Tom Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer, congratulates award winners at the 2021 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chelsa Christensen)

The holiday season is upon us once again. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the challenges, achievements, and changes we experienced ahead of the new year.

One year ago, many of us were ready to say goodbye to 2020. In the rearview mirror was devastation, loss, and uncertainty. We looked forward to January and a year of renewed optimism—a fresh start and a hopeful return to our pre-COVID-19 days.

As the new year came and went, we all had plans. The big changes we hoped for have not truly appeared, leaving us in a constant state of change. Today, we’re faced with evolving guidelines and protocols that leave our workplaces, clients, customers, and members with continued questions. But we’ve been able to embrace the unexpected too.

This year has taught us even more ways to safely lead and operate our companies and communities. We’ve learned how to create a hybrid workplace or, in some cases, return to in-person work full time. And we learned even better strategies to deliver and offer solutions to our clients and to connect with each other.

With more than 74 million Americans calling community associations home, our mission at CAI has never been clearer: Educate, advocate, and support these communities. In the past year, we’ve learned more about our community and what resilience looks like when we inspire, engage, and commit to a common goal.

On June 24, we were deeply shocked and saddened as we watched our community association family respond to the partial collapse of Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Fla. Following the tragedy, we knew that CAI had a responsibility to lead the conversation to address condominium safety. This led to convening three specialized tasks forces of more than 600 people to identify recommendations in the areas of reserve studies and funding, building maintenance, and structural integrity. The findings are detailed in CAI’s Condominium Safety Public Policy Report.

Each day we take a step forward, we discover something new. This summer, we made the decision to move the CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW from May to August. Unsure of exactly what we would face, we worked tirelessly to create a safe and memorable experience for more than 1,300 members and guests.

You were right there with us, eager to register so you could reconnect with your industry friends and colleagues. Your enthusiasm made it possible for us to host our second-largest annual conference in our history. We wanted to create a place to celebrate you, the community association professionals, volunteer leaders, and business partners who make this CAI community thrive despite these challenging and uncertain times. Mission accomplished!

As we look to 2022, you can expect to see even bigger changes in the new year. We’re planning to launch new education courses, resources, and programs to help you learn, grow, and connect. Because of you, community associations are strong, our leaders and professionals are valued, and our daily contributions are a benefit to the industry we serve.

>> Read CAI’s 2021 Annual Report.

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