FCAP Community—April 2021

FCAP Community

Published April 2021

     Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

Marcy L. Kravitz

Marcy Kravit Joins Hotwire Communications

     As Hotwire Communications continues to expand its network throughout South Florida, providing a full suite of telecommunications services to a growing number of communities, the company is excited to welcome Marcy Kravit as the regional director of account management for all its Broward County properties.

     As a well-known and highly respected name among many of South Florida’s communities, with more than 20 years of experience as a community association manager responsible for managing and representing multi-unit and multi-home residential communities, Marcy has earned a reputation for the same kind of exceptional customer service that Hotwire Communications prides itself on.

     Widely regarded as an industry leader, Marcy’s achievements include numerous awards recognizing her as one of the best-on site managers in the nation, and she has contributed the monthly “CAM to CAM” column to the Florida Community Association Journal since 2009, sharing her deep understanding of the changing demands of communities and the considerations of community association management, including the importance of navigating bulk contracts and taking full advantage of the unique possibilities of combined services.

     “We couldn’t be more excited about the energy, dedication, and extensive experience Marcy brings to this role,” said Hotwire Communication Regional EVP Joe Ferst. “She’s an incredible addition to the Hotwire family, and her values both professionally and personally are completely in sync with our dedication to providing a best-in-class, white-glove service experience to each of Hotwire’s customers.”

     Marcy’s first goals are bringing awareness to community associations about what sets Hotwire Communications apart from its competitors and how the benefits that a fiber optic network brings can enhance the value of any community.

     “My readiness and ability to represent Hotwire as a regional director for Broward County will encompass my passion for education, technology, and 20-plus years of managing community associations,” said Marcy Kravit. “Hotwire’s sophisticated fiber technology services and community association management services go hand-in-hand, and this transformation in merging distinctive five-star services will support the boards of directors and managers in providing their communities the most reliable and fastest internet service and quality IPTV, Wi-Fi, and phone services.”

Karen Lillie

Karen Lillie—Congratulations to the Newest Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM)!

     As the newest CFCAM, Karen Lillie began her career in the medical industry and advanced to a finance manager with a geriatric care management company. In 2010, she transitioned to property management as a general manager for a management company that focused on commercial, retail, and residential communities. During that time, she was a director for a high rise in downtown Tampa for four years.  This motivated her to obtain her community association manager license in 2014, which led to her position with FirstService Residential.

     While serving on an association board of directors and having already become involved in the property management industry, Karen found the industry to be more rewarding with greater opportunities and an overall better fit. While working with FirstService Residential as a board director, this afforded her an inside look at a reputable property management corporation. In addition, Maureen Connolly, VP at FirstService, had a keen sense and passion that truly inspired her to transition to become a community association manager (CAM).

     Karen shares that personal and professional growth are very important. The challenges with the evolving property management position are instrumental in this growth. She is always learning and gaining valuable experience in her position as well as researching the industry to remain up to date with current events, statutory changes, continuing education credits, and accreditation programs. She says, “The CFCAM designation is an accreditation I wanted in my repertoire to further establish me as a reputable professional community association manager.”         

     When asked about challenges facing CAMs in 2021, Karen points out the following issues:

  • Communities are comprised of residents with many different views and concerns related to COVID-19. As vaccinations continue and the number of cases fluctuate throughout 2021, managers will be challenged with keeping updated, community-specific COVID-19 guidelines based on continuously changing federal, state, and local guidelines while considering and addressing all resident concerns.
  • Many businesses across the country have experienced hardships in 2020. In 2021, the hardships are expected to continue. Managers must be proactive and prepare for the possibility of these business hardships trickling down to community residents. Managers will need to monitor for early indicators and work with their board to prepare for the possibility of late monthly maintenance fees, bankruptcies, and short sales.

     Karen is proud of her transition from the medical field to property management and staying focused on her goals. She remarks, “I have advanced to my current position as manager of The Residences of SandPearl Resort, one of the most prestigious properties on Clearwater Beach. I’m very proud and thankful to manage such an exclusive property and be part of this team.” 

     She says her biggest influence has been her family with their continuous support, encouragement, and guidance that has taught her that she can do anything if she works hard and is passionate about her goals. 

     In her free time, Karen shares, “I love workouts, nutrition, dinner at my favorite restaurants on the beach, and time spent with my family.”

Betsy Barbieux

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

     Our HOA board meeting will be held soon, and we were planning to discuss a special assessment.
     According to §720.303 (2)(c)2  
     An assessment may not be levied at a board meeting unless the notice of the meeting includes a statement that assessments will be considered and the nature of the  assessments. Written notice of any meeting at which special assessments will be considered or at which amendments to rules regarding parcel use will be considered must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and parcel owners and posted conspicuously on the property or broadcast on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14 days before the meeting.
     So, does this mean we cannot discuss a special assessment or an amendment to the declaration adding parking rules at the board meeting without giving 14-days’ notice? 
     Thank you for your help. I have learned much from watching your YouTube videos.
– Margaret

     That question was posed to a representative of the Division of Condominiums several years ago at a workshop I attended, and the answer was the 14-days’ notice, etc., is required for the “final” vote but not the meetings leading up to the final vote.
     Unfortunately, our statutes are written by attorneys who don’t use common language, and they use the word “considered” when we normal people would use the word “vote” or “adopt.”
     However, I am not an attorney, so you may want to check with your attorney for his/her interpretation.
– Betsy

     We have committee members and board members who take it upon themselves to call our attorney for every little thing, and we keep paying more and more legal fees for which we are not budgeted. Is this proper?
– Rick

     Your contract with the attorney should designate one point of contact. This practice of allowing anyone to contact the attorney must stop. I am somewhat surprised that the attorney would answer questions from anyone other than the president or other designated person. The individuals calling the attorney should foot the bill, not the association.
– Betsy

     Should the members of the fine/appeals committee board members be appointed at an open board meeting and the names noted in the minutes? If they were not, is the fine/appeals committee legal?
      And what about notice requirements for the fine/appeals committee meeting? Is it to be posted with an agenda?
– Alan

     The legislation is not specific as to whether or not to post a notice and agenda of the fine/appeals committee. So, I don’t know if the Division has the ability to enforce one way or the other.
     I was on the HOA fine/appeals committee where I live, and we did not keep minutes; we used a form on which we noted our affirmation or denial of the fine/suspension and returned it to the CAM.
     Best practices would say that appointments are made by the board and should be noted in the minutes of that board meeting. You might check with your insurance agent as to the wisdom for liability purposes of having committees appointed by the board noted in the minutes.
     According to §718.303(3)(b) 
     A fine or suspension levied by the board of administration may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 days’ notice to the parcel owner and, … and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of at least three members appointed by the board who are not officers, directors, or employees of the association, or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer, director, or employee….The role of the committee is limited to determining whether to confirm or reject the fine or suspension levied by the board. If the proposed fine or suspension levied by the board is approved by the committee, the fine payment is due 5 days after the date of the committee meeting at which the fine is approved.…
– Betsy

     Does the law give CAMs 10 days to reply to a request to access records or to respond to an email or phone message? What about COVID-19? Are there any extensions granted by the DBPR for timely responses?
– Mario

     The HOA statute says that whoever is in charge of keeping the records has 10 business days within which to answer a certified mail written request to access records. The statute does not specify if “written” could also include a request made by email, text message (though email or text could not be certified mail), or a paper letter. The board should establish a policy as to what “written” means. There is no mention of how long you have to respond to emails or telephone messages. That would be an internal policy.     
     The law allows the board to create policies and procedures for how and when and how many records an owner can request. I am not sure why most boards do not have them.
     As far as I know, there are no exemptions for COVID-19.
– Betsy

Board Success—Past, Present, and Future
By Gianna (deCastro) Rahmani, LCAM, PCAM

     Welcome! Celebrating a new beginning is the perfect time to assess the past, evaluate your present, and plan for the future. Fortunately, this New Year, we can literally use our “2020 vision” to our advantage. Among other things, last year helped us all remember the importance of relationships and communication. These are keys to making your term on the board successful, so connect with your neighbors and your management partner and discuss the past, present, and future of your community if you haven’t already.

      What are your goals as a board member, how do they fit into the goals of the community, and what is the plan to reach these goals? Establishing your purpose and creating a plan of action is vital, as much as communicating your needs with your management partner—we appreciate your role as a volunteer and understand that the job is ours to help execute your plan and to make your life as a board member easier. 

      Even if you are not new to the board, the excitement of having rung in 2021 should still be strong. A New Year is an opportunity to re-energize and, equally important, to carry that energy throughout the year. One of the ways Castle Group stays motivated is to consciously ingrain its values into what we do and how we do things, and to constantly search for ways to improve them. It started just as we’ve encouraged above, by articulating what our foundational goal was and laying it out, as seen in our Castle Constitution (www.castlegroup.com/castle-constitution). Remembering why you started will always inspire you to keep pushing, wherever you may be in the process. Cheers to a successful term and a productive New Year!

      Having already been in real estate and property management for five-plus years, Gianna entered the community association sector in 2007, soon earning the designations of Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®), Association Management Specialist (AMS®), and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM®).

     She is active with the Community Associations Institute (CAI), being once named a Rising Star and, most recently, the Northeast Florida Chapter’s 2019 CAM of the Year.

     Gianna’s principles perfectly match Castle Group’s core values, and she proudly represents Castle in creating an unparalleled resident experience in communities throughout Florida.