VOCA: A look back at past year

With 2014 behind us, it is now an appropriate time to reflect back on what VOCA and Oakcreek Country Club accomplished over this past year. It was a busy time for us, and it was truly a team effort that resulted in this year's achievements. None of this would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our employees, committee members, and board. Also significant is the support we received from the Oakcreek Country Club and VOCA members whose corroboration was invaluable in our ability to make changes to our business. Listed below are some of the highlights:

• In late 2013, we outsourced HR and payroll services to a Professional Employer Organization called Oasis. The transition continued into 2014 and went smoothly. We now have improved HR and payroll practices. With the support of Oasis, we also have an Employee Handbook that is legally compliant and updated with our current employee practices

• In early January, our GM (Tony Rizzo) left VOCA to pursue other opportunities. Since then, the board took a critical look at the operation and the competencies needed to run an HOA of our size, and after much due diligence, hired HOAMCO, an homeowners association management company, to help run the HOA side of our business. This will bring more expertise and efficiency to VOCA, and we look forward to having HOAMCO officially start the engagement effective January 1, 2015.

• In February, we entered into a modified agreement with our restaurant operator. The objective of this agreement was to preserve capital by minimizing cash outflow. Since then, our restaurant operators have met all of their financial obligations on a timely basis. Their business continues to build as they book weddings, host special events with hotels and community members, and partner with us on golf events and tournaments. We will continue this collaboration in 2015.

• The VOCA office was busily occupied with a variety of initiatives over the past year. We had our first shredding day this spring, and as we disposed of our no longer needed files, we extended the service to our VOCA members. Many residents brought boxes of files to shred. We also held a yard sale to get rid of VOCA items that had long been in storage, and invited the VOCA community to hold their own yard sales on the same day through joint advertising. VOCA was able to dispose of items stored both at VOCA and in a rented storage unit. Now we have more room at our community center, and also saved on the monthly cost of offsite storage.

• In our VOCA-owned Kiwanis Park, there were much needed renovations required both on the tennis courts and the playground areas. With much of the funding coming from the tennis members, the courts were recently resurfaced, and windscreens placed around the perimeter. Although weather precluded us from starting the work on our playground, we were able to secure outside funding to help us to replace the area with a rubberized surface. Stay tuned for more information on this project, as well as the generous donors who helped make this project possible.

• Last but not least, we are extremely excited to announce a very profitable year for Oakcreek Country Club. We increased membership, as well as outside play through initiatives that helped with pace of play, and enhanced customer experience. We worked on marketing strategies that ensured better return on investment. We put in place competitive and equitable pricing structure that brought in more members as well as outside guests. All the while, we had a course that was in excellent condition.

All these efforts and more, led to some significant accomplishments including a solid financial year for VOCA and the Oakcreek Country Club. Importantly as a board, we believe that we carried out our duties during 2014 with fiscal responsibility and in compliance with all applicable statutes, and we will continue in 2015 to exercise the same diligence in working towards initiatives that represent the best interests of the overall community.

Upon reflection, I'm reminded of what teams as well as communities can accomplish when working towards the same objectives. As president of VOCA, I extend my sincere gratitude to all those who helped and supported us in 2014, and look forward to working together in 2015 for an equally productive year.

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