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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the “Manager of the Year” (MOTY) contest?

MOTY is a national contest for On-Site and Portfolio Managers of Association-governed communities that was established in 2013. The purpose of the contest is to inspire excellence and professionalism by recognizing & rewarding the best Managers in the nation. Honors will be awarded in two categories (the best On-Site Manager & the best Portfolio Manager) and each Manager presented with a prestigious trophy & cash prize of $3,000. Second and third place winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

Q: Who’s behind MOTY and why did they create the contest?

After over 30 years in this industry, Robert Nordlund, PE, RS, the Founder and CEO of Association Reserves, Inc. thought it was about time that Managers were acknowledged for their hard work and for their dedication to a very complex & demanding profession.

Q. What makes the Sponsors qualified to establish the contest standards?

Associations and their Managers are the backbone of our respective industries! Our depth & diversity offers us a uniquely broad perspective in putting together a contest of this nature.  The heart of the competition is based on a very simple question: How has the Manager made a difference in the life of an Association?  We believe that each year there will be outstanding Managers that deserve to be honored with inspirational stories that deserve to be shared with the world.

Q. Are there ethical implications for the contest winners?

The MOTY is a competition, and like most other contests a monetary prize is an attractive incentive to participate. The “CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics” makes it clear that the MOTY award winners would be obligated to disclose their monetary award to HOA clients that use the services of one of the Founding Sponsors. Thankfully, “I won the National MOTY contest” would be a great thing for a Manager to disclose to all of their HOA clients.

Q: How are the winners determined?

We have invested a lot of time and energy devising an evaluation process that is fair, transparent, and fun!  Any concerns for actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest have been eliminated by structuring the contest into three different stages, corresponding with three different evaluation methods:

MOTY Stage Breakdown




* Identity-blind means that the identity of the applicant will be withheld from the judging panel

To ensure absolute fairness, an independent Council of Community Association Professionals (CCAP) was created to participate in the last two stages.

Q. How does a Manager enter the contest?

All On-Site and Portfolio Managers can enter Stage I of the contest by completing the online application.  The application reveals the Manager’s professional qualifications (i.e., experience, credentials, leadership, and commitment to continuing education), scope of responsibilities, and whether or not their efforts have improved or turned around their Associations.

Q. Tell us more about the evaluation process?

All Stage I applications will be ranked using an objective mathematical algorithm. The Stage I Finalists will be invited to participate in Stage II of the contest.

Stage II has submission requirements that include a 750-1000 word photo-essay and 3 letters of recommendation.  Entries will be judged on an “identity-blind” basis using an established grading rubric that measures the degree to which the Manager has been responsible for major Association improvements and/or turnarounds, as described in the photo-essay, as well as the effectiveness of the writing, the relevance of the photos, and the influence of the recommendation letters.  The Top 3 applicants in each category will be invited to participate in the final stage of the contest.

Stage III involves voting for one finalist in each category through our independent online voting partner, The Inspectors of Election. To ensure absolute fairness, winners will be determined by 3 separate voting entities: Public, Founding Sponsor, and CCAP. Each voting entity will be weighed equally, accounting for 1/3 of the final decision. The On-Site Manager and Portfolio Manager with the most overall votes will be determined the contest winners.

Q: When and where are the winners announced?

The Top 3 Finalists in each category will be awarded $500 vouchers to attend the CAI National Conference & Exposition. The final two winners will be announced at a private reception the night before the conference.

Q. Is CAI affiliated with the contest on any way?

CAI  has no affiliation with this initiative.