Volunteer Profile: Donna Cawthorne - At Home in Community Management

May 30, 2014

With all her years of experience in the field, Donna Cawthorne could write the book on Community Management! Donna has been with Mid-Atlantic Management/Associa for her entire 22-year career. She started as a part-time Administrator at a community in Doylestown and worked her way up to managing seven communities while earning her CAI designations, culminating with earning her PCAM in 2000.  In 2006, Donna became the on-site Community Manager of Heritage Creek Community Association, a prestigious over-55 community located in Warwick, PA. Donna’s special talent lies in her ability to interact with people. She is not only professional and knowledgeable in her field, she is also a kind and caring person who lends an ear to her homeowners no matter what her work load is at the time. Having been a portfolio Manager as well as an on-site Manager, Donna feels that she has seen many aspects of the career during her years in the field. As Donna stated, “One reason I love my job is because it is never boring. Something new that you never could have imagined always presents itself.”

Donna has served on the CAI Managers Committee for many years, and is currently Chair of the committee. In 2007, Donna was presented with the coveted Robert H. Wise, Sr. President’s Award for outstanding service and dedication, our Chapter’s highest award. She feels that it was a true honor to receive the award. She has always believed in CAI and what it stands for and goes above and beyond to help where she is needed.  She finds it rewarding to work with the committee to organize education programs for managers, not only helping them to achieve the points needed for their designations, but also to provide useful and interesting information related to all aspects of their work. She is proud of the huge variety of topics that have been presented by the committee over the years, and of the creative ideas that the members bring to the committee.

Donna grew up in Wyndmoor, a suburb of Philadelphia near Chestnut Hill. She attended Stevens School for Girls, Moravian College and graduated from Chestnut Hill College.  She resides in Doylestown, PA with John, her husband of 38 years. They just bought a motor home and are looking forward to touring the country and visiting friends. In her spare time, Donna enjoys anything related to dogs. She and her family raised two Yellow Labrador puppies for the Seeing Eye. She and her husband are currently involved in transporting rescue dogs from kill shelters in Kentucky to adoptive homes in our area. They are one link in a transport chain, sort of like an Underground Railroad for rescue dogs. She enjoys taking her own rescue dog Penny, a beagle-basset mix, to the local dog park. She also loves to visit with her daughter Julie in Philadelphia and son John in Portland, Oregon whenever she can.  Donna has been on a number of interesting boating vacations that include their own sailboat on the Chesapeake, taking several cruises on a historic schooner in Maine and taking a barge cruise in Southern France.

 In summary, if someone had told Donna 30 years ago that she would become a Community Manager, she would have thought they were kidding. A series of fortunate coincidences brought her to the field, and she has felt at home ever since.  

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