Benchmark Association Services Sponsors Golf Tournament Tee

Benchmark Association Services, an Associa company, recently sponsored a tee during the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association golf tournament at the Paiute Golf Resort in Las Vegas.

Benchmark staff members Elias Crenshaw, marketing director, and Bryan Hatfield, community manager, attended the tournament to represent Benchmark at their tent and table adjacent to their assigned tee. Nearly 150 golfers took part in the golf tournament, and Crenshaw and Hatfield kept everyone hydrated by passing out water bottles and custom ball marking pens. The two staff members also offered the attendees’ entry tickets into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.

Benchmark Association Services provides community association management and developer services to Las Vegas. Since 1991, its sole focus has been to deliver performance that enriches communities and enhances the lives of the people it serves. To learn more visit www.benchmarkproperties.net or find them on Facebook by visiting www.Facebook.com/BenchmarkAssociationServices.

Ma’aden Alcoa Joint Venture Achieves Significant Safety Milestone

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Ma’aden have recorded a major safety milestone during construction of their aluminum smelter at Ras Al Khair, in Saudi Arabia: 25 million hours worked without a lost work day injury.

Part of the fully integrated aluminum complex being developed jointly by Ma’aden and Alcoa, the 740,000-metric-ton-per-year smelter is scheduled for completion in 2013.

The lost work day accomplishment was achieved by 39 construction companies employing a diverse multinational workforce that speaks more than 15 languages and represents upwards of 25 countries and cultures. The number of workers including contractors grew from less than 200 to approximately 12,400 during this period.

“Achieving this remarkable safety performance on such a large and complex project requires team work, training and focus,” said Ken Wisnoski, Vice President, Alcoa and President Global Primary Products Growth. “While we are proud of this achievement, we know we cannot relax. Safety requires constant vigilance.”

Principal Management Group of Houston Hosts Board Seminar

Principal Management Group of Houston (PMG Houston), an Associa company, recently hosted a complimentary board orientation seminar featuring Larry J. Pothast, PCAM, presenting to attendees.

Held at the Greater Houston Builders Association, around 80 board members attended the seminar. Pothast covered ‘everything you need to know to successfully serve on the board of an HOA,’ which involved numerous topics, including how to work successfully with volunteers, how to attract new members to the board, and the most effective meeting practices to make a board more efficient and businesslike.

A nationally recognized community association expert, trainer, and author on HOA leadership effectiveness and operations for board members, Pothast currently serves as director of management training for Associa. In addition to receiving his Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designation from the Community Associations Institute (CAI), he has been awarded “Speaker of the Year” honors from many CAI chapters for his workshops, seminars and keynote speeches. He has served on the CAI National Research Foundation Board of Directors and is a former Dean of CAI’s Professional Management Development Program Communications and Meetings module. Pothast was featured in the industry’s first video training seminar, “Serving on the Board,” a video guide to successfully serving on the board of a community association. His live workshops and training programs, including the original “One Hour Board Meeting,” have been acclaimed for their presentation of useful tools and practical solutions delivered with humor and insight from more than 30 years in the HOA industry.

Principal Management Group of Houston, AAMC, provides community association management and developer services to Houston and the greater surrounding areas. Since 1976, its sole focus has been to deliver performance that enriches communities and enhances the lives of the people it serves. To learn more, visit www.pmghouston.com or find us on Facebook by visiting www.Facebook.com/Associa and searching for Principal Management Group of Houston.

Associated Management, Inc. Homeowner Receives Top Honors

Associated Management, Inc. (AMI), an Associa company, proudly announces homeowner Marilyn Brainard received the Community Associations Institute (CAI) prestigious President’s Award and Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at the recent CAI Annual Conference and Exposition.

Brainard has been a Nevada CAI Chapter member since 2001. During her time as a member, she has served on the board of directors and legislative action committee, in addition to five years as a director on her community’s board in Sparks. She was elected to three terms on CAI’s Community Association Volunteers Committee, one of three membership groups in CAI. Currently, she remains active on CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee, helping revise CAI’s Public Policies, along with service on the Federal Legislative Action Committee. Since 2006, Brainard has represented community association homeowners on the Nevada Commission for Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels.

She resides in Wingfield Springs Community Association with her husband.

Associated Management, Inc. provides community association management and developer services to Northern Nevada. Since 1988, our sole focus has been to deliver performance that enriches communities and enhances the lives of the people we serve. To learn more visit www.amiusa.net or find them on Facebook by visiting www.Facebook.com/Associa and searching for Associated Management, Inc.

Apartment Investment and Management Company Provides Clarification of Historical Unrelated Business Taxable Income

Apartment Investment and Management Company (“Aimco”) (NYSE: AIV) today clarified the nature and extent of previously earned unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). Aimco previously owned a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (“REMIC”), which periodically generated an immaterial amount of excess inclusion income, which is generally required to be treated as UBTI by tax-exempt organizations. On August 7, 2008, Aimco liquidated the REMIC and eliminated its sole source of UBTI. Aimco did not generate UBTI in tax years 2009, 2010 or 2011 and has a practice of avoiding investments in vehicles that may generate UBTI to Aimco in the future.

Aimco is a real estate investment trust that is focused on the ownership and management of quality apartment communities located in the largest markets in the United States. Aimco is one of the country’s largest owners and operators of apartments, with 361 communities serving approximately 250,000 residents in 30 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Aimco common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AIV and are included in the S&P 500. For more information about Aimco, please visit our website at www.aimco.com.

Travelers Introduces New Wind Credit for Fortified Homes on Eve of Hurricane Season

Travelers today announced it is introducing a wind credit for fortified homes in Texas that meet established standards designed to resist the impacts of tropical storm and hurricane winds. Travelers currently offers similar credits in Alabama and Mississippi.

“Homes built to meet these stringent standards are better able to withstand severe weather, saving lives and reducing property losses, and we want to promote and raise awareness of these smarter building practices,” said Greg Toczydlowski, President of Personal Insurance for Travelers. “We hope this initiative and meaningful wind credit will encourage homeowners, builders and building officials to adopt these disaster resistant standards.”

“I appreciate Travelers expanding this initiative in Texas,” said Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman of the Texas Department of Insurance. “We know that mitigation works to reduce loss of life and property. And now, coastal homeowners in Texas can also save money on their insurance costs. This is a win-win for consumers and their communities.”

The announcement was made at the hurricane preparedness symposium sponsored by the Travelers Institute, the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety (IBHS) and Ceres, who joined to convene business, government and community leaders to identify solutions for protecting and insuring the increasingly densely populated regions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

“We’ve seen first-hand the significant economic and social implications of coastal storms in the U.S., and Travelers continues to take a leadership role in helping prepare businesses and homeowners for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Joan Woodward, Travelers Executive Vice President of Public Policy and President of the Travelers Institute. “2011 was a record year for severe weather, and the importance of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, as well as sound policy, is more apparent than ever. We applaud the tremendous efforts the City of New York engaged in as they prepared for Hurricane Irene in 2011.”

Jim McConnell, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Data in the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), keynoted the event and discussed best practices that the city employed in preparing for Hurricane Irene. “OEM works every day to develop plans and prepare for emergencies, as well as to educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response, and collect and disseminate emergency information. We believe our response in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene provides best practices for response efforts both in New York and across the country,” he said.

At the symposium, two panels addressed the current challenges regarding the availability and affordability of coastal wind insurance for homeowners as well as disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

IBHS’s Debra Ballen moderated the first panel, which included:

Ken Katz, Risk Control, Travelers
Nancy Rodrigues, Build Smart Virginia
Giovanni Taylor-Peace, Global Disaster Response Team, Habitat for Humanity International
Dave Treutel, Smart Home America
“Preparing for hurricanes means much more than just having bottled water and flashlights on hand,” said Debra Ballen, IBHS General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “While these items are important, we need to look at the bigger picture. Building stronger, safer communities is the most effective way to ensure that residents and businesses are prepared for and can recover from hurricanes. We have already seen two named storms before this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1. These early storms demonstrate how critical preparedness is, and IBHS is pleased to join with Travelers and Ceres today during National Hurricane Preparedness Week to discuss proven strategies that can save lives and reduce devastating property damage.”

Cynthia McHale from Ceres moderated the second panel, which included:

Robert Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute
Eleanor Kitzman, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance
Eric M. Nelson, Catastrophe Management, Travelers
Stephen Weinstein, RenaissanceRe
“We know that 2011 was a devastating year for extreme weather events in the United States,” said Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres. “These events triggered a record 99 federal disaster declarations and were marked by their severity and frequency, and we are proud to partner with Travelers to identify solutions to these issues.”

The Travelers Institute released a report with key findings from its two year symposium series on the coastal insurance crisis. The report makes several recommendations, many of which reflect the principles within the Travelers Coastal Wind Zone Plan, the company’s proposal for a private, market-based solution without federal subsidies. They include:

A stable and consistent regulatory environment, with a uniform set of rules applied to named storm wind coverage for coastal zones from Texas to Maine.
Transparency in calculating insurance premiums, with risk-based, actuarially sound rates using approved standards and wind risk models, and a rating calculation mechanism to be applied if models and actual experience become misaligned over time.
Federal reinsurance mechanism for extreme events (such as hurricanes causing losses several times greater than those arising out of Hurricane Katrina), with the reinsurance made available to insurers at cost so there would be no taxpayer subsidy, and the savings passed directly to customers.
Encouraging stronger homes through federal guidelines for appropriate building codes and land use planning, with incentives for state and local adoption, plus enhanced construction technology and meaningful premium credits for customers who make their homes less vulnerable to wind damage.

AMC Theatres® and General Growth Properties Announce Agreement to Bring a State-of-the-Art Theatre to North Point Mall

AMC Theatres (AMC) and General Growth Properties (GGP) are proud to announce guests in the Alpharetta, Ga., area will have a new, state-of-the-art AMC movie theatre at North Point Mall beginning in late 2013. The theatre – AMC North Point 12 – is AMC’s 12th in the Atlanta area and will begin construction by the end of 2012.

“North Point Mall is an excellent place to spend a weekend, and we’re excited to bring the best possible movie going experience to our guests here.”
The auditoriums at the new AMC North Point 12 will feature luxury seating, a Marketplace concession area, premium sound and 100 percent digital projection. AMC is also evaluating additional amenity possibilities including a MacGuffins bar, where guests can enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail before, during or after the movie, and an IMAX and ETX auditoriums.

North Point Mall is owned and managed by General Growth Properties, a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust focused on owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping regional malls throughout the United States. GGP currently owns, or has an interest in, 135 regional shopping malls comprising approximately 136 million square feet of gross leasable area.

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, Inc. Announces the Purchase of The Shops at Julington Creek in Jacksonville, Florida for $8.8 Million

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, Inc. announced today the acquisition of The Shops at Julington Creek, a 40,207-square-foot shopping center in Jacksonville, Fla., for approximately $8.8 million. Constructed in 2009, the center is anchored by The Fresh Market, an upscale grocery store modeled on a European open-air market. Mark Cosenza, vice president of Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, facilitated the transaction on behalf of Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust, Inc.

“Located within a busy retail corridor in Jacksonville, The Shops at Julington Creek benefits from its location in St. John’s County, the most affluent section of the city,” Cosenza said. “Annual household incomes within a three mile radius of the shopping center exceed $100,000, and its location near the river draws additional traffic from boaters stopping for lunch and stocking up on provisions for the day.”

Additional tenants at the center include Hurricane Grill & Wings, Metro Diner and Sprint.