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KIVOH 2022 Innovation Award Winner Robert M. DeNichilo, Esq. Shares How Innovation Starts In-House

Collaboration and innovation continue to be two of Keystone’s guiding principles when providing the best service and experience to its community association partners. Often people consider innovation as solely a technological achievement. However, it’s defined as any “new method, idea, or product” which supports the continuing success of an organization.

This year 55 talented business partners participated in the annual KIVOH Innovation Award competition, each showcasing their ideas on how to shape the future of the community association industry. Submission criteria included the following:

  • What benefits are offered by the innovation?
  • How unique is the innovation among competitors?
  • How easy is it for the associations to adopt the innovation?
  • How effective is the innovation?
  • Is the innovation available now?

After a thorough panel review, this year’s KIVOH Innovation Award was given to Robert M. DeNichilo Esq. CCAL, Managing Partner of Nordberg DeNichilo, LLP.  It was his innovative approach to both client and in-house relations that helped him stand out from all the impressive entries.

Making Changes from the Inside Out

Robert strongly believes in engaging with clients in an ongoing manner rather than only when they have specific issues. As part of his innovation proposal, he shared updates to his firm’s annual retainer which uses modern technology to address evolving needs. He says, “The more we engage with our clients, the better service we provide. We’re more knowledgeable about the issues they’re facing, and they’re more comfortable coming to us and asking us questions.”

He goes on to share that his innovative approach to client engagement allows the firm to maintain a fuller picture and shed light on potential issues clients don’t consider. Therefore, they can provide the best legal advice, which potentially saves clients significant money and/or protects them from liability in a way they weren’t expecting.

Additionally, his innovation also illustrated the changes to the internal environment at his firm. The focus has shifted toward team development and training, as well as an emphasis on the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. Both with clients and in-house counsel, Robert’s approach focuses on goals and service rather than tracking hours in order to provide high-quality work. He identified this need for change during the height of the pandemic and concluded meeting client expectations can best be achieved by first supporting the internal team.

Securing an Important Spot Within the Community Association Industry

Nordberg DeNichilo, LLP specializes in community association law, business, and transactional matters, acting as general and corporate counsel for clients, as well as providing representation in civil litigation, real property disputes, alternative dispute resolution, contract matters, and appellate issues.

Next year will mark 30 years of practicing law for Robert as he continues to help clients across the state of California. He has been a member of the CAI California Legislative Active Committee (CLAC) for over a decade, regularly addressing and drafting language for state and federal legislation affecting community associations. He also currently serves as the CAI Orange County Chapter Board President and is one of the fewer than 175 nationwide attorneys to be admitted as a Fellow of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).

Congratulations go out once more to Robert and his team as they continue to lead the way for innovation in the industry!

Keystone continuously offers opportunities to empower HOAs, board members, and business partners to connect. To learn more about how our own innovative approach, services, and events can benefit your community, contact us today to get the conversation started.

Do HOA better.

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