Industry News – May 2017

Piccin joins Bakalar & Associates, PA

Raymond Piccin was admitted to practice law in Florida in 1998 and New York in 1999. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting in 1992 from the State University of New York at Albany, received his law degree from Albany Law School of Union University in 1996 and his M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Piccin received his Master of Laws in Estate Planning from the University of Miami.

Mr. Piccin has an extensive background in the representation of community associations throughout Florida. He was a partner and the managing attorney of a regional office for a statewide community association law firm and provided its clients with legal guidance regarding collections, foreclosure, drafting and negotiating contracts (including bulk cable contracts), corporate governance, code enforcement, property damage claims against insurance companies as well as construction defect claims against developers and contractors. Mr. Piccin has also worked extensively with clients regarding Life Safety Codes for buildings and the Florida Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”). In addition to Florida and New York, Mr. Piccin is admitted to the U.S. Southern District and Northern Districts of Florida and the US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Mr. Piccin also practices in the area of counseling individuals, small businesses and business owners regarding elder law, estate planning and succession planning, Medicaid planning, shareholder agreements, ownership transition, Probate & Trust Administration as well as Probate and Trust Litigation.

Seacrest Services promotes Hanna as president; Hires Malloy and Marschall

Seacrest Services Inc., a community association management company in South Florida, announced that they have promoted Executive Vice President Anjanette Hanna to the position of president. The expansion also includes the hiring of two new business development managers, Eric Malloy and Kurt Marschall.  They will focus their efforts on acquiring more of the Tri-County’s market share.

Seacrest’s new president is no stranger to customer service, and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. She joined the company in 2001 as the director of customer service and information technology after holding several senior management level positions with Fortune 500 companies. Anjanette Hanna was appointed to the Executive Board of Seacrest Services in 2003. Her commitment to customer service has been the backbone of the company’s solid growth each year. Hanna is excited to bring a new perspective to the top seat at Seacrest.

In the 16 years that Hanna has been with the company, she has researched and implemented technological advances that created better solutions for the benefit of hundreds of associations and residents.  Born and raised in Boynton Beach, Fla., she has been observing the evolution of the local communities and has applied the trends to Seacrest’s multiple divisions in order to provide customized solutions for its clients.  Not skipping a beat, Anjanette immediately implemented a plan that expands the company’s Business Development department. “No longer will new business be a singular approach, we are broadening our efforts” says Hanna.

Having worked in the residential, commercial and governmental landscape services sector, Eric Malloy brings a wealth of property management and landscape experience to his new position within the business development team. Given the opportunity to merge his passion for the environment, and the satisfaction of bringing solutions to clients and communities, Malloy says Seacrest is the perfect fit.

Kurt Marschall has an outstanding record of developing long-term client relationships with 14-years in national sales and building strong customer service. This approach gives him and Seacrest the platform to serve our communities more effectively.

Florida Legislature approves landmark bill allowing high rises to opt out of installing fire sprinkler and engineered life safety systems
Becker & Poliakoff lobbying team scores win for condo associations

In a major victory for Florida’s condominium owners, the Florida Legislature last week approved a bill allowing a key opt-out provision for installing fire sprinkler and engineered life safety systems in older high-rise buildings. Becker & Poliakoff shareholder and former State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff spearheaded the targeted advocacy initiative that passed this landmark legislation. The bill now heads to Governor Rick Scott for his signature.

“Becker & Poliakoff’s effort was a success against tremendous odds and stiff resistance from numerous special interests, including the Florida and American Fire Sprinkler Associations,” said Bogdanoff, who worked in close partnership with community association members statewide to achieve the win. “Ultimately, however, this bill is a success for the communities we represent.”

For more than a decade, older high-rise condominiums and cooperatives throughout Florida have tried to clarify their legal rights regarding sprinkler system retrofitting requirements. In fact, Florida is the only state in the U.S. that did not make a grandfathering exception for buildings pre-dating the 1994 Life Safety Code proposed by the National Fire Protection Association. As a member of the Florida House in 2010, Bogdanoff sponsored a bill entitling associations to opt out of certain fire sprinkler requirements. Despite that bill’s passage, as the December 31, 2016, deadline came and went, older high rises that had previously voted to opt out of a sprinkler system were told by local fire officials that they were still required to install sprinklers as part of an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) with no opt-out rights.

The bill passed last week, originally proposed in the House by Rep. George Moraitis (R-Fort Lauderdale) and sponsored in the Senate by Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), most significantly gives high-rise communities the ability to opt out of an ELSS and provides high rises that might have missed the original December 31, 2016, deadline to also opt out of a full sprinkler retrofit.

“This bill will save associations millions of dollars by not requiring them to retrofit older high rises with an ELSS,” Bogdanoff said. “It is a huge win against the special interests that profit from the retrofitting requirement and lack evidence confirming that installing an ELSS is necessary for the safety of residents.”

Donna DiMaggio Berger, Becker & Poliakoff shareholder, added: “We hope this is a harbinger of future campaigns where community associations drive the bus, as it were, on determining the issues affecting their communities. It’s vital that these decisions are made on the association level rather than the state level.”

Becker & Poliakoff, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, is a multi-practice commercial law firm with more than 150 attorneys, lobbyists and other professionals. More information is available at www.bplegal.com

 

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