Bigger, Better, Best!

Building Better Communities was the theme for the ACMO/CCI Sixth Annual Condominium Conference. Held November 15th and 16th at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto, the Conference attracted 350 delegates, with 76 expert speakers and 64 exhibitors at the trade show.

Speakers and Sponsors
The Conference is sponsored jointly by CCI (Toronto and Area) and ACMO, but we could not succeed without the help of the expert speakers from CCI National and the financial support of our sponsors and exhibitors. We urge managers and directors to support those trades, service providers and sponsors who have been such stalwart supporters of our Annual Conference.

Friday Sessions
The Conference launched with a seminar on Breathing New Life Into Apathetic Corporations, followed by sessions on Conservation (Dr. Gina Cody), Shared Facilities, Environment and Employees. Friday afternoon sessions included Developing Community Standards - By-laws and Rules (Bob Gardiner), Buying Utilities in the Marketplace, Selling the Reserve Plan (John Warren) and Plumbing.

Saturday Sessions
The Saturday sessions started with the Case Law Update (Stephen Karr), with subsequent morning sessions focused on New Risks and Liabilities (Denise Lash), Governance and Roofing Inspections. This year, the Conference extended for a full day on Saturday, including the sessions on Communications (Jasmine Martirossian), Enforcement Remedies, Mechanical, Increasing Value, Management Contract (Janice Pynn), Building Envelopes and Human Rights.

L-R: Gerry Hyman, Armand Conant, Audrey Loeb and (standing)
Bob Gardiner at the 'Developing Community Standards' session.

CCI National AGM
The CCI National AGM was held Friday afternoon where eight new directors were elected. In accordance with its succession plan, Pat Cassidy has retired as chair and has been succeeded by Ron Danks, Past President. Deborah Howes is the new President, Gerrit Roosenboom is the Vice President and Peter Leong is the Secretary. Our own Peter Harris is the Treasurer.

Harvey Willis, Distinguished Service Award
Our finest hour came at the CCI National Annual Awards Banquet. It was a great pleasure to present to our former CCI Toronto director, Harvey Willis, the greatest of all honours that can be awarded to a condominium director, the Distinguished Service Award. Past President of his condominium, Harvey has always been a warm-hearted, friendly and hard worker as a CCI Toronto director.

CCI-Toronto President Bob Gardiner (left) presents
Harvey Willis with a Distinguished Service Award.

Left to right: David Widman, Jody Widman,
Robert Gardiner and Tracy Widman.

Barry Widman, FCCI
For anyone involved in condominium issues, your heart would have swelled up to have heard Barry Widman's children Jody, Tracey and David deliver a thank you for the posthumous honour bestowed upon Barry as a Fellow of the Canadian Condominium Institute. Jody's charming thank you was greeted with a standing ovation and some tears by members of the audience for whom Barry meant so much more than just "that guy with the pipe".

H. Penman Smith Award
Last year, CCI (Toronto and Area) won the H. Penman Smith Award for Newsletter Excellence. This year, CCI National awarded that honour to the Golden Horseshoe Chapter as a result of our nomination after reviewing excellent newsletters from a number of other Chapters.

Lorne Young Chapter of the Year Award
Last year, the Toronto Chapter also won the Lorne Young Chapter of the Year Award. A particular highlight for the Toronto Board was the opportunity to nominate this year's winner amongst a number of excellent submissions. What a pleasure it was to present the Lorne Young Chapter of the Year Award to our good friends at the Huronia Chapter.
Our own Gerrit Roosenboom (a past Toronto Chapter director) enthused a number of condo sympathisers to found the Barrie based Chapter to become a mature branch in two years, with 150 members, a 24 page glossy colour magazine and educational seminars throughout a fiefdom only slightly smaller than France. Of course, nepotism played a role, but nepotism is a wo-way street, and therefore the grant of that honour to Huronia was conditional upon Toronto winning next year!

Left to right: CCI-T Past President Gina Cody; CCI-T Vice President
Denise Lash; and CAI representative and Keynote Speaker Ellen Hirsh de Haan

ACMO President Jim Bezemer (left) and CCI-Toronto President Bob Gardiner (far right) present Darlene Rendell with the Trade Show Passport Grand Prize of a trip for two to Cancun!

Such a sophisticated and major event requires a lot of planning, organization and administration. Many thanks to Don Braden and Jean Rookwood of B B & C for all of their administrative efforts. Jim Bezemer, my co-chair, President of ACMO and Ron Danks, President of CCI National, provided outstanding leadership. Donna Swanson, Denise Lash, Dr. Gina Cody, Janice Pynn, Laura Lee, Roy Arluck and Larry Holmes were chock full of ideas. Lynn Morrovat and Diane Gaunt contributed their knowledgeable conference expertise.

OCI-Toronto Director Steve Willerding (left) accepts one of many
door prizes handed out by CCI-National Past President, Ron Danks (right).

2003 Conference
We are all as pleased as punch with the results and we are already planning the 2003 Conference to be held at the International Plaza Hotel, Toronto. Mark your calendar for Friday, November 7th and Saturday, November 8th, 2003 for the next bigger and better extravaganza!