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Capstone On-Campus Management

Message from the Corner Office

Newsletter March 2013

To continue to excel as specialists in the management of student housing owned by non-profits

Inside this issue: From the Corner Office


HR Corner


iPhone Tip


Maintenance Tip


AGM Homecoming


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March 2013

Doug Brown

In the February newsletter, Capstone goals were shared. Over the next few months and year we will be educating our colleagues on how these goals are not merely items to “check off” a list but should be part of our work culture and daily lives of providing excellent service as Capstone On-Campus Management.

Staff Updates Goal: To improve operational efficiencies Congratulations to Michelle Smith who completed all the requirements to renew her LEED Green Associate designation through USGBC.

iPromise Spotlights Letter from parent regarding staff at Frostburg State University I would like to acknowledge Debbie Daniels, Director and Shaye Bostic, Office Coordinator. This year has been a very pleasant experience in dealing with situations with Edgewood Commons/Frostburg. I have dealt with Debbie Daniels regarding my daughter’s bill and had questions about her room at Edgewood. Debbie took the time to research the information and got back to me in a timely manner. I have had the pleasure of dealing with Debbie on several occasions and she has always shown respect, patience and most of all kindness. Then there is Shaye Bostic; I actually speak to her most of the time when I call to make payments. Where do I start? Shaye is such an asset to your organization, she makes it such a pleasure and joy to speak to her. She provides excellent customer service and quality always! Shaye is also patient, kind and has a nice since of humor. Words can't express the excellence, professionalism and integrity that both Mrs. Daniels and Mrs. Bostic show in handling any situation that may arise. It's so easy to write or call about the negative or bad things people do and say. I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the good about these two individuals hoping that some type of acknowledgement would be done for them. Sometimes, it’s the little things that people do that make a big impact. You are very blessed to have them working in their positions where they make a difference. Thank you! Bowling Green Staff Step Up A huge thank you goes to Dean Bellas and Corey Reedy for writing a section of the Capstone Wiki. Their topic was handling water penetrations. The document they created is a valuable resource for all of us. Be sure to read it when you have a moment. It’s in the “emergency procedures” section of the wiki.

Great Job!

Improving anything starts with asking questions and when it comes to asking questions - I have a bit of a reputation. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a natural curiosity for understanding why things are the way they are. My curiosity seems to heighten when something seems to be taken for granted. I am reminded of the story of the mother and daughter in the kitchen preparing Sunday dinner. Mom reads her mother’s recipe for making grandma’s famous roast. After seasoning the meat, Mom cuts the end of the roast and puts it in a large roasting pan. The daughter asks, “why did you cut off the end of the roast?” “Because the recipe says so” Mom replies. “But why?” replies the daughter. In an impatient tone Mom replies, “you will have to call your grandma and ask her because I am just too busy to answer all your questions.” The daughter rushes to the telephone. “Grandma, why do you cut off the end of the roast before you put it in the pan?” The grandma replied like the Mom, “Because it says so in the recipe and your Great-Grandmother was famous for her roast.” No sooner did the words leave her mouth the granddaughter offered up a follow-up question, “but why?” You will have to call your Great –Grandmother to find out. With determination in full force this little girl went straight for Great Grandma’s phone number and before Great Grandma even said hello she was greeted by the question, “Great Grandma, why do you cut off the end of the roast before you put it in the pan?” “Well Honey,” Great Grandma replied in a patient tone, “I never had a pan big enough for the entire roast.”

For Capstone On-Campus to prosper we must never lose our natural curiosity. We must challenge every process, question decisions and stay focused on our purpose. When I think of becoming more efficient I think of finding better ways to do the things that stand in the way of delivering greater value. This is a standard to aspire to as individuals and as a company and often getting there starts with a single question: Why?

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ― Albert Einstein

Capstone On-Campus Management

Human Resources Corner

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Jeff Kirkpatrick, ESU

Take a Look: Federal and State informational posters We recently received our new signs from the State of Pennsylvania and Federal agencies such as OSHA. Each site will have similar signs as directed by the federal/state governments. It is important that your site has any such documentation or required posted signage in a location open to all staff (both professional and student). It must also be clearly visible and not obstructed. Notifying all current and new staff of its location is also mandated.

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March 2013

iPhone / iPad Tip of the Month

Trisha Wells, Regional VP

How to add custom ringtones You may find it handy to assign custom ringtones to contacts. For example, you can have a special ring for when your supervisor calls so you know to answer quickly! 1) Open Contacts Open the Contact file for the person you want to have a custom ringtone

2) Touch "edit" Scroll down to the ringtone choice and touch

If you have not read these signs at your site take some time to do so. There is important information of which you should be aware. They include information for minimum wage requirements, state and federal labor laws, safety information, and worker’s compensation. Hopefully you will not need to utilize any of it but you should at least know its location and what it entails. 3) Touch the ringtone you want for that contact and touch save

Training Factor FACTS     

Gray Bekurs, VP of Operations

Total company-wide courses completed: 6,936 Percentage of tests taken that are passed: 99% Average Score: 88% The Training Factor representative shared Capstone has a higher score average than most of their clients. Yay Capstone! Top course completers: 1. Joe Cantona (44) – Start Up Specialist 2. Jennifer Juliano (41) – Mass Art 3. Sean Claggett (39) – South Campus Commons 4. Margaret Schotto (38) – Fayette Square 5. Nghia Nguyen (36) – Towson Place Apartments

4) If you wish, next go to vibration and touch Touch the vibration sequence you want for the contact (this way you'll know who is calling when your phone is muted) and touch save. Touch done

Another handy feature on the iPhone is the "favorites" menu. While you are in the contact record, scroll down to the bottom. Touch "Add to Favorites". Return to the home screen then touch the Phone option. Touch "favorites" and you'll see that contact on the list.

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Capstone On-Campus Management


Michelle Smith & Trisha Wells, Regional Vice Presidents

The GreenStone results are tallied and we found that you did amazing work sustainability work in 2012! We know you are always busy with many different things and squeezing sustainability into your priorities deserves appreciation. Thank you! Awards were distributed at the AGM retreat in February. In addition to the plaque, each full time employee at the winning sites received a small memento. Here are the winners: Community


Blount Hall and Blazer Hall Housing at Florida Atlantic University Rountree Commons Taylor Place The Continuum The Heights University Ridge Walker Avenue Apartments Campus Corner Apartments


University of Alabama, Birmingham

Platinum Platinum Platinum Platinum Platinum Platinum Platinum Silver

Florida Atlantic University University of Wisconsin - Platteville Arizona State University University of Florida, Gainesville Montclair State University East Stroudsburg University University of Maryland Baltimore County Green River Community College

Christa McAuliffe Residential Community


Bowie State University

The Summit at Queens College South Campus Commons

Silver Certified

Queens College University of Maryland College Park

The Courtyards at University of Maryland


University of Maryland College Park

Where’s your uniform?


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March 2013

Maintenance Tip of the Month

Dean Bellas and Ralph Reinhart (BGSU)

When washing out paint rollers, most people try to squeeze/spin out as much water from the roller as possible before leaving it to dry. Often times, the roller is left standing up in a bucket or sink to dry. By standing the roller up to dry all the remaining water in the roller will drip/puddle at the end of the roller cover. The collection of diluted paint water can cause paint flaking in the roller cover next time you paint with it. To avoid flaking by the roller, feed a hanger through the cover and hang the roller cover. This will allow water to drip off the roller. Additionally, this will help fluff up the nap on the roller cover.

Maintenance Corner UPDATE!!!!!! We wanted to provide follow up with the fill tank diverter for toilets shared last month. With some testing, we have determined a 3.5 gallon toilet saved ½ gallon per flush. On the low-flow 1.6 gallon toilet we determined about 20 ounces per flush was saved. Ralph has used one on his 3.5 gallon toilet at home since 1995 and has only had to plunge the toilet three times for his wife.

David McGarvey, South Campus Commons

Are you always in uniform? When it comes to customer service, there’s more to your company team apparel than just clothes or an ID. Most important is your tool belt! I’m not talking just about the maintenance folks, here. Your tool belt is your entire repertoire of tricks, tips, and techniques that aid you in satisfying your customer. One of the most important tools is your friendly disposition. This can most easily be seen on your uniform as nothing more than a smile. A friendly smile can go a long way in making every customer service experience especially satisfactory. Don’t believe me? Just try it! You’ll find that more often than not, approaching your customers with a smile will give conversations an air of confidence and pleasure. When you tell them that it’s your pleasure to help them, they’ll believe it! For those conversations that to go awry, smiles can help cover up those micro-expressions that can sometimes creep into our body language, even when we really do want to still help that difficult customer.

Spruced Up Restrooms Jerrod Hodge, UWP It was an inexpensive project using removable vinyl decals! This was a test project for some we are considering for later. They go on and off without damaging the underlying wall (only certain types are good for this) and the student response has been very positive. We are looking at the long-term to create some ‘dynamic’ art pieces that students can contribute to and change by moving and rearranging the shapes/items. Thus complimenting the existing emphasis on featuring student art throughout our site.

Capstone On-Campus Management

AGM Retreat Reflection

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Amy Famighetti, East Stroudsburg

This year’s AGM retreat had a big impact on me. I thought all the presenters did an outstanding job. I look forward to attending the retreats because I return home learning something new and meeting new and interesting people within my field. 

The Millennial presentation was very informative and Aida (McGowan at Coppin) did a great job presenting it. Since we all work in an environment with Millennial’ s, I received a better understanding on the needs/wants of them and how to continue to work with them on a daily basis.

Lauren’s (Pigott at ASU) presentation of personal financing/budgeting was great. It was nice to hear people open up and hear the struggles that we all go through. Lauren’s budget template is something that I am looking forward to starting on my own.

Michelle’s (Smith at FAU) presentation was amazing. I felt more positive just listening to her. It was very empowering!

Finally, I am glad to have listened to Brian Kraft’s emergency response presentation. I want to look into some of the information that he shared and see how I can fit it into our emergency manual.

All in all, this was my favorite retreat yet. All the presentations were great and I am able to implement each one into my daily work.

When Michelle Smith (RVP/FAU) heard that Sharon Khan (AGM - Queens College) had NEVER had a "hot" Krispy Kreme doughnut...well the night was then determined. It just HAD to be done - here are the 'Krispy Kreme Kids' getting ready to enjoy the piping hot sugar high that comes from these light pastries . (L to R) Michelle Smith (RVP/FAU), Sharon Khan (QUC), Melynda Davis (QUC), Brian Kraft (RVP), Carol Thomas (GRC) , Greg Washburn (FAU)

March 2013

My Homecoming Reflection

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Greg Washburn, Mnt Supervisor at FAU

My trip to the homecoming was great. The opportunity to meet with the Capstone corporate staff was awesome since being in South Florida makes Corporate seem so far away. The trip to the homecoming was exciting as well. I am sure if you were there you figured out I like to fly. The trip started in Ft. Lauderdale and took Michelle, Raul and I to Jacksonville. Here we got to sit in a terminal and check-out the aircraft taking off and landing. From there it was off to our final destination Birmingham. Other than the turbulence that made us feel like a milk shake - all was good. I think Michelle was sleeping since I heard some sound that sounded like snoring coming from behind me. Michelle went to get her checked bags and Raul and I began digging out the coats for the trip to the hotel or so we thought. We were met by Jeff Kirkpatrick and chauffeured to the cell phone holding area to wait for more arrivals. Some were not as lucky as we, they were delayed because of a late arriving crew. After Jeff was able to get his pickup complete, we shot off to the Marriot. The Hotel was great and the service was better! Raul and I had dinner at the hotel and from there we shuffled off to our rooms to try to get some sleep. The first night is the worst night being away from home; excited for what is to come it can make it difficult to sleep. But I was able to get some shut eye and make it down to breakfast by 7am. We were given breakfast tickets and the breakfast was very good. You could not have asked for better. The first day was filled with who is who at corporate. Then started the presentations, first was the “State of the Stone” which was given by Doug Brown and Sandy Hill. They were so funny. I believe just about every Regional VP had a presentation including of course our Super RVP/Director Michelle Smith, did she ever put on a great performance. She had them rolling in their chairs. Never thought talking about relationships could be so funny. The lunches both days were very good and I definitely gained a pound or two, ok three. My favorite part (besides my boss’s presentation of course!) was the breakout sessions. This was where I got to learn a lot about the other sites. It was educational to hear the different methods used by the different sites to do the same thing we do at ours. It was also fun mingling with the others even though I am not a socialite. The end of the second day was filled with everyone having to share a short (2 minute) presentation about their community. It was great listening to the others talk, show videos, do power point presentations and recite poems about our different sites. All was good then it came time for Raul and me to get our two minutes of fame. Of course when Tara was not watching we may have pushed it to three minutes, OOPS. I think the presentation was good even if we did forget to turn the sound on. I don’t try to get into trouble, but I guess I should not have invited everyone to come down and check out our site in South Florida. When they asked to have the AGM conference down in South Florida I said talk to Michelle and Capstone - I am for it. Oops again, although I will keep asking.The trip back home started real early and all went very well. Got home and crashed. Thank you for a wonderful conference, meeting fun yet professional peers and fantastic food. This was a terrific experience.

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Capstone On-Campus Management

iPromise Spotlights - AGM Homecoming edition Assistant Manager Homecoming You all were terrific at the AGM conference…very participatory, energetic, professional and just down right fun to be with. Thank you for your time and information. Your PSAs were very creative and informative. I enjoyed visiting with all of you. Until the family reunion of 2014…have a great year and feel free to call me if you need another ear. The best of success to all of you! Michelle Smith, RVP and Director at FAU AGM Conference Committee, You all did an AWESOME job on the AGM conference. From communication, to the programs, to logistics and the hospitality room – all were top-notch. To plan for 40 or so people and get them here from all over the country, get them to where they need to be every day requires quite a bit of planning. It was all very very good. You set the bar quite high for the next AGM meeting. Thank you again. See you at the next ‘family reunion’. Michelle Smith, Greg Washburn and Raul Acosta - FAU

Great Job!

App Idea

David McGarvey, South Campus Commons

Evernote is a note-taking, idea-saving application that has been adopted by over 3 million people. It syncs up your notes with a remote server, so accessing your latest notes on multiple devices is automatic. When you upload images, Evernote will make them searchable. You can embed files as well, though only PDFs, .txt and images with the free version. The premium service enables a few additional features such as embedding any kind of files and increasing the amount of bandwidth allotted to you per month. Want to take it a step further, try Skitch. Take photos, notes, and other files and draw on them on your smartphone or tablet! Save the files directly to Evernote for easy sharing among all your devices. You can add notation quickly and easily. Most important, it’s simple. This is best for those who prefer simplicity and integration over the bells and whistles.

March 2013

Maintenance savings

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Ed Doxey & Tommy Tejeda, Queens College

In today’s tough times we all do our part to try and save money. In the Summit maintenance department it is always at the top of our list. My dad always used to say to me: ”take care of the pennies the dollars take care of themselves.” It not only is our job but it is our responsibility! Trying to save money requires a lot of work; you must play vendors against each other for the cheaper price, look up on line, look up advertising leaflets, newspapers yes even those annoying “pop-up ads” on your lap top, look up the suppliers catalogs, sales items and many, many phone calls.    

All products used on your site whether it is used once a year or several times a day must be bid on by at least two to three different companies to ensure you are saving for the company. Remember bidding and haggling has been around for a long time! Saving money saves money to put towards payroll and saving money can save jobs! Saving money allows money to be used towards a “wish list” for that needed tool for the shop or even additional exterior windows cleaning - don’t forget about “curb appeal”! Think about that smile you have on your face when you got the same item that your next door neighbor bought for a few bucks more, who smiles bigger? That adds to how big are the “higher ups” smiling?

Doing your own construction projects that don’t require structure support and in-house staff has the capabilities of doing the work - let them. It is cheaper, even with over time / off hours. And it’s a win for both sides of the team. They can expand their input, gain more accomplishments and put their knowledge into the building showing that they care along with the management.

Key For Hope

Amanda Pelar, Walker Avenue Apartments

Due to the high amount of turn-over in higher education housing, having extra keys and lock cores on reserve is a good standard practice. But what do you do with all of those keys and cores when you switch out your system to new cores, or turn to a card-swipe system? You could throw them in the recycling bin and forget all about them, but why not turn that trash into someone else’s treasure? Key for Hope is a nonprofit organization based out of Avon, Massachusetts whose mission is to turn old keys into meals for the hungry. They take donations of old keys and locks, as well as other metals like copper, sell them for scrap metal to a local recycling center, and give 100% of the money earned from the donated metal to the food pantry or food distribution center of your choice. All you have to do is contact them, collect the metal, and send it to them. Key for Hope offers promotional materials and collection buckets if you wish to turn it into a community drive for the campus, and they will help you raise awareness through the local community by writing press releases you can send out to local media outlets. 50 keys can be melted down into a pound of scrap metal, so if you spread the word, you can make a real difference in your site’s community! Check out, or tweet them @ KFHrecyclekeys for further information.

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Corporate Staff Spotlight : Brian Kraft Nickname: BK What is your role with COCM? Regional Manager How long have you been with COCM? 3 ½ years

Capstone On-Campus Management

To strive to provide services that are remarkable to my colleagues, residents, and clients.

431 Office Park Drive Birmingham, AL: 35223

To submit articles contact:

Tara Wilkinson Associate Vice-President of Operations

205.414.6449 (p) 205.414.6460 (f)

To respond to your email or phone call within 24 hours. I may not have an answer, but I will at least give you a reasonable estimate on when I will. To seek to understand your situation before I ask you to understand mine. To be fair, honest, and accountable (including owning my mistakes).

What is your most rewarding or proudest moment while working at COCM? I’d have to say having my staff pull together to prep for opening and a hurricane at the same time.

To support, encourage, and mentor those around me.

Did you have any pets as a child? Yes, a dog named Jack. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had? Teaching CPR for the Red Cross. Very interesting due to the mix of people I was able to meet and variety of locations I taught.

To pursue excellence in all that I do. I will not accept mediocrity. Editing and layout by Lauren Pigott (ASU)

In the next issue: Human Resources Corner Maintenance Tips Corporate Staff Spotlights iPromise Spotlights Site Shout-outs

Jeff Kirkpatrick Dean Bellas & Ralph Reinhart Shelby Riddle All sites welcome to contribute All sites welcome to contribute

Submissions are due the 15th of each month FAU maintenance staff on a tour of the new building – we are standing in what will be the dining area! Left to Right: Steve Gale, Terry Shissler, Jim Swartzell, Dave West, Sheryl Chamberlin, Mike Lemanski, Jill Eckardt (Director of Housing), Tim Raczek, Joni Daminato, Greg Washburn (Mtn Supervisor), Michelle Smith (Director of Operations/RVP), Ron Goldberg, and Theo Balbosa

March COCM Newsletter  
March COCM Newsletter  

News from Capstone On-Campus management