By: Ana Sanchez Rivero, CAM
Have you ever wanted to learn more about your role as a Board member, but did not know where to go? Did you ever wonder what was the best way to deal with a particular topic in your community? Or how the laws in the State of Florida affecting condominium and homeowner associations are formed? Well part of the answer can be found at the Community Association Institute. The CAI, as it is better known, is an organization servicing the needs of board members and CAMs alike. In this week’s podcast of Community Association Matters, we interview Russell Robbins, Esq., past president of the Southeast Florida Chapter of CAI.
Russell, who is an attorney with Basulto Robbins & Associations, LLP, is the immediate past president and a current Board Member of the local chapter. He is a great source of information as to the services offered by the Southeast Chapter of the CAI. Before we begin on some of those details it is important to understand the size and reach of CAI. CAI is an international organization and, according to its website, they have more than 34,000 members throughout 62 local chapters. They provide information, education, and training to board members and managers alike.
The Southeast Florida Chapter services Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. According to Russell, the CAI advocates for associations in times when no one else is advocating on their behalf. Through its local chapters the CAI offers a monthly breakfast in Broward and they discuss a variety of topics affecting condominium and homeowner associations. For Board members, these seminars sometimes cover such basic topics as: how to read a financial report, how to understand a budget, legal updates; and more specific topics affecting associations, such as how to deal with AirB&B, hoarding, or even emotional support dogs. At times they also invite local legislators to discuss the different laws that affect associations. For Managers, the educational monthly breakfasts allows them to acquire their 24 hour continued education credits that are required by the State of Florida in order to renew their license. In addition, the Southeast Florida Chapter of the CAI also offers fun events where board members, managers, and vendors alike can get together in a relaxed atmosphere.
The local chapter, and CAI in general, also include legislative action committees that help to draft some of the legislation affecting condominiums and homeowner associations in the state. In Florida that committee is called the Florida Legislative Alliance (FLA) and it is composed of representatives from the different CAI chapters throughout the state. Those representatives suggest language to correct ambiguities in the law that often occur when new legislation is introduced. Thru these committee members, members of CAI can have a direct impact on these laws.
The Southeast Florida Chapter CAI also holds an annual Expo. This year that expo is scheduled for October 5, 2017 at Gulfstream Park. Aside from meeting hundreds of exhibitors, the expo will also offer educational seminars, free to Board members. This includes the current Legislative Update, a Board Certification Course, and a third course, which typically covers an important topic affecting associations. It is a great opportunity to learn about unique services offered to associations.
The benefits of hiring a management company that is a member of CAI are numerous. According to Russell, these companies express a higher interest in the field of association management and wish to have a higher degree of education in the industry. Member companies want to be up to date on the most cutting edge of technology and work with vendors that understand associations. CAI offers a monthly magazine, webinars, and other educational materials online. In addition, they offer professional designations to managers who wish to advance their career.
For additional information on the Southeast Chapter of CAI please www.cai-seflorida.org. As always, I encourage you to listen to full episode of this podcast and you may do so by clicking here. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you do not miss out on future episodes.