At CAI, we feel honored and humbled to educate, support, and advocate for the millions of people living and working in community associations. Part of that mission includes publishing amazing resources, best practices, and solutions through our blogs, newsletters, magazine, and digital channels. We believe our content is king. These winning resources are what makes CAI the leading authority for homeowners, volunteer board leaders, professional managers, and business partners.

We are proud to share with you that the Ungated blog is one of three CAI publications recently honored with EXCEL Awards, an annual program that recognizes excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, and communications. CAI has earned at least one EXCEL Award nearly every year for the past 15 years and received four awards in both 2017 and 2014.

Our flagship publication, Common Ground​​​​​ magazine, accepted a silver award in best magazine feature article design for “Open and Shut” from the July/August 2020 issue (pictured at left). This feature article details some of the many questions that community association board members and managers had when deciding whether to reopen amenities such as pools, fitness centers, playgrounds, and other shared spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The artwork depicts reimagined pool operations during the pandemic with capacity limits, cleaning procedures, liability, temperature screening, masks, and more.

The popular bimonthly newsletter, Community Manageraccepted a bronze award in best newsletter redesign (2019-2020). Written for and about community association management professionals, Community Manager has a circulation of more than 15,000 readers worldwide. The newsletter was redesigned following a 2019 reader survey that showed most of the audience finds great value in the publication but don’t have enough time to fully digest the issue due to the demands of the profession. Today, the newsletter continues to deliver industry news, tips, tools, and career-building strategies in a condensed format.

Ungated, originally launched in 2005, was awarded a bronze for best overall blog site. Following a redesign and relaunch in 2018, Ungated has focused on covering news, tips, and trends important to community associations. In 2020, we published 49 posts touching on topics such as rules on emerging issues, ways to communicate effectively and reduce conflict in community associations, as well as ensuring business continuity and offering support to those who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Revisit the top five most read Ungated posts in 2020, our award-winning year:

  1. Managing finances: How HOAs should handle collecting assessments during the COVID-19 crisis

Failing to collect assessments may impair an association’s ability to pays its bills and provide essential services, but it’s important for boards to be flexible with homeowners who are facing financial hardship.

  1. Different strokes, different folks: How community managers and property managers have distinct roles

A common mistake in state legislatures considering community association manager licensing—and among the general public—is to lump community association managers and property managers into the same bucket. While both are very important roles, they are distinctly different professions with functions, skill sets, and responsibilities specific to each.

  1. Raising spirits: How a Texas community is engaging residents during COVID-19

Reaching out to those in need and strengthening connections are part of the culture at Harvest, a 1,200-acre large-scale community under development in Argyle, Texas. That’s especially true now—during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Continuity and closures: How community associations are addressing COVID-19

Continuity of operations and residents’ safety has become top of mind for community association leaders as the COVID-19 outbreak begins to impact more and more of the U.S.

  1. Collecting assessments: What to consider when negotiating a repayment plan

It is critical that every homeowner pays their assessments in a timely manner, yet the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic means community associations may need to show compassion and be flexible in their collections.

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.

Amy Repke

Amy Repke

Amy Repke brings over 20 years of experience to CAI serving as the organization's vice president of communications and marketing. Amy's communications career began in television news where she worked as a producer, writer, and assignment manager for both local and network news channels. In 2013, Amy launched a communications and marketing firm, consulting with clients representing political, financial services, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations. Amy has been nominated for four Washington Regional Emmy awards for writing and producing. Amy is a graduate of Old Dominion University and received a master's degree in Strategic Public Communications from American University.

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