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Ocean Pines gives general manager Viola four-year contract

Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Viola has signed a four-year contract extension to continue in his position, with an option for a fifth year.

Viola and Farr

Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors President Rick Farr is pictured with General Manager John Viola..
Photo courtesy Ocean Pines Association

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer

Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Viola has signed a four-year contract extension with an option for a fifth year. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the decision on Monday, July 8.

Viola has served as the community’s general manager since April 2019. He was initially meant to temporarily fill the position following John Bailey’s resignation. In June 2019, Viola signed a six-month agreement, which has been extended several times.

“We believe that under the leadership of Mr. Viola, Ocean Pines has achieved significant milestones in keeping Ocean Pines financially strong and continuing to keep all our amenities top-notch,” OPA Board President Rick Farr said in a press release issued by Public Relations and Marketing Director Josh Davis. “The new contract reflects the Board’s commitment to providing stability and continuity in leadership and also underscores our confidence in the General Manager’s vision, strategic direction, and ability to navigate the challenges and opportunities facing Ocean Pines.”

In a statement released by Viola, who is expected to have an annual salary of $210,000, he emphasizes this monetary success, claiming that the “updated flash estimate for the fiscal year 2023-2024 is a nearly $1.2 million favorable variance to budget.”

“To get good results, an organization and management has to realize what your KPIs are — what’s driving your organization, what’s driving your results, where to put your assets, and where to put your money and invest your time,” the general manager said. “That has been our focus for the last five years and will continue to be our focus.”

Amenities are helping to create this financial positivity. According to Viola, golf is among the highest contributing factors, with $220,000 in favorability and an $87,000 improvement over the last year.

Amenity membership has also increased 17% since the prior year. Golf and racquet sports have seen the most significant rise.

The association has prioritized course maintenance, as golf has proven to be a money-maker for the community. The new golf club irrigation system project is underway, and materials for phase one have arrived. The first part of the proposal will include replacing pump stations at the first and ninth holes and the driving range. The total cost for this stage is $934,000.

Viola maintained that the construction would have little impact on daily operations at the course.

Davis said that Viola has been an Ocean Pines homeowner for 15 years. Originally from New York, the general manager is a certified accountant with an MBA from Pace University, specializing in management and tax management. He also received his undergraduate degree from Manhattan College.

Viola has been a Certified Public Accountant in the private sector. He spent 28 years with Avon, finishing as the assistant global controller, Davis said.

Once in Ocean Pines, the general manager dedicated his time to the Budget and Finance Committee as the chair for four years. Before accepting his current role in 2019, Viola volunteered as OPA’s treasurer and chief financial officer.

“In six years as general manager, Viola has overseen six consecutive fiscal years with a positive variance to budget and four-straight years with a favorability greater than $1 million,” Davis said. “During that span, OPA also lowered the assessment, and increased spending on public safety, maintenance, and drainage, among other areas.”

Upkeeping the community has been a priority for Viola. In his statement, he claims that maintenance efforts at the Beach Club have included parking lot cleaning and shower repairs.

Brainbridge Park and Bridgewater Park playground equipment was power washed, the community pools were cleaned and inspected before Memorial Day, and the Pine’eer Craft Club received a new storage shed.

“I have enjoyed working with a professional Board, and I’m very hopeful that we will continue to produce for Ocean Pines,” Viola said. “Our achievements over the past six years reflect the hard work and dedication of the entire Ocean Pines team. I look forward to continuing our efforts to enhance the quality of life for all our homeowners and to ensure that Ocean Pines remains a thriving and vibrant community.”

This story appears in the July 11, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.