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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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July 2014
eNews Monthly
Accomplishments
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Managers Earn International Certification

Congratulations to Southwest Office community managers Deniece Reyes and Candace Look on receiving their Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) certification!  The CMCA is a national certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner associations. Only individuals who have demonstrated the fundamental knowledge required to manage community associations can earn their CMCA.

To obtain their certifications, candidates are tested on their knowledge in many areas of community management, including:

    • Governance and legal matters
    • Budgets, reserves, investments, and assessments
    • Risk management and insurance
    • Maintenance
    • Contracting
    • Meetings management
    • Human resource management

C.I.A. Services is proud to add Deniece and Candace to our list of CMCA’s working diligently for our company and our clients.  Well done ladies!

Special Event
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C.I.A. Services Commits for Life
by Amanda Jensen

C.I.A. Services is hosting local blood drives at each of our Houston office locations!  Donor coaches will be parked outside at each location.  We are inviting everyone to join us.  

Not only can you help save lives, you can earn a Sweet Treat!  Every donor that joins us will receive a FREE PINT of Blue Bell Ice Cream! 

If you are on the south side of town, our Southwest Office location will probably be most convenient for you. REGISTER HERE.

Friday, August 15, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
3000 Wilcrest Dr. Houston TX 77042

Those in and around North Houston can visit our North Office location.  The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is getting the registration page for this location ready.  Check back soon for a link to register. 

Friday, August 29, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
8811 FM 1960 Bypass Rd., Humble, TX 77338

Commit for Life donors will also receive Commit for Life points for their donation to redeem in the online store. For 200 additional "Appointment-Kept Points" please click on the link above to view available times and schedule your donation.

More than 1,000 donations per day are needed by patients in the Texas Gulf Coast region, and your blood donation could help save up to three lives. Individuals who Commit for Life and donate once a quarter can help save lives on an ongoing basis. I encourage you to please schedule your donation today.

Photo: Audrina made national news in 2012 when she was born with a very rare condition that left part of her heart outside of her body. Surgeons successfully enclosed her heart within her chest, and she received blood several times during her extended hospital say. “We feel so blessed, and we want to be able to help others that also need the help she received,” her mother, Ashley, says about donating.

Seminar Series
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The C.I.A. Services Seminar Series is a great resource for community volunteers, both new and those that have been at it for a while.  We are pleased to present seven seminars throughout the year - each at three locations for a total of 21 training sessions.

Click here to read the seminar descriptions and see the schedule.  We have a great lineup:

  • Board Member Orientation
  • Advanced Topics for Board Members
  • Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements
  • Understanding Collections & Financial Reports
  • The Super Budgeting Process
  • Practical Deed Restriction Management
  • Essentials of Architectural Control

Each two-hour seminar begins at 6:00 pm and we provide a light dinner in case you come straight from work.  You’ll leave with a wealth of practical information and a notebook for future reference.

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Essentials of Architectural Control

Your governing documents provide authority to regulate design and appearance of any construction, improvements or alterations within the community. This is a powerful authority with an obligation that it be used sensibly. This seminar will explain the range and limits of this authority, demonstrate the role of architectural guidelines, describe the interplay between deed restrictions issues and architectural issues, and touch on handling the tough problems.

07/7/14 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

07/22/14 - Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

North

07/24/14 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

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Community Website Administrator Training

This is the required training course for certification as a Community Website Administrator (CWSA) on the C.I.A Services website (www.ciaservices.com). As a CWSA you’ll be able to maintain the pages for your community. You’ll be able to create news and events, update key personnel, add community information, display photos, conduct surveys and much more. Being a website administrator is very easy on www.ciaservices.com and you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection. All CWSA training is done by webinar in the comfort of your home.

07/30/14 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Webinar

 

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Advanced Topics for Board Members

After you’ve been on the Board a few months or a few years, you realize that some things are pretty complicated. This seminar has a heavy legal and legislative orientation. We’ll dissect the lawsuit process, review foreclosures and bankruptcies, and discuss significant portions of the Texas Property Code and federal law. After all the legal stuff, we’ll touch on aspects of “risk management” which includes insurance, reserves and budgeting concepts.

08/13/14 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

08/14/14 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

North

08/19/14 - Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

Fun Times
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Keep Your Home Safe While On Vacation

As the summer heats up, many of you will escape the daily grind and head out on a well-deserved vacation. But before you hit the road, take a few precautions so your home isn’t enticing to thieves or susceptible to fire and other disasters. Not only is having your home vandalized or burnt to the ground a highly unpleasant way to return from a trip, but it also puts the rest of the association at risk, as these problems have the potential to spread quickly throughout your neighborhood. So, before you take off, consider implementing these safety tips to keep your home and community secure.

Call on friends for help. If you’re going to be away a week or more, ask a trusted friend to check on your house every day or two—or better yet, housesit—while you’re gone. Not only will they make sure nothing happens to your home, but you might also ask them to bring in your mail and newspapers, water plants or even feed Fluffy. Of course, it’s a good idea to let your neighbors know a friend is monitoring your property so they don’t call the police to thwart a perceived “break-in.”

Set your lights on a timer. Leaving your house unlit for days on end is a sure sign to burglars that it’s empty, but so is keeping the lights on 24-7. A good way to handle the lights on/off conundrum is to set them on a timer that’s scheduled to simulate your regular routine. Of course, if the lights seem a bit too simulated, that can be another telltale sign, so it’s a good idea to set the timers in individual rooms on staggered schedules to make the light coming from your home seem more natural.

Don’t advertise your vacation. Resist the urge to brag about your upcoming vacation on social networking sites. Nothing is more inviting to a bad guy than knowing your home will be sitting empty for a week. This is particularly true for your children who may not recognize that their small circle of cyber-friends is electronically linked to the whole world.

Stop your mail and newspaper. Nothing screams “nobody’s home!” like a pile of newspapers strewn about your doorstep or an overflowing mailbox. So, if you can’t get a friend or neighbor to collect them for you, it’s best to have your mail and paper stopped if you’re going to be out of town for awhile.

Don’t leave the spare house key lying around. That fake rock where you keep the extra house key isn’t as discreet as you think. Whether you keep a spare under your welcome mat, above the door frame or in a hide-a-key contraption, chances are it will take the nefarious types five minutes flat to find it and gain easy entry to your house. So take it with you, let a friend hold onto it or put it in a safe place inside your house, even if you’re worried about losing your other keys. Because when it comes down to it, calling a locksmith is less traumatic than calling the police.

Make a last-minute checklist. Are all the windows and doors locked? Stove and oven turned off? How about all the faucets? Are the electronics unplugged and valuables secured? Take five minutes before you leave to ensure your house is vacation-ready. Another run-through of the house may seem unnecessary if you did it earlier in the day, but knowing you’ve left your house as safe as possible will help you kick back and have a great vacation.

Community of the Month
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Cinco Ranch Commercial Association II

We are proud of every one of our communities so it is always hard to find just one to highlight. We start by having each of our Community Managers write a nomination for one of their communities. We then read them and take a vote. Here are our most recent selections:

  • July - Cinco Ranch Commercial Association II- Southwest Office - Candace Look
  • June - Atascocita Trails Homeowners Association - North Office - Linda Morris
  • May - Colony Grant Homeowners Association - Southwest Office - Amanda Jensen
  • April - Telfair Commercial Association - Southwest Office - Libby Hodges
  • March - Bridlewood Estates Property Owners Association - Southwest Office - Kim Moore
  • February - Cross Creek Ranch Community Association - North Office - Renea Miksch
  • January- Treasure Island Homes Association - Bandera Office - Megan Lamb

To see the full story on these communities and to see the past winners, visit the Community of the Month page on our web site.

New Communities
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Welcome!

C.I.A. Services, Inc. is pleased to announce a new community that has joined our family! 

Steeplechase Terrace Townhouse Association is a small gated community located off 290 and Jones Road.  Steeplechase is a new development nearing the completion of construction.  There are currently 25 buildings and 74 homes.  At completion there will be 94 homes within 30 buildings.  

The community has a great group of new board members eager to volunteer for their community.  The management team working with Steeplechase Terrace includes Community Manager Valerie Lehr and Administrative Assistant Alicia Adams. 

We would like to welcome Steeplechase Terrace to C.I.A. Services and look forward to working with them.

 

Anniversaries
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Every month we appreciate the communities that are celebrating their anniversaries with us. Here are the clients that started with us in July.

  • East Point Community Association— 24 years
  • Inwood Northwest Neighborhood Association— 13 years
  • Royal Palms Homeowners Association— 10 years
  • Community Association of Crockett Park — 4 years

Our goal has always been to create a positive, long term relationship with all of our client communities. We are very proud to be managing all of these communities.

Employee Corner
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Anniversaries

Congratulations to Linda Morris on her 7th anniversary with C.I.A. Services. Linda is a stockholder and Community Manager at our North Office.

And congratulations to Jessica Davis on her 6th anniversary. Jessica is our onsite Community Coordinator in the Cinco Ranch Community.  Jessica helps coordinate the community events and website.

Congratulations also go to Megan Lamb, Kimberly Ellis, and Cherylyn Gatlin on completing one year with us.  Megan is a Community Manager in our Bandera office.  Kimberly is a Community Specialist in our North office.  Cherylyn is a Home Improvement Coordinator in our North office. It’s been great getting to know you ladies, here’s to many more years!!

Read Past Issues of eNews Monthly

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company. Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page.