My only regret about ROC-A-PALOOZA: I couldn’t be there!

The practice of electing community leaders is not unique to ROCs. I’ve read many times that a third of owned homes in the U.S. are in some type of association managed neighborhood. It’s surprising, but when you consider Planned Unit Developments and condominiums to, increasingly, co-ops and resident corporations, the numbers add up.

Democratic associations in every case rely on volunteer community leaders — members who take responsibility for the organization and neighborhood as a whole.  It’s a lot of responsibility.

The recent ROC-A-PALOOZA in Silverton, Oregon, focused on bringing such leaders from ROCs in Oregon and Washington together for information sharing and some laughs.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard, “The training was good but the best part was getting together with other ROC leaders.”

The CASA and Northwest Co-op Development Center planners — the two TA providers who planned and executed on the event — knew to build in a lot of peer-to-peer networking and group discussions.  I understand from Mary O’Hara of ROC USA Network, who also attended, that the group came alive with discussions with one another.  I give hearty and heartfelt congratulations and kudos to the staff at CASA of Oregon and Northwest Co-op Development Center who worked so hard for so long to bring this event together.

Thank you to members of the CASA team — Julie Massa, Terri Smith, Rosemary Tucker, and Chelsea Catto and to the Northwest Co-op Development Center team — Teresa Young, Daniel Arranaga, and Diane Gasaway.

And, thank you ROC leaders from nine ROCs in Washington and Oregon who volunteered yet more time to hone your skills, support one another, and expand your knowledge!

  • Bella Vista Estates Cooperative
  • Cascade Lakes Cooperative
  • Clackamas River Community Cooperative
  • Green Pastures Senior Cooperative
  • Hidden Village Cooperative
  • Horizon Homeowners Cooperative
  • Saunders Creek Homeowners Cooperative
  • Vida-Lea Community Cooperative
  • West-Side Pines Cooperative

I am thankful that Mary recorded some of what these outstanding community leaders said as they introduced their ROCs.  Lynda Mallory, treasurer of Hidden Village Cooperative in Washington, delivered: “If I had my way, every community would be resident owned.” I’m hard-pressed to summarize the benefits of resident-owned communities any more succinctly or passionately than Lynda did. ROC on, Lynda!

Here are a few other great reports from the Northwest ROCs:

“There are two things I always say: first, we are running a business.  We are running a business and we have to think that way.  Second, when people stop me to tell me their complaints or ideas, or questions, I say, ‘I’ll take it to the Board.’ We don’t do anything on our own.  We take it to the Board.”

Dan Fountain, President, Vida Lea Community Cooperative

“We are in control of our own destiny.  Parks are being bought and sold in our area every day, but we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

Duane Brumbaugh, Member, Green Pastures Senior Cooperative

“This is a business, and we run it like a business, but it is our dream.”

Richard Day, West-Side Pines Cooperative,

“We are a family community.  We have a lot of kids.  It’s all for the kids.  We do this for the kids.”

Tracey Jordan, Secretary, Cascade Lakes Cooperative

“We have a waiting list to get into our community.”

Tony Weisbecker, VP, Clackamas River Community Cooperative

“Being resident-owned, a coop, we know our homes have more value.”

Sam Morris, President, Saunders Creek

“We are all full.  People want to move in.”

Lauren Jeffery, Horizon Homeowners Cooperative

“We’ve already had an offer to buy our community to build university housing!”

Leigh Crain, Member, West-Side Pines

Thank you!  I love your wisdom and dedication. The sentiment, the motivation to volunteer and the community pride shine through in a way that couldn’t be manufactured. You’re why we built ROC USA Network in the first place — to make resident ownership (and all the security and benefits that come with it) viable nationwide.

The ROC-A-PALOOZA is one more example — and a great one at that — that ROC USA Network’s TA providers don’t just shake hands at the closing and say “good luck”.  We stick with you and your communities to help you succeed.  Stable and secure resident-owned communities that stand the test of time, that’s our aim!

For those who missed this one, please watch for a Washington State ROC-A-PALOOZA in 2015 — you will love it!