It's almost a mantra: the more you know, the better off you are—certainly when it comes to doing the job of a condominium or HOA board member. No matter how enthused and engaged a new board appointee may be, they don't come to the job knowing everything; and no matter how seasoned a veteran board member may be, they can always hone their skills and add to their knowledge. To help all board members do their job better, there are an array of educational resources and opportunities throughout the region.
While many condo boards in the Chicagoland area make a point of orienting and offering guidance to newly elected board members, by law, there’s no certification necessary in Illinois when someone new is elected to a board. Unlike property managers, who are required by the state of Illinois to be licensed by October 1 of this year, condo and HOA board members are not required to attend training sessions upon taking their position.
“Some boards struggle to find people to fill the positions and are thrilled just to have someone volunteer,” says Cheryl Murphy, chapter executive director for CAI-IL. “There are several organizations in the area that offer education for board members.”
“Although legally and technically there is no law, some states like Florida are working toward requiring board members to get certified via some classes in order to serve on a board,” says Christine Evans of Vanguard Community Management in Schaumburg. “Many of the larger management companies offer board member training, and I fully support this.”
Of course, experienced boards understand the value of education, and will encourage new board members to educate themselves. Some boards even budget for this education by including a line item for membership in an association like CAI-IL. The Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations (ACTHA) is another organization that offers resources for board members. ACTHA recently held its fall expo in Tinley Park on September 29 with seminars related to foreclosures, pets, board operations and insurance issues.