Prior to founding AAM in 1990, Laura Ziff gained significant experience in real estate, development and property management while working with leading financial institutions in Phoenix.
When starting AAM, Ziff's goal was to "raise the bar" in providing community association management with an emphasis on integrity and superior customer service. These core fundamentals are still evidenced by the growth and reputation of AAM today and their dedication to delivering total peace of mind to their homeowners and Boards.
Laura worked as an educator for nearly a decade before changing her career path to community management. She continues to use her teaching skills to enhance the education level of her staff and clients as it relates to the management industry and building stronger communities.
As the president of AAM, Amanda Shaw is responsible for guiding the company’s daily operations as well as long-term strategic planning and financial matters. Formerly General Manager, she was named President in January 2004 and became a partner in 2013. Amanda began her career in the housing industry in 1995 as Assistant Controller for Del Webb’s Sun City West community. Within a few years, she rose to the position of Vice President of Finance for Del Webb’s Sun City Grand and later Anthem, where she remained until being named General Manager of AAM in 2002.
Amanda’s strong financial background and extensive experience gives her the leading edge in terms of fostering relationships with Board of Directors and formulating new business strategies.
Amanda graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of Mississippi in 1989. She is a CPA, licensed in the State of Mississippi. Amanda is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Mississippi Society of Public Accountants, and the Urban Land Institute. She has her CAAM® certification from the Arizona Association of Community Managers and is also a Board member for the organization.
Joel Kramer joined AAM as Partner and Co-CEO in 2005 and brings with him extensive experience in providing both traditional accounting and tax consulting services while specializing in business valuations and litigation consulting. Also a practicing CPA, Joel continues to serve as a Managing Director of CBIZ MHM, LLC.
With almost 30 years in the profession, Joel has worked with an array of businesses, including retail, wholesale distribution, real estate, manufacturing, legal and medical. Joel uses his significant strategic planning skills to help guide AAM into the future.
Michelle Dennis has been a part of AAM for over 10 years. She started as a Staff Accountant in 2005, while simultaneously studying for and receiving her Master of Accounting and Financial Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. She was promoted to Senior Staff Accountant in 2007, Department Manager in 2008 and became AAM’s Director of Corporate Accounting in 2011, a position she held until being named CFO in January, 2016.
One of Michelle’s major accomplishments during her tenure with AAM has been the creation and implementation of AAMResales.com, a custom, proprietary website developed for managing our communities’ resale activities. The website was designed to ensure our disclosure process would never be the reason that an escrow failed to close on time, and is regularly praised by Realtors and title companies as being the best in the industry.
In addition to her Masters’ degree, Michelle also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. She continues to expand her knowledge base by participating in conferences and seminars specific to CFOs such as the CFO Playbook for Private Companies Summit, hosted by CFO Publishing /Innovation Enterprise.
Ercell brings more than 26 years of community management experience to his position on AAM's Executive Team. Since joining the company in September 2000, he has served in a number of high-profile positions, including Community Manager, Vice President of Special Projects and most recently, Executive Vice President. Formerly the Community Manager at Anthem, Arizona, Ercell has extensive experience in the management of large-scale master planned communities and age-restricted communities. Prior to joining AAM, Ercell was the General Manager for Robson Communities’ Sun Lakes Phases II and III.
Ercell is responsible for overseeing the company's general strategic plan, as well as implementing training programs, property manager assignments and new legislation. He holds the CAAM® designation by AACM.
Eric is responsible for directing and managing the company’s computer operations and related functions, including communications, office systems, data management and data processing. A talented technology professional with strong experience in meeting the needs of end users ranging from CEOs to interns, Eric has served in a variety of leadership positions throughout his career. Just one of many highlights includes improving sales collection information from 85% to 99.5% by leading the rollout to integrate a POS system into a web based system in over 1,200 stores for Cold Stone Creamery. In addition, he has played an integral role in the systems operations of companies such as Russell Stover, Targus and The Little Gym. Eric joined AAM in 2010 from a computer forensics consulting firm, which helped AMD win a $1.25 billion dollar antitrust settlement against Intel. While working for a highly regarded IT outsourcing company, he managed technology environments for a number of different customer businesses. Eric became a partner in 2017.
Eric is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis on Information and Operations Management, from the University of Southern California.
Matt joined AAM in 2006 as a Staff Accountant. Over the years, Matt has taken on increased responsibilities and today holds the position of Vice President of Financial Management. Currently, Matt oversees a staff of over 40, including Accounting Managers, Staff Accountants, A/P, A/R & Billing Coordinators. Matt is responsible for AAM’s successful management of all financial and accounting related activities for all of our Association clients. These responsibilities include, meeting with clients to assist in developing strategic financial plans for their communities, managing banking relationships, and ensuring AAM is in compliance with standard GAAP requirements.
Matt brings more than 16 years of accounting experience to his position. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from The University of Utah. His knowledge and expertise assures the highest standard in evaluating accounting procedures and provides a level of expertise unmatched in the industry.
Lydia leads the HR team and is tasked with overseeing all aspects of Human Resources, including coaching, training, benefits, payroll and performance reviews. She first joined AAM as a Payroll and Benefits Manager in 2012, a position she held for two and a half years. She briefly left AAM after taking a position with GoDaddy™, a large technology company, but returned in March 2016 as our Director of Human Resources and was quickly promoted to Vice President of Human resources in August 2016.
Lydia holds a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) designation and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southwestern Christian University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a tireless advocate for employees and strives to ensure AAM is a great place to work and offers competitive benefits so we can continue to attract the best and brightest employees.