Leadership Circle Company Spotlight

Atlanta Community Services, Inc., Suwanee, GA

•    Darren Thurmond, PCAM, President, CAI Georgia Board Member
•    Darlene Janis, CMCA, Senior Community Association Manager
•    Debbie Kanzelmeyer, Senior Community Association Manager
•    Lee Anne Hardin, Office Manager

Membership Committee: Tell us about the culture of Atlanta Community Services (“ACS”)?

Interviewees: One of the best things about ACS is that we offer the same services as big companies but without any of the big company bureaucracy.  We are able to be more of a boutique company, and we do not always have to be full service.  We can offer just financial services or just architectural services, or we can provide full service management depending on the needs of the community.  We are also able to tailor our chart of accounts as a Board requires. For instance, some need their electricity separated for their clubhouse.  Some need to see attorney fees separately.  We can do that, providing our clients more personalization.  We are a small enough company that we can be adaptable, but we are knowledgeable and capable of handling the largest of communities.

Membership Committee: What has been the “secret weapon” in business for ACS?

Interviewees: We consistently win clients with the continuity of care from our people.  Our clients become part of our family.  I think that says a lot about the people you hire.  We are slow to grow because we make sure that our clients get the best service from the best people who have a work/life balance.  If our people thrive, our clients can thrive. 

Membership Committee: Why does CAI matter to your organization?

Interviewees:  The most valuable thing is the opportunity for continuing education. It is also important in allowing our employees and managers to network in the industry, hearing new ideas within this industry, and learning about new vendors who specialize in servicing communities. We are only as good as our managers, and they are only as good as the vendors that they send out to properties.  CAI provides a pool of resources for this.  Membership in CAI is an easy cost to justify. 
Membership Committee: Why did you join the Leadership Circle and pay for all of your managers’ CAI dues? 

Interviewees: It has been an honor to be in the Leadership Circle.  It has provided an opportunity to get our company name out there in another light.  It gives us the opportunity to show our commitment to this field and to put our name alongside some of the larger companies in Georgia.

Membership Committee: Why are CAI designations important?

Interviewees: CAI designations are like a college education for this industry. It takes years to earn them – actually longer than a college education. Those initials are valuable and represent
a deep knowledge of community association management. 

Membership Committee: We would like to spotlight one of your managers and tell how they got into the industry.  Why property management as a career?

Darlene Janis, CMCA, Senior Community Association Manager: I have a background in investment real estate and real estate education in south Florida.  Moving to Atlanta after having a successful career in Florida, I started with a different management company here in Georgia before coming to ACS. I find this work satisfying because I love being able to help people when they contact me with issues, and ACS has been such a good company to work for.