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Minnesota Community Living 2013-07-08 CAI-MN PCAM Spotlight: Traci Lehman
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PCAM Spotlight: Traci Lehman

By Janice Pyka, Minutebids

Traci LehmanTraci Lehman is the President of Cities Management, and has been since August 2001, where she began her career in the homeowners’ association industry. Traci says she loves the industry because of the people in her office and her clients; they are like family to her. She manages a staff of more than 50 employees including 16 association managers and manages 3 associations. Cities Management manages over 200 associations, and has grown considerably since Traci began working there.

CAI Involvement:

Traci just recently passed the gavel to the next CAI President, Michael Klemm, and enjoyed leading the association during her tenure as President. Traci feels that she has fulfilled her goal to raise awareness in the importance of volunteers and striving to acknowledge all the volunteers in the Chapter. Prior to being the CAI Chapter President, Traci served as the Vice President and as the Secretary of Board. In addition, she was active on the education committee.

About her Family:

Traci has been married to Jason for 16 years, and they reside in the north metro.  Her two boys, 14 and 12, are very active in baseball, it’s their family sport. Dad coaches the youngest, and Traci attends every game as the official cheerleader.  In the fall, the boys play football with both Mom and Dad cheering them. In talking with Traci about her family, her passion is obvious — she loves her guys!

Path into the Profession:

While on her second maternity leave from her job at Great Clips Corporate Office, she received a call from her mother, who knew Traci disliked her long commute. At the time, her mom worked for Mike Egelston, the CEO of Cities Management, and mentioned to Traci that they needed to fill a vacant association manager position. Traci interviewed and accepted the position to manage 8 associations, and she still manages 3 of them today. Two years later, Traci was promoted to supervisor, then after proving herself, she was promoted to Vice President in 2008, and most recently, 2011, promoted to President.

Hobbies and Interests:

First is supporting her boys in their summer sports and being their biggest fan. Then comes the fall and winter when they hit their cabin up by Voyageurs National Park for hunting, snowmobiling, ice fishing and quality family time. Traci loves to golf and was quite the athlete growing up, playing basketball and soccer.

Little-Known Personal Facts:

Most of us have heard of Rambo, but have you ever heard of Rambo Barbie? That’s what Traci’s friends call her. For those of us involved with CAI, typically we see her in heels, which she loves, and professionally dressed. When she’s with the family and at the cabin, watch out! Traci enjoys grouse hunting in her camouflage and fishing (she even cleans them). She just started deer hunting this year. Her husband has to beg to hunt without her.

CAI Connections – How, Why and Who Got Traci to Join:

When she started at Cities, her company was already a member and she looked to the association for education, which she really values. Traci is constantly yearning to learn and to understand the association world so she may be a better manager. She enjoys networking with her peers and vendors whenever she can.

Interesting/Challenging Aspects of the Job:

An everyday challenge for Traci is to grow her business, and make her company more profitable. Just because a process is being done one way, and has been for a long time, does not mean that they need to continue doing it that way.

Where Can They Be Better?

She wants to retain her staff, help them to be happy and successful, both professionally and personally. Traci wants to stay ahead of the curve in the industry. She values her current clients and wants to keep them happy, satisfied and always a client.

Her Path to Earn Her PCAM:

She earned her PCAM in 2006, the first in the state of Minnesota. She saw the value to earn her designations, and she felt she needed them to be the best she can in her job. Shortly after she began her new career at Cities, she began the process of her earning her CMCA, then AMS (2 years) and finally her PCAM. At the time, 200 level classes were not offered locally or online, so she traveled 6 times, just for her 200-level classes. Traci traveled to a number of cities including St. Louis, New Orleans and Texas. All while being a new mom with two little boys.

For her PCAM, Traci traveled to Sable Cove, CO. Traci felt that the community really needed facilities management as they were lacking in maintenance, and she believed the community was putting itself at risk. Achieving her PCAM designation was, by far, Traci’s most challenging accomplishment in her career. She certainly pulled her fair share of all-nighters to complete her case study in 30 days, as it was a lot of research and writing. Her boys were young, so thanks to Jason for his support, she says. In the end, she was pleased with her success and found it very rewarding, and she really appreciates the experience.

Congratulations, Traci, I mean Rambo Barbie. Your hard work and determination has paid off.

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 joannep@cai-mn.com, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.

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