Day two of the 2024 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW introduced attendees to conference education sessions designed to motivate and inform on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to the Corporate Transparency Act, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.

The three-day conference is the premier destination for community association board managers, managers, and business partners from around the world to come together, share ideas in education sessions, and network. Here are some highlights from day two. 

Education session: Standard Practice: Explaining the Updated Reserve Study Standards

Presenters Michelle Baldry, RS, Robert Browning, PCAM, RS, and Co-Lee Grev, AMS, PCAM, RS, discussed how community associations should incorporate preventive maintenance and structural inspections into their reserve studies as part of the updated Reserve Study Standards released by CAI. In light of the tragic partial collapse of Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., three years ago, the new recommendations incorporate maintenance and structural integrity into the reserve study process and provide guidance and methodology in the preparation of reserve studies for all varieties of community association ownership types and physical configurations.

Education session: Community AI: Understanding the Impact on Our Industry

Presenter Brad Perry discussed how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the community management industry in the years ahead. As the industry adapts to the updating technology, Perry recommends that community management professionals begin incorporating some form of AI technology to assist them in their daily tasks. Before diving into the new technologies, though, Perry advises that professionals research their organization’s policies regarding AI and take steps to protect their information, such as setting up a separate email account to use for AI tasks.

Education session: Now What? The Latest on the Corporate Transparency Act and Potential Impacts

Ronald J. Barba, Esq., and Scott B. Carpenter, Esq., a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, discussed the latest updates to the Corporate Transparency Act. The law was meant to address international money laundering activities. However, it impacts most entities including community associations. Reporting entities must provide beneficial ownership information yearly to the treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Required details includes board members’ and directors’ personal information.

While much is still unknown about the future of the Act, legal experts advise that community associations take the new mandatory filing requirements seriously. Existing community associations must comply with the law’s reporting requirements by Jan. 1, 2025, and Barba urges community association leaders to begin the process now, ensuring compliance and avoiding severe penalties.

Education session: Effective Communication in a Hurricane of Options 

Ursula Burgess, an attorney with Rees Broome in Tysons Corner, Va., a CCAL fellow, and a CAI past president, offered attendees pragmatic ways to better manage the deluge of emails industry professionals receive daily. She recommends setting boundaries around email communications to be more efficient and effective.

Ruhi Mirza, also an attorney with Rees Broome in Tysons Corner, Va., encouraged professionals to develop practical communication policies for responding to emails and dealing with disgruntled residents.

Emails, texts, and virtual meetings are convenient and useful, but it’s easy to forget an old fashioned basic action. “If there’s a true emergency, pick up the phone,” Mirza says.

Education session: More Than a Buzz Word: Everyday Considerations for DEI in Our Communities

During a panel on diversity, equity and inclusion, Alexis Firehawk, Esq., a CCAL fellow, Noelle Hicks, Esq., Melissa Ramsey, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, and Augustus Shaw, IV, Esq., a CCAL fellow, recommended professionals boost their awareness of differences and step up efforts to include residents of all kinds in community activities and decisions.

It’s important to develop talking points and policies when talking about diversity, says Firehawk, urging professionals to take a step back and look for “blindspots” that may inadvertently cause offense.

Hicks recommends doing surveys after events to learn what residents want so they can improve diversity and inclusion in future events, and Ramsey, CAI president-elect, recommends finding other words to describe DEI concepts to get important messages out in communities and build buy in.

“Inclusion creates investment,” says Shaw. “It ultimately makes operating the association so much easier.”

>>Revisit highlights from the first day of conference and look for a recap of Friday’s education sessions soon.

  • Joni Lucas
  • Daniel Brannigan

    Daniel Brannigan is CAI's Director of Publishing and Managing Editor of Common Ground™ magazine. He has been editor of CAI's flagship publication since 2010 and previously edited CAI's newsletters Community Manager, Minutes, and Law Reporter. Daniel has helped guide Common Ground to awards for feature article design and single-topic issue from Association Media & Publishing's EXCEL Awards. Community Manager picked up six awards for general excellence and newswriting under Daniel's guidance from 2007-2010. A former reporter, Daniel is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, daughter, pug, and cat.

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