Wendy Van Messel, CMCA, began her career in the common interest development industry in 2008, as a business partner. After a stint on the sales side, Wendy was offered an administrative assistant position with Desert Resort Management in Palm Desert, CA, and later the chapter executive director (CED) position with the Coachella Valley Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI-CV), which she began in September 2010.
“Through my experience as a CED, I was able to work closely with the other seven California chapters of Community Associations Institute (CAI) and I look forward to continuing to build on the great relationships that we’ve cultivated to benefit CAI-CLAC, as well as the chapters throughout the state,” Wendy said. “This spring, I attended CAI-CLAC’s Legislative Day at the Capitol this spring and it was great to be able to participate in the legislative process. I’m excited to bring this experience to more people in my new role as the administrative coordinator for CAI-CLAC. ”
While serving as CED for CAI-CV, Wendy coordinated the chapter’s annual strategic planning session, inviting CAI National staff, which proved to be a successful move and has continued ever since. Wendy also created the first “weekly update” e-blast, which goes to both members and non-members, enabling readers to be current on chapter happenings and weekly meetings. In addition, she was instrumental in developing some of the internal structure of the chapter, including the creation of a policy manual, board member orientation notebooks and annual calendars. Under Wendy’s leadership, membership grew more than 12 percent and marketing dollars increased considerably each year. Wendy also attended and passed three PMDP courses and achieved her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) designation.
“I am anxious to get up to speed on the behind-the-scenes doings of CLAC and look forward to making contributions that will positively impact the organization and community association members throughout California,” she said.
Wendy moved to the Coachella Valley in 1986 and has made her home in the valley ever since. She has two daughters, Samantha, a hairstylist in Oceanside, Calif., and Hilary who works for an event planning company in Nashville, Tenn. While acting as the CEO of her own household, Wendy volunteered for many boards, serving as president of La Quinta Middle School Parent Teacher Organization and the Band and Colorguard Mom for six years at La Quinta High School. At the same time, she also worked with the La Quinta American Youth Soccer Organization as part of the board that successfully convinced the city of the need for an additional soccer park for the kids. With her daughters, Girls Scouts were a must, and Wendy acted as a troop leader for several years, as well as the Coachella Valley Girl Scout Cookie Mom for all the valley troops.