The Western & Central Florida Cooperator’s Condo, HOA & Co-op Expo Networking, Education and Information for Managers and Boards

The Western & Central Florida Cooperator’s Condo, HOA & Co-op Expo

More than 1,000 people attended The Western & Central Florida Cooperator’s first annual Condo, HOA & Co-op Expo at the Tampa Convention Center on December 9, making the day a great success, and providing invaluable networking and educational opportunities at the day-long trade show.

More than 140 exhibitors representing every facet of the area's condo, HOA and co-op industry were on hand to offer advice, information and assistance to the attendees. The Expo, a one-stop, custom-built marketplace for vendors, products and ideas, also gave attendees the necessary information they need to make their community associations run more efficiently.

“The show was very well done,” said John Grygiel, a Dunedin board member. “There were plenty of exhibitors with direct relevance to communal living and maintenance of properties.”

While he was there for the instruction and education credits, property manager Brian Sawyer, said the ability to meet vendors for his properties was equally key. “Being able to directly connect with vendors and support contractors was a vital aspect of the Expo for me,” said Sawyer, who is from Palm Harbor.

A Learning Experience

One of the day’s main attractions were seminar panels that provided an in-depth discussion of the legal, administrative, management and financial concerns important to the region's condo and HOA managers and board members. The classes also provided CEU credits for registered attendees. The seminars attracted standing-room-only audiences and lively question and answer sessions.

Clearwater board member Brian Pershing lauded the trade show over others he has attended. “I really liked how The Cooperator show valued board members, more than any other event coordinator has done. There was good diversity on seminar topics, too,” he said.

The seminars began with Christine Evans, CPM, PCAM and Michael Fleming, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, of Associa, who led a discussion on effective board communication with Can You Hear Me Now? Improving Board/Management Communication, that offered attendees he finer points of board/management interaction.

SNAP Collections’ Mitch Drimmer provided CAM credits in his instructional seminar on Community Association Collections and Accounts Receivable, and Governing Smart-Mastering the Business of Your Association, a session on rules and regulations by Attorney Jane Bolin of PeytonBolin, PL, was well-received by attendees. The Western & Central Florida Cooperatoroffered CEU credits at its own seminar panel on emergency preparedness with Preston Cook, Hillsborough County emergency management director, and two disaster recovery specialists—Scott McCurdy of Coastal Reconstruction Group and Andy Spetz of Coastal Service & Supply—offering tips to attendees.

Wrapping the day’s events were the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Mary-Frances Katona and Terry Diggs, who presented a CAM-accredited seminar on The Do's and Don'ts of Budgeting and Reserves: What You Need to Know, a guide on proper budgeting practices.

Pershing was not alone in his praise. Other attendees said the quality of the seminars was an important reason to attend. “The two seminars I attended were both excellent, and I learned a lot. The information was very helpful,” added Ida Salisbury, a board member from Zephyrillis.

Free Help and Advice

Admission isn't the only thing that's free at the Expo—in addition to networking and education opportunities, the Expo featured free advice booths staffed by professionals from a wide array of industries that were available all day to answer any community association and building-related questions residents had.

The trade show also featured well over two dozen door prizes for lucky attendees to win, including restaurant and retailer gift cards, gift baskets, a set of patio furniture, iPads and Kindles, flat screen televisions, and other promotions.

“The Expo is exciting and provides a great opportunity to learn, grow and meet with experts,” said Henry Robbins, executive vice president of Yale Robbins Publications, LLC, the producer of the Expo. “Everyone has a great day.”

Mark Your Calendar

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2015 return of The Western & Central Florida Cooperator’s Expo at the Tampa Convention Center. The second annual show will take place on Thursday, December 10th from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Make plans to attend and go to for more information.