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Virginia Attorney Heads List of CAI Award Recipients

5/19/2015  -  Falls Church, VA

Virginia attorney Wil Washington was recognized for his “exemplary service and commitment to CAI” with the organization’s prestigious 2014 President’s Award at CAI’s recent Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.The award is presented solely at the discretion of CAI’s immediate past president, in this case Julie McGhee Howard, an attorney in Atlanta.

The award is presented to a member who has been instrumental in helping achieve the organization’s goals, a service Washington has rendered to CAI for years in a variety of capacities.

Washington is a founding partner in the Fairfax, Va., law firm Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore and Bunn, which specializes in community association and real estate law. A prolific author and presenter, Washington is a past president of CAI’s Washington Metropolitan chapter and a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers. He also served on the national Board of Trustees, and his firm is one of 25 members of CAI’s President’s Club. He is a graduate of Duke University and the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

"It’s an honor to receive this special award from Immediate Past President Julie Howard," said Washington."It represents a very nice cherry on top of all of the great relationships I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy with my friends in CAI and represents a pretty cool reminder that all of those years of teaching, meeting and writing for CAI have been appreciated. Thanks again to Julie, my wonderfully supportive team at Chadwick, Washington and my many CAI friends for giving me a very special memory."

Other 2014 award recipients

Educator of the Year. Paul L. Orlando Jr.CMCA, LSM, PCAM, vice president of management at SFMC Inc., AAMC, in Manassas, Va., was named Educator of the Year. Orlando has taught dozens of courses since he joined CAI’s faculty in 2009, including the Essentials of Community Association Volunteer Leadership, and a number of chapter programs. Also a content reviewer, he helped update the M-340 course (Managing the Large-Scale Association). Orlando is a long-time member of the Virginia Legislative Action Committee and was named recently to Virginia’s Regulatory Board for Common-Interest Communities.

Award of Excellence in Membership. Considered "an invaluable ambassador for CAI," Jerome W. Burg, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, principal of Burg Management Company, AAMC, in Panama City Beach, Fla., received the Award of Excellence in Membership for his "demonstrated leadership in supporting CAI membership campaigns and as an active and consistent recruiter."

Award of Excellence in Government and Public Affairs. The Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) Brief Committee, chaired in 2014 by Stephen M. Marcus of the law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks in Braintree, Mass., was asked to review a record 19 legal cases, as compared to 15 in 2013 and 2012 combined. Committee members worked countless hours reading and analyzing the cases to determine how best to work them in regard to CAI public policy.

Legislative Action Committee of the Year. The Maryland Legislative Action Committee (LAC) is a well-organized group with active representation and strong leaders from all categories of membership. The LAC studied close to 50 pieces of legislation in 2014, 11 of which were deemed detrimental to associations and actively opposed, while 16 bills were actively supported in whole or part. The 2014 Maryland LAC was and still is chaired by Phyllis A. Marsh of Annapolis.

Byron Hanke Award. Named for one of CAI’s original founders, the Byron Hanke Award is presented periodically to honor those who support the education of and research for homeowners and homeowner-led associations. Although historically presented to an individual, the 2014 Byron Hanke Award was presented to the entire 2014 Community Association Volunteers Committee—Dr. Robert Rothwell (chair), Julie Hardy Cramer (chair-elect), Sharon Brimer, John Connors, David Holt, Robert Riddick, CMCA, and Judy Silva. They were recognized for their support of the complete renovation of CAI’s homeowner education course, now called the Board Leadership Development Workshop.

Award of Excellence in Chapter Leadership. Mickel Graham, PCAM, vice president of strategic marketing and industry relations at Union Bank, was honored with the Award of Excellence in Chapter Leadership. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to advance national-chapter relations, and provided support and guidance to chapter leaders. Graham has been a champion and mentor for CAI chapter leaders and chapter executive directors (CEDs) for many years. A frequent speaker at chapter events, Graham has worked to ensure that CAI’s CED scholarship has funding to support two CEDs to attend each annual conference.

Author of the Year. Jesse Howard Witt, Esq., principal of The Witt Law Firm in Boulder, Colo., was recognized as Author of the Year. His filings on behalf of CAI in multiple cases have helped raise the profile of CAI’s amicus curiae (friend of the court) program nationally and strengthened CAI’s role within Colorado’s community association and legal communities. A member of CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee, Witt also serves on the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s amicus curiae committee.

Recruiter of the Year. Kevin G. McGrath, PCAM, president of Benjamin Cobrin & Company, a management company in the Delaware Valley, was named Recruiter of the Year. A dedicated volunteer and member of the Pennsylvania/Delaware Valley chapter since 1966, McGrath recruited 25 new members in 2014 and actively supported CAI membership campaigns.

President’s Award, Foundation for Community Association Research. Clifford J. Treese, CIRMS, received the Foundation President’s Award.  An active contributor and member of the Foundation’s Research Committee, he serves as the lead researcher and content manager for the Community Association Fact Book, the most comprehensive collection of community association data ever compiled. The online resource includes more than 1,000 pages of information and links to a vast array of additional resources. The Fact Book, now being updated with 2014 data, is the resource for anyone who wants to know more about common-interest communities.

"These award winners and many more like them among CAI’s membership are essential to our continued growth, influence and success," says CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, CAE. "Our national and chapter staff members are talented, hard-working professionals, but they can only accomplish so much. Like any membership association, we depend on the expertise and dedication of members to volunteer their time and skills to make CAI the organization it is. We cannot thank them often enough."

CAI Chapter Awards

Chapter Executive Director of the Year

  • Kim McClain, Connecticut

Chapter Executive Director Rising Star

  • Leah Ross, Channel Islands (Calif.)
  • Mindy Knudson, Utah

Best Net Membership Growth

  • Ohio Valley (small chapter—10 percent)
  • Central Virginia and Channel Islands (medium chapters—13 percent)
  • Channel Islands (medium chapter—13 percent)
  • South Carolina (large chapter—6 percent)
  • Chesapeake (very large Chapter—12 percent)

Best Net Membership Retention Rate

  • Central Ohio (small chapter—96 percent)
  • Channel Islands (medium chapter—98 percent)
  • Greater Inland Empire (large chapter—93 percent)
  • Greater Los Angeles (very large chapter—91 percent)

"In many ways, our 60 chapters are the lifeblood of CAI," says Crystal Wallace, CAE, CAI’s vice president of membership and chapter relations. "That’s where our more than 33,000 members live and work, where they build communities, careers and businesses and where they make professional connections and lifelong friendships. That’s an essential benefit of CAI and a big part of what makes membership so valuable to so many homeowners and community association professionals."

With more than 33,000 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