Make an AMPression
Periodically, I select an individual who has made an “AMPression” (impression) on me without even knowing. These are professionals who have made a tremendous impact in the multifamily industry or within the community and are willing to help others succeed. Read the interviews below to see how they answer the same ten questions.
And, since it's only fair, I've also provided answers to this fun list of questions! This is the kind of approachability I strive to bring back to networking!
- Tara Samuels
See our most recent "AMPression" interviews below:
JZ Jake Zachariah, B2B Product Marketing Manager, Grace Hill
Keir Schutte, President, Strategic Management Solutions, LLC
Josh Patino, Regional Vice President of Sales, Funnel Leasing
Gabrielle Gonzalez, Customer Experience Business Advisor & Speaker
Gabrielle Gonzalez & Associates, LLC
Adrian Danila, Regional Maintenance Director, Birchstone Residential
The Sharp Solution
Although I’ve never met Vicki, she is definitely on my list to see speak! We have a lot in common – even trying to, as she puts it, “escape the industry.” I tried too and we see how that worked out! Vicki is a consummate cheerleader for others. She puts others first and jumps into action (without being asked). Even though she’s retired from the 9 to 5 grind, I have no doubt that we will see her speaking around the country doing what she does best – motivating others!
JZ Jake Zachariah
B2B Product Marketing Manager
A few of the many reasons I chose to spotlight JZ is because he is most proud when spotlighting others (now that’s a sign of great character); he shares my belief that life is too short for small talk, and he is so willing to give his time in a volunteer capacity. Even though we haven’t met, I have to say that if there was an award for “Most Approachable Online Presence,” he would win. Thanks for being a shining light in our industry!
Customer Marketing Manager
Although Sydney and I have not formally met, we recently realized we have a lot in common. We’re both red heads; we both love to sip coffee while it’s raining outside listening to Taylor Swift; we love the 90’s and we love podcasts. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to her Renter Obsessed podcast, I highly recommend you check it out!
Customer Experience Business Advisor & Speaker
Gabrielle Gonzalez & Associates, LLC
I have quite a few things in common with this multifamily powerhouse!
We both have been in the industry about the same time, we’re risk-takers (she started her own company, Gabrielle Gonzalez & Associates in 2020), we’re moms, we both love “A Bad Moms Christmas Movie” and we both have people we love in Indiana.
Adrian Danila, CAPS, CAMT
Regional Maintenance Director
I always assumed I was the most enthusiastic person for professional networking - then I met Adrian!
Whether you follow him on LinkedIn or are on a call with him, his passion for the multifamily industry really shines! He not only wants to make our industry a better place, but he also pays it forward whenever possible.
Vice President, Facilities
GK Management Co., Inc.
Chad is the type of person that everyone needs in their network. He’s a wonderful mix of humble, hardworking and compassionate. One striking thing from his interview is that he admits that at one point, he didn’t have such a great attitude. Chad constantly looks for the potential in people and doesn’t judge them by where they are, but considers where they could go, a lesson he learned from his mentor. I particularly love his comment about what to do when you have nothing to do – is that even a thing in multifamily?
Embrey Management Services
Yes, Tony is known as “The Most Interesting Man in Property Management.” But, I would also offer “The Most Innovative Man in Property Management with a Soulful Twist.” When he’s not managing his portfolio at Embrey Management Services, you can likely find him cheering on his three little ones and floating around San Antonio, TX with his wife. If you connect with him, you won’t regret following his exciting career and array of engaging talents.
Chief Operating Officer
In our early days, Jared, and I both thought an apartment industry job meant free rent. And thankfully, we were both able to capitalize on that. Some things you may not know about Jared include his ferocious tenacity with a fax machine, his advocacy to be an “agent for change” and how he looks at communities with a different lens than most – cohesive from every angle. His journey as the Director of Marketing and now, years later, as the COO at RedPeak is impressive, but not at all surprising!
Vice President of Sales, Multifamily
If I had a twin, Amanda Maclin would fit the mold! We share a number of commonalities including: having tough childhoods, loving our Peloton, how we got started in the multifamily industry and what sets us apart from others in a very crowded supplier space. If you are looking for a no-nonsense, well-networked, tenured multifamily professional to learn from, Amanda is a perfect role model!
If you have the pleasure of knowing Laurie or have her part of your multifamily network, it comes as no surprise that “betterment” is her mantra. She is continuously improving something whether it be her team as EVP, Operations at Camden, her relationships, or herself. If you only read her answer to question #4 in this interview, you'll walk away feeling enriched. Laurie has paved a tremendous path in the multifamily industry and I promise that if you connect and follow her, you too may share in her passion for betterment!
Sheri Druckman, CAPS
VP, Residential Mgmt.
Chances are, you’ve probably heard Sheri’s name floating around the multifamily industry. She’s got her pulse on the legislative side of our industry and was also a past president of Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA). Out of all the interviews I have done for A.M.P., her answer to my question: What are 3 tips you would give someone considering a career in multifamily? Are probably my favorite! Our industry could use another Sheri – maybe we can recruit her twin sister?
Melissa 'MJ' Joy
As her name implies, MJ brings joy to everyone she comes into contact with! You can find her spotlighting industry peers during a Facebook live segment every Friday on behalf of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association (GCNKAA) – the same association that presented her with the 2021 President’s Award.
And, speaking of awards, if there was a proud-mama award, she would be top of the list as well!
Qu'Teaus Lynett Smith, CAM
Having been a property manager myself, I know how difficult that job is on a “normal” day. Now add in a national pandemic, full-time school, full-time mom & wife and maintaining 96% occupancy at your community…that’s impressive!
All of these achievements made me take notice of Lynett and she deserves to be recognized for her inspirational story.
Pioneer Acquisitions, LLC
Nichole has been a gracious supporter of my A.M.P. networking events over the years. She has the ability to command someone’s attention without being overtly obvious – especially when networking! She is well-respected by her industry colleagues, fiercely committed to her work, and a force to be reckoned with. She also has two of the cutest kids on the planet! If you don’t know Nichole, reach out to her. She’s a good one to add to your network!
Senior Vice President, Client Services
CF Real Estate Services, LLC
Have you ever met someone that will truly give you the shirt off their back? That’s Ian. Every place I have been with him, I’ve witnessed him go out of his way to help others. In addition, if you have ever presented to him in person like I have, you’ll likely be so glad that he’s in the room because he has a very calming presence and will always put you at ease. And no matter what, this Dawgs fan can look past him shouting Roll Tide. I mean, it’s for the support of his family so I guess it’s ok!
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Donje is someone I reached out to over a year ago because I saw her name pop up frequently as a leader amongst her local VAMA association as well as NAA giving tips and tricks for her fellow multifamily peers. When we got to talking, I learned that we were connected for life with our love for peanut butter! We finally got to meet in person at NAA 2019 and it was like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in years. She and I also know what it's like to go from the management side to the “dark side.”
Regional Vice President, West Division
If you look up the word positive in the dictionary, you will likely see Kara’s face. If you follow her on LinkedIn, you might seek her out daily for some simple uplifting. No surprise that she shared “When your team is happy and willing, your prospects and residents feel that! A happy, thriving team is the root of success in this business.” This rings so true, now more than ever! Kara definitely qualifies as an industry-vet, in my opinion, and is someone whom you should seek out to learn the ropes.
LuAnne Acton Ross, CPM®
Executive Vice President & Partner
JMG Realty, Inc
Isn’t it funny that even if you are connected on Facebook, you still don’t really “know” someone. I love that this interview gave me some new light into LuAnne. Speaking of light, if you have ever seen her in person, you might say she lights up a room! She has a fantastic energy and you can tell that she will bulldoze anything in her way – only a way a distinguished woman from the south could! And now, I will forever picture LuAnne when I hear 70’s anthems!
Mission Rock Residential, LLC
Although Andrew and I have never met, I found his recent article entitled “You didn't sign up for this... SO THANK YOU!” to be thoughtful and honest, making Andrew very relatable – a key characteristic for any successful trainer. Part of his personal mission is igniting joy in others' hearts. That right there should make you want to know him
Steve F. Hallsey
Steve is the kind of guy that if you see him speak at an industry conference (which he often does) you grab a pen and paper and you take notes. He and I used to work for the same company way back in the day while I was still trying to make a name for myself and I made sure to watch and listen to everything he shared in order to gain as much knowledge as possible.
President - East Region
AMLI Management Company
When I worked for AMLI (way back in the day), Dan was one of those people that immediately made an impression on me! He has a very calming demeanor that makes you feel like you can ask him anything. Fast forward 17 years, I still “work” with him as a fellow Chicagoland Apartment Association board member and he is still the same as he was when I first met him.
Diana J. Pittro
Executive Vice President
RMK Management Corp
Diana, unknowingly, became one of my mentors in the multifamily industry. She made an “AMPression” on me when after no management experience, I was thrust into a property management role at a new, Class-A community in the midst of lease-up and she simply said, “I believe in you.” She is a legend and has forever made a lasting impact on this industry!
Chief Operating Officer
Atlantic Pacific Real Estate Group
Brett is one of the kindest, most approachable people I’ve met. It isn’t every day you get someone at his level to even respond to you. In the short time I have known him, I have told many people how I wish more people shared his demeanor and humble attitude. He is definitely someone you should know and equally shares my passion for networking!
Tara Samuels, CAS
AMP Founder &
Chief Networking Officer
I love learning more about people beyond the surface. Everyone has a story! I prepared these ten questions because these are ones that I find myself asking people at networking events because I’m not a fan of small talk. I hope you have fun reading some of my favorite ice-breakers!
Connecting with Barbara should come with a warning label! Caution: knowing Barbara will cause you to “Sprout” ideas, redefine your purpose and not live so compartmentalized.
She and I claim to be James Clear’s biggest fans and share a love for Paul Simon. She puts out amazing content via her monthly newsletter and podcast.
Strategic Management Solutions, LLC
I am not sure you can find a person with a bigger heart than, Keir Schutte. Hanging with her is like wearing your favorite pair of jeans. You know, the ones you’ve had for 20 years and will NEVER get rid of because they’ve seen you through it all. That’s her. She’s AMAZING and will literally give you the shirt off her back and you won’t catch her say a bad word about anyone. I guarantee that when you connect with her, your day will get more beautiful – much like her favorite song!
Regional Vice President of Sales
If you poll 100 people, chances are 99 of them will say that they fell into the multifamily world. I’ve heard people coming from many different backgrounds but Josh’s story is one of my favorites – from college coach to sales. I chose Josh for this interview because I firmly believe that tools learned from athletics are applicable to the real world. Thank you, Josh, for taking a risk and jumping into the multifamily world with both feet. Our industry is better with you in it.
Sr. Director of Business Development
If you are looking to smile, connect with Steve. If you are you looking to laugh, connect with Steve. If you are you looking to be motivated, connect with Steve. Do you see a pattern here?
Steve is one of the most positive connectors of the multifamily industry and I’m happy to have interviewed him so everyone else can learn and be inspired by him!
Founder & CEO
If ever there was an advertisement that said: "Wanted - An ambitious, risk-taker that is people-centric, willing to roll up their sleeves and solve one of the largest pain points in the multifamily industry with no guarantee that it will work" it would have Michael’s face in the ad! It will come as no surprise that some of his answers reflect his Nashville roots. With the success Fetch is having in our industry, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing this package delivery service in every apartment community across the country!
HOWL Creative Concepts
I challenge you to find a more dynamic, engaging multifamily professional to teach and empower your teams! With more than two decades of experience in the industry, Mark’s mantra is making each day count and live and breathe commitment! If you have not had the pleasure to hear Mark speak at one of the many apartment associations across the country or your own management company, you can catch him as a co-host on The JuvoHub show.
Chief Operating Officer
The RADCO Companies
As a voracious reader, Mike is certainly a great person to turn to for a good book recommendation. He’s also the type of person who will not just tell you the way but will show you the way with grace and courage. As the founder and host of the podcast Multifamily Collective, his mission is to “tease out the human potential in the multifamily space.” With 1,000 + episodes and counting, you’ll surely find something relatable in his show.
Sr. Director of Training & Development
I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” Jessica virtually and I can say that her energy and passion for the multifamily industry comes through loud and clear! Not only is she an accomplished speaker & coach, but she’s an advocate for developing rock star teams. Jessica shares her leadership secrets through her journey to self-awareness in parenting (both of her kids have ADD/ADHD) on her podcast, “Living with Einstein.” Any chance that you can hear her speak, do it – she’s dynamite!
Training and Development Director
I don’t know much about the Student Housing side of our industry but if I were to pick someone to “show me the ropes,” it would be Melody. As the Training and Development Director at Student Quarters, I can almost guarantee that her background in professional musical performance adds an element of energy and creativity to her role. She is the first person I’ve interviewed that encourages people to “get out on the road when given the opportunity.” Smart advice.
Director of Maintenance Operations
The Life Properties
I recently had the pleasure of reading “10 Things I’ve Learned During My Apartment Maintenance Career” by Paul Rhodes which sparked me to reach out to him. His 25+ years in the multifamily industry are evident in his answers to my questions. Please take the time to connect with him. I have no doubt you'll learn something new and come away inspired!
Exec. Managing Dir, Property Mgmt.
Western Wealth Communities
If you look up the definition of over-achiever and go-getter, you will find a picture of Jennifer Staciokas! She has an impressive list of accomplishments – one of which is building Western Wealth Communities, a new property management company, from scratch in less than 30 days.
I hope that when I get to meet this great multifamily icon in person, it’s at a David Gray concert with a glass of red wine in hand.
Seanne Spangenburg, CAM
Regional Property Manager
Elevation Property Management
When I heard Seanne discuss “How to Find the Right Team Members” on the Apartments on the Go podcast, I was intrigued! Having been in staffing before, I relate to her outside the box recruiting tactics – like the time she recruited an Uber driver!
If you get the pleasure to talk with her, make sure you have a pen and paper ready because she has fantastic ideas and experience.
When you ask someone what they would do on their day off if our country went to 4-day work weeks and they answer with “doing more volunteer work,” you know you are talking to someone with a good heart!
Spoiler alert - that’s what Cindy said when I asked her that very question.
As nice as she is in her interview, she is even nicer in person.
Resident Experience Manager
Even though I have never “met” Kendall, that didn’t stop him from making a big AMPression on me! You can tell, by his title, that he is into ensuring a good experience for everyone he interacts with. Just the other day, he encouraged his LinkedIn network to just “smile and laugh a little.” After reading the answers to my interview, it’s no surprise that one of his tips is “Wear a smile regardless of any situation.” Oh, and it helps that he shares the same name as my daughter – just spelled differently.
Jeremy Milton, CAM, CAPS
Following Jeremy on LinkedIn is like having a built-in motivational speaker! I love his positive messages – like Ideas Create Change! He is the first person I ever “met” who was a police officer and now, a Vice President at Pinnacle! It goes to show that our crazy multifamily industry is full of diverse people, backgrounds, and experiences. When this pandemic is over, Jeremy is one of the first people I plan to finally meet in person!
Senior Regional Director, Property Management
RangeWater Real Estate
You know that rare feeling when you first connect with someone and you feel like you’ve known them for years? That’s James. He’s like a cozy sweater or your favorite pair of jeans – so comfortable. No surprise, he didn’t set out to be in the multifamily industry but two decades later, he’s still here and is a real trailblazer and risk-taker!
Matthew Tobel, CCHP
Director of Business Development
Suite Home Chicago
What can I say about Matt that his smile doesn’t already tell you? He is one of the most genuine people I have EVER met in the multifamily industry. He lights up a room but isn’t afraid to challenge an idea or ask questions. He is someone who I’ve always admired and who always gives the best hugs. If you are looking for someone to add to your network who you know will give it to you straight but also give you the shirt off his back, it’s Matt.
A few years ago in Sandestin, FL, my husband excitingly shared that we were going to golf with Ed Buckley – whom I didn’t know at the time. Little did I know that I would be golfing with essentially a multifamily industry celebrity! Not only does he have a passion for golf, but he has a passion for life. Aside from my husband, he is the most humble person and biggest family man on the planet! If you ever have the pleasure of golfing or dining with Ed like I have, you will clearly see his passion for life, and his family!
National Account Executive
Grace Hill, Inc
My husband truly knows EVERYONE in the Atlanta market and when he encouraged me to introduce myself to Dana Hill at the GAA Conference in Florida a couple of years ago, I frustratingly whined “I can’t get to her.” Why? Because she essentially had the multifamily paparazzi around her! That’s when I quickly learned that Dana is someone to know. She has been in the industry a long time and she has that certain Je ne sais quoi charming everyone around her.
Vice President, Sales
Alycia and I have never met but after reading the answers to her interview, I believe we are soul sisters! Alycia is definitely someone making headlines in the multifamily industry and as a motivational speaker. Whenever I see the words: Inclusion Superwoman, I will always picture her. If you haven’t seen her website, check it out here: https://alyciaanderson.com/
Chief Operating Officer
Trilogy Real Estate Group
Not only does Girish know the best place for BBQ in Chicago (Green Street Meats) but he also knows a thing or two about the multifamily industry. He has one of the most calming demeanors you’ll probably ever come across and will answer any question you have without ever making you feel less-than. I am grateful to have him in my network (business and personal) and respect him as one of our industry leaders.
Manager, Industry Operations
National Apartment Association
Has someone ever made an impression on you that you have never actually met but yet you still felt a connection? That’s how I felt the times I have seen posts on LinkedIn from Stephanie. There was one post in particular about “creating your own seat at the table.” I appreciate her push for more boldness and leadership amongst women and how we all need to continue to lift one another up!
Managing Director, Strategic Business Solutions
Bozzuto Management Company
Chad is one of those guys that you meet and instantly want to hang out with. For the stature he has in this industry, he is ironically VERY approachable. He has a wealth of experience in the multifamily industry but doesn’t intimidate you with that knowledge and experience. If he is not in your network, you are missing out!
Executive Vice President
The Habitat Company
Sheila is really a Chicago multifamily industry icon of sorts having worked at the same company for over 3 decades! She is so humble about her talent and experience which is what makes her so likable. If you don’t know her, you should. If you want to know how to succeed in multifamily, follow her lead. She will not steer you wrong!