2015 ECHO Board Election & Bylaws Update

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In October, we mailed a proxy to all 1300 homeowner associations who are members of ECHO - the voting members of our community. The letter was sent to the HOA President listed in our records. We hope your HOA board or board president will take the time to review the voting materials and return them to the ECHO office. If you'd like to know more about the candidates running for the ECHO Board, please read about them below:

Jerry L. Bowles is a 40-year resident at Brookvale Terrace in Santa Cruz. He has served on the board of directors of Brookvale since the park was bought by its residents and converted into a resident owned park in 1993. He retired from the Central Fire Protection District of Santa Cruz County in 1997 as assistant chief whose duties included managing and accounting for the district’s budget and assets. He has also served as chairperson for the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara chapter of Resident Owned Parks, Inc; state vice president for Resident Owned Parks, Inc.; and president of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Retired Public Employees Association of California. He was named the ECHO Volunteer of the Year for 2006 by the Board of Directors.

Stephanie J. Hayes is a principal with Hughes Gill Cochrane, and has over 20 years representing homeowners associations and other clients in a wide variety of corporate and real estate matters, including commercial loan transactions. She received her Juris Doctor, with distinction, in 1981 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, where she served as a member of the school’s Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with honors, in Political Science, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Stephanie is a member of the ECHO board of directors and has served on ECHO’s East Bay Resource Panel and Legal Resource Panel. She is a frequent speaker at ECHO events.

David Hughes is the vice president of operations for Axis Construction, Inc. He was previously the manager of the paint division for Draeger Construction, Inc., and Northern California Sales Manager for the Dunn Edwards Paint Co.  He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. He is the past chairperson of the ECHO Maintenance Resource Panel and an active participant of the East Bay, Wine Country and South Bay Resource Panels. He was named the ECHO Volunteer of the Year for 1998 by the Board of Directors. He has been president of the ECHO Board of Directors since 2007.

Steven Weil is a founding partner, former managing partner and current member of the Executive Committee at Berding|Weil, a construction defect and homeowner association law firm. He received his law degree from the University of San Francisco and his Bachelor’s degree in History from the State University of New York.  Since 1980, he has practiced law, emphasizing corporate law, director compliance with legal and ethical standards of general corporate and community association practice, enforcement of governing documents and insurance disputes. He has contributed many articles for publication in the ECHO Journal and speaks regularly at ECHO seminars.

Jeffrey Saarman is president and chief financial officer of Saarman Construction, LTD, a firm specializing in homeowner association reconstruction projects. He is a licensed contractor in California with over 30 years’ experience in business management, building a successful company serving HOAs in California and Hawaii. He is a frequent attendee or exhibitor at ECHO events.

The ballot also includes two other important changes:

  1. ECHO's new name. Although we've been calling ourselves the "Educational Community for Homeowners" for some time, we'd like to make it official. We're keeping the acronym ECHO, but our new full name better represents the nature and purpose of the organization.
  2. Growing the board of directors. We've included a change to the bylaws that will allow ECHO to increase the board from 12 to 15 persons. We believe a bigger group will allow us to bring new, important voices into ECHO's leadership. 

Thank you for being part of our community, and we hope to receive your proxy before November 4th.

-The ECHO Staff

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