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Not Everything That Happens in Vegas Should Stay There

As I type this, I am sitting at the airport in Houston, TX. I am returning home after attending the CAI National Conference in Las Vegas. This was my first time attending National, and it did not disappoint! It was such an amazing experience on so many levels. There were so many wonderful things about my time in Vegas, it’s hard to know where to start. 

First and foremost, I was so proud and excited to be there to cheer on my fellow CAI Keystone Chapter members as they accepted awards and designations, in front of so many members from all over the world. Mitch Frumkin was presented with the Distinguished Service Award, which is only given every few years! Joyce Sachs was recognized as the Homeowner Leader of the Year. Our chapter was recognized with an award for Chapter Budget Growth & Financial Sustainability in the Chapter Operations and Sustainability category. And Cathy Dunn earned her LMS designation! It just goes to show how great our chapter and its members really are!

I think one of the most beneficial parts of the conference is the educational sessions. There were several breakout sessions to choose from every day, with a variety of topics. Whether you are a manager, business partner, or homeowner volunteer, there was no shortage of topics that will help you do what you do, but better. As a business partner on the legal side of the industry, I naturally  chose sessions related to legal issues. But available topics ranged from insurance/risk management, artificial intelligence, protecting mental health, dealing with toxic workplaces, funding reserves, and much, much, more! 

The networking opportunities are another great benefit of the conference. There was an endless supply of exhibitors that cater to our industry: banking, software, landscapers, on-line voting platforms, and many more. Chances are if you need someone to help your management company or association, there’s a business partner attending the conference that can help you! 

The keynote speaker was Bert Jacobs, of the Life is Good brand. He discussed how he and people he had known had overcome challenges with a positive mindset. It really got me thinking about how a positive mindset can change the way we all work and live. Our industry can cause burnout and can cause mental health struggles. But his message was thought provoking and inspirational. Life truly is good, if you choose to focus on the good!

I was also very fortunate to meet a lot of people that I’m connected with through LinkedIn for the first time. These industry professionals are thought leaders that provide valuable insight to other managers and business partners.  After liking and commenting on their posts for years, shaking their hands and sharing a meal in person was incredible! 

One of the most exciting LinkedIn connections I was fortunate to meet was CAI’s new President, Jeevan D’Mello, GDArch, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, DAS. Jeevan lives and works in Dubai, and he is the first international President of CAI. During his speech to members, he explained how he ended up in our industry. Many years ago, before Dubai was the fast-growing destination it is today, Jeevan was working for a developer and trying to bring the community association model to that part of the world. They simply didn’t exist there. During his research, he came upon CAI, and the rest as they say, is history.  He made it his mission to not only learn everything he could, but to share that knowledge with other professionals in Dubai and around the world. There are CAI members in all corners of the globe who all share best practices, earn their CMCAs and other designations, and help to make their associations the best they can be no matter where they are! This is truly a global organization, which is pretty darn cool!

Being a member of CAI can be so beneficial both professionally and personally. You will get out of it what you put into it! If you have thought of attending in the past, but are not sure it’s worth it, go! I can honestly say that making the time to attend National will be worth it! They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but I plan to bring all my experiences and knowledge gained at the National conference home so I can put it to use at work and for our clients. I hope to see you there next time!

Denise Adamic, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, EBP
serves as Director of Community Association Services for the Community Association Practice Group at Horn Williamson, LLC. She has been a community management professional for 20+ years and knows firsthand the day-to-day needs and challenges of board members and their managers. Denise is the immediate past-chair of CAI Keystone’s Communications & Content Committee and continues to serve on that committee for the chapter. She can be contacted via email at: dadamic@hornwilliamson.com. Learn more about Horn Williamson by visiting: www.hornwilliamson.com.