By Rafael Aquino

Published April 17, 2024  


As a seasoned professional in the management industry and an active participant in community association management, I've consistently advocated for the necessity of board certification. My experience with both certified and non-certified boards has highlighted a significant disparity in performance. Boards that have completed formal training—whether through in-person sessions or webinars—possess a superior understanding of their roles and responsibilities. This encompasses a comprehensive grasp of legal and financial obligations and a keen insight into the everyday challenges of community management.


The advantages of board certification are extensive. Educated board members are better equipped to tackle the complexities of community governance. They adeptly handle fiduciary responsibilities, thanks to the deep immersion in these aspects during their training. This is particularly critical in places like Florida, where laws governing community associations are frequently updated. Certified members are better prepared to adapt to these changes, ensuring continuous compliance and effective governance.


It is baffling and concerning that individuals can qualify to sit on a board without any formal training. This is especially problematic in states like Florida, where legal requirements can change yearly. This deficiency can undermine board operations and potentially lead to severe legal and financial consequences for the community.


To safeguard community interests, it is vital to maintain high standards in the educational courses provided to board members. I advocate for these courses to be taught exclusively by community association attorneys, whose expertise in legal matters guarantees comprehensive and current training. Additionally, involving a community association management company like Affinity Management in these trainings can offer further practical insights into boards' challenges, providing a more realistic perspective on what board members can expect.


Recent legislative changes requiring HOA board members to undertake approved educational classes shortly after election or appointment represent progress. However, ensuring that only qualified professionals provide this training is crucial. I would prefer to see these courses required at least every two years due to the frequency of legislative changes, but the current progress is nonetheless a victory.


In conclusion, the shift towards mandatory education for board members represents a regulatory enhancement and a fundamental change towards more accountable, informed, and effective governance in community associations.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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