SOURCE: Community Advocacy Network

Community Advocacy Network

December 13, 2010 16:31 ET

Community Advocacy Network Announces Florida Community Association Attorney Robert L. Tankel Joins Statewide Advisory Council

Pinellas County Community Association Attorney Joins 12-Member Advisory Council Guiding Efforts of Statewide Not-for-Profit Group Advocating for Florida Condo & Homeowner Associations

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL and DUNEDIN, FL--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) - The Community Advocacy Network (, Florida's leading advocate for the interests of millions of community association residents statewide, today announced that Pinellas County-based community association attorney Robert L. Tankel has joined the organization's 12-member statewide volunteer Advisory Council.

A not-for-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2007, the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the millions of Floridians who live, work and serve in common interest ownership communities, through education, information and advocacy on behalf of the organization's more than 1,000 member communities across the State of Florida.

In his new capacity as a CAN Advisory Council member, Mr. Tankel joins 11 other volunteer Council members who help steer the direction of the organization's educational programs for community association Board members and managers, as well as CAN's ongoing efforts to promote and ensure enactment of beneficial legislation impacting the property and lives of residents of Florida condominiums, homeowner associations, cooperatives, timeshare and mobile home communities.

"The Community Advocacy Network enthusiastically welcomes attorney Robert L. Tankel as the newest member of our statewide volunteer Advisory Council," said CAN Executive Director Donna DiMaggio Berger. "Bob brings a wealth of community association experience and legal knowledge to CAN's advocacy on behalf of associations across our State and will be a great addition to our CAN team as we work together in 2011 to improve Florida legislation in the best interests of Florida's vast and growing community association population."

"I am honored to have been chosen to serve as an Advisory Council member of the Community Advocacy Network. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to CAN's legislative initiatives for 2011, as well as its important program of continuing education for Board members and Florida community association managers," Mr. Tankel said.

A community association attorney with 28 years of experience representing association clients in Florida, Mr. Tankel is Managing Partner of the Dunedin-based law firm of Robert L. Tankel, P.A., which he launched in 1995 with three support staff and has grown to a current full-time staff of almost 30 professionals. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981, Mr. Tankel began his career as an attorney with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff the following year, opening branch offices in Clearwater and Ft. Myers during his 13-year tenure with that firm. A member of the Community Association Institute (CAI) since 1982, he has taught CAI-approved LCAM continuing education seminars since 1996. A native of Chicago, Mr. Tankel holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in Gainesville and earned his J.D. degree with Honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 1981.

The 12-member CAN Advisory Council ( earlier this year helped drive a groundswell of public opinion in favor of progressive legislation that provides relief for Florida condominium and co-operative associations in several key areas, including legislation doubling the amount of past due assessments that condo associations can collect from foreclosing lenders and enabling condo, cooperative and HOA Boards to collect rent from tenants in delinquent units and to suspend the common area use and voting rights of delinquent owners.

CAN's advocacy efforts also proved crucial to passage of fire-sprinkler retrofit relief legislation in 2010, which it is estimated will save Florida associations more than a billion dollars in sprinkler, generator, elevator and fire alarm upgrades in coming years. CAN Advisory Council initiatives were key to securing local government resolutions of support from Collier County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County commissions, as well as the cities of Naples, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Miramar and Lauderdale by the Sea, all instrumental in convincing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to sign the legislation into law.

In addition to representation for Pinellas County with Mr. Tankel, the CAN Advisory Council includes volunteer members who have long been active in promoting the best interests of Florida community associations in their communities in the Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Orange counties. The CAN Advisory Council members include:

  • Ed Duch, Managing Partner of the Good Neighbors Institute, LLC, a company dedicated to fostering harmonious relationships between Owners, Board Members and Managers as well as serving as the Legislative Vice President for the Gulf Shore Association of Condominiums in Naples;

  • Charlotte Greenbarg, a Broward County political watchdog and the current President of the Broward Coalition, Inc., a not-for-profit group consisting of 200-plus Broward County associations;

  • Jim Hoppensteadt, President and CEO of the Pelican Bay Foundation, which oversees the 93 private residential communities that comprise Pelican Bay in Naples;

  • Pio Ieraci, President of the Galt Mile Community Association, Inc., comprised of 27 high-rise associations located along Galt Ocean Mile and also President of his own condominium association in Ft. Lauderdale;

  • Joel Jeffrey, a member of the Board of directors for the Savanna Club, a community of nearly 1,900 manufactured homes in St. Lucie County and an advocate at the local, state and federal levels for positive legislation impacting common interest ownership communities; and,

  • Jack Loeb Jr., President of the Bayside Village Condominium Association, one of 22 condominium and homeowner associations comprising the "master association" on Miami's exclusive Fisher Island;

  • Cindy Montsinger, a Florida-licensed Community Association Manager (LCAM) and nationally licensed Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA), who manages both association-controlled and developer-controlled communities in the Orlando area as a Senior Community Manager with RealManage.

  • Wendy Murray, President of the Miramar Communities Council and President of her own HOA master association, Director of Business Development for Association Services of Florida, LCAM- and CMCA-certified and most recently named to the Board of Directors of the Builders Association of South Florida (BASF);

  • Ewing Sutherland, President of the Gulfside Condominium Association in Naples and regular contributor of articles to the Naples Daily News calling for positive community association legislation;

  • Bonita Vandall, a licensed Community Association Manager (LCAM) with Hayden & Associates in Ft. Myers and former President of Associa Benson's Inc., previously appointed by the President of the Florida Senate to serve as one of seven statewide representatives on the Advisory Council for Condominiums; and,

  • Barbara Zee, Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Insurance Issues for the Alliance of Delray, an umbrella group representing the interests of 65-plus community associations in Palm Beach County, and a Board member of her own HOA in Palm Beach County for many years.

Membership in the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is open to all Florida community associations, including condominiums, co-operatives, homeowner associations, timeshares and mobile home communities.

CAN's next upcoming Board Member Boot Camp, open to community association Board members and association managers, will be held in early 2011 in Century Village East in Deerfield Beach. For more information and to register in advance, please visit:

For more information about the benefits of CAN membership and the organization's activities around the State, please contact or phone 954-315-0372.

About the Community Advocacy Network (CAN)

The Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is the leading statewide advocacy network dedicated to promoting positive community association legislation while advising legislators to resist the urge to micromanage and over-regulate private residential communities. CAN works through its website, email alerts and tools such as the "Capitol Connection" email system to give association leaders and residents the information and resources they need to play a meaningful part in the legislative process before harmful bills are passed. Capitol Connection enables our members to contact their elected officials at every level of government with just the click of a button. For more information, visit or call 954-315-0372.

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