The Association Board President that leads your community association fills a number of unique roles.
The Role of the President
Different situations will determine which role the association President assumes. Sometimes, the President must set aside other roles, such as neighbor or friend, to accomplish a task or make a decision. Community association presidents are required to fulfill many roles, but the primary roles are leadership.
Association Presidents gain their authority to lead a community association from state law — generally called the Common Interest Ownership Act.
The President should have a basic understanding of the law pertaining to community associations, as well as the association’s governing documents.
The Governing Documents —
- The Declaration (also called Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions—CC&Rs),
- Bylaws (which address the association’s structure, the board, the officers, definition of a quorum, ability to enter into contracts, etc.),
- Rules and Regulations (the operational and behavioral laws that apply to association residents).
Therefore, Board Presidents must perceive the association as both a community and a business, as well as operate on the democratic principles of government.
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The President’s Role and Their Responsibility
Association presidents must adhere to budgets, formulate and enforce rules and policies, conduct meetings, prepare agendas, and work with committees.
Speak for the Board and the Association
The president is the official spokesperson for the board—to association members, the community manager (or management company), vendors, the press, and the greater community.
Learning how to be president of a community association generally comes from on-the-job training. However, educational resources for association volunteers are available in books, seminars, periodicals, and networking offered by groups that serve common-interest communities, such as Community Associations Institute and its chapters.
Work with Volunteers
The president is the leader of the board, a body that typically includes:
The Vice President—who substitutes for the president in his or her absence
The Secretary—the official recorder of the association’s activities
The Treasurer—the chief financial officer of the association.
It’s in the president’s best interest to encourage the officers’ participation in association affairs and to develop their skills as team members. The president should also attempt to identify and train potential association leaders, encourage them to join the board, and orient them to their new responsibilities.
Many associations employ either a community management company or a professional manager who directs association operations based on policy set by the board. The president is the liaison between the manager and the association. Seeking the services of an attorney, architect, or insurance professional is in the best interests of the association. Experts provide information and expertise that board members don’t normally have.
- Reviewing legal contracts requires advice from an attorney.
- Managing reserve funds requires guidance from an accountant or an investment advisor.
As long as the members recognize the importance of the community that unifies them, the role of President can be very satisfying.
Board members (and, in particular, the President, and Treasurer) have a fiduciary obligation to protect the community association by:
- adequately funding reserve accounts and educating homeowners about the value and purpose of having capital assets.
- collecting fees from homeowners.
- seeking the advice of a certified insurance specialist and protecting the association with appropriate levels of insurance coverage.
The position of association President is not for everyone. Fortunately, every President has a Board from which he or she can draw support.
Be sure to watch our Board Secretary and Board Treasurer videos that cover their roles and responsibilities as well. Please also feel free to contact Acri Realty with any questions you may have. We’d be happy to help you.
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