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Fort Wayne ROCs!

A midst swirling controversy over a proposed rental housing ordinance from a Mayor's Task Force that could eventually include registration and inspections citywide, the Apartment Association of Fort WayneNortheast Indiana decided to take a few proactive steps to help independent rental owners become better landlords and neighbors. At an open house last summer attended by more than 45 rental property owners, Fort Wayne Association staff and leadership listened to their concerns and needs. It was clear that independent rental owners who have no connection to any professional real estate or rental industry group were not getting the information they needed to keep themselves out of trouble, let alone run a successful rental housing business.

It then became the goal of Fort Wayne's Independent Owner Council and its Chair, Mel Hochstetler, the Region III liaison to NAA's IROC, to get a Rental Owner's Course up and running in the fall. With the help of Mark Franks and Rebecca McLean of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Apartment Association, Fort Wayne was able to establish a core curriculum, recruit volunteer instructors from the membership and the community, and successfully hold its first Rental Owner's Course in 10 years.

The course began September 21, meeting twice a week for three weeks for a total of 18 hours of instruction. Seventeen participants, primarily recruited through an ad in the local Sunday paper, gained knowledge on a variety of topics from Fair Housing to the local drug ordinance to debt collection. In between, they soaked up information on rental industry forms, insurance, protecting their investment, accounting methods, taxes, legal issues, make-ready, maintenance, resident screening, the importance of being a good neighbor, and Section 8.

One of the recommendations that the Rental Housing Task Force will be making to the Mayor is that education is needed to help solve the city's rental housing problems. Fort Wayne's Independent Owner Council now has solid data and proof that education is a powerful tool in the quest for better, safer, and more affordable rental housing in the city. The class improved community public relations with the Association and increased membership within the Association-- six of the participants became new members of the Association before the course ended.

Fort Wayne will offer the ROC again this winter. NAA has officially adopted the Cincinnati Rental Owners Course that worked so well for Fort Wayne and materials will be available for purchase within the next few months.

Grubb Management works on homes

Brothers Gordon and Clay Grubb learned about giving back to the communities they serve from their late father, Robert Grubb. When Robert Grubb began Grubb Management, Inc., of Cary, North Carolina, he made it a priority to build and finance single family homes for people who could not otherwise afford a home. "Upon our father's death from cancer in 1995, we wanted to return to these roots and help people as he had done," says Gordon Grubb, the company's president. Inspired by their father's example, Grubb Management, Inc., is now a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

The company sponsored its first home in Cary, North Carolina, in 1997 and has since constructed a home in Charlotte, North Carolina. The homes are funded by Grubb Management, as well as through the contributions of subcontractors, vendors, and other companies associated with Grubb Management. The company holds contests within the organization to encourage employees to raise money and recruit volunteers to build a Habitat for Humanity home. The winner of a 1998 fundraising contest collected $1,000 in donations. That's a lot of work, considering the average donation was less than $25. From donations to pounding in the last nail, Grubb Management depends on its people to make this program a success.

In 1998, Grubb Management also helped to finance and promote a Habitat for Humanity house that was built by a local church in Lexington, North Carolina. In 1999, Clay Grubb and members of the Grubb Management team helped spearhead the funding and development of a Habitat for Humanity House for the Charlotte Apartment Association (CAA). CAA was able to raise $43,750 from its membership and through fund drives at the various member properties. According to Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, the CAA house had one of the bestorganized building teams to construct a Habitat House in Charlotte.

What has Grubb Management received as a result of their involvement with Habitat for Humanity? "The biggest reward has been helping a family in need help themselves," says Gordon Grubb. "It has given our company and team members a great sense of accomplishment and has enhanced our team-oriented environment dramatically." Gordon Grubb encourages others within the multifamily housing industry to get involved with Habitat for Humanity, either financially or through volunteering. "It makes you feel so good about yourself, your company, and your industry," he says.

AAGD spearheads Dallas toy drive

The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD) helped spearhead the recent Santa's Helpers Toy Drive, a fundraising effort that resulted in more than 20,000 toy donations from throughout the metro Dallas area. There were several collection points across Dallas. The AAGD had the largest contribution from among all agencies involved in the toy drive.

Mark-Taylor, Inc., San Marbeya Apartments donate to local school

Mark-Taylor, Residential Inc., of Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Marbeya Apartments, a luxury apartment community developed and managed by Mark-Taylor, Inc., recently donated a "talking globe" and $10,000 to Laird Elementary School in Tempe, Arizona during a special assembly of students and administrators. The interactive globe was a fitting gift for the school because students come from 25 different countries and speak 28 different languages. Forty-three percent of the students are non-English speakers. The donation will help fund the school's summer enrichment program, a threeweek summer school designed to give all students a head start on the upcoming school year.

Apartment association donates to local charities

The Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-Northeast Indiana's Community Outreach Committee recently delivered 47 boxes of Christmas gifts to the Fort Wayne Christmas Bureau for the Association's adopted family of eight. Association members donated over $3,000 of products and cash for the family. The Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-Northeast Indiana made their annual donation to The Community Harvest Food Bank. The association holds fundraising events throughout the year. Jane Avery-Doswell, executive director for The Community Harvest Food Bank, accepted a check for $2,500. For every dollar donated, up to $20 worth of food will be provided to those in need in the Fort Wayne area. The donation could purchase as much as $50,000 in food/items needed in Fort Wayne.

PMA of West Michigan donates to homeless

Property Management Association (PMA) of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently had a contest between all its members to donate canned goods for Thanksgiving for "God's Kitchen," an organization that helps feed the homeless. PMA challenges each member based on the number of employees and the number of units for apartment communities to collect the most canned goods. Timber Ridge Apartments of Wyoming, Michigan, won for the second year in a row with 3.56 pieces per unit.

PMA also held their Glastar Awards Banquet in East Lansing. Winners included: Ramblewood Apartments, Grand Rapids, Best Curb Appeal; Shannon Brandon, Cambridge Partners, Grand Rapids, Regional Manager of the Year; Gulfside Lake Apartments, Ann Arbor, Best Exterior Signage; Evergreen Point Apartments, Ann Arbor, Community Action Award; Willow Pond Apartments, Lansing, Best Brochure; Runaway Bay, Lansing, Best Apartment Guide Ad.

Michigan honors its best multifamily housing professionals

Michigan recently honored some of the state's finest multifamily housing professionals at the fourth annual Glastar Awards, which was held at the Marriott in East Lansing, Michigan. Winners in 21 categories were selected from among the Ann Arbor Area Apartment Association, Greater Lansing Apartment Association, and the Property Management Association of Western Michigan.

New Jersey apartment association exec receives public service award

Randi S. Sumner, assistant executive director of the NJAA, has been awarded the New Jersey Society of Association Executives (NJSAE) Points of Light Award. NJSAE presents this award annually to a member of an organization who has demonstrated a commitment to helping those in need. In 1998, Sumner spearheaded the effort to rally NJAA members to create a holiday party for 1,000 needy children at the Meadowlands Racetrack on behalf of the NJAA. Sumner helped to expand this event to provide for more than 1,500 children from inner-city areas in northern New Jersey. She also led the NJAA's efforts to make 25 furnished apartments available rent-free for a period of time to Kosovo refugees. She is credited with similar efforts to help DCA and HUD relocate people who became homeless as a result of Hurricane Floyd to NJAA member communities. Additionally, Sumner was instrumental in launching NJAA's program to assist New Jersey apartment owners in reducing the risks of lead paint hazards on their properties. AS a result of her hard work, which included serving as a liaison to the organization's members, hundreds of properties throughout the state have been certified as lead-free. At properties where lead paint could not be effectively removed, it is being safely managed. Sumner has been with NJAA since 1995.

CallSource presents leadership award

CallSource[TM] President Jerry Feldman recently presented the first annual CallSource Leadership Award for Excellence to Tami Siewruk, president of The Sales and Marketing Magic Companies, Inc., at the 10th annual Sales and Marketing Brainstorming Session in Reno, Nevada. The award scholarship will be presented to students majoring in Residential Property Management at Virginia Tech University. CallSource also awarded Siewruk a plaque in recognition of her contributions to the multifamily housing industry.
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Publication:Units
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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