2017 NAA Excellence Award Winners
The NAA Excellence Awards - 'the Excels' - recognize excellence and leadership in the apartment housing industry. These national awards celebrate builders, industry professionals and affiliated apartment associations that make unique contributions. Submissions are open for the 2018 Excels and the application deadline is March 27, 2018.
Apartment Association of Southern Colorado
In July 2016, the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado (AASC) began a strategic partnership with the Colorado Springs Business Journal (CSBJ).
Under the deal terms, AASC received subscriptions for every member company within the association in exchange for a half-page ad in the weekly publication, which has a print readership of 16,500.
With the partnership, AASC engaged the greater Southern Colorado region, put a spotlight on its mission and member benefits and kept its members informed while also connecting the membership with CSBJ’s sales and networking opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, CSBJ serves as a news outlet for local developers, Realtors and elected officials, which put AASC’s ads in front of major decision-makers within the Southern Colorado market.
AASC staff has been able to resell some of the advertising space to its members—companies who might not be able to afford advertising in this publication on their own—making this an added member benefit. The association also has enjoyed an unprecedented increase of event attendance as well as sold-out sponsorships, which it, at least partially, attributes to the advertisements.
Austin Apartment Association
When Austin Mayor Steve Adler wanted to participate in the nationwide Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, he enlisted the Austin Apartment Association’s (AAA) help.
The AAA was asked to match rental property owners with the region's housing and social service providers. Its target audience included its 600-plus property owner and manager members along with every other rental property owner in the region.
In June 2015, the AAA began an outreach effort to find apartments for veterans by disseminating information through its website, e-newsletters, direct requests to members and education seminars.
It also produced a video featuring an AAA property manager member and a veteran she helped house on her property. The video was produced into 30- and 15-second spots and the AAA Board of Directors approved the purchase of airtime to run the ads on local television.
In December 2015, the Ending Community Homelessness Organization (ECHO) announced that it had reached a milestone by finding more permanent housing for veterans in Austin than ever before, and had reduced the number of days needed to place a veteran in permanent housing (after initial processing) from 225 to 85.
Washington Multi-Family Housing Association
The Washington Multi-Family Housing Association attempted to tackle a problem that many apartment operators are facing—a stagnant hiring pool.
The association wanted to take the tools created by the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI), put them in the hands of people in other industries that would be excited about opportunities within the apartment industry, then train those people in basic skills and make them available for hire to its members.
The association executed the plan in four stages: Marketing to other industries, recruiting ambassadors and hosting a reception, jumpstarting its training and certification program and having a graduation and job placement for recruits.
To recruit, the association created flyers, distributed them to members and requested that they post on their Facebook page and in elevator cabs and lobbies. It also sent the flyers to colleges, job-placement firms and Craigslist. At the reception for recruits, the association chose ambassadors who could speak passionately about the industry.
Ultimately, the association had 10 recruits meet with its employers. Eight of those were offered positions, and five accepted jobs. It plans to do the program again in 2017.
Atlanta Apartment Association
In 2016, the Atlanta Apartment Association (AAA) Membership Committee had multiple membership goals: Recruit 200 new owner, manager or associate members; renew 75 percent of 2015 associate members and attain an overall renewal rate of 90 percent of total membership; renew and or sell all Patron Sponsorships; and personally welcome all new members. To do this, the committee targeted the 2015 associate members of the Atlanta Apartment Association, which numbered 1,186, as well as any company that would benefit from becoming a member.
After identifying vendor prospects for membership, association volunteers used several selling points to encourage membership, including placement in the annual membership directory, participation in the AAA trade show, advertising possibilities and sponsorships and, most important, the opportunity to network with the decision-makers of the apartment housing industry. On the retention side, team call-a-thons were held to try and encourage associate members to renew.
Ultimately, the membership committee beat its goal by recruiting 248 members and renewed 78.4 percent of associate members and 92.4 percent of total membership. In 2016, the committee renewed or sold 10 Platinum, 10 Gold and 20 Silver Patron sponsorships, which maintained the same number of 2015 Patron sponsors.
New Jersey Apartment Association
In May 2016, two Jersey City Council proposals forced the New Jersey Apartment Association (NJAA) to mobilize.
The first ordinance required a minimum 30-hour work week for superintendents, building maintenance and janitorial employees. This eliminated part-time workers and limited an employee’s ability to work part time, even if it were their choice. The second ordinance required that, upon entering or terminating a service contract for building services, the successor contractor was required to retain the prior contractor’s employees for 90 days and potentially longer based on satisfactory performance evaluation.
Both proposals would have created disincentives for businesses to locate, invest or expand in Jersey City. With Executive Director David Brogan’s connections from working over a decade for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the NJAA pulled together nine of the state’s largest business associations. It developed a media strategy where Brogan served as spokesperson for the group and used relationships to help educate the council and the public on the impact of these ordinances.
The NJAA’s action was successful. Both ordinances were officially removed from City Council’s agenda on May 10, 2016 and haven’t been brought up again.
University Towers | EdR | Raleigh, N.C
Seeing energy costs increase at University Towers, a 30-year-old, eight-story, high-rise building with 889 beds, EdR identified a way to save money by reducing the runtime cycle of the HVAC system.
The new PIR (passive infrared) sensors rely on advanced occupancy sensing technology to reduce energy consumption. What separates this product from past solutions is the infrared technology that identifies body heat in the apartment home. This, coupled with the motion sensor, accurately identifies when the unit is empty.
When a space becomes vacant, the system automatically reduces energy consumption by controlling HVAC, lighting and other electrical loads. When a resident returns, all functions of the heating, cooling and ventilation are restored.
In the first eight months following the installation, University Towers realized electricity savings of greater than 10 percent of the total energy budget, a utility company cash rebate of 18 percent of the system cost equaling $16,200 and a verified ROI of 20 months.
After completing the installation at University Towers in 2013, EdR has implemented it at 10 additional properties with 10 more planned in 2017. The average installation cost for these EdR properties is approximately $100,000.
The District | Bozzuto | Washington, D.C.
The District is a LEED Silver, 125-apartment community designed for the urban lifestyle and environmentally-aware residents.
The District’s focus on energy and water efficiency is driven by two key factors: First, the owners are perennial participants in The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and an ENERGY STAR Partner. Second, Bozzuto Management is driven by its own internal sustainability guidelines and best practices.
In 2016, Bozzuto completed a large boiler replacement project, which ushered out an old, inefficient unit for a modern model that helped the project qualify for rebates from D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility.
The District also features a green roof, which was retrofitted in 2016 with drought-resistant plants. Though difficult to quantify exactly, Bozzuto thinks the overhaul of this roof may have contributed to savings as well.
During apartment turns, the Bozzuto team has committed to replacing showerheads with more efficient, WaterSense-rated units, which contribute to lower energy usage. In late 2015, it also undertook a massive LED common area retrofit, which triggered the downward trend in energy usage of common areas as well. All appliances in The District are ENERGY STAR-rated.
The Fenestra at Rockville Town Square | Bozzuto | Rockville, Md.
After their community went through a number of energy upgrades, site staff at the Fenestra were excited to volunteer for participation in the EPA’s “National Building Challenge,” a three-month, total building energy and water performance campaign.
Each month, The Fenestra team posted flyers illustrating the benefits of energy and water efficiency to residents in common areas and elevators and online through a variety of social media platforms. They distributed LED bulbs and hosted a resident engagement event at a neighborhood bar. The event, which was attended by a representative from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Buildings & Plants office, focused on the financial and environmental benefits of improving building efficiency.
Residents were encouraged to provide their monthly electric invoices to site staff. The resident with the most substantial electric savings at the end of the three-month campaign was awarded a Philips Hue starter kit, which enables remote control of lighting and appliances.
These resident behavior improvements, along with upgrades like lighting retrofits and HVAC/dryer maintenance efforts, are credited with contributing to a 3.5 percent reduction in whole building EUI and 283 kGal reduction in whole building water usage.
Solaire Bethesda | Kettler | Bethesda, Md.
Kettler doesn’t just consider Solaire Bethesda an apartment community: The firm regards the 139-apartment home community in the tony Washington, D.C., suburb of Bethesda, Md., as “a luxury lifestyle experience.”
It’s easy to see why. Solaire Bethesda is in a vibrant and convenient location where there is continued community growth and development. Each large apartment home is designed with deluxe amenities and countless opportunities for residents to entertain or be entertained. Apartments include stainless-steel appliances, quartz countertops and spa-like bathrooms with crafted wood vanity cabinets and plank flooring.
The pet-friendly apartment community offers a pet spa, fitness center with state-of-the art fitness equipment, resident lounge with entertainment bar, gaming area with lounge seating, True Foods Kitchen onsite and concierge services. It is walking distance to both Bethesda Row shopping and the Bethesda Metro.
In an era when some developers try to simplify floor plans to save money, Solaire Bethesda offers a wide array of options. The community’s floor plan styles include studios, one bedroom, one bedroom with den, two bedrooms and two baths and three bedrooms and two baths. Its floor plans range from 606 square feet to 1,434 square feet.
Savoy at the Streets of West Chester | Hills Properties | West Chester, Ohio
The Streets of West Chester, a mixed-use development in an area that was primed to be Northern Cincinnati’s premier entertainment district, had a void. The area boasted retail, hotel, dining and entertainment venues, but with only 60 adjacent for-sale townhomes, there was little residential density.
That’s where Savoy at the Streets of West Chester came in. The project, with 272 modern one-, two- and two-bedroom with study apartment homes, includes floorplans ranging in size from 745 to 1,486 square feet. The sleek leasing center, resident lounge, executive center and fitness center open to a dynamic outdoor amenity area with bocce ball; an LED-lit salt water pool; a putting green; a tennis court and an outdoor lounge area with two fireplaces.
The 7,000-square-foot common area space includes leasing and management offices, a fitness center, yoga room, cyber café, executive center and meet-and-greet area. The common areas are designed with myriad glass walls to visibly connect adjacent spaces, allow maximum natural light and provide a sense of larger spaces. The two-story, 24/7 fitness center has a two-story volume ceiling and an interior stairway to the second floor of the space.
Avana Lenox | Greystar | Atlanta
When Greystar began renovations on the Avana Lenox, a 423-apartment home garden community in Atlanta, the goal was to provide luxury living and highlight the surrounding Buckhead neighborhood’s past.
Greystar offered two renovation packages in the revamped community, which was built in 1999. The “Elite” package included energy-efficient, stainless steel appliances, white cabinetry, vinyl plank flooring, quartz countertops and grey-and-white color schemes. The “Premium” package kept existing stainless steel appliances and granite.
Greystar channeled Buckhead’s architecture with white brick and espresso-trimmed exteriors and a clubhouse gallery with historic local photography.
Greystar surveyed residents about amenity modifications. The results yielded inspiration for a gorgeous, light-filled clubhouse and the transformation of an often-empty basketball court into a multi-story fitness club with cardio theater, yoga and other leading-edge workouts. The company turned an unused hot tub into a stone fire pit, which complements the lagoon pool, deck, sunny seating and shaded daybeds.
Despite the intensive renovation, Avana Lenox maintained a 91 percent occupancy and achieved a 4.9 percent renewal rate. Its effective rents increased from $1.12 to $1.18 per square foot. The community’s post-renovation closing ratio is 19 percent, compared to 8 percent prior to the renovation.
The Grove on Gladstell | Celtic Realty Advisors LLC | Conroe, Texas
When Celtic Realty Advisors bought The Grove on Gladstell, a 52-apartment home community in Conroe, Texas, the goal was to transform the 1972-vintage asset from a dilapidated C-class box with rotting wood to a B-class product with contemporary charm.
On the building’s exterior, Celtic replaced the rotting wood and painted the new exterior a striking blue, as well as installed a metal roof on the street front.
The swimming pool was surrounded with six inches of deck, the shallow end of the pool was jackhammered and a tanning ledge was installed. Celtic expanded the deck and added two pergolas and a gas grill.
The interiors, with soiled carpet, peeling paint and cabinets that were falling apart with missing doors and drawers, forced Celtic to demolish everything back to either the studs or sheetrock.
The interior rehabs included solid wood cabinets that were constructed onsite; a redesign of the cabinet configuration; granite countertops; a black appliance package including an over-the-stove microwave, custom home-level faucets and fixture; white oak vinyl plank flooring and sheetrock was retextured.
Windfern Pointe Apartments | Veritas Equity Management | Houston
Windfern Pointe, a 200-apartment garden community built in 1979, faced significant deferred maintenance issues when Veritas Equity Management purchased it. A non-profit owned the community, located in Houston, and had left the 200-unit property strapped for cash.
Immediately after buying Windfern Pointe, Veritas went to work on a $700,000 renovation that included an $80,000 playground and pavilion, additional landscaping, 116 new HVAC units, a comprehensive paint job, a new leasing office, a remodeled kids-club room, an energy-efficient boiler, a re-plastered pool with new decking, a water conservation project and more.
At Windfern, Veritas focused on the many children and families that reside at the property, organizing a very successful after-school kids club. By partnering with Urban Outreach Ministries, Veritas provided a safe and nurturing activity for children after they arrived home from school. A full-time kids club manager ensures that the children receive help with homework, are given a nutritious snack and engage in supervised play time with peers.
During the summer, the program is expanded by offering extended hours, vacation Bible school, soccer camps and more. The community sponsors 15 children from the property each year for the soccer camp.
The Lofts at 30 Pine | Peabody Properties Inc. | Gardner, Mass.
The redevelopment of The Lofts at 30 Pine, a 55-unit, non-age-restricted, 100 percent affordable at or below 60 percent AMI multifamily housing in Gardner, MA, was truly a team effort.
Developer Peabody Properties utilized its public-private partnership with the city of Gardner in every facet of the project, including securing the necessary Massachusetts and Federal resources and collaborating with the city to address parking issues.
Raymond James purchased both the historic and housing tax credits. Additional public funding was provided by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the state's Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the city. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) provided a $1.8 million permanent loan.
In the end, that patchwork of financing produced a community featuring 12 one-bedroom,
36 two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom apartments. Located in the center of historic downtown Gardner, Mass., the development includes the historic conversion and adaptive reuse of a former 75,000-square-foot industrial building.
Peabody preserved the building’s ceilings and exposed beams and columns. The community includes water conserving fixtures, Energy Star or equivalent light fixtures, and recycled wall finishes and recycled wood flooring throughout common areas.
Atlantic Marine Corps Communities | Lendlease | Camp Lejeune, N.C.
In a large portfolio of military housing projects, Lendlease’s Atlantic Marine Corps Communities (AMCC) project stands out because of its size. Launched in 2005, the project has expanded across four states and eight military installations.
AMCC at Camp Lejeune-Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River has more than 4,500 homes with miles of walking trails, dog parks, splash parks and dozens of playgrounds, including the only Boundless Playground on a Marine Corps installation.
At MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina, where more than 1,500 service members and their families live in six different neighborhoods, amenities include four dog parks, a brand-new, 7,000-square-foot community center and a zero-entry swimming pool.
Located in South Carolina, AMCC at Tri-Command, which services military families stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, MCAS Beaufort and Beaufort Naval Hospital, has more than 1,500 homes in its portfolio. Stewart Terrace, serving Stewart Air National Guard Base and located in New Windsor, N.Y., includes 171 new homes for its residents. The smallest community of the AMCC, Westover Air Reserve Base, provides 124 renovated homes at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.
The Arlie | Greystar | Arlington, Texas
When The Arlie officially opened for occupancy in August 2016, it was the first new student community in the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) market in four years.
The Arlie’s student homes include island kitchens with granite countertops, pendant lighting and stainless-steel appliances; hardwood-style flooring; ample natural light; walk-in closets; chic furniture and 50-inch flat-screen TVs.
Apartment suites include shared full kitchens, living and dining space and balconies. Those areas are flanked by bedrooms outfitted with two beds, desks and closets and double sinks leading into a private bath. The community spaces include a resort pool with sundeck and Jacuzzi; courtyard with grills, seating, fire pit and ping-pong; study center featuring Apple and PC workstations plus private study rooms with smart TVs and Apple TV; lounge with billiards, foosball, arcade, 60-inch smart televisions and current PlayStation and Xbox systems; fully equipped fitness club with iPod-compatible cardio; and a pet-friendly policy with a dog park.
Despite being under construction during the 2015-2016 academic year, The Arlie was 96.5 percent occupied by August 2016 and 98.7 percent full by the end of September.
University Student Living developed The Radius in Minneapolis as an off-campus, purpose-built, student housing community serving undergraduates at the University of Minnesota.
Opened in August 2014, the 772-bed, mid-rise cost just north of $58 million. The architect was Cunningham. General contractor Frana Group built the 323,923 square-foot project, including 203,003 square feet of residential space, on 1.7 acres.
The Radius was one of the few new student developments in the highly competitive Minneapolis market to reach full occupancy in its first year of operation.
The Radius, which sits directly across from the University of Minnesota’s football training field and athletic facility, features 9,918 square feet of amenity space and 58,466 square feet of sub-surface parking, including 174 parking spaces and 581 interior bike parking spots.
Each fully furnished apartment home includes a full-size washer and dryer, large picture windows and all-inclusive rents. The amenities include a courtyard with barbecue areas and hot tub, pavilion clubhouse with full kitchen café, gaming room, fireplace lounge and media area, study rooms, tanning salon, fitness center, business center, Wi-Fi and cable.
David Brogan | New Jersey Apartment Association
David Brogan’s 2016 list of accomplishments as Executive Director and Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development at the New Jersey Apartment Association (NJAA) is a lengthy one.
He raised the profile of the NJAA in the eyes of key
decision-makers in the state, solidified the association’s financial footing with new and innovative events, increased membership, reinforced the relationship between NJAA and NAA and established the NJAA as a key player in New Jersey politics.
In the government affairs sphere, NJAA stopped a bill that would have added millions of dollars in costs to the industry by authorizing municipalities to license and charge fees for apartments. It also helped thwart legislation that would have required a minimum 30-hour workweek for superintendents, building maintenance and janitorial employees and was successful at getting Eatontown, N.J., to change its rent control ordinance to permanent vacancy decontrol, which will phase-out rent control in that municipality.
Under Brogan’s leadership, NJAA posted strong financial performance in 2016. The association hit new revenue records for its conference and exposition, education and dues. Its revenues rose to $2.5 million, while its expenses were held to just over $2.3 million.
Hai Le, IROP | Dover Place Apartments | Houston
The 32-apartment home Dover Place Apartments had a of number issues. The surrounding neighborhood on the Southeast side of Houston was plagued by crime. Water was entering individual apartments and trees were overgrown and positioned too close to the community, which was built in 1971.
To usher the water away from the apartments, owner Hai Le added roof trenches, increased the number of gutter downspouts and connected those downspouts to a set of French drains.
On the exterior, Le pressure washed the building, removed and trimmed trees and added window solar screens to reduce heat. On the interior, Le repainted rooms, replaced fans and swapped out dangerous electrical boxes.
While it’s difficult to add many amenities to a 32-apartment home community, Le developed green space for residents to use as a multi-purpose amenity.
To help combat crime, Le participates in an area Positive Interaction Program with city police department and signed up to start the Blue Star Program, which helps law enforcement officials and the apartment communities work together to effectively reduce criminal activity.
Bruce and Stephanie Petersen | Northchase Apartments | Austin, Texas
Bruce and Stephanie Petersen not only want to contribute to the community within the Northchase Apartments, a property they own in Austin, Texas, but also to the area that surrounds it.
If you need proof of this commitment, look no further than the Petersens’ work with Refugee Services of Texas, which they assist in finding homes for the refugees. At Northchase, 10 percent of residents are refugees placed by Refugee Services.
Integrating these refugees into the social fabric of a community can be a difficult task. So, the Petersens held a Valentine’s Day Party where the kids and adults participated in a Jackson Pollock-style (splatter) painting of several art canvases. The event helped break down the barriers between the refugee children and other kids at the property.
The Petersens care for children at Northchase in other ways. They held a property-wide school supply drive and had 83 children sign up for supplies. They received donations from supplier partners that covered about one-third of the supplies and had volunteers help them distribute backpacks and school supplies.
John Cullens | CXC Talent Solutions/ApartmentCareers.com | Dallas
John Cullens has been involved with the apartment housing industry for more than 25 years when he began as a property manager. President and CEO of ApartmentCareers.com and CXC Talent Solutions, Cullens has been very involved with the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI)and RPM Careers having earned his CAPS and CAM.
He also founded ApartmentCareers.com, the most widely visited internet job site catering to the apartment housing industry, which includes the NAA Association Career Center and RPMCareers.org as part of its network. ApartmentsCareers.com has also invested $50,000 as a Sustaining Contributor to the TAA Education Foundation and NAA’s Investing in Our Profession Campaigns.
He has served on the Board of Directors for the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, and currently, represents TAA as a delegate to NAA. He has supported AAGD’s PAC fund raising efforts and co-founded the Challenge Cup Golf Tournament, which has been a significant fundraiser for the NAA since the tournament began in 1996. “John’s passion, dedication and insight to our industry make him a valuable resource to all members and I believe he deserves recognition for his contributions to our industry,” says fellow NSC member Angi Pusateri.
Stephanie Loyd, CAM | Blue Ridge Companies | High Point, N.C.
Stephanie Loyd just wants to make a difference.
It could be by marketing, working with charities or developing partnerships for her employer, Blue Ridge Companies. Or it could be through education and legislative advocacy for the apartment industry.
By any account, Loyd, the Marketing Specialist for the Blue Ridge Companies, achieved this goal and made a mark on her surrounding community; Blue Ridge; and the apartment industry.
In this past year alone, Loyd initiated a partnership with Greensboro SWARM, an NBA D-League basketball team in its inaugural season, and oversaw the philanthropic and sponsorship initiatives for Blue Ridge, including the Toys for Tots campaign. Last year, the company became a National Corporate Donor for Toys for Tots and provided toys to more than 4,000 families locally.
Loyd is one of the founding members of the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association ECHO (NextGen) committee. While she was chair, she held two successful softball tournaments that raised money for 2nd Harvest Food Bank and ECHO’s Helping Hands, which was set up to assist local apartment communities in the event of fire, flood or other disasters.
Phil Carlock, CAPS, CPM | ECI Management | Atlanta
For Phil Carlock the apartment industry is more than just a job. It’s a passion.
Carlock has devoted countless hours to the NAA as an officer and as the 2001 NAA Chairman of the Board. During his tenure as Chairman, Carlock succeeded in bringing in more members to NAA’s affiliates. He realized that by improving education, he would attract more people and companies into the NAA’s affiliate universe.
The culmination of his quest to educate the industry came in his multi-year campaign to develop an electronic and print resources that has been called the “definitive” textbook for investors, developers, apartment professionals, suppliers, students and others. “It is the only comprehensive textbook available for people interested in the multifamily industry,” says Ron Shelton with Irwin R. Rose/Amalgamated Management Corp.
Carlock, also a member of NAA’s Hall of Fame, worked tirelessly to put together a steering committee; raise funds; find an editorial advisory board, project support team and industry experts; and get this textbook, which could be updated regularly, off the ground. He shepherded the project from infancy to completion, securing the support of NAA, NMHC and IREM.
Carlock continues to support the NAAEI Foundation, the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation and the industry he truly loves.
Equity Residential | Chicago
During the past six years, Equity Residential has been committed to testing partnerships that could build a pipeline of untapped talent and empowered their Washington, D.C.-based recruiting manager, Jamie Preski, PHR, SHRM-CP, to partner with the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) to expand workforce development programs and recruitment initiatives. Those initiatives included hiring programs for veterans and immigrants, career awareness campaigns and special events aimed at high school and college students, videotaped interviews and live presentations to career changers and military spouses.
Preski developed a maintenance internship program for people who completed NAAEI’s Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) training through a workforce development program at Montgomery College (Md.), and Equity has hired seven interns as well as 13 direct hires. Preski also manages Equity’s partnership with Shelters to Shutters and recently hired the first employee from this program, a full-time maintenance technician who enjoys the feeling of making a difference in residents’ lives.
NAAEI worked with Preski to organize an entire program of events for 60 hospitality students attending the DECA Collegiate Leadership Academy in New York City. Students attended a RPM Career presentation, toured a premier Equity community, met with Equity executives for a Q&A session and participated in an RPM-specific competitive event. This event resulted in one hospitality graduate being hired by Equity, another participating in an internship and greater interest in RPM among hospitality majors.
Christine Galvez, NALP, CAM, CAPS, CAMT | Bohannon Development Corp. | El Paso, Texas
Awards are nothing new to Christine Galvez, Manager of Bohannon Development’s The Bungalows at Hueco Estates (BHE) and Edgerock Residential Townhouses.
Galvez received the Texas Apartment Association’s 2017 Barbara MacManus Manager of the Year award and won the El Paso Apartment Association Manager of the Year awards in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
While Galvez generally has low turnover among her staff, her four leasing professionals began their jobs having little industry experience. She mentored each and assisted them in securing their NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) credentials.
Galvez’s management strategy produces real results on the ground. For a seven-month period, she managed a third apartment community, Las Ventanas, boosting occupancy there from the mid-60s to 97 percent.
At Edgerock Residential, Galvez’s team recently achieved 100 percent occupancy for the first time and implemented a Preferred Waitlist program that should keep occupancy at that level throughout 2017. While an increase in military movement and new construction made El Paso a volatile market in 2016, Galvez kept economic occupancy at 84.6 percent at BHE and 92.1 percent at Edgerock. She also achieved a 23.4 percent increase in NOI in 2015 versus 2016 and increased revenue by 16 percent in the same timeframe.
Martin Schoolcraft, CAMT | Chestnut Hill Realty | Canton, Mass.
Martin Schoolcraft thinks “having a solid knowledge of the mechanics of the physical structures is certainly a necessity” to being a maintenance technician. But he contends that isn’t the primary criteria for success.
“Maintenance is about customer service,” says Schoolcraft, Chestnut Hill Realty’s Service Manager for Waterfall Hills.
Schoolcraft’s achievements not only demonstrate a high level of customer service and technical aptitude, but also strong financial management. Under his stewardship, Chestnut Hill Realty has seen approximately 30 percent savings on appliance parts. He initiated a system for replacing light bulbs with LEDs long before Chestnut Hill Realty began a company-wide initiative in 2015 to receive energy-efficiency rebates through the state.
Schoolcraft recently oversaw more than $500,000 worth of capital improvements, including hallway renovations and a roof replacement project. And, when another long-time service technician retired, he was left as the sole technician at Waterfall Hills during a harsh winter. Not only did Schoolcraft stay on top of all service requests and vendor meetings, he also tackled snow removal and ice dam repairs totaling more than $100,000.
Charles Stroud, CAS | CSC ServiceWorks | Plano, Texas
Charles Stroud, Vice President of Business Development for Appliance Warehouse/CSC ServiceWorks, hasn’t just been an active participant in the apartment industry, he’s also been a driving force behind CSC ServiceWorks’s involvement in NAA’s Board of Directors, committee work, sponsorship participation, advocacy initiatives, education programs and membership recruitment.
Stroud, whose primary responsibility at CSC ServiceWorks is national accounts in the Coinmach/MacGray and Appliance Warehouse divisions, has also been responsible for interacting with NAA, Texas Apartment Association (TAA) and two local affiliates, the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD) and the Apartment Association of Tarrant County (AATC).
In addition to serving on a wide array of councils and affiliates, Stroud has led change. In 2014, he was instrumental in altering the National Suppliers Council (NSC) Bylaws. The revisions created a significant increase in leadership opportunities for NSC members.
Stroud was also pivotal in gaining the commitment for CSC ServiceWorks to invest in the Texas Apartment Association Education Foundation (TAAEF). Stroud was tasked with securing investments from other supplier members. He served on the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI) NOW Supplier Member Task Force and helped achieve the $7.5 million goal. CSC ServiceWorks donated $250,000 to the NAAEI NOW Campaign.
Monica Morales, NALP, CAM | Bohannon Development Corp. | El Paso, Texas
When Monica Morales accepted a leasing position for Bohannon Development Corporation, she readily admits she had no idea what she was getting into.
But now, two-and-a-half years later, she has found a job that she loves and at which she performs very well. Morales received the highest phone shop, highest in-person shop and highest overall shop throughout Bohannon’s portfolio. Her net score for the phone shop was 95 percent and the in-person shop was 93 percent. Her overall shop score for 2016 was 94 percent. The shopper complimented Morales on being honest, detail-oriented and friendly. Out of 175 pieces of traffic, she closed 66 leases, resulting in a 37.7 percent closing ratio for 2016.
In just two short years in the apartment industry, Morales was promoted to an Assistant Manager position.
In addition to her work with Bohannon and attending El Paso Apartment Association Seminars and Education Conferences, Morales is also very active in her neighborhood church, San Juan Diego. She volunteered for church events, such as the annual bazaar; helped with the renovations of the church; and donated clothes, food and time.
Kimberly Hurd, CAPS, | Intrepid Capital investments | Indianapolis
Kimberly Hurd began her career in 1996 as a Leasing Consultant. She began moving up the apartment industry ladder, making it to Assistant Manager, Property Manager, Marketing Specialist, Marketing Director, Training Director, Director of Professional Development, Senior Director of Residential Services, Regional Director and, currently, Vice President of Operations.
The jobs may have become progressively more difficult, but Hurd met every challenge. As Senior Director of Residential Services at Milhaus Management, she launched a new property management company from the ground up in 2013.
This past January, she took over as Vice President of Operations for Intrepid Capital Investments and has already helped achieve 100 percent occupancy (for the first time ever) at one location and increased year-over-year NOI by $21,000 at another community.
Hurd is a current board member for The Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association and chairs its Education Committee. On the national level, she graduated from NAA’s Leadership Lyceum in 2015 and currently serves as a Delegate for Region 3, Vice Chair of the NAA Communications Advisory Board and Vice Chair of the NAAEI Curriculum Development Committee.