The New England Condo Expo Help for Association Boards

Once again this spring, the New England Condo Expo drew thousands of trustees, board members, managers and service providers from all over the New England region to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston for a full day of networking, education and information.

Now in its seventh year, the April 30th event offered attendees the opportunity to visit more than 150 exhibit booths, gather free advice from legal, management and financial condo and HOA experts, and attend seminars on everything from homesharing to lien enforcement.

The 2015 Expo proved again that the annual event 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 we strive to present attendees with usable information and products that will help to make running their buildings easier and more efficient,” says Yale Robbins, president of Yale Robbins Publications, LLC, Expo producer and publisher of New England Condominium. “We also look at the bigger picture, anticipating trends so we can keep current with our offerings from one year to the next.”

If You Build It… They Will Come

Throughout the day, a half-dozen seminars drew standing room-only crowds, as experts in every aspect of condominium and multi-family operations covered today’s “hot” topics.

Attorneys Henry Goodman, Ellen Shapiro and Frank Lombardi, partners with the Dedham, Massachusetts and Lincoln, Rhode Island-based law firm of Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC, opened the educational side of the Expo with “Condo 101—A Primer on Condo Life.” The overflow crowd appreciated the introduction that is so often overlooked when buyers enter condominium life, and posed a lengthy array of questions for the experienced trio.

Attorneys Richard Brooks and Janet Aronson, partners with the Braintree, Massachusetts law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., delved into the latest trends in lien enforcement, offering managers and trustees an arsenal of ideas on “What You Need to Know to Recover Unpaid Assessments.”The question-and-answer period proved lively, too, as the lawyers responded to numerous questions about foreclosures and the superlien laws that are now in place in 20 states.

Several other seminars covering topics from security to homesharing and ADA compliance, hosted by New England Condominium, were led by panels of industry experts. Matthew Gaines, an associate attorney from Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, attorney Gary Daddario, a partner with the Nashua, New Hampshire and Tyngsboro, Massachusetts-based law firm of Winer & Bennett, and Deborah Jones, PCAM, of The Dartmouth Group, explained the pros, cons, and laws regarding the new trend of homesharing—and how it affects New England condominium communities..

Veteran managers David J. Levy of Sterling Services and Douglas Thayer of Thayer Management, offered a stream of tips for Getting the Most from Your Management,” stressing that successful condominiums enjoy a “proactive partnership” between managers and boards.

The day’s apartment management seminars included a session led by Don Kwapian of Setronics Security Integrators, and attorneys Frank Flynn of the Flynn Law Group and Patrick Brady, a partner with the law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, exploring “Security vs. Privacy: Big Brother is Watching,” and ways of using today’s security technology while staying on the right side of privacy laws.

As issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continue to arise at condominiums, Pamela Jonah of the law firm of Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, attorney Howard Goldman, founding partner of the Needham, Massachusetts-based law firm of Goldman & Pease, LLC, Paul Ahern of New England Elevator Company and Kathy Gips of the New England ADA Center discussed matters ranging from access to emergency planning.

Attendees also came to hear from more than a dozen experts in a variety of fields—from law to insurance and reserves—who graciously volunteered their time to dispense free advice throughout the day.

Long-time board member Dennis Marcucci 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.”

It’s a Win-Win

Throughout the day, visitors to Expo booths were able to win a wide variety of prizes, as exhibitors hosted drawings for gift baskets, gift cards, sports tickets and other prizes. Trustees and board members also had an extra fantastic reason to attend the Expo: the opportunity to be selected as the grand prize winner of the $2,500 reserve fund.

Planning Ahead

Planning and preparation have already begun for the eighth annual Expo, scheduled for May 24, 2016. Stay tuned throughout the year to these pages and the Expo website, www.ne-expo.com for updated information, important deadlines and online registration.