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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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Newsletter

April 2014
eNews Monthly
Newest Website Feature
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Online Home Improvement Applications Are Here!

Since we launched our website in 2001, we have continually upgraded and added new features to benefit all of our communities and their residents.  We are so excited to announce the newest function to our website, the online Home Improvement Application system!  A special team was assigned to work on this project and they have been busy working on this for over a year.  Now community members can go to our website and complete an application online for an improvement to their home.  Some of the highlights of the system include:

  • Quick and simple application process
  • Prompts user to provide specific details which avoids applications missing information
  • Tips, including descriptions and photos of items related to a specific project are provided to the user
  • Confirmation receipt sent to user with successful submission
  • Immediate receipt of applications by our staff
  • Provides digital copies of all applications, saving paper and expense
  • Committees receive uniform applications
  • Applications, color brochures, and photos have a crisp, clear appearance

What is most exciting about our system is that it is a intuitive and self-guided.  The user will select the category that identifies the type of work they are planning.  Once the type of improvement is selected, questions relevant and specific to just that improvement are then asked.  Once submitted, the application becomes available to our staff for review and processing through the architectural committee.  The application process is easy and ensures that all of the necessary information is available to the committee for their decision making.

The system has over 47 different project categories to choose from with unique questions associated to each category.  We’ve covered everything from the type of shingle when submitting for a new roof to the height of a water fall on a new pool installation.  If it doesn’t apply to the project, we won’t ask it.  As of our launch, we have over 600 questions! 

A very nice feature that users are sure to enjoy is the complimentary information on each screen.  We included sidebars to each page that provide special notes to the users, such as definitions of possible materials, explanations of projects and other interesting tips.

The members of the special team that worked on this project were led by Laura Tate and consisted of Angela Douglas, Liz Holliday, Kandis Romhill, and Tina Tate.  We also had some help along the way from many other employees, including Jennifer Northington, Kristen Craig, Savanah Brantley, Brittany Tate, Emily Garza, Micky McCall, Rhonda Culbreth, Nancy McGinnis, Alicia Adams, and Megan Bennett.  We also had twenty community volunteers who conducted beta-testing and provided invaluable input.  And of course our website design company, The Business Lab, deserves special recognition for their great design.  Thank you all for a job well done!

We are looking forward to our community members taking advantage of this great new website function! Check it out here.

Local HOA Organization
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Greater Houston Neighborhood Association

Formally known as Cypress Creek United Civic Associations, the Greater Houston Neighborhood Association (GHNA) is an educational organization with the mission to serve neighborhoods throughout the communities of Harris County and surrounding areas.   Their membership includes homeowner associations and the businesses that serve them. 

The mission statement of GHNA is To serve as the steward to preserve, protect, and improve neighborhood integrity throughout the communities of Harris County, Texas, and surrounding areas.”  Throughout the year, GHNA provides access to educational opportunities to their membership including publishing a regular newsletter, The Clairon, and conducting mini-seminars. 

On March 8th GHNA held its 28th annual seminar and trade show.  C.I.A. Services had a very nice booth at the trade show which was organized by the team of Kristen Craig, Jennifer Northington and Nicole Toland.  Our theme this year was our 30th anniversary celebration and not only did we distribute great information to our visitors about conducting successful meetings, we also gave out celebratory bottles of apple cider.  One lucky booth guest won a Kuerig coffee maker!  Many thanks to the team for their hard work.

Ralph Troiano was pleased to be asked to return to present his popular seminar, Practical Deed Restriction Management, once again.  He presented the seminar to a full house during both educational sessions.  Visit the library page of our website or click here to see the PowerPoint presentation.

Volunteer Spotlight
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Legends Run Volunteers - The Barkers
by Linda Morris

Since purchasing their home in Legends Run in 2008, Jan and James Barker have strived to make a difference in their community.  Although Legends Run was developer controlled until 2010, they have been active since before that time, serving on committees and as advocates to get other residents involved.

Jan is currently Vice President on the Board of Directors and her husband James serves on the Safety Advisory Committee.  A Board member since 2010, Jan attends meetings quarterly – but her service doesn’t stop there.  Anytime a Board member is needed to meet with a vendor or contractor in the community, Jan is always the first one to make room in her schedule.  She is also at the community pool several dates before the pool opens to distribute pool wristbands as a courtesy to residents so they can enjoy the pool facility with as little inconvenience as possible. 

James is everywhere in the community!  He is very concerned about safety and crime prevention and keeps an eye out for suspicious activity.  When residents have an issue, James has always been willing to provide suggestions or advice – or even just an ear to listen to a problem!  He has also done quite a bit of maintenance work in the community on a volunteer basis, such as installing the new water fountain at the pool last year.  His mechanical knowledge and background has made him an invaluable asset to the community.

Volunteers like Jan & James Barker are a part of what makes Legends Run more than just another subdivision – it is truly a community.

Seminar Series
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Our 2014 schedule for the C.I.A. Services Seminar Series is now available.

We are please to again 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.

Our core group of seminars are all back and updated with additional information. Even if you have attended any of these before, you will find the updated versions informative.

  • 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 deli sandwiches 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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Board Member Orientation

This seminar is a must for all new Board members and a great refresher for seasoned veterans. It will help you get up to speed quickly by understanding your responsibilities and authorities. We’ll review each of the documents that govern the way you do business. We’ll give you an overview of the governing documents, basis of authority, conduct of meetings, elections, collections, deed restrictions, architectural control and many other important topics.

04/09/14 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

04/14/13 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

North

04/17/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

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Practical Deed Restriction Management

Deed restriction management is one of the most difficult tasks handled by homeowners associations because it involves subjective decisions, homeowner’s property and emotions. This seminar covers the steps in deed restriction management and how a process can contain “intelligence” and common sense. We discuss the relation between deed restrictions and architectural guidelines and give you examples of well-crafted guidelines. Practical deed restriction management requires clear communications and reasonable requirements.

05/5/14 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

05/7/14 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

North

05/8/14 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

Community of the Month
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Telfair Commercial Association

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:

  • 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
  • December - Eldridge Park Village Community Association - Southwest Office - Gina Victor

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.

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 April.

  • Parkway Forest Property Owners Association — 28 years
  • Ridgepoint Community Improvement Association — 24 years
  • Pine Forest Village Community Association — 21 years
  • Marina Bay Park Community Association — 11 years
  • Sonoma Ranch Homeowners Association — 11 years
  • Telfair Commercial Association — 8 years
  • Glenn Haven Homeowners Association — 3 years
Employee Corner
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Anniversaries

Congratulations to Rhonda Duffield, Maintenance Assistant at our north office.  Rhonda is celebrating her 24th anniversary with C.I.A. Services!  Over the years, Rhonda has remained a valuable employee and has worked at all of our Houston area offices in a variety of positions.

Congratulations to Nancy McGinnis on her 9th anniversary with C.I.A. Services.  Nancy is our Customer Service Manager and also serves as the Office Manager in our North Office.  Nancy has been instrumental in creating our customer service initiative.

Congratulations to Angela Douglas on her 7th year anniversary with C.I.A. Services.  Angela serves as our Corporate Website Administrator and provides support to all of our executive staff.

Congratulations to Colline Chavera! She is celebrating her 5th anniversary with C.I.A. Services and is our newest stockholder.  Colline is a Community Manager in our North Office.

Congratulations also go to Robert Pampell, Pattyann Tate and Koryssa Gatlin on their one year anniversary with our team. We look forward 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.