Toys for Tots in Your Community Association

Developing a Community Toys for Tots Drive in Your Association

A great way to give back to your local area is to develop a Community wide Toys for Tots drive! Each year many Communities participate in the U.S. Marines Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The U.S. Marine Corp. collects new, unwrapped toys during the months of October, November, and December each year, and they distribute the toys as Christmas gifts to the less fortunate children in the local area. They unite members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign.

The goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope. By combined efforts they help the less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas. The Toys for Tots program allows the Association to play a role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children.

The collection process is fun and rewarding as the homeowners join together in celebrating the holidays the very best way we know how, by giving.

If you would like to become a Toys for Tots drop off location please log onto
1. Click the “Toy Drop-Offs” button at the top of the page
2. Select your state
– City and County search options will appear
3. Select the city or county nearest your location
– Contact by phone, FAX, email (Recommend you use email. Click the hypertext email address. An email form will appear)
4. Fill out the form by providing your name, phone number and address plus a description of your business. State that you want to volunteer to be a toy drop off location. Send to coordinator.
The Coordinator will contact you.
**Please also remember babies and pre-teen/teens when shopping for toys**

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

An Agenda to Keep Your Meeting on Track

Utilizing an Agenda to Keep Your Community Association Meeting on Track

Creating and following an agenda can help keep your Board of Directors meeting for your Community Association on track. A detailed but flexible agenda can keep your meeting productive in order to cover all the items listed in the shortest amount of time. Below are a few tips for creating a productive agenda for your Board of Director’s meetings:

Getting Started:

Starting your agenda early allows you to solicit feedback before the meeting. This can help prevent mistakes and add details that might get overlooked. It is important to distribute the meeting agenda to the Board of Directors Members at least 5-7 days in advance of the meeting so that they have a chance to review the agenda and any relevant information concerning topics on the agenda.

Choose a Title:

The title should contain the word “Agenda” and what subject matter the agenda will cover. “Community Meeting” or simple and direct titles are usually best. Remember, the purpose of the agenda title is to inform readers of what they are viewing.

What to Include:

Include the date, time and location of the meeting. Add a sign in sheet to list the attendees if the meeting is open to the general membership. A proper agenda should start by calling the meeting to order and recognizing a quorum. The conclusion of the meeting should include a proper adjournment and scheduling of the next meeting date.

Next write a brief statement describing the meeting objectives. This statement should only be a few sentences including the goals for the Board of Directors to accomplish at the meeting. Meetings without a clearly defined objective waste precious time deciding what to talk about as opposed to addressing the topics themselves.

After defining the meeting, create an outline of the discussion items. The outline will be the guide to keep everyone on topic and the meeting progress on a productive course. You should always schedule the most important items first just in case the meeting runs out of time. During the meeting keep a record of the amount of time spent on an item and make sure the discussion stays on topic. This will insure an efficient and constructive meeting.

Check for Errors:

Proofread for errors and completeness before distribution. Going through this review reflects in a positive manner on your attention to detail and the respect you have for the attendees.

Meeting Conduct:

The Board President should chair the meeting. Board Members should be formally recognized and issues voted upon or tabled in a formal voting fashion. A timed agenda, which consists of allotting a certain amount of time for each agenda item, can greatly help in keeping both the Board and the audience on topic. Studies have shown
that meetings that have continued for more than one hour often become unproductive as restlessness and inattentiveness set in among the participants. In order to keep everyone cordial and productive, make sure your next agenda is properly prepared by following the tips previously discussed.

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.  Our management team would be happy to schedule a meeting with your Board of Directors to discuss your Communities’ needs, as well as answer these very important questions regarding PENCO’s services.

property management company interviewing

Hiring a Property Management Company

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Property Management Company

Hiring a new property management company for your Condominium or Homeowners Association can be a very difficult and time consuming process.  The end goal of hiring a new  property management company should be to hire a long term business partner who will assist the Board of Directors to preserve and increase the property values of the homes within the Community.

As the Board makes the decision to hire a new property management company, there are several questions that they should ask during the interview process to each potential candidate. Below are several categories, as well as questions with each category, to consider when interviewing property management companies.

Management Office

  1. What is the age and experience of the firm?
  2. What is the experience of the property managers and staff?
  3. Does the property management company support continuing education for managers and staff?
  4. Does the property management company bid vendor services competitively?
  5. What is the philosophy of the property management company?

Financial Aspects

  1. What bank charges will be assessed to the Association?
  2. How long does it take to deposit funds into the bank?
  3. Who prepares the financial statements and what credentials, experience, and education are held?
  4. Who prepares the annual budget and what credentials, experience, and education are held?
  5. What is the process for bill payment?
  6. What experience is held with regard to capital budgets and reserve studies and funding?


  1. Who answers the phones?
  2. Who responds in the event of an after-hours emergency?
  3. What is the average response time to homeowners?
  4. How are messages conveyed to the manager, homeowner, and Board?
  5. Are any of the following types of extra charges passed onto the Association? (Copies, postage, faxes, office supplies, office materials, delinquency letters, violation letters, demand letters, compliance letters ,bidding contracts, managing contracts, after hours emergencies, attendance at board meetings, special assessment collection, storage of records, interfacing with attorney, record storage, bank charges, transfer fees, demand fees, lien fees).

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.  Our management team would be happy to schedule a meeting with your Board of Directors to discuss your Communities’ needs, as well as answer these very important questions regarding PENCO’s services.

Enjoying The Holidays In Your Community Association


Enjoying the Holidays in Your Community Association

The holidays are just around the corner, and for many that means lots of festivities with family and friends. It is important that residents who are hosting celebrations within their Community Association be considerate not only of their neighbors, but also to take note of their Community Association’s Rules. A complete listing of your Community Association Rules and Regulations can be found in your Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), but here are a few key items to remember during the holiday season:

Outdoor Decorations:

Many people like to decorate the outside of their homes and front yards, but before you start to hang the decorative lights along the side of your home, take a look at your Community Association’s  CC&Rs to find out the guidelines for outdoor decorations, as well as the guidelines for flags and signs if you plan on decorating with those items as well. This will help make sure your outdoor winter wonderland isn’t in violation with the Community Association.


If you plan on hosting a large get-together or party, you should remember to keep the noise to a minimum, and wind the party down at a reasonable time. Remember to check your CC&Rs to find out what the Community Association deems acceptable noise levels, when are the quiet hours, as well as guidelines for hosting parties.


The holidays bring many people together, which means that means extra cars will need to be parked in your Community Association. To make sure your home is not in violation of the Rules and Regulations, look at the CC&Rs to find out the Rules on visitor parking in your Community Association, including where they can park and what kind of parking passes they may need.

Following your  Community Association’s Rules and Regulations will help ensure that everyone can enjoy this special time of year. Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season!


Association Board of Directors

Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting


Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting

Preparing for and conducting a monthly Meeting of the Board of Directors for a Homeowners or Condominium Association can be a challenging task. Board Members bring a variety of personalities, educational backgrounds, and business styles to their monthly Association Board of Directors meeting. The main goal for the Association Board of Directors meeting is to discuss and vote on the list of topics on the agenda. Decisions and discussions should be conducted in a timely manner with the Association’s best interest being the end result. Six tips to help facilitate a productive Association Board of Directors meeting with positive outcomes:

  1. Agenda Items: Two weeks before a meeting send out an email asking the Association’s Board of Directors for items they would like put on the agenda. Set a deadline for submission.
  2. Get Prepared: Once you have your topics for the meeting, gather information on those issues so that you are prepared to answer any questions related to the topics. Share information with the Association Board of Directors ahead of time so they can become familiar with the issue and get questions out of the way prior to the meeting. Sometimes topics can be discussed and resolved prior to the meeting via email.
  3. Time stamp your agenda. Meetings should run an Hour and a half to two hours at the most. Any more than that and  decisions are made too quickly.
  4. Board Packet: Send the entire board packet (Agenda, Minutes, Proposals, Contracts, Financial Reports, etc.) out at least 3 days ahead of time so the Board has a chance to review the information. Make sure you remind the Board of the date and time of the meeting.
  5. Follow the agenda. Stay on topic, and watch your time. If members go off topic, gently redirect back. If a topic is taking up a lot of time and going nowhere, that issue can be tabled to the end of the meeting or continued to the next meeting. Take good notes! Use an Action item list and write down what you need to do. Transfer those items onto your task list on the computer the following day and review daily.
  6. If members are talking over each other, arguing, or getting agitated, raise your hand. Once you get their attention, take a break. Have light refreshments available so members get a drink and cool down. This gives you the manager time to process and work on a resolution. When you reconvene, start by reviewing and confirming each member’s position. Offer additional information or suggestions even if that is to table the discussion until more information is obtained. Express your respect for each position. When all else fails, find a way to make them laugh. Humor is a great way to defuse a situation and bring things back into perspective.

A happy Board is a productive Board!

Submitted By:

K.C. Bernardine Property Manager