Bernie Grablowsky, PhD, PCAM, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Bernie’s interests include hiking, wilderness horseback riding and mountain biking in Colorado each summer as well as travelling throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. He is still adding to his “bucket list.” Bernie is an avid reader of fiction on vacations, but sticks to business publications at home. His newest passion is swimming and he continues to add laps, and distance, in his quest to “mile” each week.
As a builder, developer, real estate investor and consultant, Bernie brings many years of experience to UPA clients.
Prior to starting UPA in 1978, Bernie was Chairman of the Department of Finance at Old Dominion University. He holds degrees in civil engineering and management from Georgia Tech and a doctorate in finance from Ohio State, with post-doctoral study at The Wharton School.
After many years as President of UPA, Bernie’s desire is to help nurture the company’s growth and development as the region’s premier management company for the next generation of his family.
Debra Grablowsky Young, CMCA, President
Debra began her career by graduating from an intensive management development program and continued her career at MBNA, SunTrust and GE in marketing, management and business development roles. She joined UPA in 2009. She was brought on board to maintain the operational integrity of UPA through the
creation of policies and procedures, employee retention programs, and business development efforts.
An enthusiastic traveler, Debra recently visited South Africa, Hawaii and Belize. She enjoys baking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her friends and family, most of all her two sons. She holds a degree in Business Management from University of Delaware and a brokers license in Virginia. She is actively pursuing her AMS certification.
Georgenne S. Cox, Senior Vice President
Georgenne, originally from the Washington, D.C. area began her work experience for a non-profit organization working towards bettering the lives of senior citizens. After transferring to San Antonio, she became interested in property management. She joined UPA in 1985 and has been instrumental in helping the organization grow.
A military spouse from a military family, Georgenne enjoys gardening, exercising and spending time at the “rivah” with family and friends. She can also knowledgably discuss why it’s a bad idea to rescue a dog with housebreaking issues. Her take: Life is good, just too short!
Craig L. Ward, Comptroller
A decade as a U.S. Navy Supply Corp Officer along with operating his own business made Craig a “teacher at heart” and he enjoys helping board members further their understanding of association financial statements. Most recently, Craig was instrumental in implementing a new association accounting system at UPA.
An avid sports fan, Craig is partial to the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots and bikes and walks for health and fitness. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration. Craig and his wife, Wendy, have twin sons and a daughter.
Maria Khrustselevskaya, Accounting Manager – Association Management Division
When traveling with her husband and her two sons, Maria’s favorite activities include reconnecting with nature at local, state and national parks. They also like to visit fine arts museums, especially if they are exhibiting works by her favorite painters – Raphael, Vermeer or van Gogh.
At UPA she oversees the Association Division accounting department. Maria draws on her accounting management experience at a fast growing telecommunications installation and service company as well as volunteer work at the United Nations. This background has also helped her to be a patient trainer who is able to communicate complex information in simple terms.
Maria holds an honors bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with Accounting and Audit majors.
Anita Loonam, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Vice President – Association Management Division
Anita’s favorite pastime is spoiling her grandson! She also enjoys gardening, traveling, fine dining and playing billiards. She placed 5th in the APA National Pool Tournament in Las Vegas in both 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments in 2014 and currently plays on two teams for the Southside APA league.
As Vice-President of the Association Management Division, Anita supervises the day-to-day operations of the department and is responsible for the employee and company growth and development. During her years of service with United Property Associates, Anita has a proven track record in customer service. She has redesigned the manager training curriculum for the division and oversees the mandatory monthly training programs to ensure that UPA’s managers are properly trained and up-to-date on any changes forthcoming in the industry.
Over the course of her career, she has earned her CMCA, AMS, & PCAM designations through the Community Associations Institute and is an active participant in the local SEVA-CAI chapter as well as the Central Virginia chapter in Richmond. Anita was recognized as Speaker of the Year in 2015 & 2016 and Recruiter of the Year in 2015 for the SEVA-CAI chapter.
Kelli Badary, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Assistant Director – Association Management Division
Kelli’s passion is to over-deliver and exceed expectations, including answering phone calls before they go to voice mail. Her love of yoga, running, hiking and caring for two Yorkies means she is equally energetic outside of the office.
As a call center team leader with an international consumer electronics manufacturer Kelli learned how important customer service satisfaction is to the product or services offered. At UPA she uses that experience to help teach association managers and board members the specifics of condominium and homeowner associations.
An expert in association law Kelli attends key association board meetings and works with new clients to set up boards and their documentation., assists with onboarding new clients and assists with the day-to-day management of the Association Division.
She has an Associate in Applied Science and earned her CMCA, AMS and PCAM professional designations through the Community Associations Institute.
Richard L. Shermer, CMCA, AMS
Richard likes to view the world from a few thousand feet up as a private pilot and also likes to turn back the clock as a “living historian” and Civil War reenactor. In between those activities he plays tennis, does genealogical research and searches out antiques with Margaret, his wife of thirty years.
Richard plays a large role in UPA’s growth as the Business Development Manager for the Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Newport News offices. He has had two “tours of duty” with UPA, from 2002 to 2004 and, after a career in higher education administration, returned in 2012. Richard credits his lifetime in front line customer service as inspiration in his daily dealings with residents, vendors and, what he considers his most important work, mentoring team members.
He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Susquehanna University
Benna Thomas, CMCA, AMS
Benna brings years of practical experience to UPA clients. She lives in a Homeowner’s Association where she has served as a board member. Prior to joining UPA in 2002, Benna worked as an Homeowner’s Association Site Manager. Her duties include portfolio management and supervision of Association Managers.
While serving in the U.S. Navy in Hawaii as a Hospital Corpsman Benna met Michael, her husband of 38 years. After leaving the Navy, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Benna’s three children and four grandchildren live in the area. Two rescued Pugs and other pets share the Thomas’s home.
Susan Smith, CMCA
With a background in hotel management, Susan brings a wealth of experience in customer service, facilities management and leadership to UPA. She enjoys yoga, cooking, travel and building sand castles at the beach with her three grandchildren.
Susan is the Office Manager for the Newport News office. In addition to excellent customer service, her goal is to educate boards and help them understand the governing documents, laws and contracts. Her regular newsletters provide additional information and support for homeowners.
Susan earned her CMCA professional designation through the Community Associations Institute.
AMS: Association Management Specialist prerequisites include:
- A minimum of two years verified experience in financial, administrative, and facilities management of at least one association
- Successful completion of at least two 200-level courses (M-201–M-206)
- Successfully passed the CMCA exam administered by NBC-CAM
CMCA: Certified Manager of Community Associations is the only national certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives. The CMCA recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the fundamental knowledge required to manage community associations.
To obtain the CMCA certification, a candidate must demonstrate basic knowledge in many areas of community management, including:
- Governance and legal matters
- Budgets, reserves, investments, and assessments
- Risk management and insurance
- Meetings management
- Human resource management
CPA: Certified Public Accountant is the statutory title of qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional state education and experience requirements for certification as a CPA.
MBA: The Master of Business Administration core courses are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.
PCAM: Professional Community Association Manager prerequisites include:
- Five years of direct community association management experience
- Successful completion of the PMDP M-200 level programs (with the last finished course having concluded within the past five years)
- Successfully passed the CMCA exam administered by NBC-CAM
PhD: a doctorate usually based on at least three years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded for graduate study.