Every condo or homeowners association has its own board and management company to handle the community's day-to-day business and administrative activities but who advocates for those communities at the municipal and state level? Who looks out for and strengthens the position of HOAs and their administrators through education and outreach? There's more than one answer to that question but in Illinois, the Association of Condo, Townhouse, & Homeowners Associations (ACTHA) is definitely a name to know.
As an organization, ACTHA is focused on providing targeted education and information to board members, owners, managers and others involved with Illinois' community associations. According to ACTHA Executive Director Gael Mennecke, ACTHA’s mission is “to provide information and education to board members, managers and owners. We do that through seminars, webinars, a monthly newsletter, and any other kind of educational opportunities we can provide for people involved with community associations."
By Residents, For Residents
Mennecke notes that ACTHA was founded by a small coterie of legal professionals in the early 1980s to fill a void they saw in the support system for condos, HOAs and other similar communities. By the time Mennecke came aboard in 1989, the group's scope had expanded, and today she says it has evolved into the only statewide organization of its kind representing both board members and owners.
"ACTHA is run by a volunteer board of directors," says Mennecke, "and the requirement to serve on the board is that you be a primary resident in your own community association, so when decisions are made about the group's programming or policy issues, it's done purely from a homeowner perspective. "That's perhaps how I would differ us from a group like CAI," she continues, "which has a board of directors composed of many entities within the industry in addition to homeowners."
According to the group's website (www.actha.org), "ACTHA is the only organization administered by a volunteer board of directors who are primary resident owners in a condo, townhome or an HOA.