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2010 Vision Award Winners
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Minnesota Community Living July/August 2010

Top Community Association Professionals Recognized at CAI-MN Awards Program

The Community Associations Institute of Minnesota (CAI-MN) recognized top industry professionals at the 6th Annual CAI-MN Vision Awards Gala at the Metropolitan Ballroom on June 16, 2010. The Vision Awards were established to honor community association industry leaders who made outstanding contributions to the communities they serve and to the industry as a whole. Awards are given in the areas of Outstanding CAI-MN Chapter Volunteer, Excellence in Service, Homeowner Association of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Service Professional of the Year.

The vision awards are subjected to a Jury Process. Judges are selected from among a list of highly-qualified community association industry leaders and serve as an independent panel to evaluate nominations. The identity of candidates is not shared with the judges.

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Service Professional of the Year

Sara Lassila, CPA, Jelinek Metz McDonald, Ltd.

Sara stands out from other finance professionals in that she asks pertinent questions about each Association that increases the accuracy of the financial reports. She may contact various Association decision makers to ask questions and get clarification about Association financial matters. She is always willing to answer questions about accounting and financial reporting issues. Her support to property managers helps mitigate and minimize problems with their Associations.


Rookie of the Year
John Tracy, Community Development Inc.

John’s first role out of college was to work on the largest association insurance claim in Minnesota. He created follow up inspection reports, managed repair vendors, and was able to bring positive and productive outcomes to complaints made by homeowners. He used technology and the Internet to bring board discussion pages to life. He used the website to develop mass communication to homeowner about upcoming events. John created and implemented a volunteer committee process that has brought many homeowners in the community forward to participate within the associations, creating a great sense of community.


Homeowner Association of the Year
The Jonathan Association

The Jonathan Association is noticeable because of its sheer size. It is the largest homeowners association in the state of Minnesota.

The Jonathan Board has demonstrated a commitment to excellence for its homeowners by providing the "2039 Plan” – a 30-year plan for reserve funding for the repair, renovation or replacement of all physical assets in the association.

Jonathan is remarkable in that after suffering for years as a troubled association beset by legal challenges and internal dissension, dedicated board members and homeowners are leading an enthusiastic revival of community spirit and neighborhood pride.


Excellence in Service
Hamlet Vazquez, CMCA, AMS, Gittleman Management Corporation

Hamlet deserves recognition because he was great when he started as the onsite property manager at Grant Park and has become even better as he has assumed responsibilities as Association Manager. He understands truly what it means to build community, and in addition to his high competency as a manager, his integrity, fair mindedness, and calm demeanor have supported a very well managed building. In a resident survey, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they were satisfied and very satisfied by the full-time personnel employed at the property, which has remained constant over the previous four years.


Outstanding Chapter Volunteer
Mark Schoenfelder, Schoenfelder Painting, Inc.

Mark truly believes that CAI is a benefit to managers, business partners and homeowners associations. Based on this belief, Mark has been a tireless promoter of CAI. He has reached out to all three groups to testify to the value that our association brings to each of the distinct groups. Mark has written articles, spoken to audiences, lunched with non-participating managers and counseled that CAI will help them grow their business and service their clients better. He suggests that they also go beyond just joining and become involved. He has demonstrated the value of CAI by introducing new people to other CAI members who can be valuable connections.

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