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The 2014 Florida Communities of Excellence Awards honor best associations

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Winners of the annual Florida Communities of Excellence Awards, the only statewide recognition program for condominium and homeowner associations, were announced on May 2 at the annual conference. Now in its sixth year, the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards represents the pinnacle of achievement for community associations.

Founded by the Florida Community Association Journal and the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff, the coveted Awards focus on innovative practices in condominium and homeowner association from across the state. Winners are chosen from smaller communities (up to 400 units) and larger communities by a panel of independent experts, including representative of leading state and local government departments and agencies.

“We are now in our sixth year of celebrating what’s good and important about communities in our state,” said Alan Penchansky, executive director of the Awards. “The Awards have become a highly anticipated annual event for Florida’s communities and for the people involved in the numerous businesses and industries that serve their needs.”

The 2014 winners were celebrated and presented with their awards at the annual Conference & Awards Gala, which took place at the Rosen Plaza hotel in Orlando. Winners competed in 11 categories in the largest field of submissions in the program’s history, including 100 first-time participants. The communities recognized for outstanding accomplishments were:

Water Conservation – Water management and conservation programs

  • Large, 401+ communities: Country Club of Mount Dora (Mount Dora)
  • Small: Lakes of Aloma (Oviedo)

Energy Efficiency -- Energy management and conservation programs

  • Large: VeronaWalk of Naples (Naples)
  • Small: Metropolis at Dadeland (Miami)

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ – Environmentally sound landscape, wetland, preserve, and lake management policies.

  • Large: St. George Plantation (St. George Island)
  • Small: Bridgestone at Legends (Clermont)

Civic Volunteerism & Advocacy (Presented by Volunteer Florida) – Supporting local and regional non-profit and charitable causes.

  • Large: Solivita (Poinciana)
  • Small: Orchid Island Golf and Beach Association (Orchid)

Communications & Community – Promoting positive community relations through effective use of email, newsletters, social media, Web site and other communications.

  • Large: Stoneybrook West Master Association (Winter Garden)
  • Small: Plantation Park Private Residences Condominium Association (Orlando)

Family Friendly Programs & Initiatives – Promoting family participation and well-being.

  • Large: Waterchase Master POA (Tampa)
  • Small: Moss Park Ridge (Orlando)

Safety & Security – Programs to protect and ensure the safety of residents and property within the community.

  • Large: VeronaWalk of Naples (Naples)
  • Small: Sea Woods Homeowners Association (New Smyrna Beach)

Disaster Preparedness – Protecting lives and property, as well as for community restoration in the aftermath of an emergency.

  • Large: Silverthorn Hernando HOA (Brooksville)
  • Small: Lakes of Mount Dora (Mount Dora)

Financial Innovation – Policies and procedures to ease the impact of financial burdens during challenging economic times

  • Large: Timber Pines Community Association (Spring Hill)
  • Small: Pines of Delray West (Delray Beach)

The Comeback Kid – Recognizing communities whose boards and managers have developed and implemented successful turnaround programs by revitalizing distressed properties.

  • Large: The Club at Brickell Bay Condominium Association (Miami)
  • Small: Ocean Village Club (St. Augustine)

Trendsetter Award – Innovation in any area not covered in the existing categories.

  • Bacopa Bay (St. Petersburg)
  • Timber Pines Community Association (Spring Hill)
  • Lakes of Mount Dora (Mount Dora)

Community of the Year (Condominium) – Ocean Village Club (St. Augustine)

Community of the Year (HOA) – VeronaWalk of Naples (Naples)

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is a unique recognition program that shines a spotlight on the positive and productive initiatives taking place in condominiums, homeowners associations and cooperatives across Florida. Now in its sixth year, the independently judged program enables the top communities in the state to promote their accomplishments and raise their profiles while documenting their success and enabling others to learn from their examples.

In other association awards news, the Community Association Institute will announce the winner of the 2014 "Manager of the Year" contest in a live broadcast from Orlando on Wednesday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. More than 100,000 votes were cast in the balloting leading up to the award, which is a part of the CAI's Annual Conference and Exposition.

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