Plumbing for Managers 101
December 10, 2013
This course will provide an introduction to basic plumbing for an employee with little or no plumbing knowledge. It is intended to help them make more informed decisions regarding plumbing issues at their property.
December 12, 2013
Join us for the installation of Scott Solomon as the Columbus Apartment Association's 2014 - 2015 President.
Complimentary valet service will be available for the event.
December 17, 2013
Apartments 101 is a crash course for the apartment industry, teaching you all you need to know as an on-site leasing team member to stand out and make things happen.
Event Details and Registration
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CAA is a member
of the Green Spot
November General Meeting 2013
CAA members met November 14 at the Longaberger Alumni House on the campus of The Ohio State University for the fourth and final General Meeting of 2013 to honor the three recipients of this year’s CAA Community Assistance Foundation awards.
Fred Damsen, presiding over his final General Meeting as President welcomed the attendees to the meeting and thanked members for their generosity in supporting the CAA Community Assistance Foundation through donations, Reverse Raffle tickets, Bowling teams, raffle items and at events throughout the year. Because of the generous support of CAA members each of the recipients received checks of $5,000 for their respective organizations.
The 2013 recipients were Patches of Light, The Red Cross and COMPASS. CAA President Fred Damsen first welcomed Mindy Atwood with Patches of Light to speak for a few minutes about her organization and how the funds from the CAA Community Assistance Foundation benefit children and families who are receiving treatment from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Ms. Atwood presented a brief video outlining the mission of Patches for Light and graciously accepted the $5,000 donation from the CAA.
Next, Mr. Damsen presented a first-hand account of how the Red Cross has helped Roger C. Perry & Co.’s properties through fires and asked the attendees how many had been impacted by a fire or disaster on their properties. Several attendees raised their hands. “The Red Cross is a big asset to apartment owners. They are there to help regardless of the size of the disaster,” he said prior to introducing Matt Bertram of the Red Cross.
Mr. Bertram presented a slideshow outlining the impact of each disaster and the strength of Red Cross volunteers. He stated that of 796 disasters, 95% have been in response to single family or multifamily fires and that their over 2400 volunteers are always ready to assist when called.
The staff of the Red Cross outlined the response to a fire beginning with Kurt Jackson of the Disaster Action Team (DAT) the first group on site with the support of a Red Cross vehicle. The DAT is called by the fire department and after arriving they meet with the fire department to assess the situation using their vehicle as a mobile unit to provide support and shelter for victims.
Next, Royce Wood of the Red Cross begins the process of setting up case worker response to offer comfort, support, food, shelter, clothing, immediate finances, even toiletries if needed.
The third step comes in the form of Damage Assistance evaluating if the unit is destroyed or if the resident can return, if temporary shelter is required or something more long term. They evaluate the whole picture from prescriptions to utilities.
Finally, additional services are set up ranging from Disaster Health Services providing glasses, hearing aids, prescriptions and any other health needs that might be necessary. Additionally, Disaster Mental Health Services can be arranged and even assistance with packing for temporary shelter.
There are more the 30 functions that the Red Cross provides. Their volunteer army is always practicing and ready in the event of a disaster.
“It costs between $2,000 and $3,000 per family for each disaster. Our goal is to only see you hear once a year at this meeting,” he said. “We hope we never meet on your property. But, if we do, helpful tips you can use are knowing how many vacancies you have, knowing who is available to make decisions and knowing where a common space is that we can use to set up our case workers. This way we can get people into temporary housing as soon as possible.”
This year’s third recipient was COMPASS, an organization providing mortgage and rent assistance to those in need. COMPASS representatives Fredericka Deena and Bruce Wilford spoke about their mission to end homelessness and promote self-sufficiency.
Ms. Deena asked each member of the audience to take out their keys and evaluate what each key meant to them. Some answered that their keys meant work, home and family. She then asked, “Do you remember when you were handed the keys to your first home? To me, that meant accomplishment. We help people keep that key.”
Speaking from her own personal experience when she needed a hand up as a single mother Ms. Deena told the story of how one person helped her as she was struggling just after college. She said it was now their goal to find people to move the money forward.
COMPASS began through a partnership of 30 churches who found people coming to them just on the edge of losing their homes. Mr. Wilson said it was their goal to find people who were a good investment. “Not all of those we help are chronic strugglers,” he said. “Some are professionals in the suburbs who have had just one too many things go wrong.”
An initiative of COMPASS in 2014 is to provide micro credit loans. “We will provide $300 in loans to provide a hand up,” Ms. Deena said, “We will provide mentors to help get people back on track. As people pay off the loans we will put some of that money back into a savings account for them to help them build for the future. It is our goal to provide a hand up.”
CAA Executive Director, Laura Swanson, once again thanked the membership for their support throughout the year and recognized the Foundation Board: Fred Damsen, Steve Hess, Rebecca Perry Damsen, Scott Solomon, Dave Anderson and Matt Huggins for their work in fundraising and selecting the recipients.
Kicking off fundraising for the 2014 Community Assistance Foundation campaign, a $50 gift card for The Final Cut Steakhouse at the Hollywood Casino was raffled off. Ms. Swanson thanked everyone for coming and extended invitations for the CAA Installation Dinner at the Columbus Athletic Club on December 12 to swear in 2014-2015 President Scott Solomon and the first General Meeting of 2014 next March.
Red Cross Presentation
Celebrating & Honoring
Each year we invite our wonderful Foundation recipients, the Foundation Board and you, the contributors, to celebrate and thank you for all of your support of 2013 CAF related activities.
This year's recipients are:
This is your opportunity to attend an uplifting event where attendees enjoy lunch and listen to presentations from our admirable recipients while recognizing all they do for the multifamily industry.
November 14, 2013
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. (Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.)
$25 in advance or at the door
Parking Pass: Anyone attending the GM must print this parking pass and place it on the dash of their car.
Maintenance Techs Compete Fight for Top Spot
Nearly 20 technicians came out on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, to complete in CAA’s second annual Maintenance Mania competition. Eight management companies were represented, as owners, property managers and leasing specialists joined to cheer on their competing maintenance technicians. Spectators donned company t-shirts, waved pom-poms and held signs as they shouted cheers of encouragement to their teams.
During the event, competing technicians completed a series of seven maintenance-themed games as fast as possible. Featured games included, icemaker installation, ceiling fan installation and duo Flush toilet conversion among others.
Maintenance Mania, hosted by HD Supply and the National Apartment Association, allows affiliate members to vie for a chance to compete at the national competition held each year at the NAA’s education conference.
Those participants with the fastest combined times in each of the 10 regions are sent to compete on a national level. Ten “wild card” finalists – those participants with the next 10 fastest times across all the regions – are also sent. National qualifiers compete for the Championship Cup, a Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) scholarship, and a pot of more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.
Congratulations to the winners!
Winners for the overall games:
• CFG Faucet Installation: Joe Myers, CASTO, 20.46
• Fluidmaster Duo Flush Toilet Conversion: John Grunden, 21.34
• Frigidaire Icemaker Installation: Steve Newman, CASTO, 8.27
• Kidde Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety Installation: Joe Myers, CASTO, 8.21
• Kwikset Key Control Deadbolt Test: Joe Myers, CASTO, 14.43
• Bradford White Water Heater Installation: Joe Myers, CASTO, 13.78
• Seasons Ceiling Fan Installation: Steve Newman, CASTO, 16.75
Thank you to our sponsors:
American School of Technology
Columbus Apartment Guide
County Fire Protection
Ohio Mesh Technologies
Royal Finish, Inc.
VIP Waste Services
Maintenance Mania Video from The Columbus Dispatch
Certificate of Apartment Maintenance Technicians training
Register for the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT)
program, the only apartment maintenance certificate that has ANSI accreditation.
CAMT is offered as a blended learning program, a combination of classroom and
online learning. This program is sponsored by the National Apartment Association
Education Institute and the Columbus Apartment Association.
The member price is $800 for the entire CAMT program. All classroom
trainings will be held 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Columbus Apartment Association
Headquarters located at 1225 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215.
Prior to the start of the classroom sessions, you will have had to complete the online
content required for Interior & Exterior Maintenance, Electrical Maintenance and
Plumbing Maintenance. The remaining online content must be completed by the
start of the second group of classes. You will receive information regarding the
online content upon registration. You must attend ALL classroom sessions and
complete ALL the online content to earn your CAMT certificate.
Classroom Course Schedule:
January 14-16, 2014
Interior & Exterior Maintenance Repair
Electrical Maintenance and Repair
Plumbing Maintenance and Repair
February 4-6, 2014
HVAC Electrical Troubleshooting & System Differences
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Appliance Maintenance Repair
For more information about the course please contact Kim McCrossen at 703-797-
September General Meeting
Over 100 CAA members attended the General Meeting at ShadowBox in downtown Columbus on September 19th to hear Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s vision for Columbus.
Executive Director Laura Swanson welcomed the attendees and Kathryn Benedum of the Columbus Apartment Guide introduced several new members in attendance to the group before CAA President, Fred Damsen of Roger C. Perry, Co. introduced Mayor Coleman for the keynote address.
Coleman began with his belief that Columbus is different from other cities because of the ability and willingness of everyone to work toward common problems and a readiness to seek results to make the city a better place to work and raise a family.
“Our city has done marvelous things,” Coleman said of the largest city in the state currently double the size of Cleveland with Cincinnati coming in at one third of the Capital city’s population. “People migrate to great cities. That’s where things happen. That’s where there are possibilities. People leave the bad places for the good and Columbus is good.”
The Mayor sited several statistics to further his point of Columbus’ strength stating that Columbus has the seventh strongest economy in the country, is number one for female business founders and is fourth best for Young Adults and 50,000 new jobs have been created in Columbus since 2010.
“We always have to work toward progress and change along the way,” he said. In 2002 the direction of the progress and change focused on downtown. “I wanted to make downtown a neighborhood of people.”
Now, there are twice as many residents downtown and the apartment and condo market is booming with over $100 million invested and an additional 785 units coming online in the next 45 days. In the near future over 1 million people will call Columbus home.
That population growth has created many infrastructure needs for the City. Coleman sited work on Education, the airport and transportation as issues that will need to be faced.
Improvements to streets and highways, lighting, bike paths, fire equipment, police facilities and safety cameras are on the list of infrastructure improvements the city needs to make in the coming years. Including work on the 70/71 split, a $1 billion project that will ease travelers commute into downtown and provide new access points. The Mayor said the next step is to create additional caps over the highways similar to that built over 670 thus creating additional reasons for people to come downtown and to stay once they’re there.
Addressing the issues with the airport, Coleman indicated that Port Columbus needed a face lift and was happy to see that project in full swing with an $80 million investment. He expressed his desire to see more direct flights both domestically and internationally. His vision for Port Columbus also includes a multipurpose hub that would include a rail station to transport people into downtown and a hub for the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).
“We have to invest in education, it is the best investment we have,” Colman said. “Our districts are failing on almost every front. We are going to use the success as a toe hold to build on them.”
The list of education investments included additional dollars to special needs education, a pre-kindergarten education for every child, technology in classrooms and replicating the good schools that are already in place, specifically siting Fort Hayes and Columbus Alternative High Schools as examples.
Another example provided was the relocation of Africentric to the former Woodland Meadows land. The school will have 56 acres to create their campus that will include athletic facilities and a lot of green space.
Coleman also addressed the potential Mount Carmel West hospital move out of Franklinton. “It’s a high probability. It’s not a fact,” he said. Adding that the hospital has not yet made plans clear. “Other things can move in, there will be a re-use of the property to mitigate the loss. I’m disappointed, but, I’m not deterred.”
“There is an overall plan. A land use plan,” he said discussing Franklinton. Adding that two streets will be converted from one-way to two-way traffic patterns and entry ways will greet visitors to the area with arches on Main and State Streets. “Franklinton is just steps away. It’s all coming together.”
A partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority will help move in more residential housing and the city is in the process of acquiring land. With an additional 2,500 new units in 4 or 5 story properties with retail options coming in just east of Franklinton. The Columbus zoo will be building a new facility between the Rich and Main Street bridges. The narrowing of the Scioto River will also create an additional 30 acres of green space and bikeways by the end of 2015.
Mayor Coleman was generous with his time graciously answering several questions from CAA members before wrapping up the discussion.
If you were unable to make it to this General Meeting the CAA hope’s to see you on November 14 at the Longaberger Alumni House for the final Meeting of 2013.
Children's Hunger Alliance Summer Feed Program
Summer Feed Program Targets Apartments
In 2013 the Children’s Hunger Alliance targeted multifamily developments as a way to expand their Summer Feed program. The program operates in much the same way as the breakfast and lunch programs available through schools, however, fewer children know of the opportunity to take advantage in the summer as well. The Children’s Hunger Alliance aims to locate summer feed programs in areas where children can take advantage.
One such location is Southpark Apartments off of Greenlawn Avenue in Columbus. Southpark has participated in various summer feeding programs for the past eight year and believes the program operated by the Hunger Alliance is one of the best.
“We don’t find food around the property,” Joanne Rojo, District Manager for American Apartment Management said of the program. “With our past programs we would find food that hadn’t been finished left around. You know it’s not good when a child won’t finish pizza.”
The Hunger Alliance provides breakfast and lunch to Southpark and relies on volunteers from the Godwin Guild to distribute the food to those children in need. Each day lines form just before noon filled with kids from ages one to 18 waiting on their lunch. At Southpark approximately 70 breakfasts and 180 lunches are provided each day during the summer.
The Godman Guild is a group that employs youth ages 14 – 24 through Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services funding. Southpark volunteers Shaun Ahrens, Yussuf Ibrow and Aminah Mohamed provide hand sanitizer for the children entering and see that they are checked in through the program before receiving their lunch. Ibrow and Mohamed are also Southpark residents and participants in the summer feed program.
At Southpark they have found that the program helps to foster an ethnic mix. Children enter the classroom and receive their lunch and eat together in the classroom or congregate in groups on the steps just outside. Each day, any uneaten items can be placed on the classroom “share” table. Any item left is available to be taken by another participant. Children use the table as a form of trading one thing for another.
“The participation fluctuates,” said Amanda Wampler, Summer Nutrition Manager for the Children’s Hunger Alliance, “At the beginning of the month we see a drop off. By the middle and end of the moth attendance picks up. This is true at all of our sites.”
There are approximately 300 sites offering the Hunger Alliance Summer Feed program and Wampler hopes to see that number grow next year as they continue to promote the program. In 2012 throughout the state of Ohio 64,000 children participated in the program. Ohio ranks 37th in the country with only 13% of eligible children participating.
“We’re going to talk soon about how we can continue to grow the program,” she said. “We would love to get into more locations and see more kids take advantage of the opportunity.”
If you would like to more information on participation in 2014 visit www.makesummercount.org or contact the Amanda Wampler at the Children’s Hunger Alliance at 614-643-8019 or
Popularity of Community Gardens Growing in Multifamily Housing
As more and more multifamily options come to the Central Ohio area, developments are looking for ways to get a leg up on the competition and provide amenities that residents want and will keep them in their apartments longer.
One such amenity that is beginning to pop up is a community garden. At Stratford Chase Apartments, the community garden is in its third year and has already been expanded once and a possibility exists that it will be expanded again in the future.
The project began three years ago with eight plots given to residents on a first come first served basis. Due to the high demand the project was doubled to 16 plots in year two. Now, the community is looking at the possibility of doubling the project again to allow more residents to take advantage of the garden.
“Minutes after the residents are notified the office starts to receive reservations,” said Mike Snyder, Manager at Stratford Chase. “They are assigned on a first come, first served basis. We provide the bed, the dirt and the water. The residents are responsible for the rest.”
One resident who is taking advantage of the option for the first time is Michelle Schleppi who is teaching her nine year old son, Jacob, how to garden. Schleppi’s sister Jennifer Williams also helps keep the produce tended.
“Michelle was really excited to share the opportunity with her son,” Williams said. “They are really excited to see the fruits and vegetables of their labor. It really makes this feel like home.”
Williams said that their biggest success thus far has been the zucchini. They’ve embraced healthy eating and have discovered new things including zucchini chips.
Mindy Stephenson, a 10 year resident, has been participating in the community garden sharing a plot with four of her neighbors since its inception.
“There are four of us who each get a plot then we put them together and share in the responsibility and the produce,” she said. “It saves money and you get the best, homegrown produce. When we have summer get-togethers everyone brings something that’s fresh and homemade from the garden.”
Stratford Chase lists the garden as a bullet point in its marketing, Snyder said. “We have even had a couple people move in just because of the gardens.”
The cost for implementation was minimal Snyder noted estimating that each plot costs less than $200. For the 16 total plots he estimated they spent less than $1,000 to purchase and install. The plots were all purchased as a kit online and installed by the property.
Snyder said another advantage to the gardens is curb appeal. “So many residents were growing things in containers and around the sides of their units,” he said. “That doesn’t really have curb appeal. The gardens help cut down on seeing vegetables growing around the property.”
Notices are sent to residents in April and the gardens open by the beginning of May. Residents are asked to have their plots cleared by mid-November.
“They’ve learned many tips and tricks from the fellow gardeners and they have learned what will grow well and not so well this year,” Williams said. “This is definitely something Michelle and Jacob will do again next year.”
CAA Wins Prestigious Award
The CAA is proud to have brought home its fourth National Apartment Association (NAA) Paragon award. Thanks to the devotion of the membership committee to seek out new members and retain current ones, the CAA was the winner of the Membership Development Award for its efforts in 2012.
The NAA Paragon awards recognize the leading individuals, communities and affiliate programs in the multifamily housing industry. To be considered for an award, members must compile detailed information and submit it the NAA.
There were many criteria to meet to be considered for the Membership Development Award. The CAA was judged in the following areas:
- Cost Effectiveness: The membership recruitment efforts were extremely cost effective, as in the membership committee volunteers their time call and visit potential members to encourage them to apply. There is also no cost in printing the names of new members in the Age newsletter or on the CAA website.
- Goals and Objectives: Every a goal is set not only to increase the number of members, but to also increase the number of units. The committee set a goal to increase primary members by seven. There were able to reach their goal in a short five months. By the end of 2012 the new primary members had tripled their goal. The committee also surpassed the goal to increase the unit count by 2,000, with 3,361 new units on the year. There was also a focus on continuing the high rates of retention by instituting a recognition program during 2012 for longtime members.
- Demonstration of Growth: In 2012, there was a total of 21 new primary members, giving the CAA a 10.5 percent increase over the 2011 primary membership. Thirty – one new associate members were gained in 2012 for a growth of 4 percent over 2011.
- Innovation: To highlight the value and benefits of being a CAA member, the committee implemented a recognition program for members who had been with the organization for 20 years or more. In all, 97 companies were recognized at General Membership Meetings, in the Age newsletter and on the CAA website throughout the year. This program not only honored members for their dedication, but also encourage newer members to continue to invest in the organization and be involved.
- Member Involvement: The recognition program for longtime members again fits this criterion. primary members were also encouraged to do business with associate members and if they worked with vendors who were not already members, to encourage those members to join. Primary members were asked to supply the CAA with the contact information for these non-member vendors, which then lead to an increase in Associate members.
- Target Audience: For the CAA this includes current and potential members. The committee focuses on recruiting new primary members by learning of new properties in the building stages, new companies purchasing existing properties or companies who have not previously taken advantage of a membership with the CAA.
- Program Success: This criterion again relates back to the number of new members and the percentage of retention from 2012.
- Demonstration of Retention: The CAA retained 92 percent of its primary members 2011 and 89 percent of the associate members.
The CAA applauds the continued recruitment and retention efforts of the membership committee and thanks our members for their devotion and involvement with the CAA.
Hard Work Pays Off
from Laura Swanson, Executive Director
It is an honor for me to take a moment and recognize the hard work and dedication of the CAA Membership Committee.
It was through the vision and leadership of David Holzer, Vice President, that the Membership Committee actively worked to recruit and retain members and to ensure that the CAA leadership and staff realized the needs of the members. Our Membership Committee worked diligently with staff to develop strategies to ensure that the Associate and Primary members’ expectations were being met.
As a result of their diligence, the CAA won the National Apartment Association (NAA) Paragon Award for Membership Development. This is a very prestigious honor for the CAA.
The CAA met numerous criteria in order to win the award. Each year a goal is set to increase both the number of members and the number of units. In January 2012, the CAA Membership Committee set a goal of increasing the Primary Membership by seven new members. That goal was met by May 2012 and the Committee then decided to increase the goal to 2,000 new units. At the end of 2012 the CAA increased membership by 3,361 new units. A total of 21 new Primary Members and 31 new Associate Members joined the CAA in 2012.
In an effort to continue the high rates of retention the CAA sees each year, the Membership Committee implemented a year long recognition program for the 97 companies who have been members of the CAA for 20 years or longer. The list was divided into four sections and at each CAA General Membership Meeting, individuals representing each of those companies were invited to attend free of charge to be recognized during the meeting. In addition, the list was printed in each of the five CAA Apartment Age newsletters produced in 2012 and on the CAA Website.
It is through guidance and commitment such as David Holzer’s, and the enthusiasm of those on the Committee, that the CAA is able to grow and thrive. As always, please encourage your colleagues and vendor partners to explore all of the significant things the CAA has to offer so we can continue to build on our successes!
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