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|MCL Jan/Feb 2014 - PCAM Spotlight: Bob MacDonald|
PCAM Spotlight: Bob MacDonald, Cedar Management
by Janice Pyka
Bob MacDonald has a firm handshake, a smile and lots of PASSION! That was my first impression when I met him. He loves to learn, and technology has made his life much easier. Bob could easily retire but enjoys his job just too much. At one point, a few years ago, he was retired, for about 2 seconds. While in the Florida Keys he met his second wife Mary, who was from Minnesota, and they decided to move here so that he could finish his graduate studies and his wife could be with her ailing mother. Bob earned his Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Lancaster Bible College in 1976 and his MA in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary in 2003. Bob is a Community Association Manager with Cedar Management, his second career, and he thoroughly enjoys working with his communities. His first career was repairing parts for fighter plane armament systems.
Bob has 5 children and between him and his wife they have 15 grandchildren, most of whom live on the East Coast. He has been married to Mary, his second wife, for 18 years, and her son lives in Duluth. Bob’s dog, Ranger, is his constant companion. They enjoy weekly walks and while Bob walks about 4 miles, Ranger probably runs a good 8 miles.
Hobbies and Interests
At the time of my interview with Bob, deer season was approaching and that was all that Bob could think about. He (of course) loves to travel to the East Coast to visit his children and grandchildren, which happens too infrequently. In 1986, while out for a run and training for a marathon, a motorcycle hit Bob, and that changed his life. Of course, there is nothing that can slow Bob down. Mary and Bob enjoy art shows, such as the Edina Art Fair and the Uptown Art Fair. He’s also a passionate gardener and loves to stack rocks; you will have to ask him about that. Every year, after "the season” ends, he and Mary head to Captiva, FL for a few weeks for a time of relaxation. Yet, while he’s gone, he still manages to take care of his associations, as he loves his communities.
Little-Known Personal Facts
When he was 50 years old, he was the Florida state Tae Kwon Do champion in fighting and he placed second in forms.
While in the Florida Keys, recovering from an accident and visiting family, Bob was offered an opportunity to manage a condominium and yacht club complex in Islamorada, Florida. The rest is history. Instead of continuing a career in electronics, Bob moved into the field of Community Association Management. And, while in the Keys, he was president of the Florida Keys Condominium Managers Association for 5 years. While employed with a Minnesota-based Management Company Bob was very active with CAI. Today, his focus is on Cedar Management and all of the community boards of directors that he works with. Bob looks forward to the opportunity to someday teach M series courses here in Minnesota. Also, he especially enjoys conducting training seminars for the properties he manages. From his perspective, training is vital to the success of his communities.
Bob traveled to Houston, Texas, and visited a very wealthy private community of 1000 detached homes, which was located in the "energy corridor” of Houston. The individuals in the homes, which are valued in the $2 to $5 million range, are an eclectic mix of people from all over the world. One of Bob’s key contributors to the success of earning his PCAM was the significant research he did on social media and how it affects association management. Bob was very honest with details including his suggestions, when responding to the 10 questions. For example, Bob and those who joined him for the case study observed that the brick perimeter wall of the association was only 1 layer thick and was falling apart. After returning from Texas, Bob did some research and determined that the property was in a flood plain and therefore the perimeter wall should have been built differently.
To make this determination Bob talked with Houston city planners, city inspectors, and local brick fence experts to gain a better understanding of the situation. Armed with this knowledge, a corrective action for rebuilding the wall was submitted to the Houston Association as part of his PCAM paper. The community included beautiful lakes, extensive irrigation and tennis courts, to name a few of the amenities, with high-tech 24-hour security guards. One guard was certified to use a radar gun (for speeding). Another problem Bob found was that that the community manager had too much control, and claimed she was very busy. The office was closed every Wednesday with calls being transferred off-site. She needed to delegate to her staff more than she did. Bob prefers to empower his staff, which demonstrates trust in your team. He also noticed that the security guards were not properly trained to deal with the residents and this created a variety of problems.
Bob finished his assessment in less than 3 weeks; typically PCAM Candidates are given 30 days and they use all of this time to answer the questions. Bob stressed the value of being a proficient writer, which he says is very important in dealing with residents, boards, and completing his PCAM.
Congratulations for earning your PCAM Designation, Bob!
Published by Community Associations Institute — Minnesota Chapter, copyright 2013. All articles and paid advertising represent the opinions of authors and advertisers and not necessarily the opinion of either Minnesota Community Living or CAI–Minnesota Chapter. The information contained within should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, or other professional services by the CAI–Minnesota Chapter, or by Minnesota Community Living, or its authors. Articles, letters to the editor, and advertising may be sent to Chapter Staff Editor Joanne Penn at email@example.com, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.