noble path that you won’t regret following.

What are the benefits of living authentically? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

This column first appeared on LinkedIn.

Show Your Commitment

CAMICB has launched the Retired Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) program. The CMCA (Ret.) designation is available to community association management professionals no longer actively employed as a community association manager but interested in highlighting their continuing commitment to professionalism in the field.

Obtaining CMCA (Ret.) status:

  • Is for community association management professionals who still want to honor their commitment and years of service to the profession.
  • Allows you to showcase this new designation, CMCA (Ret.), with no obligation to meeting continuing education requirements.
  • Can serve as an important – and fulfilling – phase of retirement, keeping you connected to an expanding group of committed professionals.
  • Enables you to stay active in the industry.

Applying for CMCA (Ret.) status is simple:

  • Complete a retired status application.
  • Pay an annual fee of $25.
  • Continue to abide by the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct.
  • Individuals obtaining this designation may not use the active CMCA mark but rather designate themselves as CMCA (Ret.).

​Get Started!

CMCA (Ret.) Application

CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct


Decoding the ABC’s of Credentials, Certificates & Designations

What do those letters behind your name mean?

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director, CAMICB

Even for those deeply entrenched in the credentialing world, there’s a certain degree of confusion around some of the terminology used to describe specific paths professionals take to further their careers and skill sets. The field of community association management is no different so it’s important to educate managers, homeowners, and other community association professionals about the different options the profession has to offer and the value they hold.

According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), “credentialing” is an umbrella term used to refer to concepts such as professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation.

ICE defines certification, licensure, assessment-based certificate, and accreditation in the following ways:

  • certification program is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a particular job, and, upon successfully passing a certification exam, to represent a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence, such as a community manager who has achieved the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®).  In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
  • Similarly, licensure tests an individual’s competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession, such as a real estate salesperson or real estate broker.
  • In contrast to certification and licensure, an assessment-based certificate program is an educational or training program that is used to teach learning objectives and assess whether those objectives were achieved by the student.
  • Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards and is awarded recognition if it is in compliance with those standards. The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) is such a program. ICE currently offers accreditation to professional certification programs through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) confirming it complies with NCCA’s stringent standards for a professional certification program. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA program and is a mark of quality.

Specialty Designations

Community association professionals may also choose to bolster their careers and expand their level of expertise in certain areas. This is where specialty designations come into play. A “designation” is recognition of professional knowledge and expertise in a given subject matter or job skill.  To earn designations, membership is required in a professional organization and usually requires work experience.  Certain specialty designations are offered through the Community Associations Institute (CAI) including, the Association Management Specialist (AMS), Large Scale Manager (LSM), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS) and Reserve Specialist (RS). This allows a community association professional to drill down into a specialized aspect of the business.  In some cases, for example the PCAM and AMS designations, passing the CMCA examination is a prerequisite to applying for these designations.

I’ve experienced a wide disparity in the background and quality of the managers with whom I’ve worked,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group.  “A manager who holds the CMCA assures me they have an important foundation in place – the ongoing education and knowledge necessary to successfully manage millions of dollars worth of other people’s property and a serious commitment to high ethical standards.”

Stephen Castle, CMCA, AMS, PCAM agrees all committed community association managers should hold the CMCA certification. “The CMCA certification demonstrates to employees and new managers a commitment to professionalism,” said Castle. “Further, CMCAs show their support for established national and international standards of knowledge and professional conduct for community association managers.”

The Certified Manager of Community Associations – The only accredited certification program in the world for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.

The CMCA Goes Global

As CAMICB grew to be the premiere certification body in the United States for community association managers, it also gained international recognition for its established body of knowledge and strict ethical standards. Over the past two decades, the CMCA certification program crossed borders and oceans in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. This global expansion secured a high level of professionalism for association management and common interest communities worldwide. In 2017, CAMICB launched the international CMCA examination.

About ICE

The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.

Recertify Your CMCA: Keep Your CMCA Up & Your Stress Level Down

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Free Webinar!

The next CMCA Recertification deadline is coming up October 1! Do you have all your credit hours together?

Join us during this 30-minute webinar as we review all the continuing education opportunities approved and accepted by CAMICB. We’ll review what you’ll need to complete your CMCA Recertification Application and walk you thorugh the process on how to complete your Recertification.

This interactive format allows for questions during the 15-minute program. Or, you can save your questions for the 15-minute Q&A after the presentation.

DATE: Sept 5, 2019
TIME: 3:00 p.m. ET/2:00 CT/1:00 MT/12:00 PT