The award, presented at the institute’s conference and expo in March, recognizes communities that demonstrate excellence in all facets of association operations and governance. The CAI awards are based on size, and Talltree South, with 150 garden-style units, fits into the medium category.
Located on Americana Drive, just inside the beltway, Talltree South is a diverse, multilingual community. The development was originally an apartment complex and was converted to condominiums in 1977.
In the application for the CAI award, Talltree South board President Dorothy Firsching says the condo association “stands out as ‘most improved’ through implementation of CAI guidelines.”
Two years ago, new board members were elected after an extensive campaign for change. Since then, the condo association hired a full-service management company, Cardinal Management Group. The association joined CAI, and board members attended CAI classes and events.
Among other improvements cited by Firsching, the Talltree South board:
- upgraded its investment plan;
- created a quarterly newsletter, including a version in Spanish;
- developed a handbook for owners and residents for the first time in more than 20 years, also translated into Spanish;
- developed a website;
- synchronized enforcement practice with formal association rules;
- formalized vendor contracts;
- performed maintenance neglected for years and began to address expensive drainage and water infiltration issues, including excavation and construction of drains and swales;
- established committees, including a gardening committee and an informal group of translators;
- made significant progress in control of delinquencies; and
- updated the community’s bylaws.