It’s that time of year again! It’s time for CAI-California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) members to come together in Sacramento for the 2016 Legislative Day at the Capitol. None of CLAC’s work could be done without the stellar volunteers working on committees, in their chapters and at the Capitol. Every year we take time at Legislative Day to recognize outstanding chapter volunteers for their service to CLAC above and beyond the call of duty. This year we had an additional opportunity to say thank you through the Duncan McPherson Scholarships.

Volunteer of the Year
CLAC is pleased to announce eight nominations were received and considered by the Award and Scholarship Selection Subcommittee, which is comprised of the CLAC Chair, CLAC Vice-Chair and CLAC PR Chair, as voting members. The CLAC Advocate and CLAC Administrative Coordinator also participated in the discussion. The winner will be selected based upon the nominee’s work in promoting CLAC within his or her chapter.

This year’s nominees include Legislative Support Committee (LSC) Chairs, PR and Education Committee members, CLAC Subcommittee members, as well as CLAC Delegates and Liaisons and even an Executive Committee member. Accomplishments among this exceptional group of volunteers include embracing and promoting the Buck A Door program, presenting the CLAC Moment at chapter events, encouraging member participation at fundraising and chapter events and leading the chapters’ grassroots efforts, including scheduling and attending local legislator appointments. Additional accomplishments include initiating chapter LSC’s, complete with organizing consistent meeting schedules and encouraging chapter members to participate in the committee. Many of these outstanding volunteers are regulars at Legislative Day at the Capitol and support the event by obtaining sponsorships and encouraging attendee registration.

2015 Volunteer of the Year Award nominees are:
Janet Quinn Dennis with Pro Solutions – Bay Area & Central California Chapter
Darren Bevan, Esq. with Baydaline & Jacobsen LLP – California North Chapter
Tom Murphy with Landmark Limited, LLC – Bay Area & Central California Chapter
James Perero, Esq. with Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold, LLP – Channel Islands Chapter
Lana Hamadej, PCAM with Avalon Management (AAMC) – Greater Inland Empire Chapter
Michael Huffman, PCAM with Management Professionals, Inc. (AAMC) – Greater Los Angeles Chapter
Morgen Hardigree with Optimum Professional Property Management, Inc. (ACMF) – Orange County Regional Chapter
Kieran Purcell, Esq. with Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC – San Diego Chapter

Duncan McPherson Scholarships
In addition to these hardworking volunteers, and new this year, CLAC established a scholarship opportunity for a Community Volunteer Leader or Association Manager to attend the 2016 Legislative Day at the Capitol. This scholarship was created in memory of Duncan McPherson, for his longstanding commitment to California legislation and CLAC. We were able to offer two additional scholarships this year through the generosity of the Orange County Regional Chapter Board of Directors.

While the 2015 Volunteer of the Year winner will remain a secret until it is announced at Legislative Day, the following individuals were selected, among the many deserving applicants, to receive the three Duncan McPherson Scholarships:

Pat King is a Community Volunteer Leader (CVL) and President of the Board at Solera Oak Valley Greens in Beaumont – Greater Inland Empire Chapter
Christine Schwartz is also a CVL and President of the Board at The Club in Sun City – Greater Inland Empire Chapter
Clint Atherton is a manager at Outdoor Resort Palm Springs Owners Assoc. – Coachella Valley Chapter

Thank you to all our volunteers for everything you do to make CLAC run smoothly and effectively. Please join CLAC in thanking these outstanding nominees and scholarship recipients.

We look forward to seeing you all at the 2016 Legislative Day at the Capitol on April 17th and 18th in Sacramento to congratulate our Volunteer of the Year nominees and winner in person. The 2015 CLAC Volunteer of the Year will be named during Monday’s Award Ceremony.

Wendy Van Messel

Wendy Van Messel


Ms. Van Messel 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. Since 2013, she has been the Administrative Coordinator for CAI-CLAC.