So you’ve just been elected to the board of your timeshare owners’ association, now what?
Well a good place to start is reviewing your association governing documents, bylaws and relevant state statutes to be familiar with how the association is supposed to operate. While that seems like a tall order there are a number of organizations that can be very helpful in making a new board member aware of their fiduciary duties.
The American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) website (arda.org) has an HOA Outreach section which can be very helpful to an incoming board member. Their purpose is to be a general resource and provide information about timeshare plan owners associations, their officers, directors, and individual owner members, as well as to assist HOA Board of Directors and Board officers in their efforts to oversee or partner with a professional manager or management company in the successful operation of a vacation resort property.
Their most effective educational asset is their “HOA Toolbox”. The HOA Toolbox contains a series of resources compiled by industry professionals, HOA board members, HOA thought leaders, and ARDA, and is ever changing by updating it as new ideas, techniques, laws and policies are modified and improved.
One of their teaching tools is the “Best Practice Series” with titles such as Best Practices for Resort Resale, Best Practices for Owner Engagement, Best Practices for Housekeeping and Best Practices for Interviews. In addition to this series are resource papers on a variety of subjects such as:
– Accounting Concepts and definitions
– Board Member Due Diligence and Duties
– Emergency Plan Starter Kit
– Evacuation Procedures
– Insurance Check Up
– Optimizing Board and Management Communication
In addition to these resources, there are published articles on subjects that include accounting and financial, technology, management and operations, legal and board member issues.
All of this information is free and available on the ARDA website for both members as well as nonmembers.
In addition to ARDA, there are two other organizations that may be helpful to the newly elected board member. One is the Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA) who represent owner controlled timeshare resorts and is a resource for the education of board members as well as their on-site managers. They hold a yearly meeting and this year it was in Rhode Island in May of 2015. You can log in to their website at tbmassoc.com.
The other organization which may be helpful is Community Association Institute, and while their primary focus is whole ownership associations, many of the issues are still faced by timeshare owners associations. They are a national organization with local chapters and provide information, education and resources to community associations. Their website is caionline.org.
Being a newly elected board member is not an easy undertaking but with the resources outlined above hopefully it will be a fruitful and rewarding experience.