Every year, at the National Conference, Community Associations Institute (CAI) honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to our industry. These individuals have gone above and beyond when it comes to demonstrating leadership, excellence and dedication to our industry as well as to CAI as an organization. Our industry and CAI are only successful because of the continued support, commitment and tireless volunteer spirit represented by those honored with these awards.  Following are those from California who were recognized.

Rob Felix

Robert A. Felix, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, RS was given the “Award of Excellence in Designations,” which goes to an individual who has made significant contributions to advance CAI’s designation programs and ethical standards. Rob Felix has been a leader in the community association industry for more than 20 years and teaches and speaks extensively around the country for CAI, as well as serving on CAI’s faculty and Faculty Review Panel. He is the current faculty training leader, has served as a CAMICB commissioner and chair of the CAMICB Test Development Committee and became an ambassador for our industry credentialing programs when he co-taught the first M-100 class in Dubai.


Sam Dolnick

The “Byron Hanke Award” is named for one of CAI’s original founders and is presented to an individual who supports the education and research for homeowners and homeowner-controlled associations, and was awarded posthumously to Sam Dolnick, an extensive contributor to CAI, the San Diego Chapter and the California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC). Sam served on the Board of Trustees, Foundation for Community Association Research Board, the former Homeowners Committee and many more. He had a regular column in the San Diego Chapter’s magazine, founded the Baker-Dolnick Foundation to support homeowner members in CAI, and remains the largest donor to the Foundation for Community Association Research.


DJ Conlon

DJ Conlon

DJ Conlon, CMCA, the Executive Director (ED) for the Greater Inland Empire Chapter of CAI (CAI-GRIE) was awarded the “Chapter Executive Director Rising Star” award. When DJ first became ED of CAI-GRIE, the chapter had been without a full-time executive director for a while, and consequently educational programs were dwindling in size and quality, sponsorships and attendance were down and the chapter was functioning in the red. DJ increased the quality of programs and promoted attendance, she helped to develop a strategic plan for the chapter and put the chapter back into a strong financial position. DJ makes the members feel appreciated and contributes to all chapters in California, understanding that keeping CAI strong benefits us all.

CAI also takes the time to recognize the achievements of its chapters. California was represented in the following categories:

Public Affairs: Activities demonstrating the chapter’s role in promoting CAI as the industry’s leading advocate for responsible communities to the public. The Greater Los Angeles Chapter was recognized for their “Spark of Love Toy Drive,” and the Orange County Regional Chapter was recognized for their “Upgrade for CLAC” program.

Leadership:  Training, development and/or recognition programs that empower volunteers and/or members to be effective, efficient leaders. The Greater Inland Empire Chapter was recognized for their “Educational Committee and Advanced Essentials Course.”

Best Net Retention:  The Coachella Valley Chapter was recognized for a Net Retention of 91%.

Thank you to everyone who volunteers their time to make CAI and the community association industry a better place to live and do business.