A Winner’s Journey to International TOBY

A1 Orange asked Terri Walther, Senior Property Manager with Parmenter in Lake Mary, FL, to share what she has learned on her journey to winning the coveted 2018 International BOMA TOBY Award. Her TOBY career began in 2002, when she competed with Eola Park Centre in the Renovated Building Category, winning local and regional awards. Over the next 15 years, she had numerous wins at the local and regional levels, but never international until this year.

Q1:  When did you make the decision to enter the 2017 TOBY judging cycle? Did you set any long-term maintenance or other goals to make your entry stronger prior to entering?

In June 2017, when we did not win an international award. To strengthen our next entry, we decided to:

  • Complete the BOMA 360 Designation to document our policies and procedures.
  • Improve documentation of our maintenance plans, capital plans and other facets of our management.

Q2:  So, aiming for the international award, what did you do differently, if anything, during the year leading up to entering the TOBY Awards again for this property, in terms of documentation or record keeping?

Unlike the local level, which includes a walking tour of the property during which you can add details, your written word, attachments and pictures must tell the complete story. Recognizing that challenge, we:

  • Looked at how we were telling the story and added details to more fully present our management picture.
  • Made sure to save letters of thanks from tenants and to get pictures of tenant events, drives, etc., which we included to further document our story.

Q3:  Is there anything you would do differently in the year leading up to your entry?

Yes, during the year leading up to the TOBY entry, I recommend a keeping a TOBY folder where you save documents, pictures, etc. that help with you to remember all the positive points for your presentation. Even the hurricane recovery documentation is important as it demonstrates your policies, procedures and how you handle things when the worst happens.

Q4:  What were the benefits to you, as a property management professional, of participating in the TOBY Awards process?

I love TOBY because it is a focus on all the good things that happen during a year.  Often, our attention is on the latest problem or complaint. TOBY gives us the opportunity to remember all the great things and successes that have happened and the positive results we have created as we responded to and resolved many issues throughout the year.

Since winning the BOMA Toby International Award, Terri has been very engaged in encouraging others to participate in the TOBY’s. She may take one of her buildings in three years and do another round of TOBY’s herself! She loves working with her current portfolio! Wonder when she is going to Disney World to celebrate?!

Terri got her first job as a file clerk/relief receptionist for a commercial real estate firm that did property management, leasing and development, after tiring of retail work/hours. Enjoying the industry, she has worked previously with Cushman & Wakefield and JLL, moving to Parmenter when they purchased her properties in October, 2016. Variety and challenges are what she loves most about what her role as a property manager.

When Terri isn’t running around the property, you’ll may find her running 5 k’s and half marathons (once was enough for full marathons!). She enjoys spending time with her sons and their wives – and especially her granddaughter, Rylee. She also enjoys shopping, loves murder mystery books, and her favorite movies are Mighty Ducks (filmed in her home town, Minneapolis), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, and James Bond. She also enjoys the Fast and Furious movies with her kids.

A1’s Plans for OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week

Safety is always our #1 priority. A1 Orange is excited to be participating in OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19. We are planning incentives to make it fun for our workers to think about safety this week. Both field and office staff are participating in special safety activities and trainings in areas identified by managers and workers and assigning teams to look for any possible office and warehouse safety hazards.

Here is our plan:

Advance Promotion:  We are meeting with team members on Thursday, August 9, to give them a heads-up on the upcoming week’s activities and incentives.
Incentives:  If a team member takes three photos relating to our Safe + Sound Week safety items, they get a $10 Wawa or Gate card for a free lunch! If half of the team members earn the $10 GC, there is a drawing for $100 among those participants.
Daily Safety Focus:  Monday – protecting the public and property with cones and caution tape; Tuesday – rope safety/hi-rise and fall prevention/low-rise; Wednesday — electrical hazards; Thursday – ladder safety.
Three Special Safety Training Sessions (15-40 minutes duration):  Rope safety, electrical hazards and ladder safety.
Wrap-Up Safety Celebration & Prizes: Thursday, August 16, with presentation of $10 gift certificates and drawings (hopefully) for $100 in Orlando and Jacksonville. Plan to take a picture of the group with our OSHA Safe + Sound Certificate!

A1 Orange is also coordinating with the Orlando Police Department to hold a women’s self-defense training program at our office at 1345 Long Street, Orlando, in August or September. More details to come as soon as we have a date!