It’s the monthly board meeting, and you’re meeting in the kitchen of the president’s home. The first item on the agenda? Chaos. As the secretary reviews the minutes, Little Jimmy, the president’s three-year-old son, bangs a drum and parades around the table. Older son Joey fights with his sister over the television, which is only slightly louder than an Apollo moon launch. Freida, the treasurer, continually leaves the table to grab doughnuts, while Fred, a homeowner whose voice is actually louder than the TV, lobbies for approval of his Brady Bunch garden gnomes. With each interruption, the discussion strays to new and unrelated topics–when Freida explains the relationship between pet problems and UFO abductions, the president searches for the agenda, which, unfortunately, was eaten by the dog. Finally, after four hours and 16 minutes, the meeting adjourns, due to a lack of additional doughnuts.
Is your annual meeting just around the corner? Begin planning now because successful meetings don’t happen by themselves.
“I’ve seen associations do well, and I’ve seen them stumble with annual meetings,” says Robert M. DeNichilo, an attorney at DeNichilo & Lindsley LLP in Irvine, Calif., who specializes in representing community associations. “The key is preparation. Those who have a checklist and act on it tend to do well. Those who say, ‘Oh, my gosh, we have an annual meeting!’ tend to flounder.”
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