Every co-op and condo association has a board— and by extension, a board president. Presidents and CEOs of major corporations are usually compensated handsomely for the time and effort they're expected to devote to their job, but a building's board president is essentially a person who volunteered to be considered for the position and was subsequently elected or appointed to it. With such a position come many extra responsibilities and duties, which require that an effective president be a team player and an effective communicator.
The Right Stuff
A truly effective board president should have either a solid business/management background or be an exceptionally skilled communicator. In addition, says Diane Dangler, manager of community associations for Alderbrook Condo Association in Little Silver, a board president "should be someone with enough time and the dedication, and should probably be someone with a business or very practical background—someone with a knowledge of accounting and good business practices."
Above all, Dangler says, the president is "someone who can represent everyone unilaterally, doesn't have a specific personal agenda, can lead people and be nonjudgmental, and has the ability to work knowing that there may be some neighbors who maybe don't agree with or appreciate them."
Although relations with association residents might not always be easy, Gary Rothberg, president of the Brittany Townhomes Homeowners Association in Plainsboro says the head of the board, "must have an interest in the community, good communication skills and a diverse background." The person must also be well-connected in the community, Rothberg adds.
Norman Levine, president of the Cambridge Heights Condo Association in Ramsey says that personality also plays a large role. Levine says that an [effective president] "has patience, and is willing to listen. There are proactive people, and there are more passive people."