COVER STORY MICHAEL PACKARD T here are very few gentlemen in the Association management industry (if any) who have the depth of experience and knowledge in all things “HOA” than my colleague at Associa, Michael Packard. Mike has been in the industry for almost 45 years, who’s credentials may surprise you if you met this quiet, modest man on the street. He began as a General Manager for a 932-unit Senior Community in Oceanside back in 1981. He has been a formal instructor and educator for CAI for 37 years, teaching not only here in the States but also in ten different countries worldwide. He is the only two-time recipient of CAI’s Distinguished Service Award and has served as CAI President and CAI Research Foundation President in years past. If that didn’t tell you enough, may I brag a bit further and say that his PCAM (the “doctorate” designation of the HOA certifications) is only #9 in the country. Mike currently is the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Associa and resides with his wife in Carlsbad. I recently had the opportunity to ask Mike a few questions about why he believes in industry education, the Associa management model and what’s new in HOA technology. In the decades spanning your professional career in the HOA management, how has the industry changed? The biggest changes in our Industry have been technology, education and experience of all those related to Community Associations; i.e. Board Members, Managers, Professional Partners, legislators, etc. Speaking of education, what is the value for management companies to continue investing in the education of their managers? As with any profession an educated Community Association Manager will be able to deliver a much more informed, thus quality service, to their company’s clients. From owning your own management to teaching for CAI on a national level, why have you chosen to work for Associa? Why do you believe in Associa’s vision? I have known Associa’s Chairman/CEO John Carona since the mid 1980’s. He invited me to Dallas to discuss his vision; “the development of: 1) a best place to work company, 2) a world class brand, 3) a standardized business model, 4) and best in class training. Central to achieving his “vision” are John’s four pillars. Though personal in nature I can share that John’s number one 42 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER SUMMER 2018 pillar has always been “employee morale”. In 2005 I finally joined John’s team knowing that his vision and values were very much in sync with mine. What has Associa done to show forward thinking in the development of tools to help BODs and even the managers they employ? Research and development (R & D) has always been the key to the success of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. Service-oriented companies such as ours must spend a significant amount of their revenues in order to deliver top notch services to their clients. Associa, without question, leads our profession in R & D. Examples are our industry leading Client Accounting and witnessing the immediate success of Town Square (see townsq.io for a demo of this transparent, interactive software tool for Boards and homeowners) which is “Next Door” moved to the PHD level. Why would an HOA be wise to choose Associa to partner with? Though I can think of many reasons, I believe our attention to recruiting the very best Community Association Managers and providing them with ongoing profession leading education is a prime reason. Our attention to their support, industry leading technology for our clients plus undisputed breadth and depth of services are critical as well. These reasons and others are articulated in my book published by the Community Associations Institute, “Management Companies; How to Find the Right Community Association Professional”. (See cai.caionline.org for a copy) For more information or to receive a proposal for management of your HOA, please call Derek Fricke at (760) 908-1612 or visit www.Associaonline.com.