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And the Nominees Are…

2014 CAI Nominees


No, we are not talking about the Academy Awards but we are talking about the Oscars of our Industry.

Please join Cardinal Property Management in congratulating our superlative staff members who are nominated for the Orange County Regional Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI-OCRC) esteemed annual awards.

Karen Holthe, Senior Account Manager and Director of Property Management, is nominated for Manager of the Year in the veteran category and for the Outstanding Service award. Karen’s service to CAI and Cardinal are superb.

Theresa Hirschman, Senior Account Manager, has been nominated for Outstanding Service and Speaker of the Year awards. We applaud Theresa and her dedication to Cardinal and our industry.

Charles (Chuck) McNeese, a long-time resident and board member of Orange Park Community Association (one of Christine’s client Associations) is nominated for Board Member of the Year.

Janet Mehan, Account Manager, is nominated for Manager of the Year in the veteran category for her dedication to her client Associations, CAI, and Cardinal.

Christine Santisteban, Account Manager, is nominated for Manager of the Year in the rookie category and for CAI’s Innovative Management award. Christine’s allegiance to her client Associations and to innovative solutions is unparalleled.

Maryanne Hurley-Cicconi, Account Manager, is nominated for the Outstanding Service award. Maryanne is solidly committed to her client Associations, CAI, and Cardinal.

John MacDowell of Fiore, Racobs & Powers, is nominated with Theresa Hirschman as Speaker of the Year.

We congratulate all nominees and look forward CAI’s annual award dinner in early February. Good luck, everyone!  Although in our book, you’re already winners!


Karen Holthe

Karen Holthe, Senior Account Manager and Director of Property Management at Cardinal Property Management, serves on the CAI-OC Education Committee. She is a dedicated manager instructor who taught CLTP series of courses in 2014 and served as a backup instructor. Her classes are always well attended and her course evaluations consistently produce outstanding ratings. Karen has spent her professional career dedicated to education. Prior to her employment with Cardinal, she spent more than a decade training volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America. Karen volunteers to be on CAI’s Education Committee because she believes that “education helps community volunteers to become successful board members and that helps build successful communities.”  When she helps people understand that there is a clear path to managing their communities according to state laws and the laws of ethics, Karen considers herself a success. “Teaching courses through CAI-OC helps me feel successful because I’m helping others gain the knowledge necessary to help their homeowners and communities.”  In addition to taking care of her myriad accounts at Cardinal, Karen volunteers her time to help Cardinal raise funds for its largest philanthropic organization, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Karen is also diligently working on earning her PCAM designation.

Theresa Hirschman

Theresa Hirschman, Senior Account Manager at Cardinal Property Management, holds the professional designations of CMCA, AMS, and PCAM. Her continued dedication to CAI-OC is evidenced in her ongoing support through many years. Currently, Theresa actively serves on the Manager Support, Outreach, and Education Committees. After auditing all of the Community Leadership Training Program classes, Theresa now teaches the CLTP courses to board members, managers, and community volunteers. Theresa also serves on the Outreach Committee (she was instrumental in leading the Book Doctors project in 2014) and has served on the Community Manager Support Committee as well.  Theresa’s commitment to CAI-OC has been unwavering over the many years she has been a member. She continuously encourages the Directors of her Associations to become part of CAI and explains how their membership and participation can enhance their knowledge of everything from parliamentary procedure to how to collect on delinquent accounts. She is a walking advertisement for the benefits of CAI membership to the Directors, communities, and homeowners of her client Associations.

Theresa Hirschman and John MacDowell co-instructed a vitally informative seminar at CAI-OC’s Annual Spring Forum to board members, community managers, homeowners, and industry professionals about the inner workings of association elections and how to avoid some of the pitfalls. The seminar, “Elections, Votes, Recalls: What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong” was part of annual spring education seminars and trade show. The educational sessions are specifically geared to the community association manager and volunteer board member to aid in the smooth running of the election process. As a member of CAI-OC’s Education Committee, Theresa considers it her personal duty to help board members understand the myriad tasks, sensitive relationships, and complex network of living and thriving in a successful Association.  Both Theresa and John received compliments and accolades from seminar attendees, who told them that the information was “priceless” and their presentation helped them “understand exactly how to run a fair and ethical election.”

Charles (Chuck) McNeese

Charles (Chuck) McNeese, a long-time resident and 4-year board member of Orange Park Community Association, worked diligently with a consultant and a landscape company (Bemus Landscape, Inc.) as a liaison among the residents of 237 homes of Orange Park, the consultant, and Bemus during their large-scale turf replacement project designed to curtail the Association’s water use during California’s dire drought. Director McNeese not only worked with the consulting company and Bemus every day, he gave each resident of Orange Park his personal phone number and an invitation to call him any time night or day so that he could answer questions and educate the residents about the purpose and scope of the project and to field complaints about the loss of turf and removal of all irrigation around their lake. It was a sensitive and complex project, and due to Mr. McNeese’ dedication and hard work, the residents gained a clear and ongoing understanding of the work being performed for the Association. By the end of the first phase, 168,000 sq. ft. (approx. 4 acres) of turf had been removed and the associated irrigation had been shut off and removed. Mr. McNeese is now drafting a plan to replant the area with drought-tolerant plants. His daily work with the residents and vendors was instrumental in the successful completion of Phase 1 of this project. Mr. McNeese goes beyond serving his community and the board on a project-by-project basis. He also serves as the liaison to the board for the Stables, Lake, Landscape, Pool and Patrol Committees.

Janet Mehan 

Ms. Mehan began her career at Cardinal in 2008. She holds the professional certification of Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and the Association Management Specialist (AMS) from the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Ms. Mehan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University at Long Beach.  Janet manages a portfolio of accounts consisting of single family homes, condominium and townhomes in which she is dedicated to providing superlative service and expertise.  Ms. Mehan also serves on CAI-OC’s Mini Trade Show Committee in which she plans and prepares the table centerpieces for the mini trade shows based on the theme of the education program.  She actively supports CAI’s education program for both community managers and community association volunteer leaders and encourages her client Directors to attend education programs and become members of CAI.  Janet also assists Cardinal in its philanthropic efforts by volunteering for fundraising events to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Christine Santisteban 

Christine Santisteban has been a high contributor with Cardinal for nearly 5 years. She started as an Administrative Assistant and gained knowledge and experience of the industry from within the company, and was promoted to Account Manager in 2011. She is proud to hold the professional designation of Certified Manager of Community Association, and was nominated for CAI-OC’s Rising Star Award for 2011. Christine manages a widely diverse portfolio. She oversees the management of such unique environments as stables, fishing lakes, and equestrian trails.  Christine is a member of CAI-OC’s Outreach Committee and has spent innumerable hours in support of CAI’s philanthropic endeavors, such as the annual toy drive. Bringing her Outreach experience with CAI into Cardinal, Christine leads Cardinal’s team for charitable fund-raising. She heads up the annual activities to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an organization Cardinal holds dear due to the number of Cardinal employees and family members who are fighting or have lost their battle with blood cancers. Christine manages a concert/dance, a Cinco de Mayo function, and a Bingo and silent auction party with clients, vendors, and business associates throughout the year. All the fund-raising culminates in Cardinal’s ultimate activity, the annual Light the Night walk at Angel Stadium in memory of all.

Throughout 2014, Christine worked hand-in-glove with one of her Board members, a consultant, and a landscaping company to remove 168,000 square feet of turf and an outdated irrigation system in one of her client Associations. She worked with the Board member to keep homeowners well informed, thus supportive of the massive project. Due to the dire drought conditions in California, the Association approved the removal of four acres of turf. Working with the Municipal Water District of Orange County, Christine was part of the team that helped the Association receive $185,709 in reimbursement funds for the project. Now in its second phase, Christine is working with the same team to identify and place drought-tolerant ground cover and plants in the area.

Maryanne Hurley-Cicconi 

Maryanne Hurley-Cicconi has been a member of the Cardinal Property Management team for more than 8 years. She has diligently served on CAI-OC’s Programs Committee for five years and has been Co-chair for three years. Due in part to Maryanne’s dedicated efforts with the Programs Committee, the educational luncheons were often sold out, received outstanding reviews, and were among the largest in the state. As Co-chair, Maryanne volunteers her time and energy to ensure that the coordinators for the luncheons have met their deadlines, provided Powerpoint presentations and outlines on timed, and has filled in for coordinators on many occasions. Maryanne continuously encourages the Board members of her client accounts to join CAI-OC by illustrating how CAI-OC can help them first learn to operate as effective Board members then to continue to build on their new-found knowledge. Maryanne has been responsible for recruiting countless members to join CAI-OC, and considers it part of her day-to-day duties to advertise the benefits of CAI membership. Maryanne received 2013’s Manager of the Year award in the Portfolio Category from CAI-OC. She is an exemplary member.



Two Cardinal Property Management Managers Receive Portfolio Manager of the Year Award

2014 CAI Awards

Congratulations to Cardinal Property Management’s Maryanne Hurley-Cicconi and Karen Holthe for receiving Portfolio Manager of the Year awards for outstanding service from the Community Associations Institute, Orange County Chapter. On February 7, during the annual awards dinner at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Karen and Maryanne were lauded as Portfolio Manager of the Year, Rookie, and Portfolio Manager of the Year, Veteran, respectively.

Maryanne has been with Cardinal for 5 years. In support of CAI, she served as the Co-Chair of the Programs Committee 2013, and was responsible for coordinating the monthly educational luncheons. Through Maryanne’s leadership, the luncheons were highly effective and provided sound educational value to the Chapter. In fact, due in part to Maryanne and her Committee’s efforts, the Orange County Chapter’s educational luncheons were often sold-out, received rave reviews, and were among the largest luncheon educational events in the state. As Co-Chair, Maryanne worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to ensure that the coordinators for every luncheon met their deadlines, provided Powerpoint presentations and outlines on time, and even filled in for coordinators on several occasions. Her dedication to the Programs Committee exemplifies the quality of service recognized by the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award.

As a portfolio manager, Maryanne efficiently manages a portfolio of seven accounts that includes a wide variety of communities. Maryanne works with the boards of planned unit developments, waterfront properties with boat docks, an age 55+ community, and condominiums. During 2013 she also successfully transitioned a new account to the company into her portfolio. In addition, Maryanne assisted her portfolio communities with a wide variety of enhancement projects including a new vehicle gate access system, a roofing project, and a recall election.

During 2013, Karen Holthe dedicated herself to the Education Committee. She audited every Community Leadership Training Program (CLTP) so she could serve as an instructor for each class, when needed. She was indeed needed, and Karen co-instructed the Finance class twice.

In her quest for excellence for the Education Committee, Karen suggested the Committee quantitatively determine the effectiveness of each class to expand the reach of the classes and educate more board members and managers. Her goal was to increase the attendance of board members and managers to exceed rather than merely meet the minimum number of attendees. Karen then gauged the attendance against her goal and monitored the progress of every Committee meeting. Following these meetings, she extended her goal even further. During this process to bolster attendance and extend the reach of the Education Committee, Karen relentlessly advertised the CLTP courses to association clients. Karen also parlayed her Education Committee experience to assist Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, prepare for and run its Board Education classes.

Karen manages a portfolio of seven accounts that include PUDs, equestrian communities, and condominiums. She is also the Director of Property Management at Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF. She provides manager oversight, mentoring, training, and marketing.

In her property management role, she assisted one of her communities during a major “facelift” to the entrance of the association. This project encompassed hardscape, landscape, lighting, asphalt replacement, and signage.

She also managed a tree replacement program that exchanged dying eucalyptus trees with other viable trees and plants. She assisted with slurry projects in multiple communities, and she astutely managed a 30-year old property during a lighting project for all its monuments. Karen also managed a community project to replace all the irrigation controllers with Smart controllers.

It is with great pride that Cardinal congratulates Maryanne and Karen for these prestigious awards.


Cardinal Managers Attend Legal Seminar

All managers from Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, recently attended a day-long legal forum sponsored by the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Cardinal has an extensive history of supporting the continuing education of its employees. Held in Irvine, the conference offered a variety of classes for community association managers and board members, including advanced sessions about some of the legal technicalities of serving in such positions. Cardinal also hosted an exhibitor table with information about the unique capabilities of the company. President Farrah Esquer and Senior Account Manager, Director of Property Management Karen Holthe staffed the table and met with attendees throughout the day.


Cardinal President Farrah Esquer, Account Managers Theresa Hirschman and Bruce Horvath, and Senior Account Manager, Director of Property Management Karen Holthe pose proudly in front of the Cardinal exhibit at CAI’s Legal Forum.



Reelection of Farrah Esquer to the Board of Directors of the Community Associations Institute, Orange County Regional Chapter

Anaheim, California – Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, is proud to announce the reelection of its president, Farrah Esquer, to the Board of Directors of the Community Associations Institute, Orange County Regional Chapter, and to the office of president-elect.

“I am honored to continue to serve as a Board Member for CAI-OCRC,” said Ms. Esquer. “CAI is an important organization, with a mission dedicated to providing education and leadership that will foster vibrant and effective community associations and positively enhance the experience of creating, living in and working in partnership with common interest developments.”

In 2014, Ms. Esquer will take the reins as President of CAI-OCRC. She will lead the prestigious community association chapter from 2014 to 2015.

CAI-OCRC serves the educational, business, and networking needs of community associations in the Orange County area of California. Members include community association board members as well as those who provide services and products to community associations. The Orange County Regional Chapter has more than 1,400 members, and represents thousands of households. The chapter is one of nearly 60 Community Associations Institute chapters in the nation.

Ms. Esquer has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility at Cardinal during the past 14 years. Her business prowess and dedicated service led her to guide the company as executive vice president, director of property management, and in December of 2010, Ms. Esquer was appointed to the position of president. This was an unprecedented appointment as the president and CEO positions had been held exclusively by the founder and owners.

Ms. Esquer holds the professional designations of Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) from the California Association of Community Managers (CACM) and the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS) and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations from the Community Associations Institute (CAI). She has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Her sense of responsibility to the industry inspired her to serve on CAI’s Orange County Chapter Education Committee, Manager Support Committee and Publications Committee. She is the past Chair of CAI’s Manager Support Committee and the current Co-Chair of the Publications Committee. CAI bestowed upon Ms. Esquer the prestigious John C. Kubas Manager of the Year award for 2009, the 2011 Author of the Year Award for her article titled Money Matters, which was printed in the OC View, and the 2011 Speaker of the Year Award for her participation on the panel of the January 2011 luncheon regarding ethics and personal behavior.
Headquartered in Anaheim, Cardinal has been enhancing the quality of community association living throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. Partnering with board members and homeowners, Cardinal takes care of all the details of community association living so you don’t have to. We support board members to smoothly navigate the mileposts of community association management.


Orange County Chapter of CAI Announces the May Springtime Showcase Forum

The Orange County Chapter of CAI just released information regarding its upcoming Springtime Showcase Forum to be held May 15.  The Forum will take the place of the Chapter’s usual monthly luncheon program and will include educational sessions for homeowner association board members and community managers.  Attendees will have the opportunity to attend two of the six offered educational sessions.  The Forum will be at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612 with registration beginning at 2:00 p.m.  The sessions will begin at 2:30 p.m. followed by an exhibitor tradeshow, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres at 5:00 p.m.

Cardinal President Farrah Esquer will be a member of the education panel for the homeowner association board member session entitled “5 Ways to Improve Your Board.”  Ms. Esquer has been a speaker at past CAI-OC luncheon programs and received the 2011 Speaker of the Year award from CAI-OC.

Session topics include:

Educational Sessions for HOA Board Members & Community Association Volunteers include:

5 Ways To Improve Your Board
Spring Projects For Maintaining Your Community

Educational Sessions for Community Managers include:

Delinquencies for Beginners & Advanced Collections
Manager Life Skills

Educational Sessions open to any attendee:

Social Media
Conservation Corps: Basic Training For Being Environmentally Prepared


To learn more, visit the CAI-OC website at or download a registration form here.





Cardinal’s Own Tina Zurrica is Honored as One of the Newest PCAM Designees

Tina Zurrica, a 15-year Cardinal employee, recently received the prestigious Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designation. She was honored at the CAI-OC Annual PCAM Reception held to celebrate both the newest and past recipients of the PCAM designation. The reception was held at McCormick & Schmick’s in Irvine.  Ms. Zurrica was supported by a full contingent of Cardinal staff at the reception held to honor and congratulate recipients on their outstanding accomplishment.

Ms. Zurrica has been a member of the Cardinal staff since 1997. As the on-site manager for a historical high-rise building in downtown Long Beach, she is responsible for the daily operations of the building, from general janitorial to complex, extended projects. The building also contains commercial properties owned by the association.  To be awarded the PCAM designation, Ms. Zurrica successfully attended and passed the required courses in CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) and with at least five years’ management experience, was able to attend the Case Study as the final step in her achievement.

The Case Study requires the applicant to spend two days at a host community and learn the details of the community through interviews with its management staff and business partners, including legal counsel and insurance agent, as well as perform an extensive visual inspection of the property.  At the conclusion of the Case Study, applicants are given ten essay questions that require extensive research and documentation to answer.  Applicants are given 30 days to complete this comprehensive document.

Her PCAM designation illustrates Ms. Zurrica’s commitment to the industry and continuing education as well as dedication to Cardinal’s client Directors.  We are extremely proud of her. As of this writing, Ms. Zurrica is one of only 2,100 PCAMs in the United States and one of only 361 PCAMs in California.  We are honored to welcome Ms. Zurrica to this elite group of professionals.










Cardinal Staff Receives Distinctions at 2011 CAI-OC Annual Awards Dinner


Recently the Orange County Chapter of CAI held its annual Orange County Excellence in Community (OCEC) Awards & Wine Dinner at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.  Cardinal staff attended to support the firm’s nominees and to celebrate the success of the Chapter.   Each year the Chapter honors the members who volunteer countless hours to help the Chapter reach its goals and for bettering of the industry.

Cardinal is proud to announce nominees and winners from our distinguished workforce. In our book, all our nominees are winners.

Account Manager Christine Santisteban was nominated for the Rising Star Award.  Ms. Santisteban joined the Cardinal team in 2009 and was promoted to Account Manager in 2011.  She has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CMCA) certification from CAI.

Maryanne Hurley, a member of the Cardinal team since 2008, was nominated for the Manager of the Year Award in the Portfolio Category and the Committee Member of the Year Award.  Ms. Hurley has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CMCA) certification and the Association Management Specialist (AMS) designation from CAI and the Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation from CACM.  She is an active member of CAI-OC’s Programs Committee and the Community Outreach Committee and an avid supporter of Chapter Membership.

Theresa Hirschman began her Cardinal community association management career in 2000. Ms. Hirschman was nominated for the Outstanding Service Award for CAI.  She is an active member of CAI’s Orange County Chapter Community Outreach Committee, Community Manager Support Committee and Education Committee.  Ms. Hirschman has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation from (CACM), and the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS) and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations from the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Cardinal’s President, Farrah Esquer, was nominated for both the Author of the Year Award and Speaker of the Year Award.  Ms. Esquer served on CAI-OC’s Community Manager Support Committee, Education Committee and Publications Committee.  She is the past Chair of CAI’s Manager Support Committee, was elected to the Board of Directors of CAI’s Orange County Chapter in 2010, and was appointed to the Secretary position in 2012.  CAI bestowed upon Ms. Esquer the prestigious John C. Kubas Manager of the Year award for 2009.

Cardinal is proud of each of our nominees for their dedication and support of both the Chapter and our industry.

And the Award Goes To…

Cardinal is pleased to announce that Maryanne Hurley was awarded the 2011 Recruiter of the Year Award for her efforts in recruiting eight new members to the Chapter.

Farrah Esquer was awarded the 2011 Author of the Year Award for her article titled Money Matters, which was printed in OC View. The article can be found on our blog page at  Ms. Esquer was also awarded the 2011 Speaker of the Year Award for her participation on a panel regarding ethics and personal behavior.  She shared this prestigious award with Debra Warren of Cinnabar Consulting and Sandra Gottlieb of Swedelson & Gottlieb as co-members of the panel.





















Cardinal’s President, Farrah Esquer, Featured Speaker at CAI Orange County Chapter Educational Luncheon Reprinted from O.C. View; copyright by CAI, Orange County Regional Chapter, all rights reserved

The January Educational luncheon program got the year off to a great start. The well received January luncheon program was titled Keeping It Professional in a Social Setting. The esteemed panel of speakers included Farrah Esquer of Cardinal Property Management, Sandra Gottlieb of Swedelson and Gottlieb and Debra Warren of Cinnabar Consulting. The panel held a round table discussion on how ethics and professional behavior benefits us all. They reviewed ethical dilemmas, business ethics, ethical considerations in social settings and gave guidelines for gifts that may have an influence on a decision. Ms. Warren explained about recent case studies and examples and shared some of the issues facing CAI ethics committee, where she serves as chair.

The group offered information on what to do when a manager or board member crosses the ethical line and practical application of these ethics and guidelines for everyone to check their own moral compass.

This program was coordinated by Dori Kagan of U.S. Bank and Sarah Reed of Fiore, Racobs and Powers. For more information regarding educational programs offered by CAI-OC, please visit the chapter website at