Larry Orbach is the President of the Woodfield Country Club Master Association, which includes 20 sub-associations consisting of 1,297 homes in Boca Raton, Florida. The Woodfield Country Club Master Association has approximately 3,500 residents and over 20 lakes. Originally, from Pennsylvania, Larry attended Hofstra University in Long Island, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in business management. After, Larry worked several jobs, including computer troubleshooting, server management and commercial real estate before making his way to Miami for ten years, and then to Woodfield in 2002. Prior to serving on the Woodfield Master Board, he served as President of Briarcliff, a sub-association of Woodfield for three years. He has served as the President of the Woodfield Master Board for two and a half years.
In his spare time, Larry enjoys bicycling and working on computers. He also enjoys the challenge of managing a community. In joining the board, he has put an emphasis on improving the infrastructure of the community and making it the best it can be.
This past week, I sat down with Larry to discuss his experiences working as the President of the Woodfield Country Club Master Association:
Ashley: In order to be efficient, it is really important to stay organized. How does your association stay organized?
Larry: We have weekly reports which keep all the board members and property manager on the same page. These outline what is going on with our landscaping, any miscellaneous maintenance, any project updates, dates and times of our upcoming meetings and our deposits for the week. Not only do these reports keep us organized and ensure that all the members are on the same page, but they also help us to communicate everything that is going on.
Ashley: What tips do you have for communities undergoing construction or repair?
Larry: During times of construction or repair, it is very important to have great communication with the homeowners. If they are well aware of what is going on in the community, they will most likely be happy that their community is getting the upgrades that it needs. Homeowners should never have to find out what is going on in their community after the construction begins. We have been able to share information with them very quickly and efficiently through our website and email blasts.
Ashley: Has your community experienced any challenges? If so, how did you overcome these?
Larry: The biggest challenge our community has gone through is change. Change is not always easy for everyone to accept. This was the case for us when new board members joined the board and when we made a change in management companies. Initially, the change to the board was difficult. We held a lot of meetings as a board to get everyone on the same page; we wanted to keep the focus on maintaining the property as a whole. Adjusting to the change in management was hard for some of the residents, but getting good people from Campbell made it easier. Switching to Campbell was a great decision and the actual transition was not difficult. The tougher part was getting everyone to accept and understand the change. Acquainting the residents with the new management team and vice versa helped both sides to feel more at ease.
Ashley: What advice would you share with other board members?
Larry: I think the best advice I could give to other board members is to be 100% honest and open about everything. Communication is definitely the most important key to success. Make sure all of the board members are on the same page, and make sure the residents are also aware of what’s going on in the community. Replying to homeowners in a timely manner shows that you care, and are there to help.
The Woodfield Country Club Master Association has been managed by Joan Burres of Campbell Property management for almost 2 years.
“Larry’s style of handing his responsibilities on the board should be put into a training manual for all Board Presidents. One of his strongest and most beneficial traits is his ability to treat all of his Board Members with respect. He uses clear common-sense reasoning and flawless communication with his Board, members of the community and the office staff. Combine that with a positive, up-beat nature and a strong set of values and you have a Board President that will be sorely missed by all when his term ends,” said Joan Burres.
“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