The votes to elect members of our Board of Directors were tallied at the Annual Meeting on October 7th. Kiran Jala and Stephen Hoffman received the first and second most votes, meaning their terms will last for three years. Mark Grimley and Nick Khawaja received the third and fourth most votes, meaning their terms will last for two years. We took some time recently to get to know the newest member of the board, Mark Grimley.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in New York. I spent my entire life there up until undergraduate school, when I graduated from The City College of New York. I studied history there, and received my B.A. after a long interest in history going back to the third grade. After graduation, I went north and attended the University of Minnesota where I spent six years there working on my doctorate.
What was your professional life like after school?
I had always worked as an undergraduate at the college’s registrar’s office. I had made many friends there, and one of them recommended them to another college at the university. I was hired as an Assistant Registrar, and began to work my way up to Acting Registrar over the course of five years. I had been there for some time, and decided to leave on the same day that they decided to grant me tenure. I was recruited to come to DC to serve as Director of Admissions and Director of IT for the largest high school student exchange program in the world. I did that for 14 years, before leaving to become an independent consultant, which I’ve been doing since 1993. I work with large, national not-for-profit organizations, helping them to identify, acquire, and implement software to run their backroom operations. That usually involves fundraising, membership, general ledgers. Everything it takes to run the guts of an organization get taken care of, so they go about focusing on whatever their particular mission might be.
Do you have any plans for retiring?
Today, I’m supposedly semi-retired. But, I gave my word to one of my oldest clients that has been with me from the very beginning. I always told them that, when they had the funding, I would help them do a complete conversion of the antiquated software which was no longer being supported. For the last 18 months, I’ve been working with them, and we’re almost at the point where implementation is finally complete. I’ll return to semi-retirement soon, which will afford me all the time in the world to dedicate to the LVII HOA.
What brought you to the LVII community?
My wife and I lived in Fairfax County for 20+ years. At our age and being empty nesters, we were looking to downsize. A friend of ours pointed out the community, and we really liked its planning. We bought a brand new carriage house, with a minimal amount of things to take care of. We really liked the amenities, and knew that the metro would be coming out here within several years, which makes it easier to take advantage of what’s downtown without having to drive. The combination of factors made it the perfect place for us, and we moved in 13 years ago.
What is your experience with HOAs?
Before I moved here, I didn’t have any experience with HOAs. But they’re run just like any other business. The only difference is the service they’re providing. In Fairfax County, I served on the Healthcare Advisory Board. I was appointed by the Board of Supervisors, even though I was one of the few non-medical professionals on the board. I did that for eight years, things like reviewing the budget of hospitals and emergency services, special exceptions for land use and facilities. We granted the permits for building the Fair Oaks and Reston hospitals. I’ve now served on the ARC for a good number of years, though I’m stepping down as the chair now that I’ve been elected to the board. In New Jersey, I was the treasurer of the local political offices as a party officiant.
What led to to become active with the LVII HOA?
When we moved in, we came to every board meeting when Toll was in charge. I’ve missed maybe six meetings over the year. I definitely made my presence known.
What will your role be on the board as the newest member?
There are four named positions, so I’m the “at large” member. First and foremost, I will be the liaison between the board and all standing committees. I will not vote at these committees, I will just attend meetings and listen to make sure that we’re all following the same path. Secondly, I’ll be conducting the monthly meetings. We’re going to be following the rules of order to a great degree than we’ve done in the past.
When the board was created by (and dominated by) Toll Brothers, it was three officials. When the homeowners took over, the board could exist anywhere from three to five members. In that first year, we elected three officials with the proviso that we’d add a fourth in the coming year, and then we’d add a fifth the year after that. That way, we’d always have overlapping terms. I am that fifth. This way, we have continuity of membership in terms of elected officials.
The board is run as a collegial group. When the board decides that something needs to be done, someone will step up if it’s not already in someone’s job description. I’m not coming in with a fixed agenda, nor am I trying to micromanage when we have a professional staff and management company.
Do you think you’ll be running again in two years when your term is up?
I haven’t the foggiest notion. I don’t have any plans of leaving, but I don’t really believe in board members getting to live in perpetuity in their positions. As long as I think I’m being effective, I’m going to continue. But effectiveness it judged by others and not myself.
What do you see in LVII’s future?
In the end, this is a 15 year old community that is still building. So we have this dichotomy where we have portions of the community that are aging, and portions of it that are brand new. We have to maintain the community as it ages, and make sure it’s an attractive community when compared with others in the area.