FCAP Community—January 2020

FCAP Community

Published January 2020

       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) courses. For further information about the more than 50 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

Tiffany D. Jackson, LCAM, CMCA®, AMS®, Earns Her CFCAM Designation From FCAP

     Tiffany Jackson is one of two recent recipients of the Becker law firm’s CFCAM (Certified Florida Community Association Manager) scholarship. Upon completion of the 40-hour Florida Advanced CAM Studies course, FCAP was excited to recognize Tiffany for earning her CFCAM designation.

     A Maryland native, Tiffany has lived in Florida for more than 10 years and considers it home. Happily married, she has two wonderful daughters and is truly blessed to be married to her best friend and soul mate.

     In her professional life, Tiffany has always embraced a career that involves assisting people with where they live. Her career began in the apartment housing industry (both affordable and luxury), then she became a licensed real estate agent, and finally she graduated to community association management. Seeing the positive impact you have on a community is the greatest reward of being a CAM.

     With more than 15 years’ experience in property management and real estate, becoming a CAM was a great fit with her background and education. In 2015, Tiffany became a licensed CAM and worked as a portfolio manager, with a portfolio of 15 condominium and HOA communities. Then she accepted an opportunity to become an on-site CAM for a large, self-managed cooperative where she has been employed since May 2016.

     At Fairway Village Residents Association (FVRA), she works with a team of 12 employees, nine board members, several committees, many vendors, and serves more than 1200 residents. FVRA has 751 homes on 128 acres, a private nine-hole par three golf course with pro shop, two pools and spas, a top-notch covered shuffleboard court, and a 17,000 sq. ft. clubhouse. Fairway Village is a 55+ active adult community with more than 70 social activities.

     There are a few things that led to Tiffany’s decision to pursue the prestigious CFCAM designation. She first learned about the designation when she saw a former colleague, who had earned her CFCAM, featured in an FLCAJ article. Being a member of Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP), she became very interested in obtaining the designation. Later, she read about the Becker Scholarship Essay Contest. This was a great opportunity, and she entered an essay in the contest. In August 2019, she was ecstatic to find out that she was one of the two winners.

     When asked what some of the major issues are that CAMs are facing, she says, “finding reputable contractors during strong economic growth, keeping up with an ever-changing environment (i.e., regulations, board member changes, technology, etc.), and finding balance and avoiding burn-out.

     Tiffany is proud of her many professional achievements including her recent completion of the CFCAM course. She remarks, “The one that had the biggest impact on me was being awarded the 2019 National On-Site Manager of the Year. It has been my greatest achievement for several reasons. Contestants had to make their way through different stages of the competition. Some stages included being judged by fellow industry colleagues, and other stages included online voting that included the residents of the community. It was a tough competition, one that I am truly humbled and honored to have won.”

     Tiffany says her biggest influence “has been several people who have been instrumental in my success and who have influenced me over the years. Of them all, I would have to say that Marcy Kravit with AKAM, the 2014 National On-Site Manager of the Year, has been a major influence for me. Her frequent articles and tips in the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ) always have great information and content.”

     What does Tiffany enjoy doing during her free time? She comments, “Free time is a cherished time. I enjoy doing a variety of activities. With our schedules conflicting at times, I really enjoy quality time with my husband and family. Living just a few miles to the central gulf coast waters, we regularly enjoy sunset walks, fishing, listening to a live band, or grabbing a bite at our favorite restaurants. I love spending time with my daughters, Alanna (22) and Akira (20), when they have time. As Maryland natives, steamed blue crabs are one of our favorite foods. Sitting around chatting, picking and eating those yummy crabs, provides family bonding time for us. I also enjoy swimming and photography, particularly taking pictures of the unique birds of Florida. Kayaking is another activity I really enjoy, especially when it’s tandem, and my hubby rows us back because I talked him into going too far!”

     Tiffany is an example of excellence in the industry. Congratulations again to Tiffany for obtaining her CFCAM designation!

Marcy Kravit

A Manager’s Guide to Walking Through the Aftermath of A Suicide in the Workplace
Marcy L. Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM
Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) Education and Training Coordinator
AKAM On-Site Managing Director

     In the past three years, I have witnessed the aftermath of two residents and a manager taking their lives by jumping off a 31-story condominium high-rise. Suicide is becoming more widespread in our society. It is shocking and unfathomable.

     U.S. suicides overall totaled nearly 45,000 in 2016, a 35 percent increase compared with 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Nationwide, the numbers for suicides are rising. Suicide events impact fellow residents, staff, and the family on all levels—physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

     As managers we are only human and will experience anger, fear, and grief. These events lead us to putting everything in perspective, and we cannot help feeling the trauma from the unexpected loss.

     All of a sudden, nothing makes sense. Pictures of the trauma play out in our heads. What did he or she think or feel? Was he or she in pain? It is extremely frustrating trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense!

     As professionals in these types of situations, we must maintain our composure and professionalism, and we must be able to think on our feet and attend to the needs of the people and the property.

Recommended Steps:

  • Once reported, inform 911 of the death.
  • Cordon off the area. Contain the crisis.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement, as they will conduct an investigation.
  • Preserve any surveillance video.
  • Document the time of the discovery and details related to the incident.
  • Protect and respect the privacy rights of the deceased and their loved ones.
  • Contact the deceased’s family to offer condolences after the authorities have contacted the family, inquire what the association can do to assist, discuss what others should be told, and inquire about funeral arrangements.
  • Establish a plan to immediately notify staff of the death and convey the message to control rumors and respect the family’s confidentiality and privacy.
  • Offer practical assistance to the family.
  • Identify and link impacted employees to additional support resources and refer those most affected to professional mental health services.
  • Support, comfort, and promote healthy grieving of the residents, family, and employees who have been impacted by the loss.
  • Because of the depth of emotions, as manager it is advised that you bring in experienced and professionally trained grief counselors, and structure individual and group sessions.
  • Advise staff that only the media spokesperson is authorized to speak to the media, and staff may not provide interviews. Staff should refrain from discussing the details with other residents and should not take photos or videos of the scene.
  • Convey to others out of respect for the family that we are all mourning the passing of the individual during this difficult time and refrain from further discussion.
  • The cleanup after a traumatic or unattended death necessitates the hiring of a biohazard cleaning service that maintains the protective gear necessary to safely remediate the aftermath of this tragedy. Keep in mind that this gear is designed specifically to address biohazard remediation.
  • Implement postvention. It is psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and other support offered after a suicide to affected individuals or the workplace as a whole to alleviate possible negative effects of the event.

     As manager, you play a critical role when it comes to helping those grieving a person’s suicide. First and foremost, as manager, you should approach suicide and its aftermath with compassion for the residents, staff, and the bereaved.

     Second, be understanding and listen carefully to ascertain the needs of individual employees, residents, and the bereaved. Needs will vary from one individual to the next.

     Third, managers should take the lead in applying corporate Human Resource (HR) policies designed to help surviving family members with practical matters. This behavior will model for others that it is all right to reach out beyond the confines of the work environment to help.

     For example, some employees only distantly acquainted with the deceased may be able to return to a regular work routine quickly, and others who were close to the deceased may require additional time to adjust to the death and grieve.

     As managers we need to recognize our unique role and the impact the suicide will have on the community within the first few days for the short term and overall for the long term.

     If you are faced with a situation in which you discover the remains of an individual who experienced a traumatic or unattended death, your best protection of your emotional and psychological well-being is by limiting your exposure to the remains at the scene and to the hiring of a biohazard company experienced in the cleanup tasks following the removal of the body.

     A person in the position of discovering the remains of a loved one can end up experiencing more than the level of grief associated with the passing of a an individual if caution is not exercised. An individual in this situation runs the risk of experiencing the following:

  • Traumatic grief
  • Combination of emotional and psychological reactions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

     Managers do not need to be experts on grief and mourning. It is helpful to know that grieving is a process that varies from individual to individual. During the initial phase, understand that it may be very difficult for some people to maintain focus, get back to work, and be productive.

    However, after the first couple of days, most people will long for things to get “back to normal” and will find a way to continue grieving while simultaneously taking care of their other responsibilities by keeping busy.

     Managers can help support this natural grieving and healing process in several ways:

  • Be aware of what types of workplace productivity concessions may be made the first couple of days (time off, lightened duties, funeral attendance, etc.).
  • Manage by walking around. In other words, be visible and check in with staff and residents.
  • Help find the right balance between commemorating the deceased but not memorializing the death in a dramatic or glorified fashion.
  • Be a role model for healthy grieving as well. It’s okay for managers to acknowledge their own feelings regarding the loss of a colleague or resident and possibly even speak of their own coping strategies.

     If you or someone you know might be contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call (800) 273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis text live.

     In an emergency, call 911 or contact a local hospital or mental health facility.

     Additional Resources:

Betsy Barbieux

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

     In an HOA, if you have a properly noticed annual meeting but do not meet the quorum requirements, must you reschedule and try again, or do you just not have a meeting for that year? Would the existing board remain for another year?
– Lori

     If there was an item at the ann-ual meeting that the owners nee-ded to vote on, like an amendment, you would need to send out notices again within the 90 days and try to get a quorum a second time. 
     If you had candidates for the board, the awkward way that Chapter 720 was changed a couple of years ago says that those candidates become board members regardless of whether a quorum was present at the meeting. 
     If the number of candidates is less than the number of seats, then at the board’s organizational meeting, those board members would appoint others to fill those vacancies. If there were no candidates for the board, the existing board continues.
– Betsy

     I hope this note finds you doing well—I’ll be moving your way soon and look forward to visiting! I do have a very, very interesting question that has been posed to me, and I can’t find the answer, but my gut tells me you’ll know. So here goes—
     In an organizational meeting, when the floor is opened for nomination for president by another board member, can the person who is nominated second the motion? To drill it down, Tom nominates Fred for president. I say, do I hear a second; can Fred second the motion? After all, each one gets a vote. So, what say you?
     I so look forward to your reply. Many sincere thanks,
– Joey   

     I look forward to catching up with you when you get down this way. I do not have my Robert’s Rules of Order book in my hotel room, but I would say that “yes,” the person being nominated can offer a second. 
     However, I have not ever seen board members elect officers that formally. In my little communities, they put their elbows up on the table and say, “Ok, who wants to be president this year?” and continue on down the line. Then by general consent, they agree that these three or four people will be the new officers. 
     I can imagine there is more formal and somewhat contentious voting for officers, but since a board member could have nominated himself for a position, I see no reason why that same board member cannot offer a second.
– Betsy

     I need help finding where it states that a homeowner cannot go rogue and call contractors and vendors to get prices for association items and then give them to me and tell me this needs to be addressed by the board.
     Also, I would like to discuss you coming to South Florida to teach a class or two. Let me know your availability.
– Colette

     Here it is.
     Section 718.111 The association.—
      (c) A unit owner does not have any authority to act for the association by reason of being a unit owner.
     You know I’ll be happy to come train your boards and/or your staff. We can work out a time after the first of the year.
– Betsy