About the Company

Rowell Incorporated celebrates more than 40 years in the community association management industry!

Deborah Warda and Kara Cermak, Owners

Committed to Superior Service

Rowell was incorporated in May of 1973, and presently we have 14 full-time employees. 
Rowell is entirely in the business of property management and owns no interest in any other firm, and no other firm owns an interest in Rowell. 
This independence has allowed us to provide our clients impartial and objective access to the best contractors in this industry. 
Our reputation with contractors is excellent and our fair bidding practices and clearly stated specifications allow our clients access
to a full range of competitive bids for all needed services on a regular basis.
We believe that the function of management is to implement the directives of the Board of Directors, and to bring to the attention of the Board of Directors
 problems and proposed solutions to these problems.  The accomplishment of this function requires professionalism in each individual of our staff. 
Presently, we manage a distinct portfolio of about 30 properties who share our vision of management, with two of these Associations being managed by us since December of 1978.

Mission Statement

To improve the quality of life at your home by treating you with respect, listening,
following up to ensure completion of your requests, and honoring our word. 
We take pride in knowing that when you move on in your life, we made a difference. 
When you think of excellence in property management, think of Rowell. 
Your confidence in our services is important to us.

Management Team

Kara Cermak, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®
Linked In Profile

Kara Cermak is the President and daughter of the founding owner of the Rowell, Incorporated.    She has over 21 years of experience with the company, managing communities  and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization.  In addition to continuing to manage a portfolio of communities, Kara also oversees the on-site community  management personnel for Rowell's communities.  As a leader in the industry and President/CEO of Rowell, Kara realizes the importance of improving our industry as a whole.    To that end, she has served as a Board Member for the Illinois Chapter of CAI for 8 years and also served as President of that Chapter for a year, and has helped to produce CAI-Illinois' award winning magazine, Common Interest, and radio show broadcast on WIND 560 AM for over 15 years.  Kara has appeared on the Channel 5 News in Chicago (July 25, 1998) to speak on behalf of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), and was quoted in a Chicago Crains Business article in November, 2003.  As a leader in the industry, Kara has set an example by obtaining professional designations to compliment her Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern Illinois University in Operations Management, achieving her CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Associations), AMS (Association Management Specialist), and PCAM (Professional Community Association Management) many years ago.  Her company is an AAMC (Accredited Association Management Company) and she has been involved with Illinois' push to create manager licensing within the state, for years.  She is now a part of CAI's National Faculty, teaching three of their courses.

Deborah Warda, CMCA®, AMS®
Vice President/Principal 


Several years ago, Deborah Warda became Vice President and also, an owner of Rowell Incorporated. Deborah holds both the CMCA and AMS designations
 through CAI and she brings knowledge of the construction field along with experience as the board president of a townhome community years ago.  Deborah's no-nonsense approach to management and our clients continues to develop strong relationships with our communities and their membership.


Aaron Kropp
Accounts Receivable Manager

Aaron Kropp is an Accounts Receivable Manager with Rowell.  In this role, he coordinates all aspects of assessment collection, including customer inquiries,
closings and delinquency recovery.  Aaron is committed to streamlining the receivables process, reducing costs by implementing new technology,
 and ensuring compliance standards are maintained.


Kimberly Fivelson, MBA, CMCA®, AMS®
Portfolio Manager


Kimberly Fivelson joined the Rowell team in September 2008. Before joining Rowell, she was a manager overseeing a billing and collections department in the alarm industry and has worked as a paralegal specializing in corporate transactions, regulatory, licensing and real estate matters for two major international corporations. 
Kimberly’s business and legal experience help her provide well-rounded support to the associations she manages.  She received her undergraduate degree in Paralegal Studies from Southern Illinois University and obtained her Master’s in Business Administration in 2006 from Northern Illinois University. Kimberly also brings with her a diverse perspective having served as a past board member in both condominium and community association communities, having acted as President. This personal experience  assists her in relating to both the board members and homeowners of her community.  Kimberly has achieved her CMCA and AMS designation from CAI.

Jordan Yousif
Executive Assistant


Jordan Yousif is the Assistant Managing Agent on twelve of Rowell’s properties and processes invoices amongst other duties. She came to Rowell, as a part time employee, while attending college where she earned her Bachelors in Criminal Justice.  After completing college, Jordan was offered a full time position with Rowell which she accepted. Internally, Jordan enjoys ironing out the kinks, with the help of Christine Kott, of the computer software we use to make all the everyday processes of Rowell run smoother.   It’s a gratifying experience for Jordan when she is able to assist homeowners, as well as fellow employees, in the every day obstacles we encounter at Rowell. Jordan is also committed to providing our homeowners with the best customer service and follow up information as possible.

Alen Yousif

Assistant Managing Agent/Closing Coordinator

Alen started with Rowell in 2005.  Previously he was a Assistant Bank Manager and worked at Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
He is currently an Assistant Manager for Rob Roy Country Club Village Condominium Association and assists heavily in Accounts Receivable as well as reconciling the bank accounts each month for accounting.  Alen also works in the closing and refinance department.  Having a real estate sale background, he insures closing letters, condo questionnaires and community association documents are submitted to buyer(s).  Alen is committed to provide you “excellence in property management.”


Carole Engstrom
Managing Agent - Windhaven Condominium Associa

Education: Associates Degree in Art-Kendall College, continued education at Northwestern in Art and Journalism. Studied at the Art Institute in Chicago.
Work related certificates in Advertising, Insurance, Hotel/Restaurant Management and Property Management. Work Background: Estimator for Network TV Commercial time cost working for one of the largest Ad Agency’s in the country (Leo Burnett) my portfolio clients were nationally recognized on Commercial TV. Worked for one of the first High Risk Re-insurance companies is Illinois and trained in statistical claim risks on Medical Malpractice, Architect and Engineers and Lawyer Malpractice programs, and re-insurance accounting. I had the opportunity to work with the Lloyds of London. Worked for large insurance companies on Work Comp and Medical Claims. Hotel/Restaurant-nationally known Hotel as assistant Food and Beverage Manager (Hilton). Now-14 years as on-site manager at Windhaven, 12 of those with Rowell. Two articles published in the Illinois Chapter of the Industry Magazine and a radio show on Diversity in Communities.


Christine Kott
Data Specialist

Christine Kott is the Data Specialist for Rowell.  Christine joined Rowell in August 2007 with an extensive background in Administrative Support and Customer Service.  After working as the Assistant Managing Agent for several properties, it was discovered that, in addition to her customer service and correspondence/writing skills, she has a natural talent for learning and understanding various computer software programs.  For this reason, Christine recently transitioned into her current position of Data Specialist, where she is responsible for resolving any issues we encounter in our systems, developing new processes and procedures, training our staff, and report generation for our  Managing Agents and Board of Directors. In this new role, Christine will also continue to back-up the Assistant Managing Agents as needed, and prepare the various correspondence used to communicate with our property homeowners.   This allows her to have the “best of both worlds” by providing assistance to both our staff and homeowners.

Cindy McKenzie
Accounts Payable Manager


Cindy McKenzie is the Accounts Payable Manager for Rowell. Cindy joined the Rowell staff in the fall of 2004. Prior to joining Rowell she was employed by a health care law firm.  As well as being the firm’s office manager, she worked as a paralegal and handled the accounts payable department. As the Rowell Accounts Payable Manager, Cindy strives to provide accurate  payment processing for all the properties as well as strong, working relationships with the vendors and contractors. Cindy has obtained an Associates Degree, attended the Paralegal Program at Elgin Community College and has taken many classes to strengthen her performance in her position.

Brenda Barsic
Accounting Assistant

Brenda joined Rowell in 2012 and quickly became a huge asset to the accounting department, assisting Aaron Kropp with
Accounts Receivable, as well as Cindy McKenzie with the Accounts Payable side of our daily activities.

She has a quiet, caring style to her customer service that has proven very helpful when helping our homeowners sort through 
concerns and questions that homeowners may have about their accounts.

Alyssa Gurke
Assistant Managing Agent

Alyssa began as an employee of Rowell in September 2013. Previously to coming aboard, she had eight years of experience in
the property management field and nearly three years in the new home construction field.

Alyssa was recognized on the President’s List while attending McHenry County College and on the Dean’s List at Columbia College of
Missouri in Crystal Lake, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Management. She was a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society.

Alyssa is the assistant managing agent on twelve properties. She strives for speedy, accurate and friendly customer
service with a passion and attitude of ‘do it right the first time'.

Kelsey Elgas, CMCA
Managing Agent

In 2008, Kelsey graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and cum laude honors.  She gained significant experience in
mental healthcare working as a social worker in a long term care facility and as a training coordinator and program director for a not-for-profit that
supported mentally ill adults live more independent, qualitative lives. In 2011, she was nominated for the Coalition for Community Living's Training
Coordinator of the Year.  Kelsey joined the Rowell team in 2013 as an Assistant Managing Agent for Village on the Lake, and her background in program
development, case management, and community outreach have served her well in this new role. She is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service to
homeowners and willing to go above and beyond to ensure Village on the Lake is a peaceful and happy community.