Cynthia Jones, chair of the 2022 Business Partners Council, participates in a session during the 2022 Community Association Law Seminar in La Quinta, Calif., in February. (Photo by Lani Garfield)
Part of a series about women in leadership roles during Women’s History Month.
Business partners are professionals who offer services and provide expertise to community associations. Communicating their value is what Cynthia Jones, an attorney at Sellers, Ayers, Dortch and Lyons law firm in Charlotte, N.C., aims to accomplish as chair of CAI’s 2022 Business Partners Council.
Jones is one of five women serving as chair or president of CAI’s leadership groups this year. In addition to the Business Partners Council, women are leading CAI’s Board of Trustees, Community Association Managers Council, Homeowner Leaders Council, and the College of Community Association Lawyers’ Board of Governors.
Ungated asked Jones about her goals as Business Partners Council chair, her involvement with CAI, overcoming biases, and what it means to be a woman in a leadership role.
What are your priorities as chair of the Business Partners Council?
We want to continue helping our business partners succeed. We’ve focused on promoting CAI’s Business Partner Essentials course as well as updating the CAI Business Partners Toolkit. I would like to see what we can do to further enhance those resources. In addition, I want us to educate CAI members about what professional business partners can do for them by highlighting who they are or the products and services they provide.
What motivates you to volunteer with CAI?
I’ve gained so much knowledge, and I want to share it. I wouldn’t be here if not for the people who helped me, and now I feel that I’m in a position where I can do the same.
How have you broken the bias as a woman in the workplace?
It hasn’t always been easy. I’m still asked if I’m the assistant or secretary during meetings because I’m the only woman in the room, but it’s very empowering to stand up to inform them that I’m running the meeting.
I’m very blessed to work with partners who recognize the value that women bring to the workplace. I believe it’s important for us to express our ideas and opinions because, as women, we have a different perspective on many things.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” I will continue to fight for the things that are important to women, and I enjoy seeing the positive changes happening in the workplace and in our industry.
How does it feel to be a woman in a leadership position?
Rewarding and challenging. My success with CAI came by taking small steps over many years, first by learning, then teaching, and now as someone guiding our future. Those small steps have been challenging at times, but it’s wonderful to see where we are as an industry and the many successes that women are having in leadership roles. I believe women have a unique perspective to offer any organization. I am encouraged by the leadership around me, and I hope to continue to foster the next generation of women leaders.
>>Cynthia Jones was one of the panelists during CAI’s free webinar celebrating International Women’s Day. View the webinar on-demand at www.caionline.org/webinars.