It’s mid July 2012. On many days temperatures soar into the 90’s; it’s the second warmest July on record, and also a very dry one. The extreme weather conditions create a myriad of issues that need to be addressed by our site and roving teams, and to top it all off we are temporarily short-staffed by one portfolio director due to the birth of a beautiful baby boy named Ben. Things are busy! No property needs the added stress of being without a manager. But circumstances arise and it happens. What to do? Summon the dynamic duo for assistance! In this case, however, we are not referring to Batman & Robin. Instead, we mean Tracy Sauer and Tera Morris Kane, StuartCo’s own dynamic duo and our October 2012 Bellringers!
Tracy is presently the assistant manager at Hopkins Plaza and has been a member of our StuartCo family since 1997. She started as a caretaker at Fernbrook Townhomes (no longer in our portfolio), then became the property manager at Deer Ridge & Raspberry Woods Townhomes (ironically the communities that Tera, the other member of this dynamic duo, now oversees!). In 2003 Tracy joined the corporate office team as an accounts receivable specialist, and as of this past January is now back as a onsite employee in her current role. It is worth mentioning that while Tracy was a member of our corporate team she also earned the Minnesota Multi Housing Association’s Certified Resident Manager (CRM) designation, which is not an easy accomplishment – just ask any of our team members who have also achieved CRM status!
Tera joined the StuartCo family in 2007 as a leasing consultant at SummerCreek Apartments (no longer in our portfolio) and Fernbrook Townhomes (ironically where Tracy got her start with us!). Back then she was Tera Morris, as she had not yet wed Jeff Kane, an eight-year member of our maintenance team. Tera’s employment with us was briefly disrupted late in 2007 when the properties at which she worked were sold, but by March 2008 she was re-hired as assistant manager at Deer Ridge & Raspberry Woods. She & Jeff wed in August of that year, and in late 2010 Tera was promoted into her current role as property manager. She and Jeff are expecting their first child this November – adding “parent” as a new role for both of them!
Tracy and Tera joined forces this past July when the property manager at Hopkins Plaza was terminated. At that point the staffs’ morale was a bit low, but as soon as or dynamic duo was formed, it quickly began to rise. “Tera & Tracy pulled the Hopkins Plaza team together over the busy summer months to handle more turnovers than last year, and also lead the team forward with closet renovation, parking ramp construction, and other projects,” explains president & CEO Lisa Moe, who also served as interim portfolio director of Hopkins Plaza from mid-May until mid-August. ”Tera & Tracy worked together on lifting both the spirit and the productivity of the team while also doing a great job of providing customer service to the Hopkins Plaza residents. I thank them both for going the extra mile and working so hard. They are exceptional people!”
To accomplish these things, Tracy often put in long hours. “Many days she was there from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.,” stated portfolio director Brenda Lunderby, who was out on maternity leave with beautiful baby Ben over the summer months. “After full weeks, she worked several Saturdays by herself, as well.” Tera generously gave of her time andtalents, as well. “Tera was at the Hopkins Plaza office three days per week, spending at least two and a half hours at the property each time, thus taking her away from her own office approximately 20% of each week,” explained Brenda. “She also made herself available for Tracy at any time, should she need assistance or advice. She was just a terrific resource and supporter.” Brenda further elaborated on how our dynamic duo worked as a team from mid July until the last week of September, when new property manager Raychel Volker started. “Basically, the two of them were really great at communicating with each other and there wasn’t any fallout from not having a full-time manager at Hopkins Plaza for more than two months. Tracy kept the residents very happy and she also kept the property highly occupied, all the while with working with the property’s team and vendors on a day-today basis and coordinating the July, August, and September move-ins and move-outs. Tera served as the temporary manager and performed the leadership role at Hopkins Plaza, taking it as seriously as she does at her two permanent properties, which I really appreciated. Tracy and Tera worked exceptionally well as a team, and their dedication to their company and residents is what I think drove them to make sure this transitional period was seamless and successful. I so appreciate both of them!”
Appreciation for the extraordinary efforts put forth by these ladies was also felt throughout the corporate office. Ann Lewis, with who Tracy
worked when she was an accounts receivable specialist, stated, “Tracy did a super job of getting rents in and of completing the Deposit Accounting
(move outs) and other paperwork on time—even though many days she was flying solo. Despite, this, whenever I called Tracy there was a friendly greeting and a willingness to help out with whatever was needed. She’s a super star!” Accounts payable specialist Beth Jacobs was as precise and to the point with her appreciation of Tracy and Tera as she is with her payables processes. “They always responded to my phone calls or emails in a timely manner.” Controller Kim Bender, Tracy’s former supervisor, said, “While Tracy was an accounting team member she was always willing to help out in any way she could, so it was no surprise to me to hear that Tracy went above & beyond to assist during the management transition at Hopkins Plaza. Her work remained top-notch throughout the transition, and I am so happy for her to win this well-deserved recognition. Congratulations, Tracy!” Congratulations to Tracy indeed, and to Tera as well. You two truly are the dynamic duo, even without the capes, masks, butler, or the special cave, phone or mobile. Holy Bellringers, Batman!
The hard-working and ‘can-do’ attitude this dynamic duo has displayed in the past months is exceptional, we hope you enjoyed reading about this pair. Thank you again, Tracy and Tera!