Community Associations Institute (CAI) is breaking international ground with the launch of its first overseas chapter in South Africa. The Board of Trustees approved the chapter December 16.
South Africa is CAI’s 60th chapter.
In an effort to expand their global presence, CAI and its sister organization, the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers (NBC-CAM), have partnered with South Africa’s Association of Residential Communities (ARC) to help develop standards for community management within the country.
The collaboration will create a delivery channel for CAI’s popular educational courses, as well as give members of the South Africa chapter the opportunity to earn CAI designations and NBC-CAM’s Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential.
“This is definitely a major step toward professionalizing the estate manager occupation in South Africa,” says Jeff Gillmour, chair of the new chapter. “For the first time, directors of a homeowners association will have a standard with which to work when selecting new managers. Not only will this be an international standard, but the South African government, through the Services Sector Education and Training Authority, has adopted this and included the occupation and professional standard in the South African National Qualifications Framework.”
“This is an exciting and important step for CAI,” says 2010 CAI President Michael Nagle, Esq. “It’s a landmark relationship that demonstrates global respect for CAI and its programs and services, especially our Professional Management Development Program (PMDP). It’s further validation of the invaluable work and expertise of CAI member volunteers who develop and teach our professional education courses.”
Earlier this year, CAI past president and faculty member Michael Packard, PCAM, traveled to South Africa to teach two of CAI’s most popular courses, the Essentials of Community Association Management (M-100) and Facilities Maintenance (M-201).
Packard, who familiarized himself with the culture, business practices and local laws prior to teaching the courses, has helped CAI cultivate meaningful relationships with housing officials and professionals in Australia, Dubai, South Africa and Mexico. In 2008, he and faculty member Rob Felix, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, RS, taught the M-100 to students in Dubai. In 2009, Packard was recognized for his international efforts by being honored with the CAI’s prestigious President’s Award.
“Thanks to the support of members like Mike and Rob, we have forged strong relationships with our friends and peers in South Africa and elsewhere,” says CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, CAE. “There is a lot CAI can offer and a lot we can learn from each other. That is the essence and promise of CAI, and it’s all made possible by member volunteers who provide their time and expertise to CAI and the ideal of professionalism."
The new South Africa chapter is just one of the many ways CAI is turning heads within the global community. Along with this venture, CAI hosted more than 50 international members at its 2010 Annual Conference and Exposition in May. Those guests were among more than 1,700-plus conference participants.
During that conference, the CAI Board of Trustees formalized its commitment to further develop CAI’s global relationships, unanimously passing a resolution to “expand international reach and pursue the acceptance of best practices and professionalism.” That decision states that CAI will leverage its resources to help “enhance the experience for all people living in common-interest communities.”
CAI is following through with its promise to support international community associations and management professionals by offering educational courses abroad. CAI teamed up in December with the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) to present two of these courses—Association Communication (M-202) and Association Leadership (M-203)—in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We are committed building and strengthening these international relationships,” adds Skiba. “CAI’s expertise is increasingly valuable for those who are navigating the opportunities and challenges of association governance and management. That’s what we do best.”
Established in Gauteng, South Africa, ARC proactively supports the members of homeowners associations and bodies corporate as well as their management teams in the achievement of their vision to protect, maintain and enhance the value of the property as well as the lives and lifestyles of their residents.
CAI is a 30,000-member, national association dedicated to fostering successful community associations. Working in partnership with almost 60 state and regional chapters, CAI provides information, education and resources to associations and the professionals who support them. Its mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship, ideals reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home. Visit www.caionline.org or call (888) 224-4321.
MEDIA CONTACT: Blaine TobinPhone: 703-970-9235