Since its humble beginnings in 1973, the New England chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI-NE) has provided its members with the tools necessary for efficient community association management, operations and governance.
CAI-NE—one of 57 chapters nationwide and currently the third largest in the country—was originated by a group of extremely committed volunteers who saw a need for education in the then-new type of homeownership: condominiums and cooperatives (although in Massachusetts, community associations come primarily in the form of condo associations).
"The folks who really spearheaded the organization from the beginning, from what I've seen, were some of our still very active attorney members," says Claudette Carini, executive director of the New England chapter. "They were constantly contacting their colleagues and their client associations to encourage them to come out for educational programs. It was really a grassroots effort on behalf of these volunteers."
Carini was brought on in 1994 as the first hired executive director of the organization, which has offices in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Prior to her entrance, a number of people assisted the chapter administratively, but it is her job to assist the volunteers and to move the chapter forward. And with the help of her dedicated staff and exceptional volunteers, that is exactly what she's done.
Continuing a Tradition
Carini says she began her duties with a membership of only 200 people—a strong, cohesive group of volunteers made up of the founder of the organization and his colleagues, many of whom had long supported the organization financially.