Rosemary Levin is the President of Pelican Harbor, a homeowners association of 196 homes on the intracoastal in Delray Beach, Florida. Originally from New York City, Rosemary has a very diverse background having worked as both a commercial artist and IRS agent. She moved to Florida in 2000 and has been living in Pelican Harbor ever since. In her time away from the board, Rosemary is now a part-time realtor. She has been on the board for 5 years and became President a month ago.
Rosemary loves living close to the water, which is why she made Pelican Harbor her home. In her spare time she enjoys boating and spending time with her son, David, both at his home with his family in Croatia and when they visit here. She believes it is her duty to be a part of the Pelican Harbor Board, so that she can keep her home and the community in tip top shape.
This past week, I sat down with Rosemary to discuss her experiences working as the President of Pelican Harbor HOA.
Ashley: How does your community engage the residents?
Rosemary: At Pelican Harbor we have a social committee called the Royal Pelican Yacht Club. They are responsible for planning events for the community, including holiday parties, annual get-togethers, boat trips and raft-ups and the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, since we are a boating community. We try to keep all of our residents engaged and involved with a wide variety of activities that include yoga and water aerobics. All of the social activities in our community are run by the residents which helps to keep everyone involved.
Ashley: What tips do you recommend for an effective board meeting?
Rosemary: A good board meeting always starts with preparation. If everyone is well aware of what is working and what is not, and any other issues that need to be addressed, it is much easier to get in there, find solutions, have some warranted discussions, and get the job done. If the board meetings are too short, issues are more than likely not being addressed, and if the board meetings are too long, your discussion is more than likely off topic. Our board meetings usually last about an hour and a half. That is usually a sufficient time frame to hit all the topics we need to discuss while still having some leeway before and after for stray topics. As long as it doesn’t get out of hand, we allow a fair amount of interaction with the residents who come to the meetings.
Ashley: Have you had any large community projects during your time on the board? If so, do you have any tips for handling large scale projects in a community?
Rosemary: We have had two large projects while I have been on the board: the expansion of the gym and the current project, which is the renovation of the front entrance of the clubhouse. We decided to make these upgrades to increase the engagement of our residents and enhance our property values. Everyone is excited that we doubled the size of our gym! All of this is being accomplished without a special assessment.
I think the best advice I can give for handling large scale projects in a community is to garner support for the project from the residents. We gave our residents an opportunity to ask questions and contribute ideas and have kept them informed throughout the process with the help and expertise of management, engineers and contractors.
Ashley: What advice would you share with new board members?
Rosemary: Learn as much about your association as you can. Know the history of the community, what it has been through and what needs to be cared for and learn from what worked and what didn’t work in the past. I would also recommend you find educational resources to use as a guide. A good board member resource is Florida Association News.
Every move made by the board is crucial and should be carefully thought out. It is a great experience to be able to take part in shaping the community that you live in and with proper knowledge, it is a very rewarding position.
Finally, I would encourage all Board Members to make sure that you have a good support team. We are very fortunate here to have a great property manager in Don, who is supported by Debbie, who runs our onsite office. Their expertise and execution have been invaluable in the ongoing operation of the community. Campbell’s CFO, Evan Bradley has also been very helpful to the board and we know he is always there when we need him.
Pelican Harbor HOA has been managed by Don Burlew of Campbell Property Management for over two years.
“Rosemary is easy to work with and an asset to our community. She has a practical and common sense approach to business, which has been very beneficial in running the Pelican Harbor association. Working with Rosemary has been a property manager’s dream,” said Don.
“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