Fall Is A Great Time For Family Outdoor Activities

Fall is a great time for families to map out and plan time for activities to ensure they are added to the daily routine. Here are some ideas for outdoor family fun and exercise.

  • Family community or nature walks - 20-30 minutes will provide the daily recommended 20-30 minutes of moderate physical aerobic activity.
  • Biking -- is a great low impact aerobic exercise the entire family will love.
  • Hiking -- If your neighborhood has walking or hiking trails this is a great activity.
  • Gardening -- is a fun way to teach the importance of daily care/maintenance and learn about healthy eating. In addition, the family can get satisfaction in eating the harvest.

Benefits of physical activity:

The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. Regular physical activity can help protect you from many health problems.

It’s important for kids of all ages to get enough exercise to help prevent childhood obesity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that school-aged kids and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. But how do you make it happen?

 Spending more time together and indulging in leisure activities strengthens the family bond.  This holds true to all type of activities. They don’t always need to be such that require a bigger sum of money. Even home-based, low-cost activities such as playing a board game, gardening or playing outdoors have a big impact on the ‘health’ of the family.

The weather is great for outdoor activities. Get the family together or get families from your neighborhood and enjoy the great outdoors.

You can also plan a few fall family outings that everyone will enjoy. Here are 5 ideas:

  • Sit around a campfire
  • Collect some leaves
  • Drink some apple cider
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Visit a farm

Use this special fall season to make new lasting memories with your family.

 

 

A Lot Of Good People In The World

Thursday I had the honor of traveling with Samaritan's Purse on a relief mission to Puerto Rico. Since the hurricanes have decimated much of the Caribbean, Samaritan's Purse has been flying regular relief missions in its DC-8 from Greensboro, North Carolina to the Caribbean.
As a Board member and the Treasurer of the Piedmont Triad International Airport and as a commercial pilot, I was invited to accompany the organization on its mission October 5. I arrived at the airport at that wonderful time just before dawn when the sun is beginning to creep over the horizon.

First of all, I was amazed by the size and freight-hauling capabilities of the DC-8. The DC-8, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, first went into production in the 1950s and was produced through the early 1970s. It became known as a workhouse freight and long-distance carrier. To this day it is one of the most efficient airplanes available, particularly for long-distance hauling. As configured by Samaritan's Purse, its DC-8 can fly at nearly 500 miles an hour for up to 15 hours hauling freight and 32 passengers.

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Samaritan's Purse's capabilities to quickly swing into action to aid those in need is incredible. Not only does the organization have the equipment and facilities to deliver much-needed aid, but it also has a team of amazing individuals who dispense the supplies with professionalism and caring. They organization, known for its strong religious connection, has a passion to help those in need, which is truly amazing. It takes a large, dedicated team to deliver disaster relief. In this case, the team consists of dozens of highly professional individuals serving in roles from pilots to line persons, flight attendants, logistic and administrative support and legal staff.

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As we landed in Puerto Rico, a little over three hours after leaving PTI with much-needed supplies, I was struck by the thought that while the news is often filled with horrifying reports of disheartening events, how refreshing it was to see people who get up every day with the aim of helping others. I understand that in North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse has more than 700 employees supporting its worldwide relief efforts. The dozen or so people I met assisting with this relief effort are truly amazing people who I want to thank! The world needs more people from all faiths willing to help those less fortunate and in need.

Paul Mengert, President and CEO of Association Management Group, Inc. in the cockpit of a DC8 relief mission to Puerto Rico. 

Paul Mengert, President and CEO of Association Management Group, Inc. in the cockpit of a DC8 relief mission to Puerto Rico. 

Food Safety During a Power Outage

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Power failures can be one of the most annoying—and disabling—occurrences in a community. Whether caused by summer storms, power lines crippled by winter ice, equipment failure, an overloaded regional grid or an animal disrupting a power line, electrical outages can be costly, uncomfortable—and without forethought—sometimes even dangerous.

Residents can face many hazards when a power failure occurs—usually without any warning—including losing refrigerated and frozen foods. Some food items can be salvaged, however, if you’re prepared.

In anticipation of a power failure:

  • Have at least one or two coolers on hand, and at least one spare 5-pound bag of ice in the freezer.
  • Know where to get bag, block or dry ice quickly when you need it, particularly if you anticipate a long-term outage. (Caution: Dry ice is made from carbon dioxide, so it requires safe handling. Never breathe in its vapors or touch it with your bare hands.) According to the Food Safety Branch of Kentucky’s Department of Health, a 50-pound block of dry ice will keep a tightly packed, 18-cubic-foot freezer cool for up to two days.
  • Have an instant food thermometer or appliance thermometer available to ensure your freezers, refrigerators and coolers are staying cool enough store food safely.
  • Arrange the refrigerator and freezer efficiently. Frozen food will last longer in a full freezer—up to 48 hours if tightly packed—and refrigerated food will last longer—up to four hours—if there is room for air to circulate around items.

When the electricity goes off:

  • Avoid opening and closing the refrigerator unless absolutely necessary.
  • Cook and use perishable food before using canned food.
  • Check the temperature of refrigerated foods if the power is out for more than a few hours. Discard any food item than has been at 40° F or warmer for two or more hours. Exceptions include butter and margarine; hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano; some condiments like mustard, peanut butter, soy sauce, olives and vinegar-based salad dressing; and fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables.
  • Check the temperature of frozen foods as well. While tightly packed freezer foods will stay frozen for many hours, some items that may have thawed can be refrozen if they still retain ice crystals or have remained at a temperature lower than 40°. Fruit and vegetable juices; breads, rolls and pie crusts; flour, cornmeal and nuts; meat and chicken; and prepared foods and casseroles can be refrozen safely if they have not been at 40° F or warmer for more than two hours.
  • After the power comes back on, you may need to deodorize the refrigerator and freezer by washing surfaces with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water. Place an open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator to absorb any lingering odors.

Since the appearance and odor of a food item isn’t an accurate indication of its safety after a power outage, use the 40° rule-of-thumb. And when in doubt, discard the food.

While a power can go out any time, most power failures occur between mid-July and late September. But no matter when our community experiences an outage—and it inevitably will—knowing how to handle frozen and refrigerated foods can help us keep your food supplies safe until the lights come back on.

Association Management Group Offers Community Safety Tips For Halloween

Association Management Group Offers Community Safety Tips For Halloween

Association Management Group Offers Community Safety Tips For Halloween

   Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

    Halloween is a popular time of year for kids and families. But Halloween comes with its own set of safety risks. Make sure you check with your homeowner's association for any specific rules pertaining to Halloween activities.

At AMG we would like to offer these 10 tips to make sure your community takes measures to help little ghosts and goblins stay safe while trick-or-treating.

1. Make sure your community has proper outdoor lighting so drivers can see costumes in the dark. It’s a startling fact that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.

2. If there is no lighting provide children a glow-in-the-dark costume or a reflective trick-or-treat bag. Children should use a flashlight or glow stick when walking at night.

 3. Get together with neighbors and Trick-or-treat in a group. Kids younger than 13 should go with an adult. Older kids always should go in a group on a planned route that the parents have scheduled.

4. Before Halloween teach kids to cross streets at crosswalks and intersections, stop at street corners, look left, right and left again before crossing to make sure a vehicle is not coming.

5. Instruct children to only visit homes of people they know and only accept treats at the door. Enforce to children to never enter a home or car.

6. Make sure facial paints, cosmetics, masks and costumes are safe for walking. If a mask is used, make certain the eye and nose openings do not restrict vision or breathing.

7. When walking with children enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully

8. Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.

9. Have your neighborhood watch volunteers ready to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood on Halloween night. Have someone on patrol.

10. Schedule an after Halloween volunteer clean up crew to go through community streets to clean up candy, paper and items from the big Trick-or-treat night.

Practice safe Halloween tips for the health and safety of families. AMG wishes your family a safe and happy Halloween

3 Key Reasons To Be A Good Neighbor And Community Member

National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28.    

National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28.  
 

Neighbors are an integral part of our social lives. Good Neighbor Day on September 28 is an annual holiday that promotes neighborliness and niceness towards people who surround us. 

According to a NAR Community Preference Survey, 78% of respondents said that the neighborhood is more important to them than the size of the home.  Neighbors are the ones you live within the same geographical area, share the same street, the same park, play with your children and are the closest to your family.

People are so quick to be at odds with their neighbors for various reasons. Neighborhood battles have been going on for years. There are several reasons why you should invest in getting to know your neighbor and cultivate a friendship with them.

3 Key Reasons To Be A Good Neighbor And Community Member

1. Peace and Harmony: No one really likes living a stressful life. Most of us dream of owning our home and living happily ever after. There can be no peace when you are fighting with your neighbors.  Try to accept your neighbors, respect their differences and their lifestyle. With all of the crime in America people resort to unlawful and crazy actions when challenged by neighbors. Strive to maintain a peaceful home, street, and most of all contribute to peace and harmony in your community.

2. Your Family's Safety: It's a good feeling to know that your neighbor has your back. A good relationship with your neighbor can benefit you in many ways. If you go on vacation they can watch after your home. If your child is out in the community they can have an eye on any situation you  may not see, they can come to your rescue if you have an emergency at home or offer family support in a crisis.

3. Contribute to the Community: When all neighbors are living peacefully the overall community lives at peace. Law enforcement is not frequently visiting the neighborhood and the value of the community is regarded higher. When the residents are living harmoniously the community is a better place for everyone.

Since 1985, Association Management Group (AMG) has offered clients a proven track record of excellence as the Carolinas' leading property management organization. Our goal is to preserve, protect and enhance the value of our client communities, which include homeowner Associations, condominium Associations, planned unit developments and common interest office communities. Our unique and proprietary systems keep our clients’ communities running smoothly, elevating the community Association experience for more than 30,000 property owners and community residents across North and South Carolina. 

copyright 2017© Association Management Group 

 

 

 

 

Paul K. Mengert, President and CEO of Association Management Group (AMG), will participate in Operation Smile’s 10th annual “Dancing with the Carolina Stars” fundraising event in February 2018.

Photo Cutline: AMG President/CEO Paul K. Mengert

Photo Cutline: AMG President/CEO Paul K. Mengert

Paul K. Mengert, president and CEO of Association Management Group (AMG), the Carolinas’ leading community association management company, has accepted the challenge to participate in Operation Smile’s 10th annual “Dancing with the Carolina Stars” fundraising event in February 2018.

Mengert will perform an original dance with the goal of raising a minimum of $10,000.

“Operational Smile is dedicated to providing cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children worldwide, dramatically increasing their quality of life,” Mengert said. “While I am certainly not a dancer by nature, I am ready to step outside my comfort zone for this worthy cause.”

With 10 North Carolina Stars and two professional Showcase Dancers participating, Operation Smile hopes to raise upwards of $350,000 at the 2018 event to give at least 30 children the chance to receive new smiles.

Mengert and AMG have gained a reputation for community involvement in the Triad. Operation Smile’s spokesperson Stephen Hartley said, “Paul has a long history of giving back to the community. We could not be more excited to have Paul turn his fundraising efforts to such an important cause as Operation Smile.”

To learn more about Operation Smile and “Dancing with the Carolina Stars,” visit the organization’s webpage at https://operationsmile.org/events/dancing-carolina-stars

. For more about AMG, contact Joselin Paz at Jpaz@amgworld.com

About Association Management Group: AMG is the Carolinas’ leading professional community Association management company dedicated to building effective, successful community Associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the Association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values of the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Greenville, S.C., AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques. AMG specializes in supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB, as well as a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit http://www.amgworld.com.

 

 

Photo Cutline: AMG President/CEO Paul K. Mengert

AMG Offers Tips For Community Hurricane Preparedness

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In past years the Carolinas have fallen victim to devastating storms. At AMG we want to help homeowners keep their homes safe and reduce injury from storms. Hurricanes and tropical systems can cause serious damage on both coastal and inland areas. These hazards can come in many forms including: storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds and tornadoes.

To prepare for these powerful storms, AMG is encouraging families, businesses and individuals to be aware of the potential risks. You should have a community preparedness plan to prepare your home, workplace and community for the storm.  When you live in an area where hurricanes are a risk, planning is essential.

If you live in a community, your neighbors can be a great help in case of an emergency, and you can also be of service to your neighbors. Working together can help keep everyone safe. A community working together during an emergency makes sense. 

Here are some ways you can help neighbors (and they can help you) in case of a hurricane:

1. Get to know your neighbors. Think about people in your neighborhood who may need your help, for example:

·         Older people living by themselves;

·         People with physical or sensory disabilities;

·         People with a chronic illness or with a mental illness;

·         Single parents with young children;

·         Large families; 

·         People newly arrived, including tourists, refugees or immigrants.

·         Talk to your neighbors to identify those who may need assistance

If you are an HOA board member or leader of your community association, you may want to consider a community plan and how to get the information out to the residents.

  • Where to go for community resources
  • How to prep your home, closing and locking hurricane-proof windows, sealing all openings, securing rooftops and yard items
  • Emergency phone numbers

Community associations can get residents involved and working together by holding safety and preparedness events. Use the space in your association newsletter to communicate preparedness information to the residents of the community.

Here is a list of items that might be helpful in the event of a hurricane:      

·         lanterns

·         Batteries (in different sizes!)  

·         Matches 

·         First aid kit

·         Duct tape

·         Rain gear

·         candles

·         battery operated radio      

·         Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)

·         Plastic garbage bags

·         Fire extinguisher

·         Scissors

·         Can Opener

·         Clean clothes

·         Extra blankets

·         Heavy gloves

If your community association becomes aware of impending storms, it is helpful to notify residents of some home preparedness items they can obtain to prepare.

Here is a list to share with the residents of your community:

·         Remove outdoor items

·         Trim dead branches from trees

·         Board up windows

·         Fill gas tanks and extra containers

·         Get extra cash

·         Move furniture away from windows

·         Store important documents in waterproof containers

·         Extra supply of medicines

·         prepare for the needs of pets

Another great way to get your residents involved is holding a canned food drive to collect items to distribute before the big storm arrives.

Here is a list of items residents should have on hand during any emergency:

·         Bottled water (1 gallon/person/day) 

·         Bottled juice

·         Two coolers: 
        One for drinks & one for food               

·         Canned foods

·         Manual can opener

         Dry pet food

          Tweezers

·         Medic-alert tags

·         Insect-repellent sprays

·         Feminine hygiene items

·         Sunscreen

·         Soap

·         First aid kit

·         Prescription medication

          Over-the-counter medication

·         Children's medicine

·         Bandages

·         Adhesive tape

·         Antiseptic solution

·         Thermometer

If you are having an actual emergency please dial 911 immediately. Please be aware and publish all emergency contact numbers.

For more information on how AMG helps serve community associations visit our website at http://www.amgworld.com/Home.

Association Management Group, Inc. to Sponsor Majestic Floor Covering’s Charity Golf Tournament Benefiting Victory Junction Children’s Camp

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AMG to Serve as a Driving Range Sponsor, Donating Funds So Disabled Children Can Attend Camp

“AMG is dedicated to giving back to the communities we manage and to serving the Triad at large.”  - Paul K. Mengert         

GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Association Management Group (AMG), one of the Carolinas’ leading homeowners association management companies, will serve as a Driving Range Sponsor in the 2017 Majestic Floor Covering Premiere Charity Golf Tournament on Oct. 13, 2017 All proceeds for this tournament will benefit Victory Junction, a summer camp for children living with mental, physical and developmental disabilities.

AMG President, Paul K. Mengert, said he was honored to be able to sponsor a portion of the golf tournament, adding to the growing list of philanthropy performed by his community association management company.

 Mengert says, “AMG is dedicated to giving back to the communities we manage and to serving the Triad at large. Our participation in this tournament is just one of the ways in which we do this. I am thrilled that AMG can help children with disabilities attend camp, where they can have fun, enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and meet new friends.”

Victory Junction was founded in 2002 as the brainchild of the late NASCAR driver Adam Petty, whose passion was working with children living with disabilities. Today, Victory Junction serves children ages 6-16 with a wide range of disabilities, providing medically safe and exhilaratingly fun challenges- always at no cost to the children or their families. At this year’s tournament, Majestic Floor Covering hopes to raise $50,000 for Victory Junction, enough to send 20+ children to camp for a week of life-changing experiences.

“We are proud to be working with a great organization like Victory Junction”, said Mike Key, owner of Majestic Floor Covering.  “Those of us with healthy children cannot relate to the challenges faced by parents of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.  If not for Victory Junction, these children might miss out on many of the activities we take for granted”.

For further information on Victory Junction, visit https://victoryjunction.org/

For more information about AMG’S philanthropy, contact Jpaz@amgworld.com

About Association Management Group: AMG is the Carolinas’ leading professional community Association management company dedicated to building effective, successful community Associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the Association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values of the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Greenville, S.C., AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques. AMG specializes in supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB, as well as a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit http://www.amgworld.com or contact Joselin Paz at Jpaz@amgworld.com

 

Lessons Learned in a Taxi Cab

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It's interesting to consider why some businesses flourish and others decline. Often organizations that experience a decline in sales and lose customer confidence lack a clear understanding of why the business is not flourishing.

I learned an important lesson last weekend when requesting a taxi cab. I seldom use taxi cabs because of the efficient services now provided by such ride-sharing apps as Lyft and Uber. However, this morning I was in a hurry. An Uber or Lyft was five minutes away and there was a taxi waiting at my hotel. Even though I hadn't used a taxi in some time I thought, "They're going to be just as good and they're sitting right in front of me so let's go for it."

This was not a great decision. I began feeling regret as soon as I got into the cab and realized how dirty it was. Heat was coming out of the vents at a strong rate even though it was a warm day. I gave the driver my destination and she said, "Do you know the directions?"

Now it's been quite some time since I was in a taxi. Because the online services immediately know the directions based on the request, I wasn't prepared to supply the address beyond the name of the large conference where I was speaking. "Can you put it in your navigation system based on the name or Google it?" I asked. To my chagrin she responded, "What's Google?" I think this sums up my experience. I'm in a dirty cab, heat is blasting out of the vents even though it’s a hot day, and the driver is clueless about Google.

I quickly put the destination into my iPhone and began to give the driver turn by turn directions.

Now the real fun begins. She's driving like a maniac and there's no seatbelt available. And they wonder why the taxi service industry is in decline.

When we reach my destination there was a credit card machine available so I slid my credit card but no result. The driver exits the cab and comes around to assist me but it still doesn't work. I notice the fare is still increasing, which by the way is approximately double what Lyft or Uber would've charged.  At this point I asked the driver, "Did you stop the fare?" She responds by saying, "Oh, I didn't know I had to do that." After she stopped the fare I processed my credit card. Of course with the experience I'd had I wanted a receipt to make sure I was charged the correct amount. No receipt. The driver explains, "The machine jams a lot of times and won't give us receipts." "Okay."

Trying to make the best of it, I decided it was a great learning experience. If the owners of the taxi cab would take an Uber ride and learn what the competitive services offer, I'm sure they would realize that if they want to compete in today's world they're going to have to step up their technology and customer service.

This is a lesson I try to remember every day at Association Management Group. If we want to be the best, we have to offer not only high-level service, but service that is ever evolving — service that gets better every day. We have to stay on top of technology, offeringour customers more than others and at competitive prices.

Association Management Group Leaders Present $100,000 Check Represents Efforts of 60 Sponsors and 1,200 Runners Working Together To Help Fight Hunger in the Triad

Paul K. Mengert and May Gayle Mengert of AMG Present “Run on the Runway” Fundraiser Check of $100,000 to Hunger-Relief Beneficiaries.

Paul K. Mengert and May Gayle Mengert of AMG Present “Run on the Runway” Fundraiser Check of $100,000 to Hunger-Relief Beneficiaries.

Co-Chairs Association Management Group President/CEO Paul K. Mengert and Vice President, May Gayle Mengert, present hunger-relief charities a $100,000 check raised from the Piedmont-Triad International Airport’s 8th Annual “Run on the Runway” 5K 10K

GREENSBORO, N.C.—On Sept. 14, 2017, Paul and May Gayle Mengert, returning as co-chairs of the 8th annual Piedmont-Triad International Airport (PTI) 5K/10K “Run on the Runway” fundraising event, presented a $100,000 check to help fight hunger in the Triad. The Mengerts’, founders of Association Management Group (AMG), led the effort that included more than 60 sponsors and 1,200 runners.

The $100,000 raised in proceeds will translate to 600,000 meals for those in need across the Triad, and will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, Greensboro Urban Ministry and Open Door Ministries of High Point. These organizations provide valuable food assistance to Piedmont Triad residents.

“We live in what we strive to make the most advanced country in the world," said Paul Mengert, Co-chair of the event, and President of AMG, “Yet there are families in our own communities who don't have enough food to feed their children. This is why we participate: So that no child in North Carolina has to go to bed hungry”.

In fact, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has recently found that North Carolina has the 8th highest rate of food insecurity in the nation, highlighting the necessity of philanthropic efforts on the part of local businesses.

“So few people realize the extent of hunger across our state,” said May Gayle Mengert, Vice President of AMG, “We need to work together to lift one another up and provide nourishment to families in our own backyard. We are so humbled that AMG was able to participate in this event and contribute to ending hunger across the Triad.”

For more information about AMG’S philanthropy, contact Jpaz@amgworld.com

About Association Management Group: AMG is the Carolinas’ leading professional community Association management company dedicated to building effective, successful community Associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the Association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values of the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Greenville, S.C., AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques. AMG specializes in supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB, as well as a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit http://www.amgworld.com or contact Joselin Paz at Jpaz@amgworld.com

 

 

Triad HOA Management Company President Paul K. Mengert to Lead Advanced Community Management Course at the Community Associations Institute

AMG president/CEO Paul Mengert (standing) teaches the 2016 Community Management course to students at the Community Associations Institute.

AMG president/CEO Paul Mengert (standing) teaches the 2016 Community Management course to students at the Community Associations Institute.

On Sept. 7 and 8, Paul K. Mengert, president and CEO of Association Management Group (AMG), the leading Community Management company across the Carolinas, will share his expertise in management, teaching an advanced course at the Community Associations Institute (CAI), in Virginia.

Mengert’s course, CAI-310: Management Company Administration, will help community management professionals apply principles of organizational theory to operate a future community management organization. It will cover such topics as creating and managing budgets, contracting and management ethics.

“My course is designed to prime participants for success, guiding them through the challenges and experiences they will encounter in the community management industry,” Mengert said.

Since 1985, Mengert has taught management classes throughout the Carolinas and the nation. From Elon and Wake Forrest’s law schools, to Harvard Alumni Business School programs at Queens University in Charlotte, NC, Mengert has shared his experiences and knowledge to educate industry professionals.

“I have had the pleasure to work with not only managers, but CEOs of management groups across the country,” Mengert said.

As a long-time faculty member of the Community Associations Institute, Mengert was honored to be asked to contribute another course.

“The Community Association Institute is a leader, nationally and worldwide, in training for community association managers,” Mengert said. “I am proud to have served as a faculty member for more than 20 years. Our mission is to help managers better execute their duties to the communities they work with to increase the property value and experience for members of the communities.”

For more information on the Community Associations Institute visit, https://www.caionline.org/

About Association Management Group: AMG is the Carolinas’ leading professional community Association management company dedicated to building effective, successful community Associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the Association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values of the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Greenville, S.C., AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques. AMG specializes in supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB, as well as a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit https://www.amgworld.com or contact Joselin Paz at Jpaz(at)amgworld(dot)com

Before The Bell Rings: Back To School Safety

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As boys and girls throughout the community sharpen their pencils and get ready to head back to class, it’s important to ensure they have a safe school year. Here are some tips on how your family can be proactive and avoid potentially harmful situations:

    Make sure your school has your child’s updated emergency contact information. Write down any specific instructions that should be followed in case of an emergency, and have the school keep them in your child’s file.

    Talk to your child’s teachers before classes start and alert them to any medical issues your child has. Also, explain to the teacher what he or she should do if the medical issues arise—such as an allergic reaction, asthma attack or seizure—and provide school personnel with emergency medication such as EpiPens® (Epinephrine Auto-Injectors) and inhalers.

    Help your children memorize important phone numbers so that they know how to get in touch with you and other trusted adults. Also, make sure those numbers are programmed into their cell phones, or provide them with a list of phone numbers that they can keep in their backpacks or wallets at all times.

    Let your children know exactly who they can go home with after school if their regular ride can’t pick them up, and make sure they know not to accept rides from people who aren’t on the list.

    If your children will be walking to school, walk the route with them several times before classes start to make sure they understand traffic laws and can walk the route on their own. Also, find a friend or sibling they can walk with, and make sure they always use the buddy system.

    Show your children which houses in the neighborhood they can go to in case no one is at home after school. Talk to the HOA board to see if there are any official safe houses in the community that your child can go to.

    Report reckless drivers to the HOA board and lthe police to help make sure the neighborhood remains safe, particularly during times when kids are going to and returning from school.
 

5 Things to Have On Your Homeowner Association (HOA) Calendar

Teips From The AMG Manager Blog

Teips From The AMG Manager Blog

Being on the Board of an HOA can be quite a difficult task. If you are volunteering it requires commitment and involvement of time. With so much on your plate, you want to make sure that your community is the best place to live. Residents of the complex, townhome or building should feel at ease. So, what can you do this summer to increase your HOA’s efficiency?

While the HOA plans a year-round schedule, and understands what the requirements of the community are, here are a few suggestions that you should include in your HOA calendar this summer:

1.      Community Maintenance and Repairs
Community maintenance and repairs need to be put on the calendar so that they are done routinely and in a timely manner. In different seasons of the year different repairs and routine maintenance is necessary. The summer hot days cause several inconveniences, like common sprinkler system repairs, pool cleaning, clubhouse air conditioning, common area landscaping and grounds upkeep and other tasks. As an HOA board member, you must work with board members and committees to ensure that these repairs are made as soon as possible.  During the winter months repair and routine maintenance may involve pipe repairs from cold weather or snow removal. There are year-round tasks that the HOA needs to be on top of. These may involve security, common area trash, pools, clubhouse cleaning, golf course grounds maintenance, playgrounds or other amenities your community offers. Everything a community offers will require upkeep, maintenance and repairs. These maintenance and repair tasks are paid for and budgeted from the funds receive from member’s dues and fees.

2.      Community Landscaping and beautification day
Scheduling the community landscaping or beautification day is a great event to put on the calendar in advance to gain volunteers and participation. The community entry landscape sets the first impression for guests who visit your community which is why it is important. Moreover, better surroundings have positive effects on residents and enhance property values. When there are high temperatures, plants start to die. To make sure that the community place looks healthy and beautiful, the HOA must inspect and replace any dead plants and trees. You can lighten the board member work load by asking residents to participate in this endeavor by making ‘cleaning’ a community event.  Your board might offer snacks and cool drinks to volunteers. An annual community clean up day is important for the overall beauty and enhancement of the community.

3.      Fun activities and events
The HOA should have meetings and appoint volunteers to committees for these community events to be a success. For best results, these events should be on the HOA calendar well in advance. Every community loves the family annual and holiday events where the entire family can get involved. By organizing fun events, such as a bake sale to collect funds for a cause, a future event, movie night, one-dish dinner party, BBQ, garage sale, summer book club, workshops by members to help other members, learn a new skill for free, you can make an effort to increase friendliness between members and allow them to unwind. You can also have kids’ friendly events during their summer break. All of this will enhance community engagement.

4.      Update and Evaluate Community Amenities
Every HOA should schedule an event where board members walk around or drive through the community to make assessments.  Careful evaluation of all common area buildings and grounds are essential to the safety and protection of the residents and reduces liability and accidents. The HOA board will want to schedule this well before summer which gives an HOA ample time to update amenities such as the hot tub, pools and playgrounds etc. Whether it is the gym equipment that’s worn out or the pool flooring that needs to be replaced, including amenity update to your summer calendar will save you from the hassle of updating them when everyone wants to use them.

5.      New season planning session for the Board
An efficient HOA always plans ahead of time. This practice will create a sense of security within members of the neighborhood when they will see how focused and d­­edicated you are. As an HOA Board member, it is your responsibility that all members connect during seasonal events. Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, bring the community together by planning ahead. To make residents participate more, you can ask them for suggestions in the summers and start formulating a budget for the next season.

By adding these 5 things to your HOA calendar, you will be able to plan and chalk out annual activities better and make living in a community easy, simple, convenient and fun.  Moreover, members will also start to value your efforts even more!

Greensboro/Winston-Salem HOA and Condo Manager Crystal Beaman Completes Advanced Management Certification

PHOTO CUTLINE: Crystal Beaman, AMG’s newest Community Manager, recently achieved her AMS (Association Management Specialist) certification.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Crystal Beaman, AMG’s newest Community Manager, recently achieved her AMS (Association Management Specialist) certification.

Crystal Beaman, a new community manager at Association Management Group - Greensboro (AMG), one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, recently achieved the rigorous AMS (Association Management Specialist) certification. The AMS is a credential from CAI (Community Associations Institute), the industry’s international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. The AMS credentialing process is an exhaustive program requiring two years of professional experience in association financial, administrative, and facilities management. Completion requires multiple management courses and passage of the comprehensive CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Associations) exam.

According to AMG President Paul Mengert, the impressive AMS credential signifies expertise, extensive knowledge, and the smart application of best practices in the field of managing townhome, condo, and single-family HOAs. “This certification is a symbol of Crystal’s dedication to community management and her excellence in the industry,” he said. “It will be an invaluable aid in her job of supporting the day-to-day operations of her portfolio of communities, includingvendor oversight, paying bills, negotiating contracts, assisting homeowners, and advising volunteer Board members.”

Beaman, who moved to the Triad area in June, and has a strong background in customer service, leadership, and financial management, was a community manager in Charlotte before joining AMG-Greensboro. “It was very rewarding to receive my AMS certification,” she said. “The course work is challenging and it’s a tough industry to learn. I was proud of myself for reaching this milestone and am eager to continue my education and pursue a PCAM certification down the road. I believe it shows our clients that I am experienced and dedicated to my professional development. I am numbers-driven and enjoy working on budgets; I find it very satisfying when I can find ways to save money or afford additional improvements for a community. I feel that AMG is a good fit for me because it is a very positive and supportive environment.” To learn more about AMG’s community management services, email Beaman at cbeaman@amgworld.com.                                                          

About Association Management Group, Inc.: 

AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members, and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

 

 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSH STEIN ALERT - ECLIPSE TIPS

 

In anticipation of the solar eclipse scheduled to take place on Monday, August 21, the State Highway Patrol is placing an emphasis on safe travel. Due to the expected number of people taking part in the event, roadways across portions of the state will see a significant increase in motorists.

A total solar eclipse will be visible in the western portion of North Carolina, drawing several visitors from surrounding states. Authorities are encouraging onlookers to arrive early for the event in an attempt to decrease the number of vehicles on the roadways at one time.

Safety Tips Prior to and After the Eclipse:

https://www.ncdps.gov/state-highway-patrol-hopes-eclipse-doesn%E2%80%99t-shadow-safety

 

Association Management Group’s Paul K. Mengert Joins Carolina Theatre Board of Directors

Paul Mengert, Founder and CEO of Association Management Group, was recently invited to join the Board of Directors of the Carolina Theatre. He will serve this signature Greensboro performing arts facility for three years.

Paul K. Mengert, founder and CEO of Association Management Group, Inc., one of the Carolinas’ largest professional homeowner association managers, has accepted an invitation to join the Carolina Theatre Board of Directors.

Deemed the finest theatre between Washington, DC, and Atlanta, the Greensboro “Showplace of the Carolinas” opened in 1927 and delighted audiences with vaudeville acts in a sumptuous setting of sparkling chandeliers, gilded decor, marble columns and classical statuary.  Now a state-of-the-art performing arts center, the historic theatre continues to enthrall a new generation of audiences with ballet, theatre, opera and musical performances. 

During his three-year term, Mengert will support the theatre’s mission and vision with leadership and guidance, financial expertise and community engagement support. “Association Management Group is in the business of creating and preserving community,” Mengert said. “As a member of the Carolina Theatre Board of Directors, I bring decades of experience connecting people to each other and their neighborhoods, and educating volunteer homeowner boards about good financial and legal stewardship, budget management, strong governance and engaging marketing. I believe this experience will prove beneficial as we grow the stellar legacy of this downtown Greensboro institution for years to come.”

To learn more about Carolina Theatre, visit https://carolinatheatre.com/history/.   

About Association Management Group, Inc.:  AMG is a professional community association management company dedicated to building effective community associations. AMG guides and assists executive boards to help protect the association's interests, enhance the lives of community members and improve the property values in the community. With offices throughout the Carolinas in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, and Greenville and Aiken, SC, AMG is a knowledgeable partner in enforcing community governing documents with a proven set of processes and techniques, and supporting communities with a broad range of services that can be tailored to individual community needs. Association Management Group, Inc. is a locally Accredited Business by the BBB and is a nationally Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) by the Community Associations Institute. For more about AMG, visit www.amgworld.com.

Pool Safety/Drowning Prevention For HOA's

A private swimming pool run by a condo or homeowners’ association can be a very attractive amenity to potential homebuyers. However, while they can be popular with owners, pools create a number of liabilities for the association that need to be addressed to avoid safety concerns.

Learn the action steps you can take for safeguarding children in and around the water.

SUPERVISION

Curiosity, rapidly changing skills, and an inability to understand danger place young children at high risk. Adults must establish and communicate responsibility for child supervision:

• Assign an adult "water watcher" to supervise the pool/spa area, especially during social gatherings.

• Assign a second adult to maintain constant visual contact with children in the pool/spa area. Don't assume someone else is watching a child.

• Never leave a child alone near a pool or spa, bathtub, toilet, water-filled bucket, pond, or any standing water in which a child's nose and mouth may be submersed.

• Don't rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or any other equipment to make a child "water safe".

• Don't allow children to play in the pool/spa area.

• Look in the pool area first if a child is missing.

• Communicate pool safety measures with the baby-sitter and train the sitter in CPR.

PREPARATION

• Learn how to swim, proper rescue techniques and CPR.

• Mount rescue equipment by the pool. This should include a lifesaving ring, shepherd's hook, and CPR sign. Many float-type toys like arm floats and inflatable rings are thought to be lifesavers. They aren't. They are only toys and should be used only as toys.

• Post the 9-1-1 emergency phone number on your phones. Have a phone near the pool area. Don't leave children unattended while talking on the phone. Important Facts About Childhood Drowning

• Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death to children under five years of age in 18 states, and California leads the nation.

• A pool or spa is 14 times more likely than a vehicle to cause the death of a child under five. • Drowning is a silent event. Children under five do not understand the dangers of falling into water and do not splash or cry out for help.

• Children can drown during surprisingly short breaks in visual contact.

Helpful Insights for New Board Members

Helpful Insights for New Board Members

Congratulations on your new role of serving on your community's board of directors! While you were not likely given much information to help ready yourself for your new “job”, there are right ways and wrong ways to begin your term on your community board. Below are some useful tips to help you gain insight and better prepare you for your new position as a community association director.

Do your Homework

Once you join your board of directors, your work is just getting started.  You must be prepared to attend your board meetings as well as any membership meetings; however, it doesn't end there. You will need to review reports, minutes and many other materials pertaining to your role as a director before you weigh in with a decision on them. You should not expect others such as another director or the manager to do your job, but you should consult with them and try to incorporate various points of view.
 
Familiarize Yourself

You should become familiar with your role and your association's documents as soon as possible. There are materials the manager can provide that will help you better understand your role as a community association board member as well as online material. It is best to start with your Community’s Governing Documents. You may also want to consider reading the statute which governs your particular type of association. Do not expect to interpret everything on your own; that is your association attorney's role.
 
Ask Questions

Asking questions is always a good way to learn anything that is new to you. Rather than making assumptions, ask questions about why the board is doing certain things and enforcing or ignoring certain policies. However, questions should remain genuine with the purpose of obtaining information, not veiled accusations or criticism. There will be a time to address issues after all the facts are gathered first. 

Take Your Role Seriously

You cannot fulfill your fiduciary (acting legally, ethically, and in the best interest of the community) obligations if you do not attend meetings, are not adequately prepared, and do not take your role as a director seriously. Keep in mind, that even if you think the role easy, you might learn a hard lesson to the contrary in court. It is your responsibility to be focused on what is in the best interests of the community while putting aside any personal issues. You cannot truly represent your community in good faith if you do not put the interest of the association's homeowners collectively first.


Your voice and your vote count, so use both wisely. Volunteers like you can make a difference. I am also mindful that state legislators, the North Carolina governor, and even the President of the United States, first got their start as community leaders/organizers. The work you do is important and should always be treated accordingly. 


 

Questions To Ask When Hiring Contractors

Every year millions of people hire contractors to remodel or somehow improve the biggest investment they’ve ever made – their homes. And every year we hear stories about shoddy workmanship, overcharges, even damage to other parts of the home. Homeowners spend thousands of dollars on remodeling projects and fail to get what they pay for, often because they spend to little time asking questions and planning, before work begins.

According to contractor members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), homeowners do not ask enough questions. Of the questions they do ask, too much emphasis is on when a contractor can start, when the project will be finished and how much will it all cost.


While cost and timing are important, ensuring that a contractor is both trustworthy and reputable are the most important. Once the decision is made to hire a particular contractor, then you can discuss the start and end times of the project. If it is a remodel requiring construction, these are details that should be addressed in pre-construction meetings.

The NARI website at www.nari.org lists these questions every homeowner should ask before signing with a contractor:

1. How long have you been in business?
2. Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
3. Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
4. Does your company carry workers compensation and liability insurance? (Always verify this information by calling the agency. A copy of an insurance certificate does not let you know if the policy is still current. Even if the certificate has an expiration date, you cannot tell if the insurance has been canceled by either party. If licensing is required in your state also ask if the contractor is licensed and call to verify compliance with the law. Not all states offer or require licensing. Check with your local or state government agencies.)
5. What is your approach to a project such as this?
6. How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year?
7. May I have a list of references from those projects?
8. May I have a list of business referrals or suppliers?
9. What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
10. Are you a member of a national trade association?
11. Have you or your employees been certified in remodeling or had any special training or education, such as earning a Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS), Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler (CKBR), Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC), Green Certified Professional (GCP), Certified Remodeler Project Manager (CRPM) or Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) designation?

Whatever you do, never hire an unlicensed home improvement contractor. In most states it is against the law to act as a home improvement contractor or subcontractor without a license. Sure, it is tempting, especially when the rates these people quote are so much lower than licensed workers. Just remember: You get what you pay for.

What Your Homeowners Association Board Can Do for You

 

As a recognized homeowners association, most communities have a board to help the HOA run smoothly. The board consists of volunteers who execute a wide variety of tasks residents may not be aware of; however, their work affects every single resident.

One of the most important things the board does is create and enforce the association rules. While some residents may not like being told what they can and can’t do, ultimately the board is looking out for the greater good. By enforcing the rules, the board is doing its best to keep property value up to maintain community standards. Of course, the board wants to make sure the rules are beneficial for the majority—and hopefully all—residents.

Another major responsibility of the board is to collect assessments from homeowners. Collecting this money is important for the stability of the association, because the assessments pay for the common elements enjoyed by all residents. Assessments also help to replenish the reserve funds, which pay for any major repairs the association may need. The board is responsible for the association’s finances, and collecting assessments is how it ensures that the association remains solvent.

Finally, the board acts on behalf of the association by hiring managers, attorneys, contractors and other professionals who help better the association and also help keep the community safe. Board members also help conceive and lead many of the projects that will improve the HOA.

Every board benefits greatly when people volunteer to serve on committees and boards. People are busy and it may be difficult recruiting volunteers. There are a few ways to get the message to residents that the board is in need of volunteers.

1. Send a community letter of education explaining how volunteers impact the board and the community and ask for people to get involved.

2. Personally talk to people. When you see residents in and around the community speak to them and mention the opening the board has. If they are not interested in serving ask them to pass along the information.

3. Offer it to past complainers. People who complain often have some sense of wanting to have a say so around the community and complaining may be their only platform. They can make a good board member or volunteer.

4. Keep publicizing. Keep putting the need for volunteers in the community newsletter, keep talking, put up signs in the common buildings and keep announcing it at all public meetings.

While it’s a big job, board members are happy to serve the residents and make the community a great place to call home. So why not learn more about what these volunteers do by talking to your board members, attending an open board meeting or even running for a seat on the board during our next election? The more people we have looking out for our association, the stronger it will be.

If you serve on a board or your board is in need of management or training, Association Management Group provide tools, training, services, management to HOA's and Condo Associations across North and South Carolina.