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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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Archived Newsletters

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, and answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company.  Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page. 

January 2013
eNews Monthly
Promotions
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Two employees make a triumphant return to C.I.A. Services to now lead our staff as the Houston location Office Managers.

North Office Manager - Nancy McGinnis

C.I.A. Services is very pleased to announce the promotion of Nancy McGinnis to the position of Office Manager for our North Office location. Nancy joined C.I.A. Services as an Administrative Assistant in 1996 and was quickly promoted to the position of Community Manager the following year. She became a stockholder in 2001. After a brief hiatus, we welcomed Nancy back in April of 2010, as she rejoined our North Office as the Customer Service Center team leader. In 2011, she was named the Customer Service Manager and has been a key factor in the expansion and success of our customer service department.

Nancy has proven herself in her instrumental performance as the leader of our Customer Service department and will continue to expand our customer service initiative as well as her new additional position as office manager. She has shown an excellent record for problem resolution and communication with our clients. It is these and other skills that Nancy will bring to her added role.

SW Office Manager - Amanda Jensen, CMCA, AMS

After several years with Continental Airlines, Amanda Jensen joined our team in 2002 as a Community Manager at the North Office and quickly adapted to the new role. Armed with an extensive background in customer service and training, Amanda played a key role in restructuring the company’s training practice for staff by creating learning tools and testing procedures.

After an absence from the company, Amanda returned to C.I.A. Services in October 2010 and in May of 2012, Amanda accepted the role as Office Manager at the Southwest office location with a platform on education. She continues as a portfolio community manager and participates in the education of our community volunteers through our Seminar Series. She works closely with the Community Association Institute and is preparing to complete her case study in March to achieve the sought after PCAM designation (Professional Community Association Manager). Amanda is currently working on additional training materials to ensure the highest quality of staff possible.

We value all of our employees and are especially pleased to watch them meet the challenges presented and grow into greater responsibilities. Join us in congratulating Nancy and Amanda on this exciting advancement as we recognize their extensive contributions to the company.

Seminar Series
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2013 Seminar Series

Our 2013 schedule for the C.I.A. Services Seminar Series has been finalized.  We are please to again present seven seminars throughout the year - each at three locations for a total of 21 training sessions. Click here to read the seminar descriptions and see the schedule.

Our core group of seminars are all back and updated with additional information. Even if you have attended any of these before, you will find the updated versions informative.

  • Board Member Orientation
  • Advanced Topics for Board Members
  • Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements
  • Understanding Collections & Financial Reports
  • The Super Budgeting Process
  • Practical Deed Restriction Management
  • Essentials of Architectural Control

Each two-hour seminar begins at 6:00 pm and we provide deli sandwiches in case you come straight from work.  You’ll leave with a wealth of practical information and a notebook for future reference.

And if that is not enough, our seminars are free!  Add a New Year’s resolution to your list to attend these seminars.  This resolution will be much easier to keep than that loosing weight thing!

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Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements

This is a critical seminar for understanding the legal responsibilities of board members and their associations under the laws enacted in the 82nd legislative session. This seminar deals with board and members meetings and how those meetings must be announced, conducted and documented. We’ll review what can be done in board executive sessions and unannounced meetings. We’ll cover elections and voting. And finally, we’ll explain members’ access to Association records. This is an extremely important seminar for all board members.

02/25/13 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

02/26/13 - Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

North

02/28/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

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Understanding Collections & Financial Reports

The first half of this seminar will cover all the steps involved in successful assessment collections.  Since not everyone pays on time, we’ll get into late fees, liens, payment plans, bankruptcy and all the legal remedies.  The second half of the seminar deals with reading and understanding your financial reports.  We’ll trace the flow of money throughout the reports so you’ll never be in the dark when staring at all those numbers.

03/06/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

03/13/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

North

03/14/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

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Community Website Administrator Training

This is the required training to be a Community Website Administrator (CWSA) on the C.I.A Services web site. As a CWSA you’ll be able to maintain the pages for your community. You’ll be able to create news and events, update key personnel, add community information, display photos, conduct surveys and much more. Being a website administrator is very easy and you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection.  All CWSA training is done by webinar in the comfort of your home.  We’ll hold webinars periodically throughout the year to train CWSAs as needed.

02/07/13 - Thursday

6 – 7 pm

Webinar

Hockey Night

The American Hockey League is approaching mid-season and the NHL is about to get things going with their lockout settled.  Life is good on the ice.  And it’s time to add our C.I.A. Services Hockey Night to your calendar.

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Houston Aeros

Our 15th Hockey Night with the Houston Aeros will be held on Saturday, February 23rd when the Aeros take on the powerhouse, Oklahoma City Barons. The Aeros have opened the season strong sitting just a few points behind the leader. So far, Houston has been emphasizing a disciplined, high skill game as the least penalized team in the whole AHL. Oklahoma City has been relying on one high powered offensive line with the top NHL draft picks over the last two drafts. This will be a great game but the advantage will go to Houston because the Aeros will have our fans cheering behind the Barons’ netminder.

Click below to see photos of the fun from the last four years.

2012    2011     2010     2009

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San Antonio Rampage

Our 5th Hockey Night with the San Antonio Rampage will be held on Sunday, March 17th when they battle the Abbotsford Heat. We’re not sure how a team from Canada can come into Texas with a straight face and a name like "the Heat". But they sure know how to play hockey. San Antonio had a rough start to the season but have found their game and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league. So we’ll see who is the real "heat" in March.

Click below to see photos of the fun from the last four years.

2012     2011     2010     2009 

 

Busy Year
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2012 is now behind us and it was another busy year at C.I.A. Services. Great management flows from a foundation of doing all the small things well. Our dedicated staff members kept up with the thousands of daily details associated with managing communities. Here are a few statistics from 2012.

  • In 2012, our maintenance coordinators issued and tracked 3,795 work orders and projects for our communities. That is an average of 15 per workday. A work order can be anything from having a sign fabricated & installed to developing specifications & soliciting bids for a contract to having a swimming pool resurfaced. Each work order includes a large amount of communication with contractors in advance and as follow-up. That is an impressive amount of work.
  • In 2012, our home improvement coordinators processed 4,559 home improvement and new construction requests for our communities. That is an average of 18 per workday. Many requests entail multiple communications with the homeowner to ensure that the request is complete before passing on to the ACC for a decision. Each request finishes with a letter to the homeowner documenting the decision.
  • In 2012, our bookkeepers prepared 10,501 checks and coordinated 17,580 bank drafts for our communities. That is an average of 54 per workday. Even more impressive is that those disbursements covered 46,072 separate vendor ivoices. That is an average of 177 per workday. It takes great organization skills to coordinate that many bills, obtaining reviews and approvals while meeting the due dates. All that while keeping impeccable records that CPA auditors love to see.
  • In 2012, our customer service staff helped 1,761 owners set up payment plans for their delinquent assessments. Throughout the year, our accounting staff monitored each payment plan and issued 1,038 follow-up letters to owners.
  • In 2012, our community managers, administrative assistants and inspectors tracked and resolved 81,681 deed restriction violations by issuing 91,201 letters. Our deed restriction management efforts continued to be successful with 91% of all violations getting resolved before a certified letter was needed. This is the 5th straight year that our resolution percentage has increased.
  • And not to be outdone, in December alone, our accounting staff and administrative assistants received and deposited $9,320,186 in assessments in 18,091 individual payments. In January, we deposited even more. In the three business days on either side of December 31st, we processed 8,992 payments.
The Joy of Giving 2012
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2012 was a great year for C.I.A. Services, Inc.! We are proud of our employees and all they do for this Company.  This year our employees in our North and Southwest offices teamed up to give back to those in need in the Houston area.  Each office collected non-perishable food items, toiletry items and toys for 6 local charity organizations. In appreciation, C.I.A. Services, Inc.’s management team stepped in by awarding raffle tickets for door prizes, which were in a drawing at the 2012 Christmas party, to help thank everyone for their generous donations. 

Food items were donated to Dayton Baptist Church Food Pantry and Second Blessings Store Food Pantry.  Ft. Bend Ministries received toiletry items collected by the Southwest office.

Toiletry items collected by the North office were donated to Humble Area Assistance Ministries.  Dawna Woods and Brenda Ellington volunteered to take over 350 rolls of toilet paper, 200 razors, 140 bars of soap and other items.  When delivering, they had the opportunity to meet a woman in need.  She was amazed that a company would come together in such a huge way.

Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center in Humble used the toys in their “Christmas Store” to allow mothers who have escaped domestic violence to shop for gifts for their children at no charge. 

In total, more than 920 non-perishable food items, over 800 toiletries and 33 toys were collected. 

A Special thanks to the employees who stepped up to help coordinate the collection of items; in the Southwest office – Patrick Sheffield, Felicia Dungy and Gina Victor, in the North Office – Renea Miksch, Kristen Craig, Jennifer Northington and Megan Bennett..  Thank you to all the employees who helped countless families to have food in the kitchen, personal items in the homes and toys under the tree this Christmas!

The giving continued with our Bandera office sponsoring a family in need.  The staff was able to raise $240 for that family.  The family was very grateful for the gift cards to local stores. 

On the Light Side
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Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
 
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
 
They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type-O.
 
Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
 
Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.
 
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
 
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
 
I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
 
All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.
Community of the Month
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We are proud of every one of our communities so it is always hard to find just one to highlight. We start by having each of our Community Managers write a nomination for one of their communities. We then read them and take a vote. Here are our most recent selections:

  • January - Marina Bay Park
    Southwest Office - Deneice Reyes, Community Manager
  • December - Cinco Ranch Residential Association II
    Southwest Office - Candace Look, Community Manager
  • November - Heron Nest Owners Association
    North Office - Annette Escarenio, Community Manager
  • October - Telfair Community Association
    Southwest Office - Libby Hodges, Community Manager

To see the full story on these communities and to see the past winners, visit the Community of the Month page on our web site.

Community Anniversaries
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Every month we appreciate the communities that are celebrating their anniversaries with us. Here are the clients that started with us in January.

  • Hunterwood Village II Association — 27 years
  • Homeowners Association of Timber Forest — 16 years
  • Kings Lake Forest Homeowners Association — 14 years
  • Cumberland Community Association — 5 years
  • Eastpoint Section 4 Homeowners Association — 2 years
  • Subdivision of Spring Crossing Community Association — 1 year

Our goal has always been to create a positive, long term relationship with all of our client communities. We are very proud to be managing all of these communities.

Employee Corner
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Happy Retirement!

The end of 2012 brought a bittersweet moment for C.I.A. Services, as we bid farewell and happy retirement to one of our dedicated employees.  We are sad to say goodbye, but are happy for her many years of service! Brenda Alvarez has been with C.I.A. Services since November of 1988. She began as an Administrative Assistant and was quickly promoted to Community Manager in 1989.  She worked closely with the Board of Directors to provide knowledge and guidance when it came to their Association.

After recognizing her hard work and dedication, she was then promoted to Office Manager for the North Branch.  She served in that role for over a decade and provided leadership and trust for all employees. 

Brenda has been the only Community Manager who has managed the same Association for over 20 years.  For her many years of gratifying service, the Parkway Forest POA Board of Directors rewarded her with a heartwarming goodbye; presenting moving speeches and a beautiful plaque.

She plans to spend her days traveling with her husband and visiting family.  We wish Brenda the best of luck on whatever journey comes her way.

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Anniversaries

Congratulations to North Office employees and shareholders Charlotte Bulcken and Liz Holliday on their 17 year and 16 year anniversaries with C.I.A. Services.  Charlotte handles most special projects for the company and is our expert in working with state, county and local governmental agencies.  Liz is our senior team member processing home improvement requests, working with homeowners and committee members.

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Welcome to the Team

We are very pleased to have three new employees join our North Office team to start off the new year.  Rebecca Arguello and Megan McElligott join our Community Specialists team.  Brittany Roberts joins us as Support Staff. Join us in welcoming them to the team

Career opportunities are always posted on our website (About Us > Careers).   

Read Past Issues of eNews Monthly

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company. Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page.