Meet the 2018 Board of Directors
Lou Biron President
Sihle Insurance Group
Lou Biron is a professional insurance agent and insurance counselor who has 40 years of experience in his trade and has worked throughout Florida during this time serving the insurance needs of his clientele. He currently carries the designation of Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) and previously maintained the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor. Lou is a past President of the Central Florida Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI) and is a past Chairman of the Florida Legislative Alliance (CAI’s LAC for Florida). In his role with CAI and the Florida Legislative Alliance, Lou is actively involved in the legislative process and has participated in the formulation of and passing of several bills designed to benefit community associations and commercial property owners. He is currently chairing the insurance committee of the Florida Legislative Alliance and is an exclusive partner of Brevard Community Association Management, Inc.
More recently Lou has joined with Sihle Insurance Group as an Elite Corporate Sponsor of Community Advocacy Network (CAN). Lou specializes in the insuring of condominiums, condo-tels, time shares, homeowners associations and other types of community associations within Florida and takes pride in his knowledge of the marketplace for proper placement and pricing of coverage and in the professional management of the special needs of the many communities that he serves. While community association insurance is his specialty, Lou is a capable underwriter and risk manager for all lines of insurance and classes of business typical to Florida.
Ken Zook President-Elect
Waterford Lakes Community Association, Inc.
Ken currently serves as the General Manager for the Waterford Lakes Community Association. Recently completing over 10 years of service to the community of over 3,000 homes. He has served for many years on the board for the 2,000 plus homes of the Eastwood Community Association with 4 of them as its president. Ken also served on the board and as president of the Stone’s Throw Homeowners Association in Lakeland, Florida which was his first introduction into HOA’s and leadership roles in them.
Ken has earned additional professional designations through CAI and is a firm believer in the importance of education for our members, managers and volunteers. While it may be difficult for volunteers to understand the importance of that education in the roles they play in their communities, a focused outreach to community associations would certainly help make for a stronger organization both for the community association and CAI. Not only that, it will add a level of importance to our managers to seek that additional education as it will become a requirement of the industry and the homeowners we ultimately serve and support.
Erik Whynot Vice President
Garfinkel Whynot Association Law
Erik Whynot has been a member of the Florida Bar and has been practicing as a commercial and civil litigation attorney in the State of Florida since September 2000. His legal experience is very diverse. He has been practicing, advising clients and has tried cases in a variety of areas of the law with a particular focus on complex commercial litigation and collections. Prior to founding Garfinkel Whynot, Erik was a Partner at Katzman Garfinkel and a sole practitioner and owner of The Whynot Law Firm which was a general civil practice law firm.
Erik has years of experience managing all aspects of community association law and providing advice to many condominium and homeowner associations throughout the state of Florida. Erik litigated contested commercial contract, probate and guardianship, bankruptcy and collection matters as well as gaining experience in construction defects, personal injury and general commercial policy insurance claims.
Erik is an active member of the Florida Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. He also is a member of American Top Team Mixed Martial Arts based in Coconut Creek, Florida, and is an assistant Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and Submission Grappling instructor with American Top Team in Orlando, Florida. Personally, Erik is married and the proud father of two boys.
Michael Kulich Treasurer
Turtle Creek HOA
Michael has been a management consultant for over 14 years with much of that time running his own business focused on guiding organizations to reengineer their processes to drive maximum performance. He has been serving as President of the Turtle Creek Homeowners Association for almost 4 years during which time Michael learned a significant amount of knowledge about the community association structure.
In being a consultant, his focus has always been on identifying an issue and then working toward implementing the best solution possible for an organization. With his primary clients being Fortune 500 companies, he’s seen a wide array of different processes and diverse management styles. This has been key in creating an effective approach in providing value added solutions to all Michael’s clients including bringing this experience to the various boards he’s had the pleasure to serve on over the years.
Kent Taylor, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Secretary
As a licensed Community Association Manager I take great pride in our profession and want to do what I can to help further the leadership of the Central Florida Chapter of CAI to continue to be a valuable resource to all managers, volunteers, and business partners.
One of the many areas I believe that CAI can have a vital impact for managers is providing a high level of continuing education through the programs geared to achieving the various designations and on-going chapter events. As a member of the Education Committee I have participated in establishing the courses and panels that get on the annual schedule for the Central Florida Chapter.
I have been a manager for over ten years and have been with Leland Management during that time as a portfolio manager. My affiliation with CAI has clearly impacted the choices I have made in my professional career, continuing education, experience gained from the colleagues I am able to network with regularly, and many friendships made that are invaluable.
Our local chapter is absolutely a great organization and I am excited to be involved and have the opportunity to participate in the continuing growth and excellence of our programs.
Suzan Kearns, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Past President & Board Member
The best decision I ever made was to change careers into the Community Association arena. After over 20 years of accounting in the service industry, with a proven track record in customer service, I joined a national association management firm eventually becoming it’s Central Florida Regional President.
Becoming involved with CAI was a turning point for me as Community Association Manager and I quickly knew that this was where I could partner with those firms that are the best and brightest and understand our needs as managers of communities in Central Florida. I have become increasingly aware of what an integral part the Central Florida Chapter of CAI plays in making us all (Board Members, Managers and Business Partners) successful. I currently have my CMCA, AMS, and PCAM.
Chris Martinez Board Member
Chris is currently employed as a construction project manager for a local general contractor and has sat on the board of his community HOA for 11 years, currently serving as President of the HOA.
Chris has grown up on job sites since he was a small boy. He tried hard to get away from the industry, but its engrained in his soul. As a second generation general contractor with over 25 years experience, Chris has had a great collection of experience in different types of building platforms and assemblies which include: custom residential and production home building, residential and commercial mill working, class A office, industrial, and retail building development and construction, insurance restoration and remediation, direction of construction and maintenance for a large HOA management company, and as assistant program manager for a housing maintenance contract on an active military installation in Alaska.
Frank Ruggieri Board Member
The Ruggieri Law Firm
Frank A. Ruggieri is the founding member of The Ruggieri Law Firm, P.A. Mr. Ruggieri has devoted his practice to the Central Florida area since 1996 when he first began practicing law.
Beginning in 1999, Mr. Ruggieri has focused his practice on representing Community Associations exclusively, including Condominium, Homeowners, and Mobile Home Communities in addition to related “Community Development Districts”. His experience has included a devotion to litigation, including trials and prosecution of appeals before the First and Fifth District Courts of Appeal, as well as Bankruptcy matters primarily in the Federal Court System’s Middle District of Florida. Mr. Ruggieri has prosecuted and defended covenant violation, collection, commercial and construction defect cases on behalf of the Firm’s Community Association clients. Frank also brings a unique perspective to his area of concentration through experience representing a small number of real estate developers in obtaining State approval for the development of Condominiums as well as single-family project sites and mixed-use developments.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Management at The Florida State University with honors. He has since been admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Ruggieri’s Federal litigation experience includes representing the Firm’s community association clients in Bankruptcy Court in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in connection with collection matters. He has has been published in CondoManagement Magazine, submitting articles regarding collection and covenant violation litigation. He has likewise spoken on community association topics at Community Association Institute and Orange County Homeowners Forums, in addition to teaching courses certified by the State of Florida for continuing education credits for Licensed Community Association Managers and State approved Board Member Certification courses.
Chuck Strode, CAM Board Member
Robert L. Taylor, Esq. Board Member
Becker & Poliakoff
Robert Taylor is the Office Managing Shareholder of the Firm’s Orlando office and the founding partner of Taylor & Carls, which joined Becker & Poliakoff in December 2013. Mr. Taylor has concentrated his practice exclusively in the area of community association law, providing a variety of legal services to condominium, homeowner, cooperative and timeshare associations since 1981.
Mr. Taylor is a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney, and is approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation as a provider of continuing education for Community Association Managers. Mr. Taylor has been rated “AV” Preeminent, the highest possible rating, by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a Certified Mediator for both circuit and county courts.
Previously, Mr. Taylor was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Orlando practicing in the areas of zoning, planning and public works and in private practice. He also practiced in the areas of commercial and corporate law and in real property including foreclosures, condominium and homeowner association law, and eminent domain.
Matt Vice Board Member
Matt is a past CAICF board member and enjoyed working with the members of the board to help our Chapter grow. He has been a member of the Golf Committee for a number of years, which has also allowed him to have a great deal of interaction with the board. CAI is extremely important to Matt’s business, and by being a board member he will work to make sure State and Federal legislative decisions do not adversely affect our HOA’s, POA’s and COA’s.
Matt’s industry knowledge and experience is unparalleled in the Florida market. His primary focus is building meaningful relationships with his clientele and growing solid partnerships with industry leaders. Matt sets a very high standard on customer service and the overall quality of his company’s workmanship. Most of Vice Painting’s business is returning, happy customers and referrals. This type of clientele is only accomplished with trust and integrity…two things Matt says defines his character.