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Member of and/or Helpful Links to:
Illinois Condominium
Property Act (ICPA)
Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act (ICICA)
Community Association Manager Licensing & Disciplinary Act (CAM)


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"Self-management comes with legal risks. 'Volunteer' directors are held to the same standard as a professionally trained property manager. Board members should minimize their legal exposure. All associations, regardless of size, are better served by retaining experienced professionals for major functions and projects."

--Mark D. Pearlstein
Attorney at Law, Levenfeld Pearlstein
Chairman, Homeowners Association Group

In Memoriam – 1948 - 2012

Mark Pearlstein specialized in condo law and offered valuable insight weekly as a Condo Columnist in the Chicago Tribune from 1988 – 2012. He was an industry leader and pioneer of important changes to legislation, including the Illinois community association manager's licensing statute. Mark will be missed. For more info about Mark's legacy, visit

"As Association Advocates led us through a needs analysis, mediation with current management, and finally a management search, we relied on their experience and judgment to assist us in evaluating our needs and making important decisions. At the same time, assisting us in writing an operational manual was a major undertaking resulting in a professional and complete guideline for new management that will ease transition and serve us in the future.

All this was done in the most cost effective manner possible, keeping us focused on the task at hand. AAI’s willingness to share their knowledge and educate us at the same time makes us all better informed Board members.

On behalf of the residents of Lake Hinsdale Village, we want to thank AAI for all they have done to bring us to a successful culmination. Their outstanding expertise and professionalism made a difficult process easier. Shirley and Angela have our heartfelt appreciation for being with us on our journey during this past year."

--Cynthia Katsafanas
President, Lake Hinsdale Village Homeowners Association

--Lois Dick
Chair, Management Search Advisory Committee

Lake Hinsdale Village is a well-established community located on 72 beautiful acres in Willowbrook, Illinois. It is comprised of 539 residential units with 42 board members from seven (7) Condominium Associations, one (1) Lakehouse Association (townhome style), and one (1) Homeowners Association. Amenities include an on-site office, clubhouse, fitness room, pool, lake with boating, and tennis courts.

Association Advocates has been a great find in our quest to manage our association in the most efficient way. Although we previously had a professional management company in place, the Board felt like we were still doing all the work, but didn’t understand if we were doing things the right way.

Our Board Training Session with AAI really opened our eyes to the right and wrong way to manage our association. From then on we felt more comfortable in self-managing the building. One of the best things about having AAI as a consultant on Retainer is their quick response to any questions, no matter how small or stupid it may sound to us.

In addition, our building had to do a major masonry project that we had been discussing and bidding out for 3 years; AAI really helped us stop over thinking the project and got us moving. Because all of us have full time jobs and lives it was a no-brainer to have them be our project manager and manage the construction loan process. It really was the best decision we had made. I manage people and processes, but this was one project that I could have never done. AAI really was worth their weight in gold!”

--Mona Ewing
President, Beacon Terrace Condo Association

Beacon Terrace is a 3-story, 19-unit courtyard building with multiple entrances located in the Sheridan Park area of Chicago, Illinois and is now self-managed. It was a condo conversion turned over by the developer in 2004.
"Boards of self-managed associations often say that they can’t afford a professional management company. Simplified Self-Management - A Practical Guide With How-To’s & Forms is ideal and a ‘must’ for them. I would also recommend it to professional management companies."

--Gael Mennecke
Executive Director, Association of Condominium, Townhouse & Homeowner Associations (ACTHA)

"Personally, I think that not only is this product useful for smaller management companies, I also think many of the forms are superior to what I see utilized at some larger companies and could help them in their day-to-day work with Boards. To the best of my knowledge, there is no comparable set of documents drafted specifically for associations in Illinois. This is particularly invaluable to the self-managed association, who may not have other resources of this caliber available to them, particularly in such a convenient format."

--Robert Nesbit
Principal, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit

Simplified Self-Management was authored by and is available through Association Advocates.
ACTHA focuses on education for community associations in Illinois.
Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit is a law firm concentrating in condominium and homeowner associations. Robert Nesbit reviewed all Simplified Self-Management materials for compliance with state, federal and other laws.
AAI's board training is by far the best investment we have made. Most of the advice/feedback appears to come from situations or issues that they have actually experienced. They are extremely knowledgeable, the follow-up has been exceptional, and they have always been prompt with responses. We had no idea how much we did not know!”

--David Wood
Vice President, 18 N. Ada Townhouse Association

18 N. Ada is an 18-unit townhouse association located in the West Loop area of Chicago, Illinois and is self-managed. It was new construction and turned over by the developer in 2001.

"As a CPA for about 30 years, I often encounter associations in financial trouble with income shortfalls that do not meet the actual operating expenses of the association.  This can be common shortly after developer turnover if his financial obligations have not been met.  In addition, poor reserves planning may result in the need for an unanticipated special assessment or construction loan, often creating financial hardship for the homeowners.

Small, self-managed and newly turned-over associations have been challenged to find services that are affordable, and yet beneficial, to managing the daily operations of their association.  Association Advocates, Inc. can be a valuable resource to training the board on proper budget/reserves planning and developer turnover obligations.   I think every board can use some formal training and on-going management consultation in becoming more effective at doing their job to ensure the financial stability of their association."

 --Brad L. Schneider, CPA
President, CondoCPA

CondoCPA, a division of Schneider, Cupero & Associates, has specialized in accounting, audit and taxation for community associations since 1990.  Licensed in Illinois and Florida, they provide cutting edge, technological accounting solutions to over 200 community associations—professionally and self-managed—and tailor their services to each client's needs regardless of size.  Brad is a frequent speaker at CAI with published articles on related industry topics.
"Developer and management transitions are, by their very nature, fraught with difficulty. Our situation was particularly challenging as we faced the attendant responsibilities of a complex developer turnover as well as the process of interviewing and contracting a new management company all at once.

However, thanks to the calm, level-headed guidance we received from Association Advocates, Inc., we managed to work through a staggering number of issues. I know I can always call upon Angela and Shirley with our concerns and receive prompt assistance in finding solutions."

--Jeff Weiler
President, Vue 20 Condominium Association

Vue 20 is a 20-story, 140-unit newly constructed building located in the South Loop area of Chicago, Illlinois and is professionally managed. Original management was put in place by the developer and was turned over in December 2003 with the exception of the commercial space on the first floor.

"Our Association was overwhelmed with the self-management process and had a very poor experience with a professional management service. Association Advocates reviewed our processes and provided specific recommendations on how we could operate within the Illinois Condo Property Act more efficiently.

We were very pleased with the information that was provided, the review of our Declaration & Bylaws was very helpful, and AAI has been very responsive to our questions—both via phone and email."

--Christine Sei
President, 722-728 W. Addison Condo Association

722-728 W. Addison Condo Association is an 11-unit gut rehab conversion turned over from the developer in 2004. It is located in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago, Illinois and is now self-managed.
“As a Residential Real Estate Developer, you have to wear many hats, but you just can't be an expert in wearing every hat. Just as it is important to hire experts to design and build our properties to provide the best quality, it is important to apply that same attention to detail while managing the property to ensure a smooth transition to our new homeowners.

Hiring Association Advocates, Inc., an expert in developer turnovers, to handle the complexities of our most recent 57-unit Condominium Association turnover was a good decision. One less hat to wear, one complex job well done. I would encourage any developer -- large or small -- to utilize Association Advocates' turnover expertise as it benefits all parties involved.”

--Ken Sproul
President, SMB Development
The SMB Development team members of Kenneth Sproul and Arthur Mitchell have participated in some of Chicago's most unique and exciting residential projects including Lakeview Pointe, The Madison Club, Tuxedo Park, The Oak Club, The Pointe, The Mohawk Homes, The Residences of Central Station, The Embassy Club, The Prairie Homes of Dearborn Park and are currently in development with The Larrabee.

"Belatedly, I would like to thank Shirley and Angela for the great work you did for us and the invaluable training we received, which allowed us to act with confidence as a board. Your guidance with pre-turnover issues and the post-turnover developer and financial analysis has given our board the tools to make wise decisions during a very confusing time and to work as a team with our management company.

Although our consultation with Association Advocates Inc. was over a year ago, I am constantly reminded how important that training was as we continue to deal with the aftermath of the turnover: the legal issues, the construction issues, the financial issues.  As a result we have been able to build a fiscally sound association with strong trust and excellent participation from the members."

 --Ralph Hoadley
President, Regency-Balmoral Condominium Association

Regency-Balmoral is a 4-story, 25-unit building with multiple entrances located in the Edgewater Beach area of Chicago, Illinois and is professionally managed.   It was a condo conversion turned over by the developer in April 2004.

“The work of Association Advocates, Inc. with a new association provides a strong foundation for fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities facing the incoming Board members. I know this because I have spoken with some of their “student” Board members when seeking legal counsel for their associations. I am impressed by the knowledge base they gained from the training sessions as demonstrated by the detailed questions they pose and the concerns they raise. It is obvious that they have learned well.

Based on their valuable experience, Angela and Shirley educate in an understandable manner, guiding the new Board members as they begin to conduct the business of the association. The same educational opportunities also can serve as a beneficial refresher course for more experienced Board members.

Solid management advice is a key component for proper administration of an association, especially during the developer turnover process. Board members can certainly rely on Association Advocates, Inc. for that assistance.”

--Charles T. VanderVennet
Law Offices of Charles T. VanderVennet, P.C.

Charles T. VanderVennet concentrates his law practice primarily in the representation of condominium, townhome and homeowners associations. Chuck has counseled associations since opening his office in 1982 and his service as a condominium board member provides direct experience to draw upon for his work as an association attorney.
"I would unhesitatingly recommend Association Advocates, Inc. to anyone needing assistance in the selection of a management company, and in the transition from one company to another. All is now running as smoothly as an association ever runs. You ladies were everything we could have wished."

--Joyce Ebersman
President, 1143 S. Plymouth Ct. Condominium Association

1143 S. Plymouth Ct. is a 6-story, 74-unit well-established building located in the Printers Row area of Chicago, Illinois and is professionally managed. Its amenities include a pool managed by the Master Association.
"As a real estate agent, I always try to assist my clients by offering suggestions and resources to make their condo purchase the best investment they can make. Because the current real estate market is so competitive, I recommend that buyers consider the stability of the Association as part of their purchasing decision.

For this reason, I feel
Association Advocates, Inc. can be a benefit to any Association in helping their owners obtain the highest resale value for their property and has the potential to set their building apart in this competitive marketplace."

--Stacy Karel
Real Estate Consultant, @properties
Stacy is a real estate consultant specializing in residential and investment properties in Chicago, Illinois. Her website is an invaluable resource allowing clients to take control of their real estate search with access to the multiple listing service.
"Our consultation and training seminar conducted by Association Advocates, Inc. proved to be very valuable in having a more knowledgeable Board of Directors resulting in the elimination of frustration, while saving time and money. I would recommend them to condo associations as a must have."

--Ava Anthony
President, Tower Lofts Condominium Association

Tower Lofts is a 7-story, 80-unit loft building located in West Lakeview, Chicago, Illinois and is professionally managed. It was newly constructed and turned over from the Developer in June 1996 with the exception of the commercial space on the first floor.

"Board members need to remember that they are running a business. They need to divorce themselves from personal agendas, animosity towards others and, to a large extent, emotion. They are making business decisions. The Association Advocates Inc. Educational Program provides a valuable service to association board members by instilling this sense of professionalism and expertise in the decision making process from a business standpoint."

--John H. Bickley III
Attorney at Law, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit

John Bickley is an attorney concentrating in the representation of condominium and community interest associations. His extensive litigation experience in the context of developer turnover issues is well suited to assisting new associations in the pre and post turnover phases of the development. He has co-authored a series of "how to" condo law pamphlets including "The Board Members Guide to IL Association Law" and is a frequent Lecturer/Instructor on such topics.

“I would highly recommend the Association Advocates team to assist you in your management search. Their professional approach to finding a property management firm to meet our needs took a tremendous load off the Board. It’s not a ‘hands-off’ approach, but it is a very well organized and thought out approach to the process.

Putting together all your requirements can be tedious, but very necessary. It helped us to define our needs in the contract negotiations and will continue to be a valuable tool as we continue our relationship with our new property manager. We are hopeful that we will not have to perform another search, but if we did, we would not hesitate in making this investment.”

--Kay Vanasco
Secretary, Block X Condominium Association

Block X is a 100-unit condominium association located in the West Loop area of Chicago, Illinois consisting of five buildings surrounding a 1/3 acre, inner park-like courtyard with three distinct building styles and requirements.
"The training session provided by Association Advocates, Inc. gave us a much better understanding of our condominium documents, board obligations and efficient management tips by putting it all in layman's terms. We would highly recommend their services. They Rock!"

--Lisa Dobogai
President, 5400-5420 N. Sheridan Rd. Condominium Assoc.

5400-5420 N. Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association is an 80-unit rehabbed condo conversion building in Chicago, Illinois, which is self managed.

“As an attorney, who is also the Board President of a self-managed association, I can even get lost in all the documents that control an association. Association Advocates has been able to provide us with an impressive outline of important information from our Bylaws, which makes answering questions to unit owners quick and easy, as well as, making the transition to a new board even easier.

Whenever there has been an issue with our association, the Advocates have been able to immediately assist us, attend board meetings when needed, and fully explain how to deal with complicated issues.”

--Miranda Byrd-Jameson
President, 1949 W. Roscoe Condominium Association

1949 W. Roscoe Condominium Association is a 6-unit gut rehab conversion with coach house turned over from the developer in 2007. It is located in the Roscoe Village area of Chicago, Illinois and is self-managed.
"I've worked with Angela Falzone on various Reserve Studies for many of her buildings and have always been impressed with her knowledge of the industry and guidance to her Boards to take proactive steps in maintaining their properties.

While doing a Reserve Study for
Shirley Feldmann's loft building in 2001, I was surprised to learn she was not the building's property manager but, in fact, a volunteer Board member as I found her more knowledgable and efficient than many property managers I've met.

I suggested that the two meet as I thought Angela's expertise and Shirley's keen attention to detail would be a nice match.
Association Advocates, Inc. is a great concept melding their talents offering a greatly needed service to this industry."

--Thomas A. Corbett
President, Tomacor, Inc. Property Inspections Service

Tomacor provides professional consultation services for: Construction and Repair, Pre-Purchase Inspections, Reserve Studies and Home Inspections. "What you don't know can cost you plenty!"
"I highly recommend Angela and Shirley to EVERYONE who serves on a condo board. There is no manual for how to run an association legally and properly. The education, guidance, references and lightning-fast responses provided by AAI have been invaluable in giving our board the knowledge and confidence to govern our association appropriately. This goes a long way toward convincing the owners that we know what we are doing!"

--Beth Mingledorff
President, Columns Condominium Association

Columns Condominium Association is a 10-unit rehabbed condo conversion building turned over from the developer in 2000. It is located in the Uptown area of Chicago, Illinois and is self-managed.
"As a Realtor, Assocation Advocates, Inc. helped to fill in a blank in my education and experience. No one requires a course in the Illinois Condominium Property Act. I now feel better qualified to provide my condo clients with the necessary supervision to guide them through the sales process and after the sale—especially with developer turnover issues.

As a condo owner, board president and developer, this training provided me with the information I needed to feel confident in the administration of my own Association. In addition, the more I can help my condo clients, the better my services as a Realtor become. I recommend Association Advocates, Inc. to all in the Real Estate Profession—owners, developers and realtors alike."

--Bill Barnes
Realtor, REMAX Midtown

Bill Barnes is a Realtor specializing in condominium new construction, conversions and residential investment properties.