“We are resilient. We are proud of what we accomplished during the year we went through. We keep ourselves, our teammates, our residents and our families safe.” Those were some of the remarks shared by those in attendance as the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA), the statewide trade association for the apartment industry, hosted the 29th Annual AMA/Cox Communications Tribute Awards Friday night at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort.
This year the Tribute Awards were about more than one night of recognition. The state’s apartment industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners and residents alike were adversely affected.
“At a time of incredible crisis, Arizona property owners large and small have stepped up to help their communities and the individuals and families who call those communities home. All of us should be proud of what this industry has accomplished this year and throughout the pandemic,” said Courtney LeVinus, AMA President and CEO. “No other industry anywhere has been forced by the government to provide its services or products free of charge. Even so, our owners and operators have put their best foot forward on a daily basis – keeping roofs over families’ heads, keeping tens of thousands of people employed, and working tirelessly to keep more than one million Arizona households safe from the pandemic.”
LeVinus lauded the industry’s patience at a time when eviction relief funding has been slow to arrive.
“In my heart, I firmly believe that every property owner in the state merits a tribute for their efforts over the past year. You have done what so many local agencies have not: You’ve turned on a dime, been endlessly flexible, and responded in real-time to thousands of families in need,” she said. “I know what a sacrifice this has been — a sacrifice that mirrors what so many families have faced for months on end.
“If recognition has been slow to come from many areas of the community, that’s fine. Because all of us can look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we have served with steadfast commitment,” LeVinus said.
A record 755 nominations from 33 member companies participated. Volunteers donated more than 700 hours of their time to judge all the nominees. The AMA’s nomination and interview process is one of the most rigorous in the industry. AMA judges conduct an interview and nominees complete a questionnaire or aptitude test to keep the process impartial while learning more about each candidate.
The playing field is level whether nominees are a large or small organization, in Maricopa County, or Tucson, or other counties around the state.
“There was no playbook for what this industry has faced over the past 18 months,” said Reid Butler, 2021 AMA Board Chairman. “Every property owner, manager and team member has helped author our industry’s response on the fly, amid any number of risks – to physical health, personal financial health and the health of thousands of businesses. Tonight, our association honors the best and brightest in our industry, along with Arizona’s premier apartment communities. You all served as a light during some dark times for our industry.”
Arizona’s apartment industry annually generates 131,000 jobs, $699 million in wages and $3.8 billion in economic output. Events such as the Tribute Awards are important because they elevate the industry and create motivation for improvement for more than 2,300 AMA members.
“Resilient. That’s the word I would use to describe this association over the past year,’” said Scott Hines with PEM Real Estate Group and 2021 Tribute Awards Chair “Our members and this association took on a crisis head on and didn’t flinch. It’s a testament to what we can overcome as an industry. Everyone here tonight is a winner.”
2021 Tribute Awards winners
Industry Partner of the Year Tucson: Judy Drickey-Prohow, Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, P.C.
Industry Partner of the Year Statewide: Bry Carter, The Phoenix Staffing
Volunteer of the Year Tucson: Kimberly Fitch, Nicolosi & Fitch, Inc.
Volunteer of the Year Statewide: Rachael Kish, Shelton Residential
Affordable Community of the Year: Cottonwood Crossing Apartments, Shelton Residential
Renovated Community of the Year: Haven at South Mountain, Shelton Residential
Developers Award for Best Community Design Garden Style: Acero Cooley Station, IDM Apartments
Developers Award for Best Community Design Mid/Low Rise Style: The McKinley, Baron Property Services, LLC
Housekeeper of the Year: Cheri Stroud, P.B. Bell
Leasing Consultant of the Year: Troy Row, IDM Apartments
Assistant Manager of the Year: Rachelle Ralston, MG Properties
Service Technician of the Year: Trevor Terrell, BH Management Services
Community Manager of the Year 1-199 Units: Lauren McCauley, Baron Property Services, LLC
Community Manager of the Year Outside the Valley: Gina DeSisto, Greystar Real Estate Partners
Service Supervisor of the Year 1-199 Units: Michael Pantoja, MEB Management Services
Best Community Team of the Year Prior to 2002: Biscayne Bay, MG Properties
Best Community Team of the Year Built 2002-2012: San Tan by Baron, Baron Property Services, LLC
Arizona Executive of the Year: Justin Steltenpohl, P.B. Bell
Community Manager of the Year 200-299 Units: Scott Allen, Baron Property Services, LLC
Service Supervisor of the Year 200+ Units: Chris Owen, Greystar Real Estate Partners
Service Supervisor of the Year Outside the Valley: Art Torres, Nicolosi & Fitch, Inc.
Best Community Team of the Year Built 2013-2020: The Local, Mark-Taylor Residential
Corporate Employee of the Year: Khara House, Bella Investment Group
Community Manager of the Year 300+ Units: Teresa Garr, Baron Property Services, LLC
Best Community Team of the Year Student Housing: Paseo on University, Greystar Real Estate Partners
Best Community Team of the Year Outside the Valley: Retreat at Speedway, Weidner Apartment Homes
Regional Service Supervisor of the Year: Casey Hale, P.B. Bell
Property Supervisor of the Year: Ashley Tran, Mark-Taylor Residential
About Arizona Multihousing Association:
The Arizona Multihousing Association is the statewide trade association for the apartment industry, representing more than 2,300 members in legislative, legal and regulatory matters. The mission of the Arizona Multihousing Association is to unite multifamily housing leaders in one trusted voice for Arizona’s rental community. For more information, visit azmultihousing.org.