Embrace Volunteer Passion

By / Feb 16, 2018(stocksnapper/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Why your organization should consider ways to keep passionate volunteer leaders active even if their term is over.

Even though a volunteer’s term on a board or committee may be over, that doesn’t mean they want to be done with the association. In fact, they may still be passionate about the organization they’ve been a part of.

According to Jeffrey Cufaude of Idea Architects, associations should consider redirecting and leveraging that energy and find a way to make room for them.

“Instead of talking about how to rid themselves of these people, organizations should focus on how to retain the best of what they can bring to their community,” he argues. “It yields a much richer and more respectful conversation.”

Read his full post for more thoughts.

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

Why Your Website Needs an Update

An outdated website can put your visitors’ data at risk and cause them to mistrust you.

An outdated website suffers from more than a stale design. It may also result in losing your users’ trust.

“In 2018, security is going to be a top concern of your website visitors, especially if your site requires them to provide personal or financial information,” writes Brian Byer in a recent post for MarketingProfs. “After the numerous well-publicized data breaches in 2017, your users will be especially wary of how interacting with your site could affect them.” To keep your users’ trust, make sure that you’re using HTTPS to protect sensitive information.

If you’re looking to keep up with user expectations regarding content, you need to have video. “Video is the newest component of website literacy, with more ‘stick’ value than any text or picture you might have formerly used,” says Byer. “Moreover, video is one of the simplest and most effective ways to engage site visitors at that all-important emotional level, so be sure your video is funny or touching, or else extremely useful.

A culture of learning can benefit your association in a number of ways. Employees who are constantly learning can take your organization into the future. And a learning culture promotes greater employee productivity and satisfaction.

The WBT Systems blog shares tips for creating a culture of learning at your association.

Start with getting buy-in from leadership. “Culture change has to be supported at the top,” says the post. “However, staff leadership must do more than just support a learning culture, they must model the behavior they wish to see. Leaders should talk about their learning experiences—their challenges, successes, and failures.”

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

CMCA CE Policy: Know Before You Go

CMCA recertification requires 16 hours of CE within a 2-year certification cycle. 

CAMICB policy states that continuing education (CE) credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria:CE infographic

  • Pertains to community association operations or management; and/or
  • It contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

Further, CE 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.
  • 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.
  • Courses related to the buying and selling of real estate will not be approved.
  • 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, i.e., requires 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 at www.CAMICB.org.

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 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.

CMCA Recertification – April 1 Deadline

CAMICB sent reminder notices to CMCAs who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2018. Here are a few helpful links:

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 go to www.caionline.org to print out a certificate of completion.

2.    Only courses completed between April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2018 count as continuing education.

3.    An active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM satisfies the continuing education requirement. Check option 1 on line item #4 of the Recertification Application to receive credit.

4.    Credit hours may be earned only for education that pertains to community association operations or management and/or 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. 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.

Still have questions? Contact CAMICB at info@camicb.org or take advantage of the March 1 webinar CMCA Recertification Notice – Free Webinar on March 1, beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. Register Today


Successful Monthly Meetings

Below is a list from a board president on how to make successful monthly meetings. The article was published by The Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO). ECHO is a nonprofit membership corporation dedicated to assisting California homeowners associations

Read the full excerpt from ECHO here: https://www.echo-ca.org/blogs/6-elements-successful-monthly-meeting

Tim Polk, past President of the Roundtree Homeowners Association in Calidornia identified the following elements of a successful monthly meeting:

  1. Starting with a Plan
  2. Priorities in Order
  3. Ownership
  4. Focus on Results
  5. Controlled Homeowner Input
  6. Fun and Enjoyable

How do you help your volunteer leads have a productive meeting? Leave some tips in the comment section below.


CMCA Recertification – A Webinar

 CMCA® Recertification & Annual Service Fee Notice … A Free, Interactive Webinar

Get answers to these questions and more …

Are you due to recertify April 1? 



  • Why do I need to recertify?
  • What is the process for recertification?
  • What happens if I don’t recertify?
  • When is my recertification due?

During this highly interactive program, get real-time answers to your questions about the CMCA Recertification Process.

Join us on March 1st at 2pm EST for a free interactive webinar to get the answers you need. Our experts will be there to help you navigate the process.

Click here to REGISTER TODAY!

Click here for Technical Assistance

Is a Quest for Engagement Leading to Burnout?

By / Feb 5, 2018 (olm26250/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

 Are your most highly engaged workers also your most stressed?

Employee engagement is a valuable goal, and many organizations expend a lot of effort to encourage it. After all, increased engagement often results in a rise of productivity, employee retention, and quality of work. The gains are clear, but have you paused to consider that there may be a downside?

Harvard Business Review explores the cons of being a proactive and invested employee. “While engagement certainly has its benefits, most of us will have noticed that, when we are highly engaged in working towards a goal we can also experience something less than positive: high levels of stress,” write Emma Seppala and Julia Moeller.

A recent study from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence looks at the relationship between engagement and burnout amongst U.S. employees. The study found that two out of five employees reported high engagement and low burnout, but one out of five reported high engagement and high burnout.

“These engaged-exhausted workers were passionate about their work, but also had intensely mixed feelings about it—reporting high levels of interest, stress, and frustration,” say Seppala and Moeller. “While they showed desirable behaviors such as high skill acquisition, these apparent model employees also reported the highest turnover intentions in our sample—even higher than the unengaged group.”

The article goes on to provide guidance for maintaining engagement without burning out.

Speaking of burnout … a common phrase you use in internal meetings may be leading your team to exhaustion.

Have you caught yourself asking for your team to give 110 percent? “As a manager and leader, it is important to me that my team is operating at its best. But I never ask them for 110%,” writes Jamie Domenici in a recent Salesforce blog post. “Expecting 110 percent [of] your team’s effort and time is a great way to ensure burnout and low employee satisfaction.”

Domenici also says to cut office jargon such as “think outside the box,” “take it offline,” and “knowledge transfer” to make internal meetings more effective.

How to Get Your Point Across to these 5 Personality Types

Not everyone thinks the same way. Here’s how to repurpose a three-decade-old management theory to tailor your message to just about anybody. marketing-man-person-communication.jpg

The VP of finance for a major multinational company recently came to me with a problem. “I’ve been trying to start a conversation with the VP of marketing, and he won’t talk to me,” he said. “Whenever I try to ask him what he thinks about my ideas, he doesn’t respond.”

I asked him to describe the marketing VP to me. As he talked about his personality, I thought of a potential solution: “Don’t ask him what he thinks about your ideas,” I said. “Ask him what’s wrong with them.”

A few weeks later, I heard back from my client. “Your advice was amazing!” he said. “We spent two hours discussing issues, and he wants to meet with me every week now!”

Why did I give him that advice? Because as he described the marketing VP to me, I realized what type of speaking approach would most likely resonate: one that appealed to his colleague’s problem-solving personality.

While psychological research has progressed quite a bit since Edward de Bono released his influential  book Six Thinking Hats in 1985, I find framework still offers a handy set of metaphors for adjusting your speaking style to fit listeners’ thinking styles and personalities (though I typically prefer sticking to just five). Here are five ways to frame your message, riffing on de Bono’s 33-year-old idea, according to the people or person you’re communicating with.

Jan. 30, 2018 By Anett Grant for Fast Company.

Diversifying Your Board Practicing and Prioritizing Inclusivity

That said, a key difference between holding public office and holding a board position is that fewer people are clamoring to do the latter. Board members are almost always volunteers who are taking time away from their careers or families to serve the interests of their association, and the job requires a great commitment for arguably less reward than one would find in a political career. Looking for a contender to fill an open board slot can often be slim pickings, in which case the first warm and willing body to take the role sometimes just has to do.

By Mike Odenthal   2018 February Board Operations

This all raises several questions: How important is it for a board to accurately represent the demographics of its owners or shareholders? How likely are boards across various markets to be adequately representative? Who is most likely to run for board positions in general? Who is best positioned to encourage increased board diversity, and how can they go about it?

Defining Diversity

In order to frame the discussion, it’s worth reviewing what diversity means today, and how the term has evolved over time.

“Fifty years ago, when people in the U.S. spoke of diversity on corporate boards of directors, they were likely most commonly referring to either race or gender,” says James Erwin, founding partner of Erwin Law, LLC, in Chicago. “Now, the term encompasses a significantly broader spectrum of factors: gender identity, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and age, among others. Associations are managed by boards, and the directors that sit on those boards should consider these diversity factors in their management decisions.

“The larger an association, the more likelihood that diversity will play a role in the operations of the association,” Erwin continues. “For starters, because the board is supposed to represent the entire association constituency, the greater the diversity among its directors, the more likely they will be to actually reflect the various perspectives of the ownership that they represent.”

Beggars Versus Choosers

Perhaps the biggest impediment to recruiting a diverse board is simply the fact that too few individuals are willing to step up and serve on their boards. When the candidate pool is that shallow, associations can find themselves taking on whoever shows up.

“We often find ourselves in a ‘take whoever we can get’ situation,” says Bart Steele, a senior regional property manager with Premier Property Solutions in Boston, “because many people either have no interest in joining a board, or they are intimidated due to lack of knowledge about what the board specifically does, and thus stay out. In my opinion, this would probably change were board members to get paid for their time.”

The means by which a board is elected can also be a hurdle in promoting diversity. “In the condo realm, a piece of paper goes out 60 days before an election announcing that the members can run, but there may not even be a discussion, let alone a ‘meet the candidates’ night,” laments Shari Wald Garrett, Esq., an associate at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., which has offices in Florida. “In these scenarios, whoever gathers the most friends to vote for them is going to be who sits on the board. Or some owners could just be picking the first six names on the sheet, or their neighbors, or a name that they like. And neither board nor management can endorse a candidate.

“Let’s say that I sat on a board and I thought that it was too heavily sided toward a particular demographic, and that there was another rising population that was not being represented,” Garrett continues. “The board can’t say, ‘We need more of the latter,’ because then it’s discriminating. An individual board member can suggest, based on that board member’s own individual capacity, that another resident run [for a seat on the board], but the member cannot do so in any board capacity, and it is out of management’s hands.”

Old Guard

In many cases, boards consist heavily of those residents who have lived at a property the longest. As they’ve spent much of their life both emotionally and financially invested in an association, they feel more capable to and concerned with shaping its future.

“My experience in dealing with boards that were established in the Seventies and Eighties or earlier is that they are often more reflective of the shareholders who have lived in the building for many years, and are in the most part older and either ‘old money,’ or those who are now living on more fixed incomes,” says Sandra L. Jacobus, a partner in the Real Estate Transactions and Cooperative and Condominium Housing practice groups at  New York City law firm Ganfer & Shore. “In both instances, these board members do not share the concerns and priorities as the new shareholders, who tend to be younger and more affluent, or are at least wanting to spend more money on amenities and favor permitting bank financing in previously ‘all-cash’ buildings, or lowering the amount of the cash requirement.”

In addition to the above, Matthew J. Leeds, who is also a partner at Ganfer & Shore, notes a dearth of women holding board positions. “With one major exception, I have personally found that the constitution of a board has been reflective of the population of the building,” he says. “But that exception is gender. I have observed that overall, boards do not seem to include women in proportion to the makeup of the building. Based on population, you would expect it to consist of about half. I’m not sure if others have had this experience as well.”

Finally, not only gender and tenure, but geographical dominance can lead to a lopsided board. “I am dealing with a situation at an 80-unit association wherein 70 units are situated in a main building, while the remaining 10 are townhouses,” relates Steele. “All four members of this board live in that main building – and the townhouses do not feel represented. Those owners feel screwed – or taxed without representation – when they have to, for example, pay their share of a $150K elevator replacement in the main building, which they’ll never utilize. Thus, I encourage those townhouse owners who complain to run for the board in the next election.”

Mixing It Up

While the board and management may not be able—or willing—to actively push to diversify representation, that doesn’t mean that members of an association are powerless to ensure that everyone has a voice.

“Tackling this problem begins with education, innovation and transparency,” says Erwin. “Boards should make an effort to educate the owners about what the directors do, and how that work affects those owners’ daily lives. Proactively keeping them informed is often the best way to get them engaged in board matters, which will in turn get them to step up and volunteer for the job.”

Much of the responsibility falls to the individual. One cannot lament the homogeneity of their board from the sidelines – because after all, a board will not simply diversify itself. “You, as an individual member of the association, have to market yourself,” urges Garrett. “You have to go door-to-door and get your name out. Everyone has that opportunity, but the onus falls to the owner.”

“I often counsel board members to be open and transparent when dealing with the issue of diversity,” Erwin adds. “If the board clearly lacks diversity, they should make this known to the owners. For example, if a board is made up of mostly elderly folks in a community with a lot of younger owners, the board would be wise to bring this to the attention of the ownership. We often forget that, particularly in larger associations, owners only see the names of the directors, and have no idea whether or not any of them actually represents their personal perspectives. There is nothing wrong with telling the constituency that the board would welcome greater diversity and that a more diverse pool of applicants to the board at the next election is encouraged. In fact, in the instances where I have seen boards circulate such an invitation and notice, the ownership has responded positively and with appreciation for the fact that the directors were honest and open about that lack of diversity.”

Mike Odenthal is a staff writer/reporter for The Cooperator

Why We Ignore Digital Communications

By / Feb 2, 2018 (MissTuni/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

In the age of instant communication, why are people taking their sweet time to get back to us?

We all have our smartphones nearby all the time. And nearly everyone should be seeing your personal or professional texts and emails as soon as you send them. Given that, why does it seem like it’s harder and harder to hear back from people?

And add to it that when people don’t respond right away, it can provoke an uncomfortable, antsy feeling.

“It’s anxiety-inducing because written communication is now designed to mimic conversation—but only when it comes to timing,” Julie Beck writes in a thoughtful piece for The Atlantic. We often expect instantaneous responses, and when we don’t get them, it leaves us feeling stressed out.

But the truth is, as much as we often appreciate the on-demand nature of digital communications, texts and emails simply do not carry a sense of obligation the way phone calls or face-to-face interactions do.

“Written instant messages create a smokescreen of plausible deniability if someone doesn’t feel like responding, which can be relieving for the hider, and frustrating for the seeker,” says Beck.

So, why aren’t people responding to texts and emails right away? They don’t feel like they have to. “Just because people know how stressful it can be to wait for a reply to what they thought would be an instant message doesn’t mean they won’t ignore others’ messages in turn.

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.