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Learning Pass - Education Sessions


From keynote speakers, industry-led education sessions, and annual awards to exceptional networking events, CAI's Community NOW is the ultimate destination to gain knowledge and resources while discovering the latest innovations and new perspectives.

Get ready to reconnect, learn, and celebrate community associations. Whether you pull up a seat virtually or see it happen live, Community NOW offers learning experiences that positively impact individuals, teams, and organizations.

Concurrent Education Sessions:

Overcoming Racism in Community Associations: How to Be an Agent of Change
Respectful and tolerant communities are typically the most harmonious. Hear directly from the industry's leading attorneys as they examine the sensitive, yet timely topic of racism in community associations. The live presentation gives you real-world examples of the industry's challenges being solved. Learn how to coach and educate board members, managers, and business partners on overcoming bias in communities by recognizing microaggressions and their consequences, engaging in healthy conversations, and enforcing antiracist policies and procedures.

Leah K. Burton, Esq., Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC, San Antonio
Noelle Hicks, Esq., Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC, San Antonio
Wil Washington, Esq.*, Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn PC, Fairfax, Va.

Creating a Drama-Free Community: Tips to Avoid Discrimination, Harassment, and Litigation Risks Prompted by COVID-19 
Today's communities must demonstrate a commitment to creating and sustaining a healthy, inclusive, and equitable culture. Board leaders, community managers, and business partners play a key role in reaching this goal. In this session, we will explore innovative ways to create a drama-free and healthy community. We will also address how to implement best practices and examine lessons learned from requiring proof of vaccines for staff, residents, and service providers; legal considerations for (re)hiring practices; liability for harassment; Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Fair Housing claims; and more.

Sandra L. Gottlieb, Esq.*, SwedelsonGottlieb, Los Angeles
​Andrea L. O'Toole, Esq., Andrea L. O'Toole PC, Lafayette, Calif.

Wave of Change: How COVID-19 Transformed the Community Association Management Profession
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in the community association management profession. In this session, we will discuss how the pandemic has affected our industry and how we operate. Through an assorted panel of industry professionals, we will evaluate how homeowners associations and management companies have adapted to the hurdles, review how it has changed operations, and provide helpful tips on successfully navigating these new practices.

John T.  Crawford, Jr., Esq., Kenison, Dudley & Crawford LLC, Greenville, S.C.
Michael B. Stonestreet, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CAMS, Wilmington, N.C.
​Lesa Marie Vermillion, CMCA, AMS, CAMS, Greenville, S.C.

Healthy Habits for a More Productive Day: Music, Movement & Mindfulness
Health-related job stress has become a worldwide problem. Today, community association board members, managers, and business partners report that increased job stress is causing burnout, a lack of motivation, and lost sleep. In this session, we will explore ways community association leaders can control their mindset and better manage new job pressures and demands. We will also learn how time management, engagement, focus, and optimism can be some of the best medicine to boost your career. Remember, it's never too late to change your lifestyle, regardless of how stressful your job is.

Melissa Ramsey, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, FirstService Residential, Fort Mill, S.C.
Lauren Starner, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, FirstService Residential, Las Vegas​

Sponsored by:

​Member Action: What to Do When Residents Go Rogue
When technology, human-decision making, and emotions mix, complications can arise and lead residents to adopt a better-to-ask-for-forgiveness-than-permission approach. As community association leaders, how do we approach rogue behavior and encourage a unified community, especially in challenging times? The session includes a curated case study presentation highlighting the pitfalls that can happen when members want to remove board members during a virtual meeting. Plus, we will explore new processes and procedures for electronic voting. Come ready to share your experiences.

Adam M. Beaudoin, Esq., Ward and Smith PA, Wilmington, N.C.
Cynthia A. Jones, Esq., Sellers, Ayers, Dortch & Lyons PA, Charlotte, N.C.

When Boards Make Mistakes: How to Minimize the Fallout
What do you do when your board a​ccidentally or intentionally violates the law or the community's governing documents? Learn how to eliminate or minimize the risk and damage to your community by recognizing the cause of the problem, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution. In this session, our panel guides you through a framework to better understand the potential financial, political, or legal fallout from unauthorized contracts, approval of prohibited architectural modifications, failing to undertake due-dilgence or ignoring expert advice, leaking privileged communications, investing reserves improperly, instructing vendors without board approval, and ignoring discrimination-based neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. Learn new mitigation and damage control strategies to take back to your community.

Brendan P. Bunn, Esq.*, Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn PC, Fairfax, Va.
Airielle D Hansford, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, FirstService Residential, Fairfax, Va.
Steven S. Weil, Esq.*, Berding & Weil LLP, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Emotional Health at Work: Manage Stressful Situations and Increase Productivity
Whether it's a shouting match at a board meeting, an altercation in a common area, a pandemic-related shutdown, or an owner who ignores repeated requests, boards and managers are experiencing mental health challenges in all aspects of community association life. It's no surprise that employee wellbeing is fast becoming a top business priority for companies worldwide. In this session, we will discuss how to help you and your employees manage stress and anxiety to build a stronger, healthier workforce in 2021. Learn how to spot and prevent the warning signs of employee burnout and discover new strategies to manage difficult situations. We will also explore how stress affects the body and talk about how to practice mindfulness in a high stress environment.

Rebecca Duncan, CAMS, Simpsonville, S.C.
Wiley Thomas Pittman, RHA Health Services, Wilmington, N.C.

Sponsored by:

Community Associations Legislative Update
A summary of new state and federal legislation in 2020 and 2021. In this session, we also will provide an update on COVID-19 executive actions as well as new state and federal legislation and regulations that impact community associations and community management.  Hear about key trends, highlights, and issues and how they impact you.

Dawn Bauman, CAE, Community Associations Institute, Falls Church, Va.
T. Peter Kristian, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, Hilton Head Plantation Property Owners Association, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
J. David Ramsey, Esq.*, Becker, Morristown, N.J.

Hot Legal Topics
Explore current legal trends facing community associations and what managers, board members, and attorneys need to know to help their community association clients navigate sensitive topics. Presented by the College of Community Association Lawyers.

Jeffrey E. Kaman, Esq.*, Kaman & Cusimano, Columbus, Ohio​
Laurie S. Poole, Esq.*. Adams Stirling PLC, San Diego, Calif.​​

​Industry Data & Statistics and Research Findings on Contemporary Issues 
This fast-paced session from the Foundation for Community Association Research will deliver key industry data and statistics, including the number of people living in community associations, growth of the housing model, and the financial impact of housing on the economy. Hear highlights from the 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey—a report detailing homeowners' experiences with their community, manager, board, and neighbors. Gain free access to the latest reports, including deep dive surveys and best practices related to aging infrastructures, reserves, harmony in diverse communities, and increasing the pipeline of community association managers.

Caroline Record, Esq.*, Hill Wallack LLP, Cedar Knolls, N.J.
Peter Santangelo, CMCA, Wintrust Community Advantage, Barrington, Ill.

Sign of the Times: When politics, free speech & social justice issues collide with community associations
In 2020, politics, protests, and social justice causes spilled into community associations across the country. As people were forced to stay at home during the pandemic, the home (and the yard and common areas) became spaces for free expression in any form. Current legislative trends on signs and free speech suggest this battle is not going away any time soon. This program will engage the audience in a frank discussion over the “human" side of community association governance when passions are strong and emotions are high. How can community association leaders allow residents to express their views while maintaining the peace? Can we blindly enforce governing documents when the residents openly challenge authority? We will examine some situations we faced last year and share some success stories. 

Matt D. Ober, Esq.*, Richardson Ober DeNichilo LLP, Pasadena, Calif.
Amy Tinetti, Esq.*, Hughes Gill Cochrane Tinetti, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Meeting Martial Arts: The Hard and Soft Approaches to Handling Difficult Meetings and Angry People
You can better handle difficult meetings and angry people by following the philosophy of martial arts. This program will cover how community association professionals and volunteer leaders can prepare themselves mentally and emotionally to handle a difficult and contentious meeting. Attendees will learn a hard style and soft style of communicating in stressful situations. Prepare to discuss common and real-life scenarios that the presenters will use to demonstrate potential solutions.

David J. Graf, Esq.*, Moeller Graf PC, Englewood, Colo.
George E. Nowack Jr., Esq.*, NowackHoward LLC, Atlanta

Take This Board and Shove It! How to Handle En Masse Board Resignation
For myriad reasons, an entire community association board may decide to resign all at once. This session will discuss the issues brought on by an en masse resignation and the steps management and legal counsel may take in ensuring the viability of the association and replacement of the board.

Tim Flanagan, Esq., Flanagan Law APC, San Diego
Susan Hawks McClintic, Esq., Epsten APC, San Diego
Augustus H. Shaw, IV, Esq.*, Shaw & Lines LLC, Phoenix

A Great Place to Work: Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Competitive World
Employees are no longer just looking for a job. They're looking for a purpose and a home. To attract and retain talent, and to remain competitive as a service provider in community management, you need to build a great place to work for your employees. Come explore the five workplace dimensions that create a great place to work and discover how you can provide them in a cost-effective fashion.

Greg Smith, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Associa, Woodbridge, Calif.​

​Talking About Our Generations: Supporting, Motivating, and Leading Five Generations
For the first time in history, we have five generations in the workplace and actively living and participating in the communities we manage. How do you relate to each group to foster good collaboration and support their needs? Learn how to motivate and lead communities while growing from the strengths that each generation brings. Understand what role technology can and will play while working with these groups.   

Kelly Zibell, AMS, PCAM,​ Independent Consultant​, Morgan Hill, Calif.