Published in Community Living Magazine Summer 2008 I would like to thank Sara Lassila, the former President, Paul Hanscom of Ewald and all of the volunteers of CAI for the tremendous work they do behind the scenes. The more I have become involved with CAI over the years, the more my respect and gratitude has grown for all that you have done and continue to do for CAI. Thank you! I was recently asked why I became involved in CAI, since I am not a property manager or a town home owner. I became involved because CAI brings together the experts in the industry to educate and work together for the mutual benefit of all parties. CAI represents and benefits board members, property managers, service professionals and homeowners. I am an attorney by training and am often asked, if I am able to represent my company in legal matters. I still have a general knowledge of the law, but I do not represent myself. I hire an attorney who specializes in the area of law that I need assistance. I find that a specialist is more competent, less expensive in money and time and in the end provides far greater value than me trying to represent myself. I believe the same logic applies to CAI. Someone who specializes in the common interest community industry can provide much more value based on their experience and focus. Levin and Stein, RJF, Community Assoc. Bank, and all of our other sponsors have learned many things through their experiences, that are unique and different about working with associations. Membership in CAI is voluntary, therefore only the motivated and focused persons get involved. CAI is not the Better Business Bureau, where every business almost has to be a member. Not all property managers are members and not all painters are members. CAI is made of the managers, homeowners and vendors who are committed to working long term in the industry. These persons become experts in serving associations because of their commitment and focus. CAI is driven by industry experts who volunteer their time to work for the common good of all of its members. The best and brightest vendors, professionals, managers and board members are found at CAI. CAI benefits homeowners by providing education to them and those who serve them. CAI benefits managers and service professionals by helping them improve themselves and their trade partners. CAI provides great value to all of these parties by providing the opportunity to associate with other persons who are experts and committed to the industry. As I step into the footprints of my predecessors, I am inspired work with the new CAI Board and integral volunteers to maintain and build on the foundation that Sara and others have passed on to us. Mark Schoenfelder, CAI-MN Board President