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  • Destroying the Business Partner Box(8/25/2017)

    by: Jill Kalter

    While attending the CAI Gold Coast (Florida) Chapter Social in June, I met Kyle Nurminen, director of business development for Altec Roofing, a CAI business partner, and the chapter’s membership committee co-chair. Kyle was introducing Craig Glover, owner of A Better Way Home Care, as a prospective business partner. I didn’t see the immediate connection but was interested to learn how home health care fits into community association living.

    A CAI brochure called “More Than Just Vendors” outlines the importance of the relationship between business partners and common-interest communities. On a short list of nine points made in the document, one states that CAI business partners are “in a better position to make recommendations and suggestions that a non-CAI business partner may not even consider.” This is exactly what Kyle did when introducing Craig to CAI.

    Kyle “walks the talk” of the CAI business partner by focusing on developing relationships as assets to common-interest communities. When I asked Kyle how a home health agency fits into the CAI business partner model, he looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language.

    “How does it not?” he asked. “Whether a family member is recovering from surgery or suffering from temporary illness or even dementia or Alzheimer’s, people shouldn’t have to put their lives on complete hold. Craig provides a service that helps them manage these sorts of situations.”

    A smile came to his face as he saw the veil lifted from my eyes.

    “As members of CAI, whether a business partner, manager, board member, or a community association volunteer, aren’t we all here to learn from and help one another?” he asked. “If so, then why would I limit my impact by thinking my knowledge of my own position is my only asset? Anyone can do that, but that’s not what makes a solid community.”

    Kyle said that thanks to CAI, he has knowledge of the entire sector; he’s had the opportunity to learn about all the other things that play a part in a community’s decision-making process. He said it’s taught him to pay closer attention to the world around him.

    “If I had knowledge in any regard that may help my fellow members, wouldn’t it be in my best interest to share it?” Kyle asked. “This isn’t some sort of sales organization; it’s a community development organization.”

    The “outside-the-box” introduction Kyle made was brilliant. He sees the synergy between community associations and the businesses managing their operations as an opportunity to add value and benefits to the entire community. In this case, Kyle introduced a health care agency that now becomes a resource to the community that can save residents both time and money while offering convenience and peace of mind.

    I think all of us can take a few tips from Kyle’s playbook when we meet potential CAI members:

    • Look beyond the obvious and into the future while building synergistic relationships.

    • Educate yourself on someone else’s position but don’t feel the need to become an expert.

    • Don’t assume you know everything about a potential member. Challenge yourself to really learn about and understand what the prospect does.

    • Ask the right questions and see potential so you can share information.

    • Come together and share resources.

    • Bridge the gap and create opportunities.

    • Cultivate trusting relationships. They don’t just drop out of the sky and into your lap.

    Jill Kalter is principal of Resolve Mediation in Florida and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil & Appellate Mediator.

    >>Read “More Than Just Vendors” at; the brochure is in the “Downloads” section on the right-hand side of the page. Read more about CAI Business Partners at


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