Condo Media - August 2018 - 37

"SQUEAKY-CLEAN" FINANCIALS
Checks and balances are an Evergreen Harvard fundamental. For example, their accounts payable and
accounts receivable are distinctly separate functions.
"We don't cross-pollinate. Everything is squeaky clean,"
says Okonak.
The attention to financials doesn't end there. Once
the senior-level finance coordinator has gathered and
analyzed the data for an association's monthly financial
report, it doesn't simply get sent to the client to interpret. The community association manager is required
to put a variance report on the front page to explain any
unexpected or unusual expenses.
Okonak cites a March wind storm as an example.
Suppose trees had been blown down and an association
needed $1,500 for emergency clean-up. The trees would
be cleared immediately, but two months later, when the
expense appeared as a line item on the financial report,
the board might not remember the reason for it. The
variance report answers the question before it's even
asked. "We're probably one of the most transparent
companies in the business," says Okonak. "We pride
ourselves on full disclosure."
"Their accounting practices are more than adequate:
they're top-notch," says David Plante, a CPA with Penchansky & Co. PLLC of Manchester, N.H. For more than
20 years, Plante has worked as an independent auditor
with the entities that now comprise Evergreen Harvard.
It's an auditor's job to compare the financial records of
an organization against various criteria to confirm their
accuracy. "Most importantly, they always want to do a
better job, so they're always looking to improve their
practices," he says.
THE SERVICE YOU NEED WITHOUT THE FEES
Associations that aren't looking for full management
and want to take advantage of a management company's
financial and à la carte services have that option with
Evergreen Harvard. Fees are prorated accordingly.
One association that has taken advantage of that option is the Village at Stone Ridge, an over-55 community
in Westford, Mass. "The most unusual thing about us is
the number of volunteers we have," says board president
Carlene Craib. Many skilled retirees are among the
residents, and volunteers have replaced decks and walkways, cut trees, painted bulkheads, and performed other
upkeep-without calling in the management company.
"Evergreen Harvard is there when we need them," she
says. "They give excellent advice, we know whom to call,
and they're willing to let us do our thing. They've helped
us have real pride in our neighborhood. We are very
happy with the relationship."
Thoreau's Landing in Nashua, N.H., is another
association that handles most of its own day-to-day
operations. "We've always had a very active board," says

board president Alan MacNaughton. "We don't expect
Evergreen Harvard to run our community." Evergreen
Harvard is available to pitch in as needed, however.
"They basically act as coordinators and help with vendor
selection, administration, and finance," MacNaughton
says. "They're very good on transparency, and they're
very good at supporting us."
Evergreen Harvard also provides flexibility with
regard to insurance and special projects. Fees are
transparent, and nothing is billed to the client that
hasn't been fully disclosed in advance. Most services are
covered under the basic monthly fee, and the company
carefully tracks every service request to assure prompt
and efficient service. The full-service company also has
a full maintenance staff, experienced project crews for
paint-cycle preparation and carpentry repairs, a fullservice common-area cleaning company, and a home
services division.
THE ASSOCIA ASSOCIATION
Ethics and morals have been a driving force as Evergreen Harvard has grown through acquisition. In the
community association management business, growth
is required for survival. Ducharme took an important
step toward ensuring the company's continued growth
when Evergreen purchased Harvard Management in
2016. His vision was furthered in January, when his
widow, Mary Ducharme, brought Evergreen Harvard
under the umbrella of Associa, an industry leader in
community association management. "It was a natural
progression of what our founder mapped out years ago
for building a sustainable company," says Okonak.
John J. Carona, chairman, CEO, and director of Associa, traveled to New Hampshire to ensure that Evergreen Harvard and Associa would be a good fit. "Associa
aligns with our moral and ethical standards and values,"
Okonak reports. "We are just so pleased, because getting
to know the folks at Associa has been a wonderful experience. Their family spirit and commitment to customer
service is taking our team to the next level. They also
provide technology services and solutions that create a
better experience for our employees and our clients."
He adds that, with Carona at the helm, Evergreen
Harvard remains family-owned. The Dallas, Texasbased parent company takes a hands-off approach
to its branches, while remaining available to provide
additional tools, guidance, and leadership. "I'm very passionate about this business," says Okonak. "I love what
I do, and I love what we do. And I'm proud to say we are
part of the Associa family."
For information on how The Evergreen Harvard Group's
cross-functional team approach to management can
benefit your association, call (603) 622-7000, or visit
evergreenmgt.com.

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37


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2018

Contents
Condo Media - August 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - August 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - August 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - August 2018 - 2
Condo Media - August 2018 - 3
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