CAI places a high priority on producing content that informs, educates, and engages community association homeowners, volunteer board members, professional managers, and business partners. The resources, best practices, and solutions that get published on our blogs, newsletters, magazine, books, and digital channels showcase that commitment. While those platforms are dedicated to the millions of people living and working in community associations, it’s a pretty sweet feeling when they get recognized for excellence by our peers at other membership organizations.

CAI recently won four awards from Association Media & Publishing, a premier membership organization serving the needs of association publishers, communication professionals, and designers. The 2023 EXCEL Awards are the largest and most prestigious annual program that recognizes excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, and communications. Now in its 43rd year, the 2023 EXCEL Awards program presented 211 awards across 74 categories for work produced in 2022. CAI has earned at least one EXCEL Award nearly every year for the past 16 years.

This site, originally launched in 2005, was awarded a bronze for best overall blog site. Since relaunching in 2018, CAI’s Ungated blog has focused on covering news, tips, and trends important to community associations. In 2022, Ungated published 43 blog posts that gained more than 17,000 views. Some of the main topics covered were building safety and repairs, community conflict, insurance challenges with rising rates, a series on pets in communities, and more. This marks the third straight year Ungated has won an award for excellence.

Community Manager newsletter was awarded a gold in general excellence, an honor that recognizes the publication’s high editorial and design standards. The bimonthly newsletter covers news, trends, and topics relevant to individuals in the community association management profession, including best practices, management strategies, professional development, and career advancement. In 2022, Community Manager kept CAI members informed on condominium safety legislation, sea level rise, mental health, drought, Hurricane Ian impacts, cybersecurity, and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Common Ground magazine, CAI’s flagship publication, won two bronze EXCEL Awards—one for its July/August 2022 single-topic issue about pets in community associations and one for the design of the September/October 2022 cover story “Minding Mental Illness.”

The pets issue cover featured Mochi the cat, the winner of a photo contest that saw nearly 300 entrants. Inside, the magazine covered emotional support animals, profiles of how pets helped owners through the COVID-19 pandemic, reasonable rules, pet amenities, and more.

“Minding Mental Illness” was a story about how community associations can handle issues with residents who have psychological disorders. Common Ground worked with an independent illustrator to depict the delicate balance and interwoven parts—shown through puzzle pieces—that provide a path for board members and community managers to take action to avoid liability and honor the association’s obligations.

We look forward to sharing more winning resources relevant to community association leaders and residents here on Ungated and throughout CAI’s newsletters, magazine, and digital platforms.

Photo caption: CAI’s team accepts four EXCEL Awards from Association Media & Publishing, a premier membership organization serving the needs of association publishers, communication professionals, and designers. From L-R: Joni Lucas, Common Ground magazine editor; Cori Canady, senior director of creative design; Daniel Brannigan, senior director of publishing; Vicki Santaniello, director of marketing; Tom Skiba, CEO.

  • 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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