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New State-wide Awards Recognize Innovative Solutions that Improve Quality of Life for
Condo and HOA Residents and their Communities

FT. LAUDERDALE, November 12, 2008 – The Florida Community Association Journal today announced the call for entries in the 2009 “Florida Communities of Excellence Awards,” a new statewide recognition program for Florida condominium and homeowners associations designed to identify and promote innovative solutions and best practices in maintaining and improving the quality of life for residents of community associations throughout the State.

Professional condo and HOA association managers, board members, unit- and home-owners, residents and vendors representing the nearly 4 million Florida community association residents are encouraged to nominate their favorite communities for the awards, which will be judged by a distinguished panel of independent experts statewide in fields ranging from safety & security to the environment, from disaster preparedness to communications and civic involvement.

Nominations may be made online by completing an entry submission form at http://www.flcaj.com/coe/ , with the final deadline for submissions set for January 15, 2009.

The first independently judged program to bring attention to the quality of Community Association living state-wide, the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards are co-sponsored by Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., a diversified commercial law firm with the largest community association law practice in the State of Florida. The awards will highlight significant accomplishments and best practices in addressing the needs and concerns of residents and communities in five categories: Environmental Initiatives, Disaster Preparedness, Communications, Safety & Security and Civic Involvement.

A total of 10 communities will be recognized for their achievements, with separate judging in each category for communities that have more than 200 units and communities with fewer than 200 units. Winning communities will be invited to participate in a special awards presentation event and will be profiled in the pages of The Florida Community Association Journal , the largest independent publication serving professional Community Association managers. There is no limit to the number of categories for which communities may be nominated.

“All too frequently we hear about the negative side of community living,” said Jim McMurry, publications director of the Florida Community Association Journal . “All one has to do is open the newspaper or watch the local news to hear that there can be financial, relational, contractual and other issues when people live close together and share resources.

“We rarely hear about the unsung heroes and progressive communities, and Florida is blessed to have a great number them. These awards will shine a spotlight on those communities that come together for the common good and produce results that enhance not only their community, but their city, county and state as well,” McMurry added.
In announcing the call for entries in the 2009 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards, the sponsors today also announced the panel of independent experts who will evaluate the entries. The following business and community leaders, Condo/HOA industry officials and recognized authorities have agreed to participate in judging:

Environmental Initiatives

Rebecca Bray, Director of Account Services, Environmental PR Group

Dennis Hector, Professor, University of Miami School of Architecture Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy

Disaster Preparedness

Laura Hagan, Executive Director, Community Associations Institute, Suncoast Chapter

Terry McMurry, Editor, Florida Community Association Journal

Richard Thompson, Florida Community Association Journal contributor and publisher of Regenesis Report, monthly newsletter about Condo/HOA management practices


Betsy Barbieux, CAM, Professional Development Coach, Image Inside & Out

Mark R. Benson, Member, Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Joe Kollin, former Condo/HOA columnist, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Safety & Security

Carmen Caldwell, Executive Director/Crime Prevention Practitioner, Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County

Victor A. Hill, Chairman, Florida Society of Public Fire & Life Safety Educators

Charles Milsted, Associate State Director, AARP

Civic Involvement

Wendy Spencer, CEO, Volunteer Florida

Marilyn Wills, President, Florida League of Women Voters

About the Florida Community Association Journal

Founded in 1986, the Florida Community Association Journal provides news and vital information to operators of condominiums, homeowners associations, cooperatives and other multi unit communities and has earned the reputation of being the industry’s most authoritative voice. The monthly publication contains news and feature articles dealing with areas of interest to managers and board members, including legal matters, accounting practices, insurance, rules enforcement, cost-saving practices, industry events, building and grounds maintenance, security solutions, education, and more. Additional information at www.flcaj.com/ .

About Becker & Poliakoff P.A.

Becker & Poliakoff is a diverse commercial law firm with more than 130 attorneys in 13 Florida offices, New York City , New Jersey , Nassau , Bahamas , Prague and affiliated international offices. Celebrating its thirty sixth (36th) year of serving clients, the firm has seven primary areas of practice: Real Estate, Construction, Community Association, Customs & International Trade, Commercial Litigation, Corporate, Tax & Securities, and Government Law & Lobbying. For more information, visit: www.becker-poliakoff.com