VOCA 'springing' into action

Gwen Hanna

Gwen Hanna

The Village of Oakcreek Association and the Oakcreek Country Club wasted no time during this spring month in maintaining our forward momentum.

On the VOCA Homeowners side of our business, this meant continued building of our infrastructure and refinement of our association processes and practices. For Oakcreek Country Club, this led to the finalization of the organizational structure for golf operations.

Deb Brewer, our Community Association Manager from HOAMCO has been working long hours, learning more about our HOA, and at the same time, fully immersing herself in responding to our VOCA membership.

One of the activities keeping Deb busy is compliance. Most notably, as we receive complaints/issues from the community, Deb has been working on a more organized and systematic approach for faster response time with more feedback.

Spring also seems to be the season for remodeling, painting, and landscaping projects, and requests for permits have increased. Both Deb and the Architectural Review Committee have been heavily involved in reviewing and approving incoming requests.

In this regard, to ensure a smooth project start and finish, I would like to remind VOCA property owners to please make sure you receive prior approval before beginning the work.

Unfortunately in a few recent cases, property owners relied on contractors who were either not aware of the correct process or assumed that they could obtain the permit after the fact, and this has led to unfortunate inconveniences for several homeowners.

Even if the contractor or property owner feels that they meet the compliance requirements, you must secure the permit before starting. If you have any questions about the process, please call or come visit our association team at the VOCA Community Center and they will be happy to help.

In addition to the compliance activities, the association team have been working on scanning and digitizing files, expanding electronic storage capability by adding new servers, working on a more holistic IT strategy with faster internet speeds and better networking capabilities, and in general cleaning and sprucing up our office and community center areas. "Those who have visited recently have commented favorably on the aesthetic improvements."

There is also good news about our upcoming project in the park. In addition to the generous donation from the Kiwanis which I reported in last month's Villager, we have also received a sizeable donation of $13,850 from the Helen Hayden Foundation for our playground resurface project.

We hope to schedule this project in the latter part of April, as the weather continues to warm. We are looking forward to replacing the current bark with a new rubberized surface where the children from our community can safely play.

March was also the month that VOCA mailed ballots for the upcoming election to fill three board member seats. The results will be announced at the VOCA Member's Annual Meeting on April 18th at 2 p.m. We encourage all of our local VOCA members to attend.

Last but not least, in golf operations, we are very pleased to have finalized our organizational structure and announce some key promotions. Bill Czekai, our Golf Superintendent has been promoted to General Manager of Golf Operations effective March 1st. He was the natural choice for this role.

On top of his already busy responsibilities as Superintendent of our golf course, he volunteered and took on the additional responsibility of managing the golf shop operations last June with the departure of our Head Golf Professional. Since then, Bill has done an impeccable job managing the total operation. Under his leadership, our golf shop team rallied together, and many new initiatives were started, all of which have led to positive feedback from our golf members and guests, and to a solid financial year in 2014.

Along with Bill, two additional employees have received promotions. They both emerged to take on additional responsibilities, and were instrumental in providing great customer service, while working on major projects, all during a year that Bill says "never slowed down."

We are extremely excited to announce the long overdue promotion of Heather Risk to Head Golf Professional. Heather has been with Oakcreek Country Club since 2010 and has seen the transition of our club.

She has proven to be an invaluable asset with her knowledge and expertise not just about the golf industry, but about our club operations.

Emanuel Radoccia came to our club in August of 2014 and immediately became a key member of the team. His creative ideas and merchandising skills have been tremendously valuable. He has been promoted to First Assistant Golf Professional and New Member Consultant, Sales & Marketing. All three of these professionals are highly regarded by our golf membership, and a big congratulations is extended to them on behalf of the entire VOCA Board. Both Bill Czekai managing Golf Operations, and Deb Brewer/HOAMCO responsible for VOCA HOA management, will report to the VOCA Board through the President of the Board, in accordance with our By-laws.

It is my belief that the board has laid the basic foundation for a sustainable enterprise by hiring HOAMCO to help bring expertise and efficiency to managing our HOA, and retaining this service for less $'s than the cost of our previous model. At the same time, the Oakcreek Country Club which must operate financially as a standalone business, will be managed by seasoned golf professionals who have, over the past year, clearly shown their passion and dedication to our club.

With these organizational transitions, the VOCA board is now able to relinquish the day-to-day management and functional responsibilities. Our goal in the next several months after new board members are elected and seated, is to get back to the more strategic role of asset management of VOCA and the Oakcreek Country Club. In that regard it is my pleasure to leave the general management of the organization in the capable hands of qualified experts and professionals. I would like to once again, thank everyone on the committees, the association and golf course teams, and the community who worked with this board to get us through this 2014 transition.

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