FT. LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - February 16, 2010) - Community association leaders from across Florida will gather in Orlando March 23 to salute communities that have adopted innovative solutions and best practices in maintaining and improving the quality of life for residents.

The Florida Communities of Excellence Conference & Awards Ceremony, from 1 pm to 7 pm, at the Fairwinds Alumni Center of the University of Central Florida Main Campus in Orlando, Tuesday, March 23, will recognize condominium and homeowners associations that are setting the standards in categories ranging from Disaster Preparedness and Civic Volunteerism, to Environmental Protection & Preservation and Financial Innovation. Community Association Boards, residents and managers are invited to attend the free event, which includes a gala reception, by registering at http://www.communitiesofexcellence.net/2010_conferrence.html.

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards are judged by independent experts from the fields of journalism, community management, consulting, public safety, public policy, education and environmental advocacy. For 2010, 18 communities will be recognized in nine categories, with separate judging for communities that have more than 200 units and communities with fewer than 200 units. A list of the 54 finalists can be found at http://www.communitiesofexcellence.net/2010_finalists.html.

The half-day event also includes a conference program that focuses on the latest strategies for maintaining financial stability of communities in difficult economic times and "Green" programs that save communities money while preserving Florida's natural environment.

Joseph L. Minnich III, Senior Risk Manager, Project Standards, Fannie Mae, will keynote the conference program. Mr. Minnich will provide an update on the government-sponsored lending enterprise's "Special Approval" program to support the Florida Condominium market. He will review the current housing market, revised lending guidelines and what association leaders and managers can do to ensure attractive mortgage options are available for buyers and sellers of properties within their communities.

The conference's audience-involving panel discussions and Q&A's will feature financial, legal, environmental, community management and government leaders:

--  Orlando Sentinel real estate writer Mary Shanklin will moderate
    "Communities in Flux - Strategies for Maintaining Financial Stability
    in Troubled Economic Times" with panelists, Ken Arnold, Association
    Financial Services; Jeremy Hollis, MetroWest Master Association;
    Jerry Libbin, Miami Beach City Commissioner; and David Muller,
    Becker & Poliakoff.

--  "Sustainability: What Can Green Do For You? - Saving Money AND Saving
    the Earth," moderated by Tim Center, executive director of Sustainable
    Florida, will include Kyle Abney, U.S. Green Building Council South
    Florida Chapter; Malcolm Barnes, Progress Energy Florida; Ron Duprey,
    Associa; and Deirdre Irwin, Florida WaterStar Program.

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is the first and only independently-judged state-wide program that recognizes innovative solutions to challenges facing condominium and homeowner associations. 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 statewide law firm.

The 2010 Awards 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 Associa, Association Financial Services, AmeriFlood, Aquatic Systems, Comcast, CondoConduit, The Continental Group, Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Progress Energy Florida, Service America and Superior Bank.

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