By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(June 13, 2019) Ocean Pines Association interim General Manager John Viola agreed to a six-month extension of his services with the board of directors last Thursday while the association searches for a more permanent replacement.
The terms of the agreement between Viola and the board are good through Dec. 1.
Viola, a former budget and finance advisory committee chairman and current association treasurer, has served as interim general manager since March.
As general manager, Viola will execute and administer policies of Ocean Pines as set by the board of directors and governing documents. He will handle hiring, evaluation and termination of employees as necessary, and oversee financial and business operations of Ocean Pines.
“We talked to John about his tenure, saying, ‘Hey, every day we get you is another bonus. You could walk out here tomorrow,’” President Doug Parks said. “The idea would be can we do something to have that continuity and that was the genesis of what we put together.
Parks and other members of the board organized a special meeting to prepare an agreement extending Viola’s service until the end of the year, citing his successes since accepting the temporary position.
“One of the things we wanted to do was continue the continuity that we’ve started,” Parks said. “We’ve seen a lot of success based on when we first didn’t have a GM and when we put a transition management team in place. Then we worked closely with John and other members of the staff to try and put this structure together with the intent of building the right strata within the organization so that decisions can be made across the organization rather than at one point.
“John was instrumental in making sure that responsibilities were put in the right areas of the organization and actually bolstered his ability to have things go through, and we noticed right away, more and more things were happening,” he continued. “They were minor things, but every little thing that gets done is a plus, so the accumulative effect of all of those minor advances was a big advantage.”
More importantly, the agreement will allow the association to search for a more permanent replacement without rushing the process.
“It prevents us from taking somebody who has been intimately involved in a lot of these things out of the equation in the middle of all these projects and bringing somebody new in,” Parks said. “We’re not putting out fires and trying to back-fill something, we’re actually taking a more proactive approach and not only are we not rushing, but we’re actually getting some insight from somebody who understands OPA that can help us with that search going forward.”
Viola, for his part, is happy to help the community flourish.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with the very team we have here … especially during our busy season here,” Viola said. “We’re getting a lot accomplished, we have a lot of initiatives as far as construction, implementation of software, and there’s a lot of good stuff going on and looking forward to achieving it.”