Virtual meetings are now part of a condominium corporation’s new normal. But did you know there are some fine distinctions between chairing a virtual meeting compared to an in-person meeting? Capitalizing on a need to get managers and directors up to speed quickly, CAI Canada and other experts in the condominium industry, organized an eLearning Virtual Chair Certification program. Over two sessions in March, CAI Canada registered more than 60 participants for the virtual education sessions who learned the nuances of chairing online meetings and more.
Virtual coaches were Rod Escayola and Graeme MacPherson, Gowling WLG; and Natalia Polis and Denise Lash, Lash Condo Law. Adam Arcuri, CondoVoter was the moderator and a co-sponsor of the event.
We asked one of the newly certified participants, Bishnu Aryal, RCM a property manager with TAG–The Active Group, to tell us about his experience.
Q: Bishnu, why was it important for you to take this two-day Virtual Chair Certification session?
A: Knowledge is power, and skills help solve problems. As condominium boards and managers cannot organize the meetings in person due to the pandemic, the only way to comply with the mandate of conducting meetings in a timely fashion is to do it virtually.
I decided to take this two-day Virtual Certification session because I want to know the skills and strategies from the professionals in the field and gather the knowledge in the shortest possible time.
Q: How many virtual meetings have you chaired in the last year?
A: Over the past several years I have chaired and attended several AGMs and board meetings in person. In 2020 and 2021, so far I have attended and/or chaired about 10–12 board/general meetings.
Q: What new skills did you learn?
A: The best part for me was refreshing the legal and procedural part of meetings. Also, learning various technical aspects of video conferencing was valuable, e.g., how to effectively use chat, polling options and Q&A options.
Q: How will you use your new Virtual Chair Certification?
A: New skills will help me effectively conduct meetings. It helps to gain trust and respect of boards of directors, clients and owners. I will also use this knowledge to share it with my colleagues and team to improve their virtual meeting experience.
Q: What would you say to other managers that are thinking about signing up for the course?
A: For me training is not an expense, it is an investment. I recommend managers and boards of directors to take the advantages of the certification conducted by respected legal minds in the industry. Meeting checklists and sample scripts are good additions to the manager’s toolbox.