Leadership in Flux: SLW Board Members Resign


Insider Staff Writer

Three members of the Seven Lakes West Board of Directors, including the president, resigned unexpectedly last month amid ongoing turnover within the community’s senior leadership.

Josh Davis, who had just been appointed president after taking over the role last fall; Jim Greaves, who had most recently been board treasurer; and Bruce Keyser resigned during a meeting Friday, April 15.

Their resignations came less than a month after the community elected three new board members: Kevin Gustafson, Frank Ingham and Coe Huddleston.

None of the three offered public explanations for their surprise decisions. In an email sent to property owners on April 16, the association said that board Vice President Jack Roberts was now the board’s president and that the association’s recruitment committee would take applications for the three vacant positions. That process is ongoing.

“The day-to-day operations will not be impacted during this transition period as the Community Management team will continue to manage our community,” the email statement said. “In addition, our committees will continue to provide the board with planning and guidance in all areas, which include financial, infrastructure, legal affairs, communications, safety and security, lake, and dam. Our communities’ governance is comprised of volunteers who are instrumental in keeping SLW the great community that it is.

“The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to always govern in the best interests of SLW. It is our intent to be as transparent as possible during the board transition period in efforts to keep the community apprised. We hope that interested members of our community apply for consideration through the recruiting process.”

In addition to the board turnover, the association’s committee structure was upset on Friday, April 21 when it was announced on the Seven Lakes West Facebook page that Architectural Review Committee chairman Joe Easley was no longer in that position and that vice chair Randy Sheffield had resigned as a result of that change. The ARC is responsible for reviewing and approving building, renovation and remodeling projects.

No reason was given for the ARC changes. Given the significant growth and development within Seven Lakes West in the last several years, the ARC has a prominent role within the community.

Satisfaction among some property owners had been waning in recent months as the board rolled out a budget that called for an almost 18 percent increase in dues. The recently approved budget increases dues from $1,550 a year to $1,826 for SLW property owners. Projections shared with property owners last fall showed that dues could increase to approximately $2,300 in the next few years as costs go up to maintain and improve amenities such as Lake Auman, an expanded mailhouse and upgraded roads and facilities.

On the community’s Facebook page, which is one of the few forums available for SLW property owners to comment and share information among themselves, a number of residents expressed concern about the community’s leadership moving forward.

“I am saddened for our community that 3 dedicated members of our Board — Josh Davis, Bruce Keyser, and Jim Greaves — have resigned,” said resident Pat Zlotin, a former board president and vice president whose term recently ended. “I worked with them and know they did not take this action lightly as they love SLW and worked long hours to make the right decisions for our community.  I hope all of SLW will thank them for their time and commitment.”

Jack Lattin, who leads the association’s Communications Committee, wrote of “a sad day for the community members.”

“Three dedicated volunteers with years of experience leaving us with inexperienced people running a multi million dollar organization is a recipe for failure,” Lattin wrote. “A great big thank you to the three volunteers who worked tirelessly for the membership. We can expect a stormy year ahead for sure. There isn’t any substitute for knowledge and experience.”

The board was expected to address the leadership turnover at its monthly meeting on April 25, which occurred too late to be included in this edition. Check thesevenlakesinsider.com for the latest details.

Contact John Nagy at (910) 693-2507 or john@thepilot.com.