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8/26/2021  -  Falls Church, VA

Aug. 26, 2021 — Falls Church, VA — Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading international authority on community association governance, management, and education, announced the recipients of CAI's highest honors at its annual awards ceremony, held on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas in conjunction with the 2021 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW. The honors salute individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership to advance community association living.

Marilyn Brainard was presented the Distinguished Service Award, CAI's most prestigious recognition given periodically to an individual for long-standing, extraordinary contributions. She has served on the CAI Board of Trustees, Homeowner Leaders Council, and Nominating Committee, and continues to be a strong volunteer and homeowner advocate as part of the Nevada Legislative Action Committee, the Federal Legislative Action Committee, and the Government and Public Affairs Committee, including chair of the Public Policy Task Force.

Michael D. Johnson, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, received the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes a member who demonstrates exceptional leadership and long-term dedication to CAI and community associations. In 2020, Johnson drafted a COVID-19 reopening guide for his clients and generously shared it with CAI to use in any way that was useful. He has taught dozens of classes as a faculty member, is a founding member of the CAI Utah Chapter, and serves on the Utah Legislative Action Committee.

Paul K. Mengert, CMCA, PCAM, was recognized as Educator of the Year. This award goes to an individual who has excelled in elevating the quality of CAI's education programs by developing, teaching, or leading a significant national course. Mengert has served as a CAI speaker and instructor for more than two decades. In addition to his numerous presentations at chapter and CAI conferences, he has taught hundreds of community association managers in CAI courses.

Tonya Gale, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, was recognized as Recruiter of the Year, an honor given to a member who has demonstrated continued leadership by supporting CAI membership campaigns and recruiting the greatest number of new members. Gale has been a dedicated CAI advocate since 2011, serving as the CAI Nevada Chapter's membership committee chair, on the board of directors, and as the 2020 president. She recruited 59 new CAI members in 2020 and was the national Recruiter of the Month twice.

Katie Anderson, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, was named the CAI Rising Star, an honor given to an individual whose leadership abilities and professional contributions signify even greater accomplishments in the future. She is a founding member of the Central Oregon Regional Chapter and a member of the Oregon Legislative Action Committee. Anderson encourages community association managers to be involved locally in the chapter and, most importantly, has pushed the Oregon Legislative Action Committee to comply with best practices, communicate with membership, and be a more inclusive and effective entity.

Robert M. Diamond, Esq., and Laurie S. Poole, Esq., both fellows in CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers, were honored with the Author of the Year award, a recognition that honors  volunteers who consistently provide extensive and timely editorial support and content expertise by writing, editing, and reviewing CAI publications and newsletters, authoring a new, significant publication, or otherwise authoring materials of significance to CAI's mission. Diamond and Poole led a working group of community association lawyers to create Guiding Principles for Community Association Governing Documents, a comprehensive document to assist attorneys in the process of drafting or amending governing provisions.

Cat Carmichael, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CAI's 2019 president, honored Shelly Holland, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, with the 2019 President's Award.

Given solely at the discretion of the immediate past president, this award recognizes an individual who has displayed exemplary service and commitment to CAI and who has been instrumental in helping the president achieve CAI's goals. The announcement of the 2019 recipient was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; CAI did not hold its Annual Conference last year.

“We know one of the pillars of CAI is education, and at the intersection of education and networking, you find friendships. Without question, Shelly Holland is the person who provided the most support and was most influential helping me achieve the goals of CAI," says Carmichael.

Attorney Ursula Burgess, CAI's 2020 president, honored Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, CAI's senior vice president of government and public affairs and executive director of the Foundation for Community Association Research, with the   2020 President's Award.

“My tenure as president during the COVID-19 pandemic saw many changes. Dawn was always there to offer me support both professionally and personally. Whether she was delivering food to my front door or busy creating useful content to support our members during the pandemic, her kindness and tireless efforts to support CAI make her a great recipient to receive this year's award," says Burgess.

For a complete list of honorees and award recipients, including chapter awards, visit


About Community Associations Institute
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 the more than 350,000 homeowners associations, condominiums, and housing cooperatives in the United States and millions of communities worldwide. With more than 42,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 36 legislative action committees and 63 affiliated chapters within the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates as well as with housing leaders in several other countries, including Australia, Spain, 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