The article below ran in the anniversary edition of the Phoenix Business Journal, published on August 9, 2013.
Do you live in a community or do you live in a cluster of houses? When you live in a great community – a place where neighbors truly care – it shows. Take Austin Hoopes who lives in Tortosa in Maricopa. Earlier this year he returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Although it was late when he arrived, his homecoming was anything but quiet. The whole neighborhood waited up to personally thank its hometown hero. “I really didn’t expect anyone to be there to welcome me,” he explains, “And then—I saw the flags.”
Steve Renneckar of Grayhawk in Scottsdale knows about good neighbors too. One of his favorites is Jan Spieczny. Recently, Jan gave Steve an unforgettable gift—a trip to the top of Pinnacle Peak and a view he never thought he would ever see. It was in April of 2011 when Jan started thinking about organizing a trip for Steve, who had lost both his legs in a boating accident in 1967. “I was guiding and thinking about how Steve always seemed so interested in the mountain. I just had to do it.” Jan and nearly 50 volunteers including firefighters, police officers, park officials, friends and family helped Steve up the 2,889-foot peak to the summit. When asked about the experience, Steve joked saying, “It was great, I rode the whole way, so I hardly broke a sweat!”
Rev. David Iverson is all about community. He feeds nearly a thousand people each month at the Extended Hands Food Bank in Fountain Hills. So when he found the pantry shelves nearly empty, he asked local neighborhoods for help and SunRidge Canyon responded by collecting canned food, diapers and baby formula. The community delivered enough food to stock Rev. David’s pantry and more.
So what do Austin, Steve and Rev. David have in common? Each has been touched by community and the community association management firm that brings people together, CCMC. Celebrating 40 years in business, the Scottsdale-based company now has more than 600 employees, who serve more than 130 communities nationwide, including Desert Mountain, Vistancia, Power Ranch and Estrella, along with the others mentioned here.
“All homeowner association management companies are not created equal,” admits D. J. Cole, COO, “Unlike our competitors, CCMC is a community association management company.” And the company puts people first internally too. CCMC employs the industry’s top talent and turnover is very low. “Our philosophy extends to employees, as well. That’s why CCMC is known for being an excellent place to work,” said Cole.
True to the stories of Austin, Steve and Rev. David, the CCMC team understands what the company founder and chairman, Ed Boudreau, knew when he started the company in 1973: that people want to belong. “It’s always been that way; people value that neighborhood feeling,” said Nicole Engelmann, corporate lifestyle director, whose job it is to work with community managers nationwide to bring neighbors together.
No other company in the industry goes out of its way quite like CCMC to ensure that people get to know and help each other. “If you and your neighbor across the street have dinner together a couple times, you’re not going to complain if he hasn’t put his trash cans away. You’re going to put them away for him, and he’s going to thank you,” said CEO Bart Park, III. “That’s the difference between residents and neighbors. Neighbors look out for each other.”
Recognized as an expert in growing close-knit communities, CCMC serves as consultant to the nation’s leading developers including Newland Communities, The Walt Disney Company, Sunbelt Holdings and The Lyle Anderson Companies. These companies want CCMC involved in their projects early on because they know that well-planned communities are more stable, experience more favorable property values, and sustain their demand long after the community is built out.
“CCMC has always gone the extra mile because we feel the higher purpose in what we do,” said Delores Ferguson, division president, “At CCMC, happiness matters. That’s because, ultimately, CCMC is in the quality-of-life business. We firmly believe that no matter where you live, or how much money you make, you deserve to live in a place that feels like home. CCMC is making that happen.”