The nation's 205,000 condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations are plagued by "leadership poverty," longtime association manager Brent Herrington, PCAM, told 1,000 attendees at the Community Associations Institute 45th National Conference in Arlington, Va., Oct. 29-31. With little sense of direction, vision or purpose, community associations have achieved the same place in homeowners' hearts as the Internal Revenue Service, Herrington said, and managers must take action to correct this.
Specific mistakes that Herrington finds in many community associations include heavy-handed rules enforcement, resident apathy, board members who serve to advance personal agendas, bureaucracy and astonishingly poor communication. In order to create a strong, thriving community, today's community association manager needs the business skills of a corporate executive and the heart of a social worker, providing leadership, inspiration and know-how to help volunteer boards create successful communities.
Herrington recommends infusing artful leadership into community management through:
At a breakout session following Herrington's speech, Robert A. Felix, CMCA, PCAM, offered concrete ideas for building community spirit:
Community association manager Bill Overton, PCAM, concluded the conference with an inspirational speech, saying "now is the time for community association managers to positively and proactively redefine our industry by refocusing on truly serving our customer, the homeowner. These are sensitive areas we work in—people's homes and communities. People—not buildings, rules or money—need to be our top priority."
The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.
For members and general inquiries, contact the
CAI Member Service Center:Phone: 703-970-9220
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy RepkePhone: 703-970-9239