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Capstone On-Campus Management

Message from the Corner Office

Newsletter February 2013

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

Inside this issue: From the Corner Office


iPromise Spotlights


iPhone Tip


HR Corner


Maintenance Tip


Training Factor


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February 2013

Staff Updates Edgewood Commons Apartments at Frostburg State University would like to welcome Eric Williams to our team. He began work at Edgewood Commons as the Assistant Director of Residential Programs in late January. Eric grew up in south central Pennsylvania and completed his Bachelor of Arts at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA. Following college he joined the United States Army as an Officer where he served four and half years in and out of the country. Following his separation from the service he decided to pursue a career working in higher education. He spent a year working at Gettysburg College before coming to Frostburg State University and Edgewood. He is recently engaged and enjoys cooking, hiking, and sports. South Campus Commons would like to welcome Tara Glover as the new Assistant Director for Leasing. Tara comes to us from Syracuse New York, home of the Orangemen. Tara spent 2 ½ years as a Hall director. Tara brings with her a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising, as well as a Master’s degree in Enrollment Management. Tara is looking forward to working with a variety of departments, recruiting, and developing new skills. ————————————————— Tom Kirk, Maintenance Supervisor at ASU Taylor Place passed away on December 16th after a short illness. Tom had been a member of the Taylor Place team since the project’s start-up in 2008. Tom was a mechanical engineer by trade and had previously worked for the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Harkins Theatre Company. Tom was born in Maine and had moved to Arizona after serving in the United States Air Force. Tom is survived by his wife, a son, two grandchildren, a brother and many dear friends that he considered his family. His work ethic, energy, humor and his dedication to Taylor Place will be greatly missed.

Doug Brown

There is a lot written about goal setting and the role clearly stated goals have in living and working with purpose. My formal education in goal setting came in graduate school while attending a career development training course. It was really a cool class because it was interactive, creative and goal orientated, all focused on teaching young people pathways to good career choices. It was also where I met my wife. Now, I realize that this was a long time ago and many of you reading this newsletter were not even walking the planet at the time. However, I reach back to this class because it started a tradition in our marriage that has survived the passage of time. Each year my wife and I write out goals for the coming year. They are generally a short list of goals we want to attempt to achieve together and a few we want to achieve as individuals. In the beginning, this activity was a good excuse to go to a nice restaurant for dinner. (Eating out once a month was one of the early goals on the list.) Later, this goal setting exercise became a tradition. At the time the goals seemed like a real stretch. They were generally things like: buy a new car, take a vacation, and build a fence around the back yard. We discovered that the goals we wrote on paper actually got done! I looked in our goal file the other day and I was struck by how much the goals have changed over the years and how low we set the bar for ourselves. It just did not seem like it at the time! I suspect I will make the same observations in the future. So what does this personal walk down memory lane have to do with Capstone On Campus Management? We are entering the second year as a standalone company within the Capstone Family of Companies. It is time to set some goals which guide us both as a company and as individuals working within COCM. This is a large and complex company so it would be presumptuous of us to set goals for your site, department or the role you play in the company. After careful collaboration with the Board, I offer the following categories to guide the goal setting process. They are areas which can really make an impact in defining our purpose going forward. I encourage you to work within your organization to establish goals which challenge and stretch the possible.

Goals: To improve operational efficiencies To invest in our employees in ways that encourage maximizing human potential To build stronger partnerships with our students, clients, owners, and vendors To grow our business and expand our services To leverage technology To give back to the profession Over the next few months I will use this newsletter to offer my perspective on each of these areas. I invite your ideas and feedback.

Capstone On-Campus Management

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iPromise Spotlights

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February 2013

iPhone / iPad Tip of the Month

Best Off-campus Apartments: Towson Place Apartments Towerlight Newspaper Though everyone has their own opinions, the Towson Place Apartments are the best off campus apartments because of their convenience to campus. Don’t have a car? No problem. It’s about the same distance from campus as living in West Village. Don’t have four people to live with? Also not a problem. Unlike many local apartment complexes where you need four roommates, Towson Place offers singles, doubles and triples. The apartments are a decent size, fully furnished, and utilities are included. Additionally, most apartments have a washer and dryer inside, so doing laundry is extremely convenient. Towson Place Apartments are a step up from the residence halls, as they are off campus, but they’re still built for Towson students. If you’re not ready to be completely apart from campus-life yet, Towson Place offers a nice transitional place. Just make sure to read your contract thoroughly before signing the dotted line.

MCA Super Snow Shout Outs! Thanks to the MCA custodial and maintenance staff for providing excellent service during Winter Storm Nemo. -David Corcione, Jim Gallivan, Jeffrey Pearson, Beverly Rose and Mark Torres for braving the roads to assist with snow removal/cleaning -Chauncey Botelho (and his family!), for volunteering to stay on site Friday night to begin the snow removal process and be available to respond to student/ building needs -Dave Petruccelli, for providing rides to his colleagues and braving the roads despite a travel ban (yes, a police officer pulled him over and yes, Dave showed his MassArt ID and explained that he needed to assist with snow removal for the residence halls and no, he did not receive a ticket or jail time!) MCA received the following note from a resident: “Dear staff, I just wanted to let you know I thoroughly appreciate what you do. I hope all of your families were safe during the blizzard…. Thank you again for your work on a daily basis!” Keeping up with the Kardashians Times Over the past few months, South Campus Commons and UMD Courtyards have been evaluating their processes and communications for resident appeals. In an effort to maintain the most positive customer service and student development, a committee was formed to make recommendations to the leadership team. Some highlights are: Restructuring and standardization of communications; Development and Implementation of web-based submission forms; We are proud to work diligently toward upholding the partnership with our residents to sustain a welcoming community!

Great Job!

Katie McWilliams

How to add personal ringtones 1. Take any mp3 file, use any editor (lots out there, just search) to edit it down to 30 seconds or less and get it so it sounds the way you like it. This can also be accomplished in iTunes by right-clicking the song and selecting Get Info, Options and select the Start and Stop times (see pic below) 2. Add it to iTunes library (drag into library). 3. Now right-click, convert to AAC 4. Right-click on the new AAC version, choose the Get Info option if you don't know where the file is (Get Info tells you the path to the file) 5. Remove the file from the iTunes library (but don't delete it from the computer) 6. Go to the AAC file, rename the .m4a extension to be .m4r. (If you do not see the .m4a at the end of the file name) 7. Double-clicking on the renamed m4r file should add it to iTunes in the ring-tones section and the check box should be checked (in case syncing is set to only be for checked files) 8. Check your iPhone settings on the Ringtones tab. You should be able to see the ringtones there - select them if you do not have the "All ringtones" option. 9. Sync the phone 10. Go to iPhone, Settings, and you should in the ringtones area see a custom area with your ringtone. If not, you may need to remove the files from iTunes, sync, add them again, sync. (It seems to fail if you at all leave the original files in place while also adding the ringtones) Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button

, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personali-

zation, and then clicking Folder Options. Click the View tab, and then, under Advanced settings, clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box, and then click OK.

Capstone On-Campus Management

Human Resources Corner

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Jeff Kirkpatrick, ESU

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February 2013

Maintenance Tip of the Month

Dean Bellas and Ralph Reinhart (BGSU)

How 30 Assistant Directors Taught Me Microsoft Publisher No, I did not take a class taught by 30 of our Assistant Directors; as cool as that sounds. Instead I co-coordinated the 2013 AGM Homecoming (a.k.a. the annual AGM Conference) which will be held at the end of February in Birmingham, AL, home of Capstone’s office. How did this possibly teach me Publisher? Well, I am in charge of the Communications Work Group and we decided to send weekly “Letters from Home” which just inform the attendees of any updates and get them excited about coming to the conference. We could have used a plain email to get the information across but Publisher has many elements that can really draw the eye. (See example) While it is not a professional marketing piece, it gets the point across to the targeted population. I was able to figure out many of the features Publisher has to offer and this experience will help me in other elements of my position with Capstone.

Ralph and I bring to you a “fill cycle diverter” for toilets. The tank clip diverts some of the water that normally fills the bowl to fill the tank. The diversion helps fill the tank faster as well as reduces the amount of water wasted as the tank fills. The diverter causes the bowl water to be slightly lower once installed, however it does not effect the power of the flush. The diverter is easy install and does not require any tools. Though we can’t provide water saving numbers for the community, we installed it in as we have had a sizeable shift in occupancy soon after the diverters were installed. Ralph installed these in a community he worked at in the past that had 5 gallon toilets. After the install, the community saw a 1/3 rd reduction in water use on a monthly basis. The toilets we install our on are 3.5 gallon toilets, so still pretty big water hogs. The fill diverter claims to save up to ½ a gallon per flush. We have done limited testing using these on low flow toilets and advise you to test one of these on one prior to outfitting a large number of low flow toilets with this device. However, we have tested on the office toilet and it appears to flush waste without an issue. On the low flow 1.6 gallon before installing the diverter it took 77 seconds to fill the toilet and after installing the diverter it took 48 seconds to fill. Which equals about a 40% quicker fill time. Ralph and I will follow up next month with more testing data on the low flow and the 3.5 gallon toilets. According to the EPA the average person flushes five times a day, toilets make up about 31% of overall household water consumption. Using this diverter can easily save water consumption with minimal effort. The cost of the diverter is relatively cheap and can quickly pay for itself. Unit price is $1.18 plus shipping. Item can be found here:

Uninstalled Diverter What can this mean for you? In accepting the role on the committee it really opened me up to learning more about this program. Essentially, step out of your comfort zone, take on new interesting tasks, and do not be afraid to challenge yourself professionally. Taking these opportunities can lead to learning new skills which can develop you to perform your job better or even give additional reasons for promotion.

Sustainable Tip of the Month

Diverter Installed

Michelle Smith

When you toss out one aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you'd filled the same can half-full of gasoline and poured it into the ground. Congratulations to Tracy Jones for winning the unofficial (for-fun) SCC/CTY fantasy football league!

On January 15th and 17th, South Campus Commons and The Courtyards participated in retreats for Administrative staff and Maintenance staff respectively. At the retreats, staff learned how to better serve our residents and made use of survey results to quantify the results thus-far. Strengths Quest was utilized to identify the fortes of the staff and promote discussion of how to utilize each other’s’ strengths to provide the best service possible. Staff also participated in team building and bonding exercises while exercising creativity! Submitted by David McGarvey

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Capstone On-Campus Management

Rocket Science

Steve Gale, FAU

WD-40 - used everywhere by everyone, but do you know its story? It started out as a project of a three member company in San Diego, The Rocket Chemical Company, to find a rust-preventive for use in the new aerospace industry of 1953. Water Displacement - 40th mixture was the result – their 40th try was successful. It was used to help protect the outer skin of the Atlas Rockets of that era. Years later, the formula was put into aerosol cans and found its way to retail stores in 1958. By 1960, Rocket Chemical doubled its staff to seven people, with their sales team selling from their cars to retail hardware and equipment stores. In 1961, Hurricane Carla hit the Gulf and this resulted in their biggest single order to help repair water soaked vehicles and equipment. Eight years later, Rocket Chemical changed its name to WD-40 and its stock went public in 1973. For 42 years, WD-40 was a company with a single product (like Champion Spark Plugs - but that’s another story). That changed in 1995 with the acquisition of 3-in-Oil, and later other brands such as Lava Soap, 2000 Flushes, Carpet Fresh, and others. Their MSDS states the main ingredient is aliphatic hydrocarbon - a form of mineral spirits. I find WD-40 is a terrific solvent for removing hydraulic oil from leaking door closers, softening adhesive stickers left behind on apartment room walls and doors, etc. By spraying the stickers and waiting a minute or two, they come right off by scraping it with the edge of a Teflon scraper (or a wooden door wedge). Aside from its stated intended uses of rust preventive, lubricant, solvent, water dispersant, I find it works great on wasp nests. While walking our buildings, whenever I see a wasp nest under a railing or roof overhang, I spray and the wasps drop dead. I would be interested to hear your uses:

Welcome to the Twitterverse! While @mashasapper was in town for the GRC Budget presentation, we took advantage of her expertise and had her do a Twitter 101 training with the Campus Corner Apartments staff. As a result of this, we have now officially joined the Twitterverse and are looking to start using Twitter as another way to reach our residents! We are still new to Twitter and just getting started, slowly using it to post and create a presence online. We are planning on having a “Twitter Introduction Party” to introduce our new Twitter handle to the community! In the meantime, we figured we’d share it with all of you at Capstone. Feel free to follow us, and we plan on posting more regularly in the near future!!! We look forward to seeing you on the interwebs! Campus Corner Apartments: @CCAatGreenRiver AD Namrata Kamath: @namratagk Office Coordinator Mel Hart: @melliedawn87

Director Seth Grossman: @SethJGrossman AD Carol Thomas: @CarolThomas19

February 2013

Capstone University: Training Factor Encouragement

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Joe Cantona, Site Ops Specialist

I want to congratulate you for the work done so far with the Capstone University training sessions! We are now seven months into the new system and a lot has happened. People have used the tips they have learned to be more productive at work, to share ideas with others, to help maintain their own homes, and some have even won some money. This is inspiring and rewarding! I know some sessions are time consuming and take a lot of energy to focus. If you find yourself struggling to complete sessions, make sure you try to put yourself in a positive frame of mind going into it. A helpful tip is to schedule time during your week to complete one or two of the sessions. We all have busy weeks and understand that projects/meetings take up a lot of time. If you schedule a meeting with yourself, then you can sit down and get one or two knocked out with ease. Make sure you download the workbooks supplied and/or take notes as you go along to assist with the exams at the end of the session. Some staff have worked hard and completed many sessions ahead of schedule. Don’t forget to check your Capstone University account because The Training Factor team distributes monthly Safety Factor sessions to enhance your awareness of additional items to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. For example, The Training Factor sent out some relevant information about Influenza Awareness and Prevention during the height of the winter flu season. Do not forget to make suggestions for additional training sessions to enhance the professional development of all Capstone On-Campus Management team members. If you have Facebook, “Like” The Training Factor (, so you can learn about contests and what’s new. Thanks for your continued participation in Capstone University!

New FAU Community

Michelle Smith

Introducing the newest building to FAU’s community of residence halls and apartment homes. This building, yet to be named, will be freshmen only (614 beds), have a computer lounge, conference rooms, study rooms, two-story lounges, multi-purpose room, classrooms, and will have a large luxurious event room for the Faculty-in-Residence program. It will also include two eateries, Red Mango and Simply Puur. This building sits on the edge of one of the campus lakes and is right across from ‘The Living Room’ theater. When it opens in July 2013, it will enable over 4,200 residents to call FAU ‘home’. By adding these beds, FAU will have surpassed the halfway point of the ultimate goal of having over 7,000 beds on campus within the next few years.

Capstone On-Campus Management

We are getting Green(er)!

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Raul Acosta, FAU

Glossy floors make a special impact not only to a visitor but residents and staff members. Well-maintained shiny floors reflect the light and create an environment more appealing because it gives a particular tone of elegance. Shiny, draws you in, makes you want to stay and of course, gives the sense of clean and fresh. Chemical companies are constantly racing among themselves to come up with the best and increasingly a more durable product. They are by all means determined to ‘outshine’ the competitor. Presently, there is a broad spectrum of products to choose from: non-buffable, scratch free, durable, non-slippery, and high gloss. The maintenance program and the proper product employed will determine the success in keeping a shiny and clean floor and ultimately provide that ‘welcoming’ feeling. We have searched many vendors and many products that maintain the high standards we have at FAU, as well as the equally important sustainability criteria. Our commitment at FAU is to use environmentally friendly floor finishes for all our VCT hard floors that will assist us financially (good price) but in savings in operating dollars (staff time). No, this isn’t just to improve our score for the GreenStone program or FAU’s Mission Green but because it is the right thing to do. Undeniably, this is a challenge but it is also our priority. On a small scale, we have been trying a new product. It is totally environmental friendly and it holds a Green Seal Approval according to our supplier. Hospitals and airports are currently using it and have been providing positive feedback. They claim that the drying time between coats is less than half the time of any other common chemical depending, of course upon the room condition, temperature and air flow. It is called Floor Front, from Spartan Chemical. If you have used it and have feedback, please let all of us know. I am excited to try it on a larger scale because if it does what it claims, we will save a tremendous amount of time during our turn. If that happens then we have saved dollars on multiple levels, not just time and staff resources but then we can reduce costs for outside vendors as well because we saved our staffing time. If you have any other product ideas for cleaning, please share.

February 2013

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Corporate Staff Spotlight : Trisha Wells What is your role with COCM? Regional Vice President How long have you been with COCM? Eight years What is your most rewarding or proudest moment while working at COCM? The opening of SCC7. I served on the team starting with creating the RFP and all the way through until residents moved in. I learned a lot through the process and felt like I was able to influence decisions in a positive way. We were attempting LEED certification so I learn a lot about the USGBC as well. The building is not only beautiful; it has many features that make it easier to operate than the rest of SCC. We even managed to get a large maintenance storage room! Definitely the best thing I have ever accomplished! Tell me something that most people would not know about you: I’m originally from a very small town in Missouri. I grew up on a farm two miles outside Wooldridge (population 51) and went to school at Prairie Home (population 225). The closest “city” was Columbia, 40 miles away and population 100,000. There were eight kids in my graduating class. Three of us started kindergarten together and went all the way through high school graduation. My first year of college, there were more people living on my residence hall floor than there were students in my entire school, K-12. I’m still amazed when other people tell me about their school experiences because mine were so vastly different than the norm. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had? My last semester of college, I worked for my University’s football team. My job was to wash their uniforms after practice so they had fresh, clean workout clothes ready to go by the next day. Also, I was responsible for checking the game helmets and replacing any stripes or stickers that were less than perfect. Eventually, the Equipment Manager wouldn’t let anyone but me do the helmets because I was really good at applying stickers without bubbles. I loved the job even though the uniforms included a few clothing articles that I really didn’t enjoy handling. I could study while the washers and dryers were running so it was the perfect student job!

FAU CONGRATULATIONS TO EDWIN NUNEZ AND HIS WIFE – a new baby girl named “Candelaria” arrived on January 15th at 5:20 am, weighing in at 4 lbs. Mom and baby are doing good, Congratulations!

Capstone On-Campus Management

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FAU is rocking and rolling!!! Congratulations to all the FAU Maintenance and Custodial staff for completing and updating their Hazardous Communications training through Environmental Health & Safety. This was an important training as all MSDS sheets/ information have been mandated to change and implement all new standardization by 2015. Way to go FAU, for being ahead of the game. FAU – Steve Gale, locksmith, offered the suggestion to install an air filling station. With the number of bicycles we have on campus, this makes a very nice and simple addition. Well done, Steve!

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)

Raul Acosta, FAU, suggested we upsize our dumpster from a 30 yarder. We are looking into this and from all accounts this should save us dollars in about 3 months. That’s a good ROI. Every now and then it really does pay off to meet with your vendors and have a mini-brainstorm session. We did just that at FAU with our waste management company. One thing led to another and we installed pressure gauges on our compactors. Adding the pressure gauges took the guess work out of when we should schedule a pickup. In less than 3 months we have saved on a minimum of two pickups. We look to see even more savings in the near future. Congratulations to the FAU personnel who have taken advantage of training opportunities through FAUs Environmental Health & Safety department (these are in addition to the Training Factor seminars): The custodial staff got reacquainted with Blood Borne Pathogens (we've made this an annual re-training): Raul Acosta, Hector Zamora, Francisco Castillo, Rodney Faulk, Gilberte Magney, Edwin Nunez, Marie Paul, Ritzi Villatoro, and Frantz Saimbert. Although we don't always 'enjoy' re-training, we can all agree that we seem to learn something new every time. The maintenance and custodial staff participated in FAUs Hazardous Communications training - this was an opportunity for us to learn and understand the upcoming changes to the federal information regarding how hazardous chemicals will be labeled and what medical attention is necessary should there be a need. Thank you Ishon Jacobs, Sheryl Chamberlin, Theo Balbosa, Rodney Faulk, Francisco Castillo, Ritzi Villatora, Huber Giraldo, Tammy Redding, Mike Lemanski, Mercedes Quiles, Frantz Saimbert, James Swartzell, Greg Washburn, Hector Zamora, Raul Acosta, Robins Charles, Steve Gale, Ron Goldstein, Terry Shissler, Ever Licona, Gilberte Magney, Tim Raczek, David West, Hector Zamora and Michelle Smith for participating.

To pursue excellence in all that I do. I will not accept mediocrity.

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). To support, encourage, and mentor those around me. 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


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