2020 CROA Board Election

2020 CROA Board Election

The 2020 CROA elections are set, as eight candidates will vie for four seats on the seven-member board.

Celebration residential property owners will have the opportunity to submit their votes either online or via a paper ballot beginning on February 3. Voting will end on Tuesday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m., at which time, ballot counting will commence. Voting on the CROA Charter and Bylaws proposed amendments will also occur during this period.

Winners will be introduced at the CROA annual meeting on Wednesday March 4.

A profile of each candidate is included below. Residents will also have the opportunity to learn more about the candidates during the month of February as well.

Residents can satisfy their hunger for sustenance and election knowledge during the February Food Truck Friday on the 14th. Candidates have been invited to attend and talk with residents throughout the evening in an informal setting. The event runs from 5 – 9 p.m. at Lakeside Park.

February will also offer two additional information sessions, this time in a more traditional setting. Candidate forums will be held on Tuesday, February 4 and again on Monday, February 17 at Town Hall. Each forum is scheduled for 6 p.m.

On February 6 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, there will be a Town Hall meeting to discuss the 52 proposed amendments to the Celebration Charter and Bylaws. Voting on the changes will occur during the same time period as the CROA Board elections.

The evening will present the candidates as a panel, with each candidate providing an opening statement, followed by offering their views on identical sets of questions. The moderator will ask a variety of questions of interest to Celebration owners with each candidate allowed two minutes to respond. Candidates may also offer a one-minute rebuttal after all candidates have answered the question. The candidate forums will be live streamed, as well as recorded for viewing at a later time.

If you would like to submit a question for consideration at one of the candidate forums, please email your question to: vanessa.winter.croa@gmail.com. Please note, candidate forum questions must be submitted in advance and will not be accepted the evening of the forum.

CROA Board of Director Candidates

  • Forst, Kelly
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 2016
  • Address: 1114 Rush Street
  • Email: Kellymforst@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

No

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

I was chair of the Family Law Section of the Monroe Co. Bar Association, 2011-2013; I was on the Board of the NY Chapter of AFCC in 2013-2014. I was on the Board of the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester (NY) Area
(CLARA) from approximately 2012-2014 and I have served as counsel for the Board of a not-for-profit Co-Op in Upstate NY for 5 years (2005-2010).

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

No

  • Candidate Narrative:

I have lived in Celebration full time since 2016. I have been practicing law in Florida since April 2018 and my office is located right here in town. In my former home of Rochester, NY, I was the chair of Family Law Section of the county bar association and volunteered on many committees and boards. I have been a family law and real estate attorney for twenty years. I have also served as counsel for a non-profit co-operative Board. All these positions have required the management of many diverse ideas and wishes to solve specific problems, within the bounds of the law.

As a member of the CROA board, I’ll work to increase recreational activities for family members of all ages, at reasonable cost. I’m passionate about helping people through difficult transitions and would advocate for greater access to medical and mental health services for our residents. I’ll be interested in hearing your ideas on these and other issues that concern you, and will work hard with board members, community members and other entities to get the job done.

I would honored if you would give me the opportunity to work for you on the continuing improvement of this wonderful town by electing me to the CROA Board.

  • Kensil, Brian
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 2008
  • Address: 708 Golf Park Drive
  • Email: Brian4celebration@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. CROA 2018 Treasurer, CROA 2019 President.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. Several corporate boards while working; Boys & Girls Club; Celebration Foundation.

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

CROA

  • Candidate Narrative:

My wife, Sandi, and I have been residents of Celebration since 2008.  Prior to 2008, we were frequent visitors with friends who were founding members of Celebration.  That’s how we grew to know and enjoy Celebration.

I retired in May of 2016.  Before retiring, I worked for both the Zurich Group and the White Mountains Group as either the U.S. or global Chief Financial Officer of their reinsurance operations.

We were both active with the Community Presbyterian Church of Celebration in starting the Community Hope Center.  The Hope Center has been a large success in helping families in need on the Route 192 corridor.

I have served on corporate boards and investment/risk management committees plus charitable/church boards.  I have developed an understanding of the administrative, communication and financial challenges of organizations of varying sizes and objectives.

I started attending CROA Board meetings and workshops in the fourth quarter of 2016, getting more involved as the CCMC contract renewal process evolved.  I learned that CROA interaction can bring real value to the community.

I was elected to the CROA Board in March of 2018 and served as the Board Treasurer for a year.  In March of 2019, I became the Board President.  I believe the Board has accomplished much over the last two years including the athletic fields on the corridor going live, the charter and by-laws review project, safety enhancement regarding events, steam-lining of the financial and budget processes and presentations, and the launch of the Celebration magazine.

I believe my background provides me with a broad and varied perspective to serve the citizens of Celebration.  Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.

  • Kirby, Kevin
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 2013
  • Address: 921 Croton Road & 660 Celebration Ave.
  • Email: Kevin4celebration@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. Secretary Town Center Condominium Association, 2016present; Secretary CROA, 2018-present.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

No

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

Secretary Town Center Condominium Association, 2016-present; Secretary CROA, 2018-present.

  • Candidate Narrative:

When I moved to Osceola County over a decade ago, I sought, like so many others, a change of weather and lifestyle from New York. I first fell in love with Celebration and located my business here; then we bought our home in 2013, we have since relocated to South Village as we prepare to grow our family. As with most of us in town who recruit others, I encouraged my parents to join me in Celebration, which they did with their purchase in 2014. I’m extremely proud to call Celebration home!

Now, I seek your support for my continued work on the 2020 CROA Board. My background is with a range of entrepreneurial activities; I’ve built several companies, including property management, grocery delivery, quick-serve desserts and resort bar & grill. The skills of management, fiscal accountability, customer relations, and sound planning will all continue to serve Celebration well.

Celebration is facing tremendous growth over the next few years, something beyond the

growth in recent times. To ensure that growth is properly planned so that Celebration remains a beautiful community isn’t an option, but rather a requirement and responsibility. As a member of the CROA Board, I have kept my pledge to protect the character and preserve the quality of life that initially brought so many of us into Celebration. Realizing new opportunities for future generations through, transparency, protection of assets, and fiscal responsibility has been essential in keeping Celebration the most livable community in the world. Further, it is vital that we continue our focus on the cornerstones that we’ve grown with since inception, which is why during my initial term I advocated for and created the Technology Committee, the only cornerstone without representation. I am proud to have dedicated time towards several core concerns that align with our Celebration neighbors. Asking the difficult and uncomfortable questions, holding vendors accountable for actions, pushing communication through all medias, including updating the newest Celebration website, and responding to all questions, comments ad concerns by phone, email and in-person has been of utmost importance; Communication and transparency is critical to an informed and engaged community. I have worked to bridge the gaps and ensure proper representation and assistance for our service areas and condo associations by advocating for additional Service Area Committees and pushing for communication between CROA and Condominium Associations.  Celebration is the place that I have chosen second to none to live and love, and is the neighborhood that we plan to grow in. I’d be honored to have your vote to allow me to continue volunteering and working on behalf of the Celebration owners and residents, as all of our Board Members and volunteers have done in the past, with the common goal of ensuring our collective home becomes and remains the best that it can be.

  • McDonald, Debie
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 1996
  • Address: 402 Iris Street
  • Email: debiemcdonald@mac.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. CROA Board of Directors, Vice President and Director, 2015-2019; CJC Board of Directors, Director, 2015-2017.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Salvation Army – Board of Directors; Celebration Advent Health Hospital Patient Advocacy Board; PTA Board – Celebration K-8, Vice President.

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

Salvation Army – Board of Directors; Celebration Advent Health Hospital Patient Advocacy Board

  • Candidate Narrative:

My family and I were among the original Celebration “founders,” purchasing our home in 1996. Three of our four children were members of the inaugural Celebration school class at the 851 Building. As one who believes in active community involvement, I have devoted much of my time helping build a better school as a PTA officer and being on the team, that brought the IB program to CHS. For seven years, I served on the board of the Celebration Foundation, I have also been a Help Now and Hope Center advocate and have worked closely with Osceola County government to address numerous issues that effect both Celebration and our county.

As a member of the CROA board for four years, I fought for our residents, board transparency, and fiscal responsibility. Those of you who know me, recognize that I am a passionate proponent of doing what’s right and in the best interest of the greater Celebration community. I look forward to championing some of our most important issues and would be honored to represent you again. Although we purchased a home in Virginia, we’ve decided to remain residents for the foreseeable future. This is home.

For almost 25 years my family and I devoted much of our lives to making Celebration a great place to live. I believe with your support, it can be even better.

  • Mumey, Jackson
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 1994-2005 / 2016-present
  • Address: 1127 Mosaic Dr.
  • Email: jackson4celebration@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. CROA Director, 2018-present.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Osceola Education Foundation Board Member, 1998-2000 / 2018-2019; Celebration School Advisory committee, 1994-2004; OCSD Citizen review Board, President, 1999-2001; Regis University Board of Regents, 1983-2000.

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

Artisan Park Committee – Ex Officio Member (Per Charter Requirement).

  • Candidate Narrative:

For the past 2 years, I have had the privilege of serving as a CROA Director. As a Celebration Founder and active participant in our community’s life from its beginning, I have worked to improve our quality of life and make this town a place we can all be proud to call home.

As part of a dedicated and hard-working CROA Board, during my first term I helped make significant changes in our community, including:

  • Leadership of the 10-year Charter revision process
  • Creation of the first Condominium Council
  • Direction of the first joint CROA-UCF study of key management indicators
  • Implementation of a “pay for play” fee structure for the new Community Field Complex
  • Improved Parks and Recreation programs
  • Encouragement of Service Area Committees and self-governance
  • Opposition to the County takeover of Celebration Field Complex property
  • Balancing the CROA Budget with accounting transparency
  • Coordination with the Artisan Park Community
  • Accountability for the Island Village Development
  • Expanded Amenities and Services throughout Celebration
  • Advocacy for Owners in Condominiums and Service Areas
  • Liaison for legal issues affecting CROA and Celebration residents

If re-elected to serve another term, I will continue those projects and work to:

  • Implement the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Masterplan (including a Civic Center, Artisan Park playground, Pickleball Courts)
  • Prepare the RFP Process for Celebration’s Management Company in 2021
  • Seek efficiencies and responsible usage of CROA amenities
  • Advocate equitable resolution of existing legal conflicts between CROA and Celebration Condominiums, Service Areas and Vendors
  • Prepare the community for an Incorporation discussion following the 2020 census

There remain great opportunities and challenges ahead for us as we continue to make Celebration one of the great places in America to live, work and play. I am proud to have been part of our community’s story so far and look forward to helping solve the challenges that lie ahead. For more information, please visit www.jackson4celebration.com.

  • Roberts, Vaughn
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 2014
  • Address: 1116 Rush Street
  • Email: Vaughn4celebration@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. Eastwind Condominium Association, Satellite Beach, FL – Treasurer, 2014-2015.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. Florida Association of Police Attorneys, President, 1999.

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

Celebration Residential Owners Association (CROA)

  • Candidate Narrative:

I have served on CROA for the past two years and prior to that I served on the Covenants Committee for approximately 3 years. As a CROA Director, I have worked on many projects, including completion of the world class Celebration Community Field Complex. It opened in 2019 and has proven to be a showcase amenity of which we, as a community, can be proud. The Parks and Facilities Master Plan was updated via input from several community surveys to determine homeowners’ priorities for improving existing amenities and building new ones. Homeowners strongly voiced their desires for a community center, performing arts facility, group meeting space, team sports facilities for pickle ball, croquet and bocce ball and many other needs.

With a second term I would help bring those projects, as determined by Celebration owners, to fruition. I have no personal agendas, no financial interests (other than our home) and no political agendas to influence mu decision-making as a Board member.

My primary focus is to do what is necessary to make Celebration a beautiful, fun and safe place for age groups. Celebration has a certain special history and character that must be preserved through the efforts of both homeowners and the Celebration governing bodies.

  • Skopos, Demetri
  • Resident of Celebration Since: June 2009
  • Address: 128 Celebration Blvd.
  • Email: dskopos@yahoo.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

No

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

No

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

No

  • Candidate Narrative:

I have been an entrepreneur from the age of twelve. Succeeding at life and business has always been important to me. While attending high school in Ohio, I worked nights and weekends for the family construction business. I attended Hiram College’s science program and later Cleveland State University’s MBA program. Learning and progressing in all I do is at the top of my goal list. Being successfully self-employed most of my life, I am proficient in wearing many hats. With some hard work and dedication, anything is possible. I currently operate a very successful home improvement company which services Celebration almost entirely. My company is “Anything Goes Celebration”. We concentrate on providing the best possible service. Morality and concern for our neighbors are above all else. It has been a joy meeting so many Celebration residents and improving their homes. Many of them becoming more than clients.

I was excited to move my family to Celebration in June of 2009. We had visited Celebration on many occasions since its grand beginning. We loved its charm and unique style. Living here for 10 years, I feel like my family is part of this community. I want to invest my life knowledge, education and time to sustain and improve Celebration. I feel I would be a positive addition to the Celebration Board of Directors.

  • Vassallo, Diana 
  • Resident of Celebration Since: 2009
  • Address: 1110 Croton Place
  • Email: dibond38@gmail.com
  • Have you served on a Community Association Board of Directors and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Yes. CROA Board of Directors, Member, 2 years.

  • Have you ever served on any Board of Directors (Service Club, Charitable Organization, Corporation, etc.) and, if so, when, where and in what capacity (director, president, etc.)?

Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, Imagine Community – committee chair.

  • Are you currently a sitting member of an active Board or committee in Celebration or Osceola County? Please list:

No Answer

  • Candidate Narrative:

Volunteer Positions:

  • 2014-2016 CROA Board of Directors for one term
  • 2012-2014 Member of the Celebration Covenants Committee for 2 years.
  • 2013-2014 Chaired a Task Force to make our Community Standards process more effective, resident friendly and transparent.

Professional Qualifications:

30+ years of business and management experience in management and operations.

My family calls Celebration home and we have been homeowners for 9 years and residents for 11 years.  My unique background in business and property management will allow me to make educated decisions and represent what will be best for our community. There are big decisions that are going to take place in the next years as our community expands. I will give an experienced and diverse point of view to the discussion while focusing on resident concerns and common sense business management.

My employment background is diverse and focused on operational management. I am currently a Manager for Coke Florida. My previous experience includes managing residential and resort communities. I have also managed over 1M square feet of commercial retail property and directed Human Resources for over 3500 employees.

My best qualification is being a resident of Celebration who cares about the community and the residents.  We have chosen to raise our daughter here and are proud to call Celebration our home.

 

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