Guest Blog Post By Terri Guest, CIRMS, CMCA

CAI’s Annual Conference & Exposition took place in Dallas, Texas in late May and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Community Associations Institute (CAI).  We can no longer call it the “National” Conference, as CAI has now established chapters in Canada, South Africa, and the Middle East.  We were proud to welcome all three international chapters and their representatives at this year’s conference. 

While conference activities and M-level education began on Monday, May 15, 2023, concurrent sessions began early Thursday morning, May 18, 2013.  On Thursday, I chose to attend the Legislative Update given by Dawn Bauman, CAI’s Senior Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, and T. Peter Kristian of CAI’s Government & Public Affairs Committee. 

Dawn and Peter gave updates on the situation with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, warning that it may get worse before it gets better.  They also warned that the prequalifying list for condos, while it legitimately is from Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac, it may actually be used to disqualify communities rather than qualify them.  They warned community managers of participating if they get a call.

Two keynote speakers, one Thursday and one Friday, talked about work/life balance, finding happiness and building community.  Shola Richards taught the powerful meaning of “Ubuntu” (I am because we are) and Amy Blankson discussed technology life hacks for well-being and enhancing performance.

CAI sponsors “shop talk” sessions for different business partner sectors.  , The one for Insurance Professionals was literally standing room only with attendees spilling out into the hallway.  The room was mostly insurance folks, but there were also several managers and volunteer homeowner leaders as well.  While most came with hopes of hearing positive trends, they left fearful that the rest of the country would start to mirror the horror stories of Florida and California. 

There were several concurrent sessions covering everything from post-Surfside best practices to short-term rentals, to conflict avoidance for board members and managers.  Mental health was openly discussed in many sessions, including one session by Board of Trustees President, Vishnu Sharma.   It is clear that this important subject will be at the forefront for Community Managers, Business Partners, Homeowner Leaders as well as members of the communities we serve.

Next year’s Annual Conference is scheduled for May 8-11th in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Mark your Calendar for this worthwhile event!

Terri Guest is the Northern California sales & marketing representative for Berg Insurance Agency and may be reached at