LAKEWOOD RANCH — Out with the old and in with the new.
Developer Neal Communities handed over its last set of reins Jan. 16, as it swore in five residents of Lakewood Ranch Country Club West to lead the community’s homeowners association.
The new board features a cast with links to the corporate world and neighborhood management. James Rogoze of Silverwood, Gary Booher of Greystone, and Edenmore’s Susan Ellis joined returning members Irwin Davis and Joe Novarro on the board.
The HOA now joins Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6 in becoming 100% resident-controlled, a feat the CDD achieved in November.
Rogoze, who’s lived in Country Club West for four-and-a-half years and served as a Silverwood neighborhood chairman, will serve two years as board secretary.
Booher, the new assistant secretary, will serve a one-year term.
He lived in CDD 5 for six years; he served on its neighborhood board, before moving to Country Club West.
Ellis is newer to the area and has lived in Country Club West for nearly two years. He was elected to a one-year term as vice president.
Davis, a third-year board member and urban planner and economic development strategist from New York, became president for the next two years, while Novarro remains the treasurer.
“We won’t be bashful, I guarantee that,” Davis said. “I want residents to know they have officers who are a team of professionals seriously committed to making our neighborhood the best out there. It’s a breath of fresh air.”
Rogoze was corporate president at John Hancock — the banking giant — for 20 years, which later pushed him to form his own banking company in Massachusetts. Rogoze sold that company before moving nine years ago to Lakewood Ranch. He still travels to do consulting work.
“I’m the type of guy who likes to be involved and have control over what’s going on,” Rogoze said. “I want to spend our money in a truthful way. We all live here. It’s a nice thing having control over your lives with no one from the outside intervening.”
Booher brings similar top-level corporate experience and has spent time managing smaller-scale neighborhood boards.
He is a retired senior vice president for human resources at the Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee and wants to help keep his community’s greens lush, its water flowing and character strong.
“I’m not coming in here with a big agenda,” Booher said. “I’m trying to find out what the issues are from homeowners. Given my background and familiarity with HOAs, I can add value here.”
Though she’s new to the area, Ellis always thought the developer-run Country Club West HOA could run more “seamlessly.”
Ellis is a veteran in a different kind of property management — commercial.
She used to manage office buildings and shopping centers in Virginia and helped to chart their budgets.
She’s looking forward to representing an entire community, a role with more intimate impact than serving for an individual building owner, she said.
The HOA has already renegotiated contracts with Bright House Networks and TLC, its lawn-care provider to save the HOA money.
Davis said the new contract with Bright House saved the association $24,000.
The group also vows to work closely with CDD 6, which became the district’s first resident-controlled board Nov. 20.
Davis compared the relationship to a pair of pants.
“We’re one pocket, and they’re the other,” Davis said. “We need to work together to make this the best run HOA. I have the team to do it.”
Contact Josh Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Irwin Davis announced the board terminated its contract with Mankin Law Group of Clearwater saying, “We are not satisfied with the results.”
He also said CondoCPA of Sarasota will audit 2012’s books plus the year before.
Also Jan. 1, Country Club West started property-management services with Advanced Management Inc. Board meetings will occur the last Thursday of every month at the AMI headquarters at 9031 Town Center Parkway, in Bradenton.
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Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.