• Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

    Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

    The Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS ® (NVAR) engaged Ursa Major Consulting to provide Joomla! expertise in supporting the transition to a new website.

    A usability study and brand design was done by WM Design Group.

    Ursa Major supported the high-traffic, high-content site in Joomla! for several years before its recent transition to integrate with a membership management soution.

  • The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

    The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

     

    The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, a law firm specializing in sexual abuse cases, required a website that was responsive to quickly post breaking news of new settlements and media coverage. It was difficult to make changes to their previous site.

    We redeployed the website and added new capabilities, including embedded video and transcripts of press conferences, and improvements to search engine optimization (SEO).

    We continue to support the Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian with site updates and improvements.

  • Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

    Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

     

    The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC, a professional membership organization, required a website that provided members with up-to-date tourist site status on mobile devices, and online event registration and payment.

    The site incorporated the ability for Guild staff and other site users to manage a calendar and event registration, upload photos to the rotator, and maintain a directory of tour company affiliate members.  The public can request tour guides, who maintain their profiles including specialties and languages spoken. 

    We  received many kudos for the Joomla! website. 

  • JMA Solutions

    JMA Solutions

     

    JMA Solutions, an award-winning government contractor, wanted a site that highlighted their corporate capabilities and awards, advertised their job openings, and provided internal forms and documents for employees.

    Ursa Major provided quick turn-around on a conversion from the old website, trained the internal site administrators, and later upgraded the site.

    More recently, Ursa Major led an internal Website Refresh group at JMA Solutions to refresh the site and provide a feature on the front page for current announcements.

  • Talltree South Condominium Association

    Talltree South Condominium Association

     

    Talltree South, an award-winning condo community association, provides its owners and tenants handbook, including rules and regulations,in searchable form via its website. Newsletters, e-mail and e-mail-to-text notices, and a window to its Google calendar are also provided to enhance communication with owners and tenants.

    Ursa Major constructed the site in Joomla! 1.5 and later upgraded it to 2.5 and then 3.x.  The content-rich site is very functional. Plans are to update its look in the coming year.

  • NOVA Housing and Supportive Services

    NOVA Housing and Supportive Services

    The Virginia Housing and Supportive Services' Northern Virginia Regional Implementation Team (NoVA RIT) educates individuals, families and service providers about integrated, independent housing and housing resources. 

    Ursa Major Consulting created its Housing Resource Guide website. The Resource Guide incorporates a database on apartment complexes, housing resources and programs, and provides videos and webinars as part of a toolkit to help individuals move to independent housing.

    The site was created using Joomla! and associated components. New housing resources and programs can be submitted for approval by members of the public and administered by the NoVA RIT.

     

  • Delta Consulting Group

    Delta Consulting Group

    Delta Consulting Group, an international consulting firm, needed a new website that featured its professionals.

    Delta's experts provide consulting and expert witness services in delay, damage and defects analysis, forensic accounting, loss of productivity, and related services on multifaceted litigation and arbitration cases around the world. 

    Their professionals consult on project controls, construction audits, planning and scheduling, and budget analysis.

    Ursa Major developed the website using Joomla 3, using Zoo for the directory of professionals.  Their content is administered by an in-house staff, supported by Ursa Major as needed.

     

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WMCCAI logoI recently received the following great news. I had submitted the application last fall, but never expected to win.  There are a lot of medium-sized condo associations in the Washington, DC Metro Area.  Our board has accomplished a great deal in these past few years!  (Some day, we will have to write a book about it! Never a dull moment! In any case, come to the CAI conference and hear what we have to say about it.)

"Congratulations—Talltree South Condominium Association is Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute's 2010 Medium Association of the Year!

The awards will be presented and the real pomp and circumstance will take place at our Conference & Expo on Saturday, March 12, 2011. At the Conference & Expo we will not only present your award but a representative of your community will have the opportunity to speak about Talltree South Condominium Association's successes during an educational seminar titled, "Proven Best Practices for Community Associations: Hear it from the Winners!"

These are just a few of the benefits of this award! Jennifer Jones, communications manager, will be in touch with further details in the near future.

On behalf of Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute I'd like to congratulate you and thank you for your commitment to providing better living through community associations!

Thank You,

Sarah A. Patterson, Executive Director
Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute
7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100 West
Falls Church, VA 22043
Web: www.caidc.org"

Published in Condo News

The Annandale Blogspot picked up the Talltree South News!
See: http://annandaleva.blogspot.com/2011/04/talltree-south-condos-honored-for.html

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Talltree South condos honored for excellence in governance

 
 
TalltreeTheTalltree South Condominium of Annandale was honored by the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) as the 2010 “Medium Association of the Year.”

The award, presented at the institute’s conference and expo in March, recognizes communities that demonstrate excellence in all facets of association operations and governance. The CAI awards are based on size, and Talltree South, with 150 garden-style units, fits into the medium category.

Located on Americana Drive, just inside the beltway, Talltree South is a diverse, multilingual community. The development was originally an apartment complex and was converted to condominiums in 1977.

In the application for the CAI award, Talltree South board President Dorothy Firsching says the condo association “stands out as ‘most improved’ through implementation of CAI guidelines.”

Two years ago, new board members were elected after an extensive campaign for change. Since then, the condo association hired a full-service management company, Cardinal Management Group. The association joined CAI, and board members attended CAI classes and events.

Among other improvements cited by Firsching, the Talltree South board:
  • upgraded its investment plan;
  • created a quarterly newsletter, including a version in Spanish;
  • developed a handbook for owners and residents for the first time in more than 20 years, also translated into Spanish;
  • developed a website;
  • synchronized enforcement practice with formal association rules;
  • formalized vendor contracts;
  • performed maintenance neglected for years and began to address expensive drainage and water infiltration issues, including excavation and construction of drains and swales;
  • established committees, including a gardening committee and an informal group of translators;
  • made significant progress in control of delinquencies; and
  • updated the community’s bylaws.
All these improvements were accomplished without an increase in condo fees for three years, Firsching says, “making our fees more competitive with similar communities.”
Published in Condo News

My article was just published in the July 2011  issue of Quorum Magazine, of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI), under the title Hard Work -- Rewarded.

This article detailed the accomplishments that landed us the "Most Improved" condo association through application of CAI guidelines. I don't think I can repeat it here but I will provide a link if I can find it online.

The cycles are amazing - history has already repeated itself more than once.  So much is at stake, dependent upon a mix of volunteer efforts, overworked managers,misguided agendas, ignorance and apathy.  People buy condos so that they don't have to mow the lawn, but if they don't pay attention, the condominium concept puts their investment and home at risk. How well does it work? Stay tuned. I've submitted another article and have a history of Talltree South in progress.

Published in Condo News
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