60 episodes

Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly! Take It to the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle. If you've got questions, Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger - We Speak Condo & HOA!

Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger Donna DiMaggio Berger

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 24 Ratings

Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly! Take It to the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle. If you've got questions, Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger - We Speak Condo & HOA!

    Lessons in Leadership - A Discussion with Becker’s Managing Partner, Gary Rosen

    Lessons in Leadership - A Discussion with Becker’s Managing Partner, Gary Rosen

    Get set for an insightful exchange as host Donna DiMaggio Berger dives into the world of effective leadership with guest, Gary C. Rosen, Managing Shareholder and the commanding force behind Becker & Poliakoff. Donna and Gary discuss what leadership truly means, and the qualities one must possess to successfully influence and inspire others to work toward a common goal or vision.  Throughout their conversation, they look at Gary’s transition from a litigator to a top leadership role, while focusing on the differentiators that set Becker apart from other law firms. 
    Embracing change is never easy, it's a tale as old as time.  Donna and Gary look at Becker’s transformative journey, including some resistance when Becker moved its headquarters, and how Gary faced the winds of change head-on. In this episode, they illuminate the valuable lessons that can be gleaned from these experiences, from leading a law firm during a global pandemic to cultivating positive changes within the community. 

    Fasten your seatbelts as they unravel the nuances of running a successful community association practice, emphasizing adaptability, teamwork, and staying abreast of changing laws. They also discuss the importance of understanding client expectations and the vital role of recreational activities in managing stress. Prepare yourself for an episode brimming with unforgettable insights and experiences!

    Conversation highlights include:
    The management structure at Becker and other large law firmsGary’s transition from a very active litigator to a leadership role and what he wishes he had known back then that he knows nowBecker’s involvement in the county effort to assist and rehouse homeless individuals, particularly near the Broward County LibraryWhere Gary found guidance to manage the COVID pandemic and other crisis eventsThe essential tools to creating a legacy law firm like BeckerHow a law firm should approach client service and satisfactionHow to stay updated on legal trends and changes in the industryBONUS:
    What Gary does to de-stressGary’s advice to his younger selfWhose leadership style has inspired Gary 

    • 58 min
    Medical Marijuana and ESA Trends - Checking in Again with FHA Expert JoAnn Nesta Burnett

    Medical Marijuana and ESA Trends - Checking in Again with FHA Expert JoAnn Nesta Burnett

    Are you confused about whether your board can stop residents from smoking marijuana in your community even if they claim it is for medical purposes? Join Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest JoAnn Nesta Burnett, Shareholder at Becker, as they unravel the intricacies of marijuana use within community associations. Donna and JoAnn dig deep into the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) current position on complaints related to medical marijuana and look closely at the proof required for smoking accommodations. They also explore the potential dilemmas posed by marijuana use, particularly in multifamily buildings, and discuss strategies that associations can implement to shield themselves from legal repercussions.
     
    Shifting gears, Donna and JoAnn delve into the emotionally charged topic of fraudulent ESA and service animal requests. Their discussion reveals some bizarre requests for accommodations, such as chickens and bees! They share valuable insights on how these requests can impact homeowners’ associations and equip you with practical advice to navigate this minefield. Tune in to learn how to respond to ESA and service animal requests.
    Conversation highlights include:
    HUD’s position on medical marijuana use in multifamily properties Handling an employee's medical marijuana breaksUsing an “unlawful use clause” to restrict marijuana smokingUsing a “nuisance clause” to address marijuana smoke odorHUD’s criteria for evaluating reasonable accommodation requests for emotional support/service animalsHow to address criticism of rule enforcement

    • 23 min
    Legal Resilience - Fostering A Growth Mindset for Lawyers Amidst Mental Health Realities with Professor Marcia Narine Weldon, Director of Transactional Skills Program and Lecturer at the University of Miami School of Law

    Legal Resilience - Fostering A Growth Mindset for Lawyers Amidst Mental Health Realities with Professor Marcia Narine Weldon, Director of Transactional Skills Program and Lecturer at the University of Miami School of Law

    Does being an attorney make you unhappy? Could the legal profession be the root cause of your stress? Join host Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest Professor Marcia Narine Weldon for Part ll of a two-part series as they pull back the curtain on the high-pressure legal industry, exploring its impact on mental health and offering several strategies for coping. Throughout their conversation, they explore the surprisingly common traits shared by lawyers, questioning whether the profession attracts a particular personality type or creates certain mental health challenges. 
    As they navigate the cut-throat competitiveness of many law firm environments, Professor Weldon and Donna share their personal experiences of the pressures, struggles, and victories their legal careers involved. They highlight how a growth mindset and the ability to learn new skills can drive job satisfaction, despite the profession's inherent challenges. They discuss the art of setting boundaries - a crucial skill in protecting one's mental health and ensuring values are not compromised.
    The future is here already! Donna and Professor Weldon discuss how AI technology is reshaping the legal profession and its implications on mental health. As daunting as it may sound, they believe AI brings an opportunity to reinvent oneself and cultivate new skills. To wrap up, they emphasize the importance of vulnerability, openness, and grace – as not every loss spells disaster. Tune in for an insightful conversation on fostering well-being amidst the demanding landscape of the legal profession.

    Conversation highlights include:
    Does the legal field attract unhappy individuals, or does it inherently generate mental health challenges?Seeking creative outlets and managing stressShould clients view attorneys as real people with lives beyond counseling them?Does the competitive nature of law breed unhappiness or the potential for it?How many larger law firms prioritize growth mindsets among their attorneys?Do law schools really prepare their students for a career in the law?How can lawyers carve out personal time amidst growing client demands and competition in the marketplace?How crucial is it for lawyers to get on board with AI considering privilege, privacy, and accuracy?

    • 40 min
    We're Having a Heat Wave - The Physical and Mental Impacts from Extreme Heat and What Your Community Should Do with Dr. Jason Mansour, Medical Director at Broward Health Medical Center's Emergency Department

    We're Having a Heat Wave - The Physical and Mental Impacts from Extreme Heat and What Your Community Should Do with Dr. Jason Mansour, Medical Director at Broward Health Medical Center's Emergency Department

    Brace yourself for a deep dive into the hot issues surrounding extreme summer heat with host, Donna DiMaggio Berger, and guest Dr. Jason Mansour, Medical Director at Broward Health Medical Center's Emergency Department. Together, they discuss the physical and mental impact of extreme heat events. This isn't just another conversation about the weather - it's a critical exploration of an increasingly dangerous global phenomenon and how community association boards can prepare and protect their residents, employees, vendors, and guests.
    Donna begins the episode by guiding you on what associations can do to protect residents and employees from the heat's wrath, including revisiting and/or relaxing certain rules and regulations that might not make sense amid a heat wave, crafting disaster plans, ensuring outdoor workers are hydrating and have access to shade, and implementing smart strategies like limiting daytime activities on your recreational amenities and conducting welfare checks on vulnerable residents. 

    In the second half of the episode, Dr. Mansour shares expert insight recognizing and managing symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Dr. Mansour emphasizes that extreme heat can exacerbate existing health conditions and poses a severe threat to respiratory and cardiovascular health. This episode of Take It To The Board will serve as your cool oasis - a survival guide to extreme heat events. Whether you're a board member, resident, part of a management team, or an association employee or vendor working outdoors in the broiling heat, this episode is packed with vital information to help you stay safe.

    With a special mention to our previous episode featuring Miami-Dade Chief Heat Officer, Jane Gilbert, this episode emphasizes the urgency for awareness and action. 

    Conversation highlights include:
    Common sense steps your board can take to lessen the impact of extreme heat in your communityIdentifying the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstrokeFind out what can be done to cool down once symptoms startIs it possible to cool down while still outside? Why certain rules regarding hurricane shutters and blinds should be relaxedThe pros and cons of cooling off in a cold plunge How extreme heat impacts your vulnerable residentsWhen to go to the hospital if someone is suffering from the heat Can heat stroke cause brain damage, permanent or otherwise?BONUS:  Hear firsthand the increased number of hospital visits the recent heatwave has caused.

    • 26 min
    Examining the Challenges Community Association Attorneys Face and the Corporate Responsibility Community Associations Shoulder with Marcia Narine Weldon, Law Professor

    Examining the Challenges Community Association Attorneys Face and the Corporate Responsibility Community Associations Shoulder with Marcia Narine Weldon, Law Professor

    This week, in Part I of a two-part series, Donna DiMaggio Berger and guest Marcia Narine Weldon, Harvard Law School graduate and University of Miami School of Law professor, explore the intricate intersection of corporate responsibility, consumer rights, and the increasing influence of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors in today's dynamic business world. In this thought-provoking discussion, they address the challenges and pressures faced by community association lawyers, volunteer board members, and management professionals in an increasingly divisive environment.
    Delving into the sphere of corporate activism, Donna and Marcia examine how companies adeptly navigate legal obligations and shed light on the often-overlooked impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Furthermore, they critically assess the role of government in shaping business regulations and its significant effects on consumer rights. The conversation becomes even more fascinating as they navigate the delicate balance of corporate responsibility within private residential communities, emphasizing the paramount importance of transparency and active member involvement in decision-making processes.

    In addition to corporate matters, they thoughtfully explore the concept of resilience, the transformative power of grit, and the intriguing possibility of birth order's influence on individual success. Leveraging their personal experiences, Donna shares insightful perspectives on how stepping out of comfort zones aids in cultivating grit and building resilience. They also delve into whether generational differences may impact resilience. This engaging discussion is essential listening for those intrigued by human rights, corporate responsibility, and personal resilience.

    Don't miss out on this captivating and informative dialogue that offers invaluable insights for professionals and individuals interested in navigating the complexities of today's business landscape while upholding ethical principles and fostering personal growth.

    Conversation highlights include:
    What are ‘human rights’ and how to properly use the term.When companies fail to uphold high standards, what actions can consumers take?How should volunteer boards navigate corporate governance in private residential communities?Is it true that negative thoughts and stress don't necessarily indicate unhappiness or poor health?How negative thought behaviors can be detrimental to a person's mental health.What strategies can be employed to effectively challenge negative thoughts?Does the legal profession attract unhappy individuals, or does it contribute to their unhappiness?Does the competitive nature of law firm environments contribute to mental health challenges?How can attorneys avoid absorbing the toxicity of their clients?How to establish more reasonable expectations regarding the attorney-client relationship?What are the different impacts of anxiety, stress, and depression?What are some healthy ways to increase dopamine and serotonin levels?BONUS: Learn whether loyalty in the attorney-client relationship exists and what to do when it disappears

    • 38 min
    Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction Particularly When It Comes to the Community Association Lifestyle? with Marvin Nodiff, Former Community Association Attorney and Author

    Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction Particularly When It Comes to the Community Association Lifestyle? with Marvin Nodiff, Former Community Association Attorney and Author

    Join us this week as host Donna DiMaggio Berger sits down for a fascinating conversation with Marvin Nodiff, a retired community association attorney and prolific fiction writer. Together, they dive into the world of Marvin's eight novels based on the trials and tribulations of a dynamic young St. Louis community association attorney named Joshua Fyler and the cast of condominium and HOA characters surrounding him. The plots of Marvin's novels will certainly resonate with boards, managers, condo and HOA residents as well as community association attorneys everywhere. Marvin and Donna discuss the various societal challenges he tackles in his novels including cybercrime, judicial corruption, surveillance drones, gun violence, populism, the pandemic and artificial intelligence.  From generational gaps inside communities to drones, media and politics, the discussion with Marvin covers a wide range of topics related to community associations. Our host and guest explore legal issues associated with HOAs in different states, the importance of outside professionals for guidance, and the potential implications of artificial intelligence on association operations. 
    This episode aks you to consider if understanding and compassion might help resolve disputes and assist volunteer directors better navigate the complexities of community association leadership.  What does the future hold for community associations and the legal profession? Tune in to this episode and find out! 

    Conversation highlights include: 
    How to handle generational gaps in communities.How successful mediations can prevent full-blown litigation.How to close the knowledge gap to get helpful, not harmful legislation.How AI can improve association operationsWhen should a community association pay a special assessment or just foreclose? The role of drones in community associationsHow trusting should volunteer directors be when it comes to the media?How much legislative influence do developers have?The importance of board members and owners being familiar with their governing documentsJust how far might the preemption trend go?BONUS: Find out how the various “quirky” names Marvin sprinkled throughout the Pinball Lawyer came to be and why

    Related Episodes:
    Take It To The Board: We’re Not Just Droning On – A Conversation with Drone Experts Chris Tonn and Neil Johnston On Your Community’s Potential Challenges with Drones | Becker (beckerlawyers.com)Take It To The Board: Why Local Government Matters Most with Vice Mayor Sarai “Ray” Martin of Lauderhill | Becker (beckerlawyers.com)Take It To The Board: Radical Self-Care Can Change the World with Shelly Tygielski, Founder of Pandemic Love | Becker (beckerlawyers.com)

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Ritchie B. ,

HOA and Condo Podcast

The most informative podcast for those in or considering living in an HOA or Condo, a real insight to the inner workings.

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