Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a RAVE worthy co-worker or peer, as well as to all of those who received a RAVE submission. We are truly so lucky to have each of you on our Banner Team! I wish we could have many winners in each of the categories, but there were 4 winners that stood out this quarter. Read the comments below to see what fellow Banner Employees had to say about the RAVE Winners and their outstanding achievements this past quarter!
Tenisha Ameen - Office Team Member Q1 RAVE Award Recipient
••Property Manager, Autumn Ridge- Illinois
•"The Lisle Office received a phone call from Police Officer Petragallo in Carol Stream on 3/10. Officer Petragallo wanted to speak with the supervisor of Tenisha and sing her praises. The Officer said that Tenisha was driven to take care of problems at her property for the well being of her residents. He also said that her attention to detail was refreshing and beneficial to himself and the rest of the force. He has been a Police Officer in Carol Stream for 25 years and had yet to work with someone with her caliber of care." •"Tenisha joined the Banner team in June 2016 as Property Manager of a community that has historically been very difficult to collect from the residents. It is a Section 8 and Tax Credit blended property with many long-term residents who have been used to paying late, not paying the total balance, splitting partial payments, or not paying at all. Additionally, there is a language barrier as many of the residents are from Iran and do not speak English. After Tenisha found her groove as a new manager, she became a Lean, Mean Collecting Machine! Tenisha first sent letters to the residents to establish the correct payment policy, then began a ruthless crusade to get the property collections back up to where it should be. She sent 5 and 10 Day notices in a timely manner, filed evictions promptly when needed, refused partial payments by returning checks if not paid in full, meticulously documented resident conversations, made numerous phone calls and small balance letters, and did whatever it took to reduce the delinquency to where it sits today at .6% on the 15th of the month. This may sound like an easy number to achieve to some, but it has been an uphill battle to get there from her property average of 3.5% - 4% and Tenisha [should be] recognized for her hard work."
Michael Cooper- Maintenance Team Member Q1 RAVE Award Recipient
•• Maintenance Supervisor, Riach@One21 - Texas
•"[Michael] took it upon him self to locate, install and test an alternative refrigerant to replace the R-22 refrigerant that is currently inside of the refrigerant circuits of his Unit HVAC Systems. When Michael finished his testing of this new refrigerant replacement [the cost savings were] $444.00 per 30 LB jug of refrigerant. ... [S]ince Michael's property is in TX we knew this refrigerant replacement would work in all climates in Banner's portfolio. [Michael put together a] procedure for replacing current R-22 refrigerant containing A/C Units refrigerants with the new replacement refrigerant MO-99. Michael put together the detailed procedure ... and Cheryl Brock approved this to be done through out all of our Banner Properties. Micheal Cooper should be rewarded for his forward thinking attitude and his take ownership approach to the bottom line. Michael has always been a great asset ... because he is all ways willing to help weather it is to solve issues at his own property or other neighboring properties or even to travel out of state to help with [Due Diligence] for acquisitions. Michael will save his property and all of Banner's properties a lot of money with this idea." •"Michael is a supervisor that likes to find ways to save money with the changing times. When he heard that R22 was being phased out and sites would need to convert to MO99 he went out of his way to document how to go about converting the systems in the most cost-effective way. He even went a step farther and compared a current R22 System to the new MO99 version and found that the MO99 was cooling just as well if not better than the old R22 system. He loves to share his ideas and is always willing to help where ever he is needed." •"Michael Cooper ... took it upon himself to investigate alternative options to replace the diminishing supply of R22. He researched and reported on a viable option that will reduce cost [and] save on time spent replacing units. His findings were then sent out company wide. His time and effort was not only to save his property money, but Banner as a whole. Michael has always taken on challenges like this to find the best possible solution while maintaining the level of service our residents deserve."
Lindsey Colby & Greg Schwantes - Corporate Team Member Q1 RAVE Award Recipients
•• Employee Development & Policy Specialist & Property Support Specialist- Lisle, Illinois
•"Lindsey and Greg ... were both instrumental in not only getting approval to change our bonus structure, but also in the development, construction, presentation, and implementation of what became our new quarterly bonus program. Many of us have talked about wanting to see a change in the bonus structure for years, but it would not have come to fruition without them. They both contributed valuable insight and recommendations for the items to measure and how to measure them, and spent countless hours over several months working through every step from start to finish. Lindsey used her operational expertise and Greg used both his operational knowledge and his spreadsheet wizardry to create a challenging yet exciting opportunity for our property management teams to have direct control over their bonus potential. [W]e should all be extremely grateful for the passion and dedication that they put into this huge undertaking!"
There are some amazing things that you have been up to this past quarter and we want to recognize you all for it! Please read on to see other RAVE worthy submissions we received about your fellow co-workers and peers!
"Dale is always such a pleasure to work with- and he's always coming up with great ideas! We offer a locally sourced coffee bar for our residents that's available for use from 5 AM to 8 PM. It came to our attention that the residents were plugging in the coffee bar after hours. Our coffee costs were going through the roof! It was Dale's great idea to punch a hole through the wall and put the coffee machine on a timer! With the timer being in our office, residents are not able to access the coffee machine after 8 PM and we're saving a great deal this month on coffee I'm sure!"
Dale Beal; Maintenance Technician at The Lincoln - North Carolina
"Christina has been working [with the Banner Property Management Team] on correcting [Certificate of Insurance] and Short Form Contracts at the properties. She is taking on reviewing our COI requirements and seeing if we need the same limits for all types of vendors. She is also looking into if we could use a different type of contract for our samller vendors. This project is bigger and more complicated then we first thought and she has been very helpful and always eager to help. I feel Christina needs [to be] recognized for all of her behind the scenes work she is doing."
Christina Chieffo; Corporate Counsel - Illinois
•Jamee started at Garden Estates in late November after the property had been short staffed for months and various items started to pile up. Whereas some people may have become overwhelmed, Jamee seemed to dive right in with trying to get everything in order. Instead of waiting for instructions, Jamee asks questions. While I was at the property yesterday to help out with files, Jamee pointed out a drawer which contained Annual Certification paperwork. She asked that I train her on how to process this paperwork so she can get all the files in order. Even though this wasn’t part of her job, she saw something that needed to be completed, and made it her job."
"Jamee joined Garden Estates during a tumultuous time of employee turnover and some days it seemed the property would just fall off the edge of the earth. At the time, there was no baseline of how the property "should" run as everything was being reinvented to follow proper operational guidelines. Without a strong history to follow, Jamee really took this new role and ran with it to truly make it her own. From day one she treated each and every resident like gold and is a ray of sunshine in her pleasant phone manner and willingness to help. Residents often comment about how courteous she is and how great it is to have such nice people like her working in the office. She is eager to learn and absorb everything about the property and affordable housing guidelines. She is polite, professional, and to the point. She follows up with her team when needed, completes her work in a timely manner, and has become a wonderful front line office team member for the residents. Jamee is being recognized for jumping on board so quickly and putting her own smiling happy face stamp on the property in the first quarter of 2017."
Jamee Miller; Assistant Manager at Garden Estates - Indiana
"Steve has been a wonderful support for providing guidance on employee coaching and disciplinary issues in the first quarter (and always). Unfortunately we have been faced with a lot of turnover recently and I am sure he is overwhelmed with our seemingly constant employee issues, but he is always willing to help. Steve deserves a RAVE award for the first quarter because we keep throwing these terrible situations at him and he has taken it like a champ. More importantly, the performance webinar he delivered in March is a great example of how he puts a lot of effort to encourage team development and offer the best strategies for coaching and discipline. I feel that Steve is a great resource for the teams and encourages good coaching and development skills."
Steve Matre; Director of Education and Human Resources - Northbrook, Illinois
"Bill was the sole communicator and representative for our Company following the fire at the Metropolitan in Raleigh, North Carolina. Calls from reporters, emergency responders, near by businesses, and local displaced residents flooded the phones for weeks requesting the need to speak to a representative from our Company. This was an emotionally devastating and heavy burden to carry for one individual and he should be recognized for his efforts."
Bill Henry; President of Banner Development - Northbrook, Illinois
"David is always willing to go the extra mile. David assumed the position of Maintenance Supervisor because of his hard work and dedication to The Wellington. David managed to keep work orders completed and make readies within the turn time all while being the only maintenance team member here and learning his new position. Residents continue to rate David highly on all his Satisfacts scores. David never complains about anything and is always willing to take on new projects. David has displayed outstanding work ethic and continues to grow and embrace the Banner spirit."
David Teater; Maintenance Supervisor at The Wellington - Texas
"Banner Property Management has historically focused on the management of multi-family apartment housing. With added investment intentions in storage and other deals, Scott knew that Banner needed to refresh the branding for what the Company reflected today. Although this was a coordinated effort, Scott worked on finding and presenting the new Banner Real Estate Group name to the Board of Directors to make sure all of Banner's investment efforts were clearly branded and well represented. Scott worked on and sat in on all presentations for the overall logo refresh including the thought behind our revamped Banner logo, while maintaining the history and relevance to the Banner flags that have represented our Company so well throughout the years. Scott pushed himself outside of his comfort zone to work with the Marketing Director and work to create a new branding that represented the Banner of today."
Scott Levine; Vice President of Investor Relations - Northbrook, Illinois
"Bill is an outstanding Maintenance Supervisor who takes pride in the work he does daily. He also works terrific under pressure and can make a difficult situation into a positive learning experience for the rest of his maintenance team and the client effected by the problem. In February of this year we had a first floor home water pipe break under the concrete floor in the kitchen of an occupied home. The work needed to be done in a short period of time was extensive and needed outstanding supervision to make sure everything was done correctly and in an efficient manor. This issue effected 6 apartment homes that had to be with out running water in their kitchens for several days. Bill and his team worked together to make sure all residents were inconvenienced as little as possible. The resident in the first floor home had to be moved to a hotel and the apartment had extensive repairs. The repairs included locating the leak, tearing the kitchen floor out of the home, digging up the concrete, making plumbing repairs and reinstalling concrete in the apartment. Bill supervised the plumbing crew daily to make sure the work was completed correctly and in a timely matter. Bill and his team worked over time on the weekend to accommodate getting the resident back into their home faster then expected without any major issues. The residents were delighted to hear that instead of staying in the hotel for an additional 2 days, they were able to get back in their home on Saturday after maintenance completed the kitchen floor, counter top, kitchen sink and hook up was completed. All residents effected by the plumbing issue were very happy with the communication Bill provided on the progress and the repairs that were completed. Bill's customer service is outstanding and I am lucky to have him as part of The Greenway Team."
Bill Pedersen; Maintenance Supervisor at The Greenway - Illinois
"Jen's office is like the deli counter - take a number. She is extremely educated (Bach, JD, MST, MBA) - and is an invaluable resource. Her viewpoint is warm, but pragmatic. Inasmuch, she is a wonderful sounding board. Having her available as a second set of eyes has been terrific. She gets pulled into so many different areas of our company's businesses, but the real gift we give each other is our interaction - and she is always receptive and makes herself available."
Jen Nichols; Associate General Counsel - Northbrook, Illinois
"During our due diligence last week, Jill coordinated all the files for the 4 auditors and all the keys for inspections. This is no easy task, since there were numerous inspections going on at one time, along with make readies and work orders and routine pest control to be completed. There were 3 groups of walkers who requested keys to be pulled for an entire building (approximately 20 keys), along with environmental, engineering, lenders, and Freddie Mac. She was able to keep both the inspectors and the walkers busy with no down time for them waiting on a file or a key. The due diligence was completed before scheduled, thus allowing our office to get back to normal."
Jill Patterson; Assistant Manager at The Meadows - Kansas
"During the first quarter, Michael continued to show his stellar work ethic while finding time to tackle multiple projects. Michael was able to take on the roll-out and training of RentDynamics which has been meet with great excitement. Additionally, Michael played a pivotal role in the re-branding of Banner and the roll-out of the new Banner website. This was a project that included many changes during the process and his consideration of every detail was invaluable. The new logo was introduced during an event that was coordinated by Michael and featured a presentation that he himself conducted. Michael even spent the time to update the Banner corporate collateral with a new printer that even offered lower prices."
Michael DeFrang; Director of Marketing & Revenue Management - Lisle, Illinois
"On Sunday, February 26th Brian received an Emergency on-call message about power in half of the residents apartments not working. Upon his quick response he had determined that there was an electrical issue in the entire 690 building that was disabling power to half of the apartments. Some apartments without power to their refrigerator and some without heat. Brian came up with a brilliant idea to restore power to each residents apartment manually after getting the okay from the electrician eliminating the need to have the electrician come out on an emergency call (With their emergency rate pricing). Brian communicated with each resident in person and on the phone and explained what was going on making our residents informed and happy with his immediate repair to the issue. Originally we were notified by ComEd that the issue was our responsibility to repair. Brian was persistent and communicated with ComEd which resulted in ComEd overturning their original claim and had taken over responsibility for the repair. Currently the final repair to be made by ComEd is still pending. If not for Brian's quick thinking and experience our residents would STILL be without power (10 days)."
Brian Ericksen; Maintenance Supervisor at Emerald Pointe - Illinois
"Penny assisted me with cleaning up my ledgers and DHA payments. Penny is always helpful and knowledgeable. She is a wealth of information and I enjoy when she comes to my site because we get so much accomplished."
Penny Ennulat; Systems Educator & Support Specialist - Indiana
"These two pulled together and rocked it to keep Whisper Hollow a float during a time of great need. Last fall we lost our grounds keeper and our make ready tech. We went almost 6 months short handed. We did have help on occasion from BG Staffing (temp service) but a lot of the time it was just the two of them. The past quarter the two miracle workers were able to provide excellent customer service while keeping an upbeat and positive disposition. On top of routine maintenance and make readies they helped remodel the club house restrooms, moved furniture and put new desks together. Both of them at one point were ill and still came into work placing the needs of our residents and community first."
Stirling Porter & Sterling Wicks; Maintenance Supervisor & Assistant Supervisor at Whisper Hollow - Missouri
"Imagine getting the call at 9 pm that the project you have been working on for the past 18 months is up in flames. Not your ordinary fire (as if you could call any fire ordinary) but the worst fire in the City since the 1920's and it started at your building... The Metropolitan was in the final stages as it was suppose to open in August. I believe Jim deserves The Rave Award not only due to his efforts to bring us a solid product on time but also his professionalism and wonderful disposition dealing with all the fall out."
Jim Merkey; VP of Construction for Banner Development
"During a sale and due diligence of a property, the property has to be in tip top shape. Even though this is part of their everyday job, extra care has to be shown in work orders, daily trash pick ups, make readies, etc. Also, the staff needs to address any issues that arise from the due diligence quickly due to the time sensitiveness of the contract signing. [T]hey have worked under pressure of ensuring the property is up to snuff, getting make readies done with in the 7 day window per policy and everything else that is involved in the daily running of the property."
Meadows Maintenance Team; The Meadows - Kansas