The New England Condo Expo Help for Association Boards

The New England Condo Expo

The New England Condo Expo, now in its sixth year at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, brought together thousands of trustees, board members, managers and service providers from all over the New England region on May 20th, for a full day of networking, education and information.

The attendees spent the day visiting more than 150 exhibit booths, gathering free advice from legal, management and financial condo and HOA experts and attending seminars on everything from amending your bylaws and the legalities of the super lien law to handling collections and dealing with pests, the bane of multi-family homeowners.

The Expo is a one-stop venue where help can be found all in one place: from the exhibitors displaying a variety of goods and services to informative seminars with advice and valuable solutions that condo and HOA trustees, board members and residents can bring home with them.

“Obviously our goal is to present attendees with information and products that will make running their buildings easier and more efficient,” says Yale Robbins, president of Yale Robbins, Publications, Inc., Expo producer and publisher of New England Condominium, “but we also put a great deal of thought into the bigger picture, anticipating trends and trying to broaden what we provide from one year to the next.”

If You Build It… They Will Come

One of the mainstays of the annual Expo are the seminars that regularly draw standing-room-only crowds to learn about the latest trends in condominium and multi-family living and ways in which they can manage their communities better.

Attorneys Henry Goodman, Ellen Shapiro and Frank Lombardi of the Dedham, Massachusetts-based law firm of Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC, attracted an overflow crowd at a morning seminar on “Pets, Poop & Pot—Neighborly Disputes” that covered some of the hottest of hot-button issues at associations. The trio of attorneys spoke of the difficulties that condos have in dealing with pets from legal disputes to doggie DNA. They also delved into the new rules regarding medical marijuana and smoking that condo managers and administrators are concerned about.

Attorneys Richard Brooks and Janet Aronson from the Braintree, Massachusetts law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks fielded a steady stream of questions from a packed room as they looked at the ins and outs of “Examining Lien Enforcement, Foreclosures and the Super Lien Law.” To date, 17 states (including Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut) and the District of Columbia have passed “super lien” legislation that gives condominiums and HOAs first priority after municipal tax liens to recover assets and collateral of a property and allow an association to begin foreclosure proceedings. Brooks and Aronson explained how the law works and what condos can do to collect unpaid condo fees and dues.

Information and Free Advice

Several other seminars covering topics from pests to property maintenance, amending bylaws and rules and adopting procedures to facilitate collections and evictions were presented. Attendees also heard from more than a dozen experts in a variety of fields—from law to insurance and reserves—who made themselves available to dispense free advice throughout the day.

Long-time board member Dennis Marcucci from Woburn, Massachusetts, was impressed by not only the quality of the exhibitors but also the instructional seminars offered at the Expo. “After being on my board for 20 years, this is my first time there. I went specifically to attend the seminars, of which I attended four. They were well represented, speaker-wise, and quite informative. Thanks for the opportunity to attend a terrific event. I’m very much looking forward to next year’s event.”

Board president Dan Riley agreed. “It is a great opportunity to connect with vendors for board members. The panel discussions were also excellent,” said Riley, who presides over a condo association in Mashpee.

You Can Win Too

Trustees and board members have another fantastic reason to attend the Expo with a golden opportunity to be selected as the grand prize winner of the $2,500 reserve fund.

Hank Shafran, a trustee at the 30 Dean Road Condominium Association in Boston, attended the 2013 Expo and was recently selected as the winner of New England Condominium’s $2,500 Reserve Fund prize. It was Shafran’s third time attending the expo, and he was presented with a check for his community, courtesy of New England Condominium and parent company, Yale Robbins Publications, LLC.

Shafran said no decision has been made yet about how best to use the money. “We’ve got several potential capital improvement projects that have been put on hold that we can put it toward.” Possible projects, he added, may include repair of potholes or garage door repairs or replacements. “There are plenty of things we could use it for,” he said.

He was excited to have won and enjoyed his experience at the show. “I like to see what’s out there, what the vendors are doing. It’s a good event if you’re serious about wanting to do a good job for your condo association.”

Planning Ahead

Mark your calendars for next year’s Expo, which is scheduled for April 30, 2015. Stay tuned throughout the year to these pages and the Expo website, for updated information, important deadlines and online registration.

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