Living the Difference
AUGUST 2020 Volume 2, Issue 7 Volume 2, Issue 7
August August2020 2020
EXPLORING RACIAL INEQUALITY IN HOUSING Thank you Jackie Forecki and Rachel Wagabaza for writing, and the many FRED team members who told us how they spent their time off on Juneteenth Day to create this month's special 'Letter From' section.
LETTER FROM JACKIE LETTERS FROM
PG 2-3 2020 TOBY AWARD NOMINEES
PG 4-7 PRIDE FEATURE
PG 8-9 FEATURED NEWS
PG 10 EVENTS CALENDAR
PG 11 EMPLOYEE ANNOUNCEMENTS
PG 11 FRED FUN
2020 has been a challenging year so far, including a pandemic, and an uprising in support of racial equity. As a company, we know there is still a lot of change to be made and we have discussed our Inclusion Journey. As we continue, here are things to think about:
THE INTERSECTION OF RACE AND HOUSING In the 1930’s, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation in Wisconsin started determining which neighborhoods they would give property loans to. They took a map and drew a red line around areas they thought would default on loans, usually Black neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were targeted based on race, and the term was called “redlining.” Property values plummeted, which meant less property tax dollars to support school systems and lower quality education, further perpetuating racial inequity. Businesses moved away, limiting resident’s access to affordable food and goods. This is how systemic racism works. It’s when racial prejudice is coupled with policies that are built into societal systems. Today there are laws in place to try and prevent discrimination in housing sales, financing, and renting, called the Federal Fair Housing Act. These laws made progress, but can't undo the impact from a long history of unequal opportunities which is reflected in disadvantaged communities today.
WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? Even if individual minds and hearts can’t be changed, we can work together to change the laws, structures, and institutions so there is racial equity. We need all of you in our FRED family to be part of this Inclusion Journey. Continue to educate yourself on the history, watch current events, and learn what it means to be an ally and participate in our inclusion activities. As Maya Angelou always said, “When we know better, we do better.”
Jackie Forecki, Director of Human Resources
COVER PHOTO: The Bevy, Interior Living Room
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I watched the film Selma (2014). I now read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech in a whole new light and I know I play a part in making that dream come true. My eyes are open and my lips are not sealed.
[We learned] new things about each other that even working together for years we never knew. Having coworkers to be able to share honestly with was a stress reliever.
- Shannon Hutson, HR Generalist
- Carla Myers, Property Manager
LETTER FROM RACHEL I never knew exactly what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” What inspired me most was the thought of going into a field where I could help “my people” and make a difference. Growing up in Middleton, WI, I witnessed a great deal of racism both subtle and blatant. I consistently saw Black people disproportionately impacted in negative ways. I saw this within my own family, and with the few Black people in my schools, city, and in the news and media. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but I knew at my core that it didn’t add up. Despite what society was telling me, I knew that Black people were not inherently bad, dangerous, criminals, poor, etc. As a student, good grades came easily for me, but when I met with a high school counselor, they quickly advised that I go to a technical college. All of my school friends were white, and the same counselors gave them information about competitive schools and advised them to apply broadly. Thankfully, I have a strong family support system that didn’t minimize my potential. I went on to graduate from UW-Madison with a degree in History, and obtained my Secondary Ed Teaching Certification from Concordia University.
AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY LESSON It was not until those college years that I learned a more in depth and accurate narrative of Black history, and it was an awakening. I finally understood why Black people were constantly at a disadvantage, why they were viewed and treated as lessor. I remember visiting my boyfriend at Morehouse College, a Historically Black College in Atlanta, GA. He couldn’t wait to drive me through a nearby neighborhood which was upper class with predominantly Black residents. For the first time in my life, I saw a beautiful, flourishing neighborhood with large brick homes, manicured lawns, and pools….and smiling Black kids shooting hoops in their driveways. I was in awe and I remember how happy and hopeful this made me feel. The images are still so clear in my mind.
A DRIVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE I kind of fell into my career in the multi-family housing industry. Over the years, I’ve reflected on my life journey and wondered if what I do helps people and makes a difference. What I do know is that we work in a field that has a long history of discrimination. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work with diverse resident populations in both market and affordable housing, where I have been able to do my part in ensuring fair housing and setting standards of equality toward all residents. Through various positions, I’ve assisted in the development and implementation of policies and procedures to promote equity in a field with historically unfair housing practices that disproportionality impacted Black people. I went into this field hoping to make a positive impact. I hope that I've done that, and I strive to continue trying every day.
Rachel Wagabaza, Regional Property Supervisor The biggest takeaway I have learned is how much history was held back during my formal education. The staff of Creekwood has been reading a book entitled White Rage which has been incredibly informative. - Kate Manthe, Property Manager
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I read the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. It follows eight families in Milwaukee who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. It's a reminder of how important home is and the biases in some systems that make it difficult for certain families, especially families of color. - Jim Flint, Property Manager
The TOBY Awards FRED'S OUTSTANDING NOMINEES 2020
and why they were nominated. It's another exciting year for FRED and its nominees for the TOBYs - an annual award ceremony held by the Apartment Owners and Managers Association (AOMA) of Wisconsin. This year, FRED has 39 company nominations, including 19 outstanding employees and 20 property category nominees. Read all about it!
ASSISTANT PROPERTY MANAGER,
LEASING COORDINATOR, SYNERGY Prospects and residents rave about Jocelyn. 50.5% conversion rate and many 100% phone shops.
BARRINGTON PLACE Nearly 75% retention rate year-to-date. 71 approved leases in 2020 as of 6/29. 97.5% leased.
FRANCISCO ORTIZ NICK BREIDENBACH MARRUFO
VANESSA BARAJAS LEASING COORDINATOR, THE JUNCTION ~290 applications on 400 tours in 2019 (72% conversion rate).
MAINTENANCE, MAINTENANCE TECH II, LEAD MAINTENANCE TECH, CORPORATE Helpful,good-natured, STONE POINT FITCHBURG SQUARE works-hard, positive with 100% positive maintenance Stellar work on an aging an advanced skill set. property. Leverages surveys since starting. resources to lower expenses.
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DAN JENNINGS LEAD MAINTENANCE TECH, JADE AT NORTH HILLS Teaches residents how to troubleshoot their own issues. 96% satisfaction rating and 121 move-ins.
KEITH KLETTKE LEAD MAINTENANCE TECH, FORTÃ&#x2030; AT 84SOUTH Efficiency-maker with a 96.7% satisfaction rating. Residents comment on his response time and kindness.
LEAD MAINTENANCE TECH, PROPERTY MANAGER, 1GLENN PLACE STONE POINT Very knowledgeable with a 2019: 98% occupancy 97.54% satisfaction rating. and 80% retention. Stone A true expert on 24-hour Point was the 2019 FRED turns and cost-savings. Property of the Year.
PROPERTY MANAGER, ARRABELLE APARTMENTS Rapport-building expert with proven results, pushing Arrabelle to 100% occupancy.
PROPERTY MANAGER, STATE STREET STATION Hosts awesome creative events and supports a culture of growth, opportunity, and positivity.
JUDY HOFFMILLER KATI BISHOP
PROPERTY MANAGER, THE LANDMARK Beat 2019 NOI by 8.43%. Established a corporate program, generating new sources of revenue.
PROPERTY MANAGER, SYNERGY Team-builder and leaseup specialist. Adam lifts his team and property up through acts of kindness.
PROPERTY MANAGER, ARBOR LAKES 75.65% resident retention year-to-date. Judy beat her target NOI in 2019 by 9.12%. Way to go, Judy!
PROPERTY MANAGER, SEASONS AT ORCHARD HILLS 12.5%+ on occupancy versus pro-forma. Endless energy and extraordinary product knowledge.
Good Luck to All Our Amazing Nominees! MEGAN KREBS
RACHEL WAGABAZA SHAUNA TISDALL
PROPERTY MANAGER, BARRINGTON PLACE Ahead on turnover costs (96%) by maximizing of in-house capabilities and under-utilization.
REGIONAL PROPERTY SUPERVISOR, MADISON An exceptional leader, mentor, and pillar of support for her team. Dominating prior year financials.
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REGIONAL PROPERTY SUPERVISOR, MILWAUKEE Exceeds goals, and is stellar at grassroots marketing work. There for her team and focuses on the people.
WELLS STREET STATION
22 SLATE BEST CURB APPEAL
FORTÉ AT 84SOUTH
SYNERGY (1 BED)
BEST MODEL UNIT
BEST MODEL UNIT
BEST MODEL UNIT Property grounds feature BEST CURB APPEAL High-end look, aesthetically pops of color, green space, Located next to Boerner Brightly colored accents pleasing with so many trees. and a natural fish pond. Park, trees are abundant. showcase Forté's fun energy. BEST CURB APPEAL
GEN X (1961-1981)
GEN Y (1982-1999)
Rooftop terrace views? Their updated model makes In 2019 Stone Point had 98% Only $4.5k in vacancy all of They're clearly a big winner! a great first impression. occupancy, 80% retention. 2019, excellent camaraderie.
SEASONS AT ORCHARD HILLS
STATE STREET STATION
SEASONS BRAND LAUNCH
OUTSTANDING AMENITIES Featuring an indoor dog park/spa, rooftop terrace, and open-air fitness center.
OUTSTANDING AMENITIES Ample green space, nature OUTSTANDING AMENITIES preserve, tennis court, and Green roofs, game room, playground. How awesome! study room, and fun events!
INNOVATIVE MARKETING The leaders in reputation NEW CONSTRUCTION Ended 2019 5% ahead of The Seasons line got all new management. 5-Star Rating 12% ahead of revenue. Over income, with exceptional branded marketing and social. on Apts.com and AptGuide. 50% leased since Dec 2019. customer service throughout.
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SENIOR HOUSING Beat NOI by 7% in 2019! Look for their renovations and updates this year!
Finished 2019 with 3 months at 100%! Arrabelle's online reviews are very positive and establish Arrabelle as a landmark in downtown Cedarburg.
The Landmark has a 64.2% year-to-date retention rate. Occupancy is well ahead of budget at over 96% as of June 2020. Improving technology soon!
Domain boasts a 98% year-to-date occupancy rate, Barrington Place is beating all KPI measures, stellar amenities, and a retention rate of over 50%. is 97.5% leased, and has a 74.3% retention rate. Consistently recognized in the Madison community. Pandemics can't stop their creative resident events!
The winners of the 2020 Annual Apartment Owners and Managers Association of Wisconsin (AOMA) TOBY Awards will be announced in September. Good luck to all our amazing nominees!
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CELEBRATING LBGT+ FRED TEAM MEMBERS
Although June marks the official 'month of PRIDE', acceptance and visibility of our LGBT+ team members is a year round commitment to an inclusive company culture. Read submissions from FRED employees on what 'PRIDE' means to them and help us celebrate our queer co-workers everywhere!
Warranty Expeditor | Corporate
As I thought about how to start this, I considered how sharing a story about being a lesbian would certainly “out” me. Being out and proud isn’t something that was normal during the 80’s and 90’s. Sharing that I’m a lesbian was never something I did when first meeting people; it defines part of me but it That’s the day a new isn’t my sole identifier.
world opened for me... Not only did I have a wife but a mother-in-law, a step daughter, grandkids, and more.
On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court changed things for me more than I could have anticipated when they ruled that the 14th Amendment required all states to acknowledge same sex marriages. At that time in my life, I had been in a relationship for over 8 years and was happy, in love, and confident of the future we would share. My initial reaction was one of 'well, just because the government will let us get married doesn’t mean I will'. I never thought or planned to get married, it hadn’t been an option. Fast forward a little over a year and we are planning our wedding and apply for a license. May 7, 2016, we gather with family on a beautiful day and take our vows. That’s the day a new world opened for me... Not only did I have a wife but a mother-in-law, a step daughter, grandkids, and more. My family extended and the woman I wanted to share my life with wasn’t my partner but my wife. No more stumbling through introductions and lengthy explanations of our relationship, I have a wife.
The world has changed significantly in my lifetime, the capital flies a rainbow flag in June, and our community has become more accepted and celebrated. I’m proud to be queer and a woman. I applaud FRED for having an accepting environment and offering an opportunity to share a significant experience in my life.
Property Manager | Valley View
I’ve had a unique - and uniquely privileged - experience growing up as a member of both the LGBT+ community and as a person of color. Perhaps by virtue of when/where I grew up, the schools I went to, and the groups I hung out with - and even the genetics that gave me my oddly blond hair and light skin for a mixed kid - I was fortunate in never having to worry about who I loved or what I looked like. The older I get and the more stories I hear, the more I understand what a privilege it has been to have no more importance given to those two facts of my life as my favorite color (blue). They are simply two more facts in the combination of what make up who I am. This privilege and confidence that comes with not having to worry about things that cannot be changed is something I hope all kids and teens can experience and is a big reason why I’m always looking for volunteer and mentor opportunities so I can share that experience.
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DID YOU KNOW? June marks 'PRIDE' because it is the anniversary month of the Stonewall riots in New York. The 'rainbow flag' was first designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker who was urged by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., to create a symbol of pride for the gay community. It was not until 1994 that the rainbow flag was truly established as the symbol for LGBTQ pride.
Leasing Professional | Valley View
My life until now was not a cake walk, but the one thing I did get lucky with was having accepting friends and family. Growing up, it became increasingly clear I was not straight (honestly I'll show you some pictures of me as a child and you will understand). My friends have always been supportive of being authentically yourself, whatever that may be. I was taken from my parents at a young age and lived with three different families, all of which fully accepted me as pansexual. Pansexual means not limited in sexual or romantic choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Basically I like a human for a human. That being said, this is not the same story for so many people, including close friends and people I love. They've had to hide who they were and who they loved for fear of backlash. I've seen friends move across the country just to be who they were born to be. I've seen friends disowned by families and move in with my dad and I in high school because their family put them out. I've seen a friend attempt suicide because dying seemed like a better choice than having to face who they were after being told their existence was a sin growing up. I've seen people I care about be teased and ridiculed for being true to themselves. I've watched a friend be outed before they were ready, and I regularly still hear people talk negatively about the [LGBTQ+] community and make it to be a joke.
Being uncomfortable is a part of learning, and changing opinions when new things are learned is not a bad thing.
This is why I feel I must write this, not to tell my story but to make people aware of others that did not get this same treatment. What I've witnessed doesn't even scratch the surface. Even if you would like to put a blind eye to it, the LGBTQ+ community is a target of major hate crimes, some even resulting in death. Conversion therapy is still going strong. People in our community hold a high percentage of homelessness for being kicked out of their homes. The suicide rate is higher than average. The risk of addiction is higher as many try to cope in unhealthy ways. The list goes on... So all I ask is educate yourself with trusted sources about the topic or ask someone in the community (if you come with an open mind, willing to learn and understand, we will welcome you with open arms). I'm personally happy to answer any questions asked this way. Sexuality and gender is not a choice. This is how we're wired at birth. The science is clear and any reputable doctor or scientist agrees. Yet it is still all too common for negative backlash. So think before you speak. You cannot tell how someone identifies just by looking at them. If you have negative thoughts towards the community, genuinely ask yourself, why? Is it a difference in lifestyle, religion, not understanding, or something else? Being uncomfortable is a part of learning, and changing opinions when new things are learned is not a bad thing. In summary, love is love. We are born this way. Support is important. Mostly, be kind to people. Happy Pride!
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FEATURED FRED NEWS NEW PROPERTY NAMED
NEW 1519 TOWNHOMES!
FRED's newest development in southwest Madison, formerly called Maple Grove, has a new permanent title: The 85. Named after FRED's founding year, 1985, the property will include a mix of 286 apartment buildings, townhomes, and condo-style stacked flats. Amenities will include a club room, fitness center, pool, double fireplace, and more. Construction has already begun!
1519 Townhomes is underway in Grafton, and will inclue brand new, multi-level, private-entry townhomes, available for rent as soon as Fall 2020.
WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEW WITH YOU? Want to contribute to the FRED Company Newsletter? Send announcements, news, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a future issue!
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COVID-19 AUGUST UPDATE FRED is continuing to monitor and adapt to rises in COVID-19 cases, and property procedures, including limiting occupancy to 25%, social distancing, use of hand-sanitizers and masks, and in-person tour protocols, are still in place. Our executive teams continue to hold weekly discussions to evaluate the situation and the company has utilized emergency PTO for employees who've tested positive. Employees and residents are encouraged to take advantage of new free testing sites open in Wisconsin. To find the site nearest to you, visit dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm
EVENTS CALENDAR Check out what’s on the way for FRED Properties.
Democratic National Convention* |
Downtown Milwaukee | Aug 17-20th *This event is included to remind the small percentage of employees who are traveling to work at the corporate office in Downtown Milwaukee that there may be updated parking and traffic regulations. FRED does not endorse or align with any political party.
LOOKING FORWARD Labor Day | Sept 7th Thanksgiving & Black Friday | Nov 26th & 27th
BIRTHDAYS JAN BARKBY
Corporate | Aug 2nd
Domain | Aug 6th
KATI BISHOP Seasons at Orchard Hills | Aug 3rd
MICHAEL ESSER Manchester Oaks | Aug 4th
KRISTIN MACKAY State Street Station | Aug 4th
JOHN DALY The Woodlands | Aug 4th
TAMMY CONKLIN Riverwood | Aug 5th
TIMOTHY YOHN Valley View | Aug 6th
DONALD HESSLER The Junction | Aug 8th
ANDREW MCDONALD Corporate | Aug 16th
Drexel Ridge | Aug 8th
High Bluff | Aug 20th
Corporate, CEO | Aug 11th
KESSEA VAN DE CASTEELE
Creekwood | Aug 21st
Liberty Square | Aug 14th
Corporate | Aug 21st
Elan | Aug 16th
Corporate | Aug 23rd
Arrabelle | Aug 23rd
Creekwood | Aug 26th
Corporate | Aug 23rd
The Enclave | Aug 28th
Synergy | Aug 24th
Arbor Lakes | Aug 28th
Elan | Aug 25th
Arbor Lakes | Aug 30th
DAWN NEU Ridge View | Aug 25th
Welcome to the Team! June/July 2020
DEANA VELAZQUEZ Arrabelle | Leasing Professional
NARI SHUTTLESWORTH Forté | Leasing Professional
Seasons at Orchard Hills | Leasing Professional
Elan | Maintenance
Promotions July 2020
50Twenty | Maintenance Tech I
KAYLA MEYER Arrabelle | Cleaner
Synergy | Leasing Professional
NICHOLAS REICHARDT The Junction | Leasing Professional
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FRED FUN FRED APPAREL LOOKING GOOD
BRAND NEW ONLINE STORES - OPEN SOON by Julie Lincoln, Property Management Department Coordinator
As department practices continue moving forward, so must the apparel ordering process. Prior to 2019, it was never easy to find just the right balance of how or when to order uniform apparel between our large spring and fall orders. We’d have to collect 'new hire orders' for a while before we would have enough pieces to meet vendor minimums for placing new orders. The solution came when we were introduced to Smart Source in January 2019 and we've experienced nothing but joy from the start. Smart Source, located in Georgia, allows us to place “ondemand” orders for most of our items, meaning we can order 1 piece and have it embroidered and
Enrolled in UW-Something
shipped directly to the property within about a week’s time. We launched Phase 1 of our new program in the fall of 2019 where we input all orders online to test drive the store. Following its success, we launched Phase 2 in the spring of 2020, allowing Supervisors as items that could be worn in the and Directors to get a taste of how office or in the field. to navigate the store by placing and Our future goals are to begin Phase approving their properties’ orders. 3, which will allow Managers to We also began putting together our HOEFS REBECCA place uniform orders directly online FRED Spirit Store, an apparel and for their Supervisor to approve (no Enrolled in UW-Something in the fall! merchandise store available year more forms!) and to add business round to all FRED employees. This cards and other property supplies to store will launch in August 2020! order directly online. Using my past experience as a We also aim to continue adding fashion buyer, Heidi Kivi (Director of fresh new gear to the FRED Spirit Property Management Operations) Store for personal purchase and I curated the first selections throughout the year, and to for the FRED Spirit Store with the continue improving the site's user goal of offering timeless, quality experience. More info coming soon! FRED gear at a mix of price points When the store opening is to accommodate all budgets. We announced, shop online at focused on offering a variety of sizes, such as “Tall” men’s items and myfredway.com/online-store items offering sizes XS-6XL, as well (password required).
Enrolled in UW-Something 789 N WATER STREET STE 200 | MILWAUKEE, WI 53202 | PHONE: 414-226-4535 | FRED-INC.COM