ENTRY NOW OPEN FOR FIFTH FLORIDA ANNUAL COMMUNITIES OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Alan Penchansky

The Pen Group Communications

Tel: (305) 529-1944

email: alan@thepengroup.com

ENTRY NOW OPEN FOR FIFTH FLORIDA ANNUAL COMMUNITIES OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS

New Category Will Recognize the Best Uses of Email, Newsletters, Social Media,
Web Site and Other Communications Tools

FT. LAUDERDALE, September 24, 2012 – The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards has announced plans for its Fifth Anniversary which will include the first Gala Awards event to be hosted in St. Petersburg and a re-designed Web site that spotlights every community honored since 2009. As it marks its five-year anniversary, the Awards has become the most important statewide recognition for outstanding community associations.

During this time, a total of 49 communities statewide have received the highest honor, and more than 40 organizations have sponsored the awards, which are judged each year by a panel of independent experts. That recognition expanded two years ago with the Managers of Excellence Award. In its first two years, nineteen managers have been chosen for the prestigious award, which is tied to community performance.

“The growth and evolution of the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is the result of a successful partnership between Florida’s community associations, our outstanding judges, and the organizations throughout the state who have stepped forward to support this recognition program,” said Alan Penchansky, executive director of the awards program. “Each year we’ve had more communities, judges, sponsors, and attendees, and each year we’ve revised and updated the program in response to the feedback from these individuals and the changes in communities throughout Florida.”

For 2013, the Awards includes a new “Communications & Community” submission category. Winners in the new category will be community associations that promote positive community relations and build knowledge and compliance with rules and regulations through use of any media, including email, newsletters, social media, closed-circuit television and Web site.

Submissions for the 2013 Awards will be accepted between September 24, 2012 and 12 Midnight (ET), January 15, 2013 with judging in late January. There is no entry fee for participating in the Awards and the entire process is completed online. Small communities and large communities are judged separately and there is no limit on the number of categories in which a community can compete.

Finalists will be announced in March and all finalists will be invited to the annual Conference and Awards Gala, Friday, April 5, 2013 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, The event is free for current community association managers, board members and residents, and includes educational sessions, sponsor exhibits and the Gala Reception & Awards Ceremony.

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards was created by the Florida Community Association Journal, Becker & Poliakoff law firm, and Pen Group Communications. Since 2009, it has involved more than 300,000 residents in hundreds of communities throughout Florida. Entries are judged by a select panel of independent experts chosen from among educators, policy experts, consultants, public officials and professionals within each industry/category represented.

The new “Communications & Community” category is presented by Sentry Management, a 2013 Diamond-level corporate sponsor. The 2013 categories also include:

  • Financial Innovation (Presented by The Continental Group) – Policies and procedures to ease the impact of financial burdens during challenging economic times.
  • Disaster Preparedness – Protecting lives and property, as well as for community restoration in the aftermath of an emergency.
  • “Comeback Kid” (Presented by BB&T) – Recognizing boards, managers, and suppliers who developed and implemented successful turnaround programs by revitalizing distressed properties.
  • Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ — Environmentally sound landscape, wetland, preserve, and lake management policies, including Florida-Friendly Landscaping.
  • Energy & Water Conservation (Non-Landscaping) – Energy and water management and conservation programs.
  • Safety & Security – Programs to protect and ensure the safety of residents and property within the community.
  • Civic Volunteerism & Advocacy – Supporting local and regional non-profit and charitable causes.
  • Family Friendly Programs & Initiatives – Promoting family participation and well-being.
  • Trendsetter Awards (Presented by Associa) – Innovation in any area not covered in the existing categories.

The sponsors of the awards program are businesses that are dedicated to the needs of residents of Florida condominiums and homeowner associations. The 2012 sponsors include:

Diamond-Level: Associa, BB&T, The Continental Group, Sentry Management

Gold-Level: Association Financial Services, Castle Group, Florida Shores Bank

Silver-Level: Aquatic Systems, Atlantic | Pacific Management, Association Communication Services, Campbell Property Management, Devcon Security, Disaster Restoration Specialists, Driveway Maintenance, Envera Systems, Florida Community Association Professionals, KW Property Management & Consulting, PD Painting, Tutwiler & Associates

About The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is a unique recognition program that shines a spotlight on the positive and productive initiatives taking place in condominiums, homeowners associations and cooperatives across Florida. Now in its fifth year, the independently judged program enables the top communities in the state to promote their accomplishments and raise their profiles while documenting their success and enabling others to learn from their examples. For more information, please visit www.communitiesofexcellence.net

™Florida-Friendly Landscaping is a Trademark of the University of Florida