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Volunteers Receive CAI’s Highest Honors

5/18/2016  -  Falls Church, VA

Maryland executive, Edward D. Thomas, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, received Community Association Institute's esteemed President's Award during CAI's 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando. The award is presented to a member who has been instrumental in helping the president achieve the Institute's goals. "Ed has been a mentor to me and countless others over his many years of involvement," said current president, David I. Caplan, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, in presenting Thomas with this tribute.

Thomas, founder and chief executive officer of Property Management People Inc., AAMC, in Frederick, Md., has been a CAI member for more than three decades. He was CAI's president in 2009 and chair of CAI's Ethics Committee from 2001 through 2003. Thomas also has been a course instructor for the Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) for many years.

Thomas was one of almost 20 CAI members, chapter executive directors and legislative action committees recognized during the conference.

Distinguished Service Award

Also singled out for special recognition, Marvin J. Nodiff, Esq., received the Distinguished Service Award for his long-standing and extraordinary contributions to CAI. Nodiff, with Nodiff & Billy, in St. Louis, Mo., has served on the CAI Board of Trustees, was the founding editor of the CAI Journal of Community Association Law and is a fellow in CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers. Respected locally and nationally as a tireless CAI volunteer, Nodiff has served on numerous boards and committees and is the recipient of numerous CAI honors.

Byron Hanke Award

Robert A. Rothwell, a resident of the Village Green Homeowners Association in Henderson, Nev., has been an ambassador for community association living and CAI for nearly 20 years. He was recognized with the Byron Hanke Award—named for one of CAI's original founders and presented periodically to an individual who supports education for homeowners—for "strongly encouraging all members of his association board to attend CAI classes." Rothwell has served in numerous leadership roles with his local homeowners association board as well as on chapter and national boards.

Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Julie McGhee Howard, an attorney with Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, P.C., in Atlanta, was recognized for her outstanding volunteer service and long-standing dedication to CAI and its chapters. Howard testifies frequently before Georgia legislative bodies to advocate for community associations, and she has appeared on television and in various print media supporting those causes as well. Nationally, she has served on the CAI Board of Trustees, including as president in 2014, and she is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers Board of Governors.

In 2015, Howard led a project to explore the future of community associations—Community Next: 2020 and Beyond. Eight individuals assisted her to lead a group of more than 50 volunteers to produce critical information that will help CAI and other stakeholders understand what can be done now to have a positive impact on the future of community associations. These individuals also were awarded outstanding volunteer service awards: Steven Y. Brumfield, CMCA, AMS, PCAM; Kara Cermak, CMCA, AMS, PCAM; Ellen Hirsch de Haan, Esq.; P. Michael Nagle, Esq.; J. David Ramsey, Esq.; Loura K. Sanchez, Esq.; Fred Shapiro, PCAM; and Lucia Anna "Pia" Trigiani, Esq.

Educator of the Year

Other 2015 CAI award recipients included Educator of the Year, David J. Graf, Esq., of Moeller Graf, PC in Englewood, Colo., who is a ten-year veteran of CAI's course faculty. He was instrumental in adapting CAI course material to meet Colorado's manager licensing requirements.

Award of Excellence in Designations

The Award of Excellence in Designations went to Craig E. Koss, AMS, PCAM, senior vice president for field operations at Associa and a member of CAI's Michigan Chapter, Koss has served on the Institute's Designation Ethics Committee since 2007 and as its co-chair or chair since 2012.

Recruiter of the Year

David I. Caplan, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, principal of Community Association Management, AAMC, in Pikesville, Md. was recognized as CAI's Recruiter of the Year. Caplan recruited 19 new CAI members in 2015. He also was inducted into CAI's Recruiter Hall of Fame this year.

Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs

Robert W. Browning, PCAM, RS, of Browning Reserve Group in Carmichael, Calif., was recognized for his significant efforts to help CAI members and legislators understand proposed federal legislation regarding amateur radio communications.

Award of Excellence in Membership

This award was earned by Russell M. Robbins, an attorney with Mirza Basulto & Robbins, LLP in Miami Lakes, Fla., for consistently creating new ways to increase CAI membership and promote its many benefits.

Rising Star Award

Matt D. Ober, an attorney with Richardson Harman Ober PC, in Pasadena, Calif., received CAI's Rising Star Award; although Ober has been an active volunteer for decades, his leadership abilities and professional contributions signify even greater accomplishments to come.

LAC of the Year

The Virginia Legislative Action Committee was recognized as LAC of the Year for initiating a political action committee whose success changed the way CAI is viewed by state legislators.

Chapter Leadership and Achievement

Numerous CAI chapters and chapter leaders were also honored during the Annual Conference. In particular, Daryl R. Larson, CMCA, received CAI's Award of Excellence in Chapter Leadership, Mary Rendina, of the Nevada Chapter was named Chapter Executive Director of the Year and Emily Jennings of the North Gulf Coast Chapter (Florida) received the Chapter Executive Director Rising Star Award.

 "Community building, networking, business in general—it all happens at the local level, at the chapter level," says Crystal Wallace, CAE, CAI's vice president of membership and chapter relations. "Connecting with members and other community association stakeholders through CAI chapters is a huge part of CAI membership. Homeowners and professional service providers devote so much effort to the chapters' success, we wish we could honor all of them."

The following chapters were recognized for their excellence in various categories of achievement: Bay Area and Central California, Central Arizona, Central Florida, Coachella Valley (three awards), Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Greater Inland Empire, Hawaii, Heartland, Hudson Valley, Illinois (two awards), Oregon (two awards), North Carolina (two awards), North Gulf Coast, Pennsylvania Delaware Valley, Rocky Mountain, Southeast Florida, Southern Arizona, Southwest Virginia, Washington Metropolitan (two awards) and Wisconsin (two awards).

"I am always struck by the energy, time and expertise CAI members volunteer so that CAI and community associations everywhere can be successful," said CAI Chief Executive Officer Tom Skiba, CAE. "These deserving recipients are just a sample of the many passionate volunteers that serve CAI and our communities. We would accomplish little without them."

With more than 34,000 members dedicated to building better communities, CAI works in partnership with 60 chapters to provide information, education and resources to community associations and the professionals who support them. CAI's mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home. Visit or call (888) 224-4321.

Phone: 703-970-9235