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Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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August 2019
eNews Monthly
Volunteer Spotlight
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Raymond Thomas of Sonoma Ranch
by Brooke Gattis, Community Manager

Sonoma Ranch is home to many individuals who volunteer their time to work to improve the community. Raymond Thomas is a great example of the dedicated community involvement that we have in Sonoma Ranch. Raymond volunteered in several capacities before running for the board in 2016.

Raymond is a certified training instructor for Union Pacific Railroad and has been for over 16 years. He has raised 6 children – 3 of which are adopted. He is a proud father of 3 college graduates with degrees in RN, CPA, and Chemical Engineering. In addition to spending time with his big family, Raymond has fostered over 20 TYC kids. Raymond has a kind heart and has welcomed neighbors to the community since 2005 when he moved in.

When Raymond isn’t working, he is involved in many community activities such as: coaching little league football, serving as the current president of the cheerleader’s booster club, and mentoring young children in the neighborhood who don’t have a father figure in their life. He attends all of the school meetings from Elementary to High School and was an advocate for the passing of the 2019 bond for the betterment of the local schools.

Raymond takes time to help the elderly take out the trash and handles small home repairs for those who can’t afford professional contractors.

He does all of this while taking care of his disabled wife who takes dialysis 7 days a week for 8 ½ hours a day. Raymond is very strongly dedicated to serving his community.

We are pleased to feature Raymond Thomas this month for our Volunteer Spotlight to thank him for all he does to better the community.

Living Our Core Values
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What Stewardship Means to Me

Our company holds high regard for our core values. We refer to our core values as "SPECIAL," as each letter of that word represents a particular core value. As you may know, C.I.A. Services’ seven core values are:

  • Stewardship
  • Passion
  • Empathy
  • Community
  • Integrity
  • Awesomeness
  • Loyalty

In this edition and the upcoming editions of the eNews, we’d like to present our core values in a new way. We asked our employees to submit short articles about what a core value of their choice means to them, in both their personal and C.I.A. Services lives.

This month, we’re featuring the first letter of SPECIAL: Stewardship.

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Learning and Growing
by Tori Irwin, Community Manager

Stewardship is the first of C.I.A. Services Core values.  From my perspective, education is one of the most important steps to becoming the best steward I can be for my communities. With that in mind, I am pursuing education available to community association managers.

The Community Associations Institute provides many opportunities for continued education.  They have developed several levels of designations that can be earned by managers.  The first step in obtaining the first designation, the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®), is to successfully complete The Essentials of Community Association Management class (M-100) and test.    

Because stewardship is important to me, I am demonstrating a higher level of commitment to the community association industry and am proud that I have recently successfully completed the course.

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Preserving Our World
by Dawna Woods, Maintenance Coordinator

For me, an important aspect of stewardship is how we as individuals take care of our planet. We live in a disposable world; most people toss unwanted items in the trash without a second thought. I was raised to follow the opposite principle: reuse or recycle when you can. For as long as I can remember, recycling has always been in my life in one way or another. Growing up, my grandma was always saving aluminum cans, newspapers, and glass bottles and cashing them in at the recycling center. She passed this on to me and I cannot remember a time when I did not recycle.

In 2013, the City of Houston started its curbside recycling program, but it did not reach my neighborhood until 2015. The day my 96-gallon green recycling receptacle was delivered to my home was a memorable day. I posted on social media thanking Mayor Parker for the recycling container.  Before curbside recycling began, my family would deliver 32-gallon trash cans to the recycling center at Ellington Field each weekend.  While raising our family of five, the recycling bin would often overflow before the trash can, and we would sometimes use the neighbor’s bins for our extra recyclables. In the back corner of the yard, we had a compost pile where we would place the vegetable and fruit scraps, to later use in the vegetable garden.

In 1997, shortly after I started working at C.I.A. Services, I helped improve our recycling program. We would place all recyclable paper in boxes and I would haul them to the recycling center. We then expanded our commitment to being environmentally friendly to include recycling aluminum cans, plastic, and electronics. Today we have a company that comes in and picks up the paper for recycling, and we carry the other items to the recycling center on a regular basis.

In 2011, Waste Management opened its streamline recycling center and I was so excited because I had the golden ticket to the ribbon cutting and tour (technically, it was not a golden ticket… but to me it was). The tour showed how the items were sorted and bundled for distribution. We were also shown the learning center, where the walls are covered in recycled materials and the visible ceiling is made up of old vinyl records. It was an exciting day!

Reducing waste is also very important; my household does everything possible to reduce what we throw away. It’s the simplest things. We limit the use of paper products and use jug water or 2-liters instead of individual bottles. We buy fresh produce versus canned or bagged produce, and we never forget our reusable bags when going grocery shopping.

Why am I such an advocate for recycling? The reason has changed over the years. I initially did it because that is what my grandma taught me growing up, but over time, I realized the importance of preserving the environment to ensure that my children (and now grandchildren) could grow up on a healthy planet. It is important to me to be an environmental steward and do what I can to protect our earth. If we all work to manage our waste and output into the environment, we can preserve our world for many more years and make it a much cleaner place to live for us and the generations to come.

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Protecting Financial and Personal Investments
by Melody Lihou, Clerical Assistant

This summer, working at C.I.A. Services, I’ve learned and realized a lot about stewardship and the importance of being a steward in my daily life.

I’m an incoming freshman to the University of Texas at Austin, and because of the huge time and financial investment, I know I have to stay focused and responsible during the school year. I’m majoring in Music Education, so in addition to keeping up with classwork and studying for my core classes, I must be a steward in my music studies as well. I’m prepared to commit many hours a week to practicing to benefit not only me, but my peers in my ensemble and orchestra classes; my individual work is necessary to ensure the success of the group.

Relating to my major, for the last year or so I’ve been mentoring and giving private lessons to middle school cellists. I work with students weekly and assist them with their music and technique to prepare them for various contests and auditions. By doing this, I’m bettering the future of the music program in my area.

Being a steward is important to me, as possessing this quality will greatly strengthen my potential for success in the coming years at college and benefit those associated with me.

Accomplishments
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Manager Earns International Certification

Brandi Brack, Branch Manager and Community Manager of our San Antonio Office, has been named our newest Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB).

CAMICB is an independent board that sets the standards for community association managers worldwide. It is the first and only organization created solely to certify community association managers and enhance the professional practice of community association management.

The CAMICB administers the CMCA examination, a rigorous test that measures knowledge of community management best practices. Brandi joins more than 19,000 CMCAs worldwide who have demonstrated the skills essential for managing homeowner associations.

The CMCA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and complies with the NCCA’s stringent international standards for a professional certification program.

Brandi is proud to join the list of CMCAs working diligently for our company and our clients. Congratulations!

For more information, visit www.camicb.org.

Fun Times
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Upcoming Hockey Night

It seems like the Stanley Cup playoffs were just yesterday but the hockey schedules for the next season have been released.  The San Antonio Rampage will open its 18th season on October 4th. 

The Rampage is the American Hockey League affiliate for the St. Louis Blues who just won the Stanley Cup in an amazing run.  The Blues were in last place in the NHL in January, called up the Rampage’s top goalie and went on a winning streak to barely make the playoffs.  They fought hard through the playoffs to win 16 games against the league’s best to hoist the Cup.  Congratulations to the Blues and Rampage organizations.  The new season will be exciting.  

Our C.I.A. Services Hockey Night with the San Antonio Rampage has been set for Saturday, March 21st against the Manitoba Moose.  We have the AT&T Center Super-Boxes again this year and the ice after the game for our guests to enjoy a post-game skate! 

This year’s Hockey Night was a blast, and we hope to see you at our next one! Click on the links below to check out the photos from this year and prior years.

2019     2018     2017    2016     2015     2014     2013    2012     2011     2010    2009

 

Back to School
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Back to school time is upon us.  Lazy days in the sun are ready to give way to the hustle and bustle of bus schedules, homework, and after-school activities. 

For many of us, that means chaos and hectic schedules, but many experts say it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many things we can do to help ease the transition for ourselves and our kids. 

Click here to review a list of articles, compiled by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., from many noted experts on back to school tips for everyone.

Seminar Series
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We offer each of our seminars in the form of a recorded webcast on demand for you to watch at any time! If you have missed a seminar, our seminars are available on our YouTube channel. The following seminars are now available:

Just go to our website, www.ciaservices.com, and click on the Resources tab. From there, select our Library and you will see the links to each webcast and other training materials or you can simply click on the links above.

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Associations in Practice Series

Our first video in the Associations in Practice Series covered Super-Budget ConceptsThis is a great introduction (or refresher) to The Super-Budgeting Process webinar offered in our Seminar Series.
 
Our latest addition to the Series is Short Term Rentals. In this video, we offer insight into short-term rental properties. We have an expert panel on board discussing everything from what a short-term rental is, to potential problems and possible solutions.
 
All of our Association in Practice Series videos will be available on our YouTube channel. We will send updates when new material is added. You can also subscribe to our channel for the news on the latest additions.
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:

  • August - Magnolia Heights Homeowners Association - San Antonio Office - Valerie Flinn
  • July - Ashcreek Homeowners Association - North Office - Kristin Taylor
  • June - Aliana Commercial Association - Southwest Houston Office - Deniece Reyes
  • May - Cinco Ranch Southwest Community Council - Humble Office - Kimberly Cowart
  • April - Lake McQueeney Las Brisas Homeowners Association - San Antonio Office - Summer Smith
  • March - Pine Forest Village Community Association Humble Office - Angela Douglas

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

  • Country Colony Community Improvement Association — 24 years
  • Atascocita Trails Homeowners Association — 7 years
  • Eli West End Owners Association — 5 years
  • Yaupon Ranch Homeowners Association — 4 years
  • Aliana Homeowners Association — 3 years
  • Aliana Community Council Association — 3 years
  • Shady Acres View Homeowners Association — 2 years
  • Happy Hide-A-Way Civic Club — 2 years
  • Winn Brook Estates Homeowners Association — 1 year
  • Legacy Trails Cell-3 Homeowners Associaton — 1 year
  • Clear Creek Forest Subdivision, Section 13, Property Owners 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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Employee Anniversaries

We love to celebrate special milestones with our employees. In the Employee Corner of each eNews issue, we will list all employees that have reached their one-year anniversary with our company. Additionally, we recognize stockholders on their anniversary month.  C.I.A. Services employees become stockholders after they have been employed for five years.

Kim Moore, Executive Vice President, Community Manager, and Branch Manager of our Southwest Houston Office, is celebrating her 21st anniversary! Kim is a wonderful mentor to her coworkers and is always available to assist when needed. Outside of the office, she is an active member of her church and enjoys shopping and spending time with her Godson, Taeden.

Congratulations to Frances McIntyre on her 14th anniversary! Frances is our team lead in Customer Service and an Administrative Assistant at our Humble Office. She is an awesome, dedicated, and hardworking employee. Frances is always the first one to volunteer if help is needed to cover a shift and will take on any task given to her. She enjoys having family barbecue gatherings and relaxing on the weekends.

Congratulations to them both!

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.