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CAI Honors Member Volunteers and Chapters

5/26/2014  -  Falls Church, VA

CAI's membership and reach have expanded in recent years to South Africa, the Middle East, Australia and other areas, so it was no surprise when 2013 President Dennis C. Abbott, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, honored Dubai's Jeevan J. D'Mello, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, during CAI's recent Annual Conference in Orlando.

D'Mello, senior director of Emaar Community Management, AAMC, in the United Arab Emirates, received CAI's prestigious President's Award May 16 during the Institute's annual awards program. The award is given at the discretion of CAI's immediate past president.

D'Mello has worked enthusiastically, tirelessly and effectively to promote CAI professional education and designations throughout the Middle East.

"I'm shocked. I don't know what to say," D'Mello said when he was recognized during the awards program. "I want to thank all of you for welcoming me into your country, which I love so much, and more importantly, for welcoming me into your hearts. I've learned so much about community management. I had no idea what it was (like) to manage a community before I went to that first M-100 class (in Phoenix in 2007)."

Continuing his impassioned comments, D'Mello said CAI "… has made such a difference in Dubai and the whole of the Middle East because we never had anything like this before. I want to thank you for showing us the CAI way."

Named CAI's Rising Star three years ago, D'Mello is also a commissioner on the Community Association Managers International Certification Board.

Distinguished Service Award

Also singled out for special recognition was attorney E. Richard Kennedy, who was presented CAI's prestigious Distinguished Service Award. A principal in the New Jersey law firm of Kennedy Wronko & Kennedy and a CAI member for nearly 30 years, Kennedy has served as the dean of CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers, as president of the Foundation for Community Association Research and on the CAI Board of Trustees.

Respected locally and nationally as a dedicated CAI volunteer, Kennedy has served as the editor of CAI's Journal of Community Association Law (now Community Association Law Reporter) and as chairman of the Community Association Law Seminar Planning Committee. He previously received CAI's Outstanding Volunteer Service Award and the Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs.

Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Marjorie J. Meyer, CMCA, PCAM, president and CEO of Community Association Dispute Resolution Experts in Texas and long-time member of the CAI professional education faculty, received the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. Meyer is a 30-year CAI member and winner of numerous national CAI awards, including Educator of the Year (twice) and the Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs (twice). She is a past member of the CAI Board of Trustees and has been actively involved in developing and updating several professional development courses.

Other Award Recipients

The following members also received 2013 awards at the CAI Annual Conference:

  • Kara Cermak, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, and Jessica Towles, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, (Illinois), CAI Rising Star
  • Sam Dolnick (San Diego), Byron Hanke Award—posthumously. Dolnick, who passed away in early 2014 at age 95, was a long-time homeowner member of CAI. In addition to being active in the San Diego chapter, he served on the CAI Board of Trustees and the board of the Foundation for Community Association Research.
  • Robert A. Felix, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, RS (San Diego and Heartland), Award of Excellence in Designations
  • Mitchell H. Frumkin, RS (Big Apple, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania/ Delaware Valley and Washington Metropolitan), Award of Excellence in Chapter Leadership
  • Jerry Jensen, CMCA, AMS (Utah), Recruiter of the Year
  • Scott J. Sandler, Esq. (Connecticut), Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs
  • Linda Schweppe, CMCA, AMS (Heartland), Award of Excellence in Membership
  • Linda M. Warren, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Southern Colorado), Educator of the Year 

"CAI would not exist without members like these very deserving award recipients," said CAI Chief Executive Officer Tom Skiba, CAE. "There just aren't enough awards for all of the members who enable our successes. So much of what we accomplish would be unrealized without member volunteers at the national and chapter level. They contribute invaluable time, energy and expertise to CAI and their professions, as well as to the success of community associations around the world. They make everything possible—our education, advocacy, publications and events. They represent what's truly special about the 33,000-member CAI community."

State Advocacy

The Arizona Legislative Action Committee (LAC) was named the LAC of the Year for its advocacy efforts and successes in the state legislative arena. The Arizona LAC managed to successfully stall and defeat dozens of shortsighted bills that would have negatively impacted homeowners associations and their residents, including efforts to make board members personally liable for attorney fees, prohibiting associations from regulating the installation of HAM radio towers and permitting residents to opt-out of paying dues to their master association. CAI has 35 state LACs and a LAC. 

Chapter Awards

Several CAI chapters and chapter executive directors (CEDs) were also honored during the Annual Conference. Tony Campisi, the Pennsylvania/Delaware Valley chapter's CED, was named the Chapter Executive Director of the Year, while DJ Conlon, CMCA, (Greater Inland Empire) was named Chapter Executive Director Rising Star.

The following chapters were recognized for their excellence in various categories of achievement: Alabama, Central Arizona, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Greater Inland Empire, Greater Los Angeles, Heartland (five awards), Illinois, New Jersey, Orange County Regional, South Carolina, Washington Metropolitan (two awards), Washington State and Wisconsin (two awards).

"CAI's deepest roots are represented by our 60 chapters," said Crystal Wallace, CAE, CAI's vice president of membership and chapter relations. "That's where most CAI members engage their peers and colleagues. Our national programs, including education, advocacy and events, are integral parts of our overall mission, but it all begins with local programming and relationships. We are able to do so much thanks to our member volunteer leaders and our chapter staff. They are essential to our ongoing growth and success."

Chapter Growth and Retention

The following chapters were recognized for having the highest net membership growth in 2013:

  • Jacksonville Metropolitan (small chapter—28 percent)
  • Utah (medium chapter—18 percent)
  • Michigan (large chapter—27 percent)
  • Washington State (very large chapter—11 percent)

Chapters recognized for the highest net membership retention in 2013 were:

  • Jacksonville Metropolitan (small chapter—93 percent)
  • Coachella Valley (medium chapter—91 percent)
  • Michigan (large chapter—89 percent)
  • New Jersey (very large chapter—89 percent)

With more than 33,000 members dedicated to building better communities, CAI works in partnership with 60 chapters, including a chapter in South Africa. CAI provides 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