Called to Serve Volunteers for Board Service Often in Short Supply

In a dense urban or sprawling suburban environment, people can still feel isolated. While high-rise residential buildings and suburban subdivisions put many people and families in very close proximity to one another, living side-by-side doesn’t automatically transform a group of people into a community. Sometimes, just the opposite.

We all lead busy lives, our schedules are more than hectic and the last thing most people want to do is attend an HOA board meeting to discuss tedious bylaw alterations and HVAC repair schedules. Therefore, attracting and recruiting committed board members is crucial, because it ultimately improves the quality of life within the building or association community.

Training Ground

On the whole, community-management pros believe that committees provide a worthwhile training ground for potential board members, and a way to tap into other owners’ specific knowledge and keep them involved and engaged.

“I think being on committees are good training grounds for future board members,” says Arnie Lauri, a property manager with Argo Real Estate, LLC in Manhattan. “I manage this one condo where we have a regular board meeting on a monthly basis but we have a committee meeting the day before the board meeting. We invite everybody in the building to come to the committee meeting, and they have a voice—it’s not like they sit in a corner and don’t say anything.

“We discuss everything from interior design to cable and Internet access,” says Lauri. “When you have a committee it allows residents who aren’t on the board to have a voice. We encourage residents to bring their expertise to the building committee meetings. At these meetings you get a chance to see how people interact with others and what they bring to the table. If somebody continually comes to meetings and brings good, positive stuff that would work in the building then if you have an open seat you can talk to them and say you were good on that committee—would you like to run for a position on the board?”

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2 Comments

  • Excellent article , thanks. I was on a co-op board for 8 years and it was one long nightmare. The quality of work produced by some volunteers and their communicative ability, regardless of what their resumes had said , was unbelievably atrocious.
  • Without letting things fall entirely into disarray, is there a way for a Board to go straight to a judge to appoint a receiver to a troubled co-op? Inquiring minds want to know.