2020 will be remembered for its social unrest, political conflict, and a pandemic, all of which significantly impacted our lives. Weddings were rescheduled, schools went virtual, and our contact with one another was limited by 6 feet of social distance. It certainly was a challenging year, but I believe there were some positive aspects too.

Communities worked together to support their residents in unprecedented ways. We learned of volunteers who ran errands for older residents and others with compromised immune systems. We saw birthday and graduation parades replace the more traditional in-person party. Health care workers received additional support from communities as they worked tirelessly to help those in need. We saw kindness and compassion on many different fronts as we all faced the turmoil.

CAI also responded to the challenges by providing new services and opportunities to support communities. This included offering free COVID-19 webinars, moving Professional Management Development Program classes online, and launching a comprehensive, regularly updated collection of webpages with COVID-19 sample forms, documents, guidelines, restrictions, and orders.

While I had little opportunity to interact with CAI members and chapters in person, I couldn’t be prouder to have served as CAI president during such a difficult time. I’m impressed with the work performed by CAI staff to aid our communities, and I’m so proud of the millions of residents in community associations who volunteered their time and resources to help neighbors, friends, frontline workers, and all of those who were impacted during this challenging year.

It is my sincere hope that we will continue to work together in this “new normal” and support one another as we go forward.

>>Read CAI’s 2020 Annual Report.

  • Ursula Burgess

    Ursula K. Burgess, a shareholder at Rees Broome in Tysons Corner, Va., is CAI's 2020 president. She has been practicing community association law for 15 years after working as a criminal defense lawyer in Alexandria, Va., for nearly five years. Burgess has served on CAI's Maryland Legislative Action Committee, the Washington Metropolitan Chapter Board, and the Business Partners Council. She also was a panel chair on the Montgomery County (Md.) Commission on Common Ownership Communities from 2007 to 2016 and became a fellow in CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers in 2019.

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