Mitch Katz is the President of Bexley Park HOA, a community of 264 single-family homes and townhouses located in Delray Beach, Florida. Mitch grew up in Florida and works in marketing and business development in the higher education industry.
Mitch was living at Bexley Park when the developer turnover was taking place. No one from the townhomes was running for the Board; only people from the single-family homes were running. Mitch’s wife, Heather believed that everyone’s voice in the community deserved to be heard, so, she encouraged him to run for the Board. He was elected to the Board and became the Vice President during that first year after the turnover. He took on the role as President the next year and has served in that capacity for over eight years.
During his tenure as President, Mitch has been confronted with a wide variety of issues that required him to continually learn and stay up to date with what is happening in homeowner associations in Florida. Mitch was looking for a way to share ideas and knowledge with other Board members, which led him to become involved with the Condo and HOA Council.
Originally founded by local association attorney Mark Bogen, the Condo and HOA Council was “started to provide information, practical solutions and education to association board members,” says Katz. “By joining the Condo and HOA Council, Board Members are now able to solve problems and answer questions based on the advice of their peers that have shared similar experiences.”
When he’s not working, Katz enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather, and their two children. Katz is also the Chairman of the City of Education Board and is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. Mitch also makes time to continue his education and recently earned a Master’s degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
This past week, I spoke with Mitch to discuss his experiences, working not only as the President of Bexley Park, but also as the Executive Director of the Condo and HOA Council:
Ashley: What do you like most about being on the Board?
Mitch: I really enjoy keeping my community looking good and helping it move forward to be the best community I know it can be.
Ashley: What has been the most challenging aspect of being on the Board?
Mitch: Well, for me, the most challenging aspect would have to be dealing with some legal litigation with the builder of Bexley Park. That’s definitely been the hardest part. The problems started in 2011 when a resident leaned against a wall in her home and her hand went straight through. We hired an outside contractor to investigate the problem. It was discovered that the windows in 161 of the homes hadn’t been installed properly. The windows were built into a wood frame, and the pane that collects water and pushes it out instead of into the house was never put in. I immediately contacted the developer about the issues and asked that they fix the problem. They sent a group of people out to check the windows, but nothing was resolved. I, then had to file a faulty-construction claim in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, which resulted in the HOA being found not responsible for the internal damage. This was good news for the HOA, but bad news for our homeowners. We have gone back and forth with the developer ever since and are still waiting for the problem to be fixed.
Ashley: What has been your proudest accomplishment during your time on the Board?
Mitch: My proudest accomplishment was keeping the community looking pristine during the recession without raising the maintenance fees. I worked closely with our Board, property manager, and vendors to keep maintenance fees low, while still maintaining our community.
Ashley: What piece of advice would you share with other Board members?
Mitch: Don’t take everything personally! Do your best and always keep the association’s best interests in mind. Once you have their best interests in mind, you can go forward and begin making decisions.
Currently, Mitch has been working on the Condo and HOA Council’s next event: a hurricane preparedness luncheon, which will take place on Saturday, June 14 from 10am-1pm at The Arts Garage in Delray Beach. “The mission of the Condo and HOA Council is to bring valuable education to Board members; we are extremely excited for our upcoming event,” said Mitch.
For more information on the Condo and HOA Council or to RSVP for the upcoming luncheon, visit CondoCouncil.com.
“Meet the Director” is an ongoing series where we recognize an outstanding Director from a community association in South Florida.
Serving on the Board of a Community Association is a challenging and often thankless job. There are thousands of dedicated volunteers in South Florida that have stepped up to lead their communities and we hope this series serves as a reminder to us all – to thank those that have invested their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live.
by Ashley Dietz, Marketing Director, Campbell Property Management