The COVID-19 pandemic has been tragic and heartbreaking, but it’s also opening our eyes to a new normal that will have a lasting impact on our lives.

Like many of you, CAI was thrust into a virtual world. Our staff went from collaborating face-to-face to remote work. We canceled classroom education courses and the Annual Conference, moved the upcoming CEO-MC Retreat to a virtual format, and placed more emphasis on webinars and virtual courses. We postponed trips to visit our chapters and members around the globe, and turned to videoconferencing instead.

As I look back to those early days of online business, I am amazed at the speed in which the CAI staff, organization leaders, and our members embraced the change.

Almost overnight, we witnessed our chapters host dozens of live webinars to present additional resources to communities challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each one offered critical and valuable information.

At a time when many business partners felt a financial blow, we watched you remain steady and strong. You discovered new ways of business continuity, and you joined forces with other business partners—offering webinars and virtual chats to share insights, knowledge, and expertise.

We watched homeowner leaders and community managers display the true sense of community spirit during this new normal. One by one, you showed the world that people living together with a common goal can lead with empathy, care, and respect. You showed that committee and board meetings held virtually could still be effective, and you showed fiscal responsibility in managing budgets and offering leniency when necessary.

During these months of crisis, each of us did something that changed the course of this organization. We showed up. We took care of each other. We showed that the community association housing model is strong, resilient, and essential.

Together, we know that sometimes a crisis can force us into unchartered waters, but it’s our solid foundation that keeps us swimming toward new beginnings.

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