FT. LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - November 2, 2009) - Providing community associations in Florida an opportunity to be recognized for accomplishments in nine categories, the 2010 edition of the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards was kicked off today with a call for entries from community managers, board members and residents at condo and HOA communities statewide. Complete information and nomination forms are available at www.communitiesofexcellence.net

Based on the level of participation and enthusiasm demonstrated by communities across the state for last year's inaugural program, the 2010 edition will feature an expanded number of awards categories, an enlarged panel of expert judges and an educational conference for community leaders to meet and share best practices.

The first annual Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony will take place March 23, 2010 at the Fairwinds Alumni Center of the University of Central Florida Main Campus in Orlando. The conference will focus on educating board members and professional managers with presentations by last year's winners, judges and experts in the industry. It will culminate with a gala awards ceremony and reception.

The first and only independently-judged state-wide program that recognizes innovative solutions to challenges facing condominium and homeowners associations and the contributions made by these communities to general community welfare, the Awards are sponsored by the Florida Community Association Journal, the leading publication for community association managers and board members, and Becker & Poliakoff, PA., a Ft. Lauderdale-based law firm.

"The 2009 inaugural program provided a wealth of examples of communities that go the extra distance both to ensure the well-being of their residents and in civic engagement that gives back to the community at large," said Jim McMurry, publication director, Florida Community Association Journal. "Last year's large number of entries and the tremendous turn-out of residents at our Tallahassee awards event encouraged us to expand the 2010 program.

"This year we will recognize a wider range of accomplishments and innovations through the awards themselves, profiles in the pages of our magazine, and with the new Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony, a way for community leaders to share best practices and learn from one another."

Said attorney Ken Direktor, head of Becker & Poliakoff's state-wide community association practice, "It's important to salute the dedicated efforts of communities throughout the state who are setting the standard in meeting today's challenges."

For 2010, a total of 18 communities will be recognized for their achievements in nine categories, with separate judging in each category for communities that have more than 200 units and communities with fewer than 200 units. The 2010 Awards categories include:


--  Environmental Protection & Preservation
--  Energy/Water Conservation

Operations & Maintenance

--  Disaster Preparedness
--  Safety & Security
--  Financial Innovation

Communications & Community Development

--  Community Relations & Communications
--  Best Website
--  Civic Volunteerism & Advocacy
--  Family Friendly Programs & Initiatives

A distinguished panel of independent experts statewide in fields ranging from safety & security to the environment, from disaster preparedness to communications and civic volunteerism will evaluate entries. A complete list of judges can be found at www.communitiesofexcellence.net/judges.

Finalists will be announced in the March issue of the Florida Community Association Journal. Winners will be announced at the Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony, March 23, 2010, from 1 PM to 6 PM, at the Fairwinds Alumni Center of the University of Central Florida Main Campus in Orlando. Details on the agenda and ticket information will be available at www.communitiesofexcellence.net.

The 2010 Awards also are being enhanced by participation of companies that are dedicated to serving the residents of condominiums and homeowner associations who have joined as 2010 corporate sponsors, including Comcast, Progress Energy Florida, The Continental Group, Association Financial Services, AmeriFlood, CondoConduit and Aquatic Systems.

There is no cost to submit an entry and communities may enter in multiple categories. The deadline for submissions is January 15.

About the Florida Community Association Journal

Founded in 1986, the Florida Community Association Journal provides news and vital information to operators of condominiums, homeowners associations, cooperatives and other multi-unit communities and has earned the reputation of being the industry's most authoritative voice. The monthly publication contains news and feature articles dealing with areas of interest to managers and board members, including legal matters, accounting practices, insurance, rules enforcement, cost-saving practices, industry events, building and grounds maintenance, security solutions, education and more. Additional information at www.flcaj.com/.

About Becker & Poliakoff P.A.

Becker & Poliakoff is a diverse commercial law firm with more than 130 attorneys in 13 Florida offices, New York City, New Jersey, Nassau, Bahamas, Prague and affiliated international offices. Celebrating its thirty sixth (36th) year of serving clients, the firm has seven primary areas of practice: Real Estate, Construction, Community Association, Customs & International Trade, Commercial Litigation, Corporate, Tax & Securities, and Government Law & Lobbying. For more information, visit: www.becker-poliakoff.com

Contact Information: Media Contact: Alan Penchansky The Pen Group Communications (305) 529-1944 alan@thepengroup.com