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CAI Presents the 2016 CAI Volunteer Awards Recognizing Top Industry Professionals

5/8/2017  -  Falls Church, VA

Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading international authority in community association governance, management, and education, announced the recipients of CAI's highest honors at the Awards Gala, held in conjunction with 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition, on May 5 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The honors presented throughout the evening salute individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to support and advance community association living.

J. David Ramsey, Esq., received the Distinguished Service Award, CAI's most prestigious recognition, during CAI's annual Awards Gala, held Friday, May 5, as part of the 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

AnnualAwards_Social.jpgAn attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, Ramsey has been a CAI member for more than three decades. A past president of CAI and of the New Jersey chapter, Ramsey continues to be actively involved in CAI's Government and Public Affairs Committee and the New Jersey Legislative Action Committee, among other endeavors. As the Institute's 2003–2004 president, Ramsey was a key leader in CAI's Member Value Initiative, a comprehensive restructuring process. Along with other members of the New Jersey Chapter's Past Presidents Club, in 2016 Ramsey was instrumental in having CAI's fundamental course, The Essentials of Community Association Management (M-100), included in the regular undergraduate curriculum of a large public university.

Also at this year's Awards Gala—and for the second time in five years—Marilyn G. Brainard was presented with CAI's esteemed President's Award, which is given at the sole discretion of the Institute's immediate past president to a member or members who have been influential in helping the president achieve CAI's highest goals. A longtime homeowner member of CAI's Nevada Chapter and a quintessential volunteer—past president of her community association board, past chair of CAI's Community Association Volunteers Committee (CAVC), and currently a member of CAI's government and public affairs committee—Brainard also represents homeowners on Nevada's State Commission for Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels.

Clifford J. Treese, CIRMS, another CAI past president and longtime CAI volunteer, also received the President's Award this year. President of Association Data in Pleasanton, Calif., Treese is an insurance, risk management, and underwriting expert. A past president of the Foundation for Community Association Research, Treese is the author of CAI's recent Community Association Fact Book, an unparalleled compilation of data about common-interest communities, among other indispensable CAI documents.

"Cliff and Marilyn exemplify the best of CAI," said Kelly G. Richardson, Esq., CAI's immediate past president, in presenting this honor to Brainard and Treese. "They both have invested countless hours—for many years—to benefit the interests of community associations nationwide in a selfless way that promotes good governance and elevates CAI's image. I'm truly grateful for the ways that both have affected my CAI career and for their generosity to all of us in the organization."

Ronald L. Perl, Esq., a dedicated CAI member for more than three decades, received CAI's Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for his exceptional leadership and enduring dedication to the Institute and the community association industry. An energetic volunteer, Perl is a past president of CAI (2007) and has served as a committee member, committee chair, board member, and board president of CAI's New Jersey Chapter, as well as the 2002–2003 president of the Foundation for Community Association Research. In addition, he has served as chair of CAI's Federal Legislative Action Committee since its inception in 2012.

Judy Rosen, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, was honored as CAI's 2016 Educator of the Year at the gala. This award recognizes an individual who has elevated the quality of CAI's education programs by developing, teaching, or directing a significant national course. Rosen devoted many hours in 2016 to leading CAI's Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) Case Study and mentored numerous managers in their professional development progress. In addition to teaching dozens of Professional Management Development Program courses around the U.S., Rosen also chairs the Board of Governors of the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAM-ICB). She is a member of the Central Arizona Chapter.

CAI's 2016 Recruiter of the Year, which honors the member who recruits the most new members for the year, is Mystre' Van Horn, CMCA, AMS. As a member of CAI's Washington, DC, Metro Chapter, Van Horn recruited 28 new members. She recently relocated to Texas and is now a member of CAI's Austin Chapter.

Robert W. Browning, PCAM, RS, and Mitchell H. Frumkin, RS, both long-time CAI volunteers and former presidents of the Foundation for Community Association Research, were honored this year with CAI's Award of Excellence in Designations. Browning and Frumkin, who is also a CAI past president, co-chaired a task force in 2016 that revised and updated CAI's reserve study standards. The resulting improved criteria provides a benchmark that will ensure uniform and reliable community association reserve requirements.

Stephen Marcus, Wesley Blair III, Laura Mitas Cardoos, Ellen Shapiro, and Scott Wolf, CMCA, AMS, PCAM—all of whom comprise The Boston Five—received CAI's 2016 Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs. Organized by Marcus in 2014 to educate state and federal legislators about the critical issue of priority liens in community associations, The Boston Five has made progress in Massachusetts, at the federal level, and now is engaging activists in other states to help support priority lien laws.

Travis Round, chair of the CAI Central Indiana Chapter's membership committee, was honored with the 2016 Award of Excellence in Membership, which is presented to an active, consistent recruiter who demonstrates leadership in support of CAI membership campaigns. A CAI business partner member, Round's can-do leadership netted nearly 15 percent membership growth for the chapter in 2016. As chapter president, he sought constructive feedback from former or inactive members, revamped the chapter's social media activity, and encouraged the education committee to expand their reach in recruiting new member communities.

Denise Lash, Esq., was instrumental in establishing CAI Canada, one of CAI's newest chapters. An advocate for CAI and industry professionalism for more than a decade, Lash received CAI's Award of Excellence in Chapter Leadership for diligently recruiting an organizing committee to create a Canadian chapter. Lash is now president of CAI Canada, which will provide professional resources and licensing regulation to Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

The Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee was honored as Legislative Action Committee of the Year for demonstrating organizational excellence, maintaining strong member support, successfully managing statewide campaigns, and raising CAI's legislative visibility and effectiveness. The PA LAC successfully engaged in grassroots advocacy, actively pursued state legislation that benefited Pennsylvania communities, and participated in federal advocacy. A role model for other similar organizations, the PA LAC annually convenes a Day at the Capitol, which encourages CAI members to visit state legislators and advocate for public policies that support and benefit Pennsylvania's community associations.

Several other significant awards were presented at the Friday morning General Session at the Annual Conference.

Among these, Kelvin Nanney, CMP, CAE, executive director of CAI's Bay Area and Central California Chapter, was recognized as CAI's Chapter Executive Director of the Year, which is presented to the CED who demonstrates leadership in supporting CAI at both the chapter and national levels. Under Nanney's direction, the chapter has realized financial stability, program diversity, volunteer development, consistent communications, and improved support for the board and volunteers.

Julia Boehm-McKay, executive director for CAI's Alabama Chapter, and Cheryl Murphy, executive director for the Illinois Chapter, were both recognized as Chapter Executive Director Rising Stars at this year's Annual Conference. In her two years as Alabama's CED, Boehm-McKay has revamped the chapter website and developed a digital newsletter and on-demand access to information. She has also increased attendance at luncheon meetings by recruiting more engaging speakers and presenting relevant topics.

Murphy and her staff streamlined the Illinois Chapter's budget process, which resulted in transforming a 2013 deficit into a surplus in 2016. During her five-year leadership, the Illinois Chapter has increased membership and received 10 CAI awards, including the 2016 Chapter Excellence Award as well as several listed below.   

Additionally, the following chapters were recognized for their excellence in various categories of achievement:

Chapter Management/Development
Northeast Florida
Central Florida
Central Arizona
Washington Metro

Leadership in Training, Development, and Recognition Programs
Coachella Valley
Channel Islands
Greater Los Angeles

Membership Acquisition and Retention
Central Indiana
Bay Area and Central California
Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley

Member Services – Member satisfaction and retention
Southern Arizona
Channel Islands
New Jersey

Public Affairs – Promoting CAI to the public as the industry's leading advocate for responsible communities
Coachella Valley
Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley

"CAI's excellent reputation and remarkable achievements over the years, including the Institute's recent expansion as an internationally recognized authority on common-interest community management, are the direct result of our volunteers' dedication, commitment, vision, and hours and hours of hard work," said CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, in presenting the various awards. "These volunteers have set the bar very high for those who follow them, but they have paved the way for all who succeed them to continue to accomplish great things."

Visit for a complete list of honorees.


About Community Associations Institute (CAI)
Since 1973, Community Associations Institute (CAI) has been the leading provider of resources and information for homeowners, volunteer board leaders, professional managers, and business professionals in more than 338,000 community associations, condominiums, and co-ops in the United States and millions of communities worldwide. With more than 34,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 62 affiliated chapters within the U.S, Canada, and South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in a number of countries including Australia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.  

A global nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization, CAI is the foremost authority in community association management, governance, education, and advocacy. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in community associations that are preferred places to call home. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @CAISocial.

Phone: 703-970-9235