Ralph and Jenny Gelder incorporated ECAM in June 1994. At the time, they lived in the Sandestin community and Ralph was the President of the homeowners association in which they lived. In his dealings with the management companies of the day, it dawned on Ralph that managing an association could have a more customized service with the personal touch of a family business. A lack of competition in the area didn’t allow for many options in selecting a management company. He felt that his experience in being a Board President, coupled with his previous careers in the public utilities and banking industry, would bring fresh ideas a personal touch to association management. Ralph and Jenny sat around their dinner table and laid out the framework for ECAM, a company based around the values of education, communication, timeliness, and family.
In 1995 Ralph got his 1st management contract, an association within Sandestin. Two more management contracts were signed later that year. Less than a year later in 1996, Hurricane Opal hit the Gulf Coast and devastated the Destin/Miramar Beach area. Undoing the storm’s damage for its new properties was the company’s first major challenge. This key test for ECAM and its staff created many professional relationships that still exist today. ECAM rose to the challenge and became a respected and qualified option for association management.
In 1997 Ralph’s son Jay Gelder joined the firm and began his career in association management. Two years later his wife Lisa also joined ECAM and began managing properties. When Ralph retired in 2003, Jay and Lisa purchased the company and continued to build on the original framework that was crafted at a dinner table almost 10 years earlier.
In 2004 Community Associations Institute (CAI), the international organization for association management professionals, presented ECAM with the title of AAMC (Accredited Association Management Company). This distinguished accreditation is only awarded to management companies that meet many qualifications and are a leader in their industry. We continue to be the only AAMC in the Destin and Miramar Beach areas.
In 2010 Jay’s son Justin joined the firm after graduating from the University of Central Florida with a BSBA in Marketing.
In 2019 ECAM celebrated 25 years in business, a huge feat in the association management industry. It has been a family owned business since 1994 and has been locally owned and operated since it’s inception. We pride ourselves on having an educated, friendly, and knowledgeable staff, as well as superior and accurate accounting services to manage association funds. Two of our top managers have gained a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) certification from CAI.
ECAM has the experience and technology of a large scale firm, but with the personal touch of a family business. Contact us now and see what we can do for your Association!