To be an informed board member is the goal. For both new and seasoned members, however, there are countless challenging topics requiring specific knowledge. With new regulations and legislation on tap, it is imperative that board members understand these niche categories, an approach best supported by continuing education for board members.
Most board members are not experts in real estate or property management, but as Curt Macysyn, CAE, Executive Vice President of New Jersey Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI-NJ) points out, “New board members may have valuable private or public sector experience,” but, “they should take the time to understand basic board protocols like Roberts Rules of Order and the Carver Model of Policy Governance.”
Macysyn explains that it is extremely important that “Whether you are a new board member or a veteran board member,” education is the key to building an effective and efficient board.
“CAI-NJ hosts the 'Essentials of Community Association Volunteer Leadership' each February. This is a full day course, held on a Saturday in February. It is a basic primer course for newer board members. Veteran board members may want to brush up on other skills as they continue to serve, whether that be finance, budgeting, transition or rules enforcement,” says Macysyn.
The learning curve is often the hardest for new board members who have little experience not only tackling policy issues but understanding the legal and financial nuts and bolts of running a community association, “Optimally, the benefits [of education] are a much better understanding of what their responsibilities are,” says Scott Dalley, Senior Vice President at Access Property Management, and is also President of IREM Chapter No. 1.