March 3 marked the 18th anniversary of Campus Advantage! While we couldn’t celebrate as a team in person, there was no shortage in the amount of pride I felt as I reflected back on how far this company has come, and how resilient each and every team member has been over this past year. I continue to be extremely grateful for our employees and clients who not only contribute, and continue to contribute to our success and growth, but who inspire me every day. I remain so thankful for the passionate, supportive, and dedicated group of people who are the “Campus Advantage,” and I am extremely hopeful that we’ll be able to celebrate our 19th year together as a team.
Earlier this year, we held our annual CAmmy Awards, and while it looked a bit different than in years past, the virtual ceremony did not disappoint! I look forward to this annual event as it allows us to come together, celebrate our team and individual successes, and inspire each other to make an impact. I want to personally congratulate all of our award recipients, including our 2021 Corporate Employee of the Year, Katie Zarzana. To our entire Campus Advantage team: Your dedication to our residents, clients, this company, and each other is appreciated tremendously, and I cannot thank you enough for all of the hard work each of you demonstrate on a daily basis. We all applaud you!
Speaking of celebrating, we were beyond excited to welcome Beth Pinder, Chief Operating Officer, to the Campus Advantage team. Beth is a seasoned industry veteran and brings a vast level of expertise to Campus Advantage. She is an outstanding addition to our team, and I look forward to watching her impressionable footprint grow here.
Looking ahead to a hopefully more normal year, I want to remind employees of the importance of giving back to our communities. We offer our full-time employees one full day per quarter to take a break from their daily routines and give back to their communities. As a current member of the National Peace Corps Association, as well as a former Return Peace Corps Volunteer, I know firsthand the personal and professional rewards that come with volunteering. It’s an opportunity to not only connect to the community but to learn how to help those in need while also gaining valuable career-development skills — all of which go hand in hand with how we approach our rewarding living, learning, and career experiences here at Campus Advantage. This spring and summer, I encourage each of you to take time to find a way to make an impact on your community. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to come together (safely), help each other out, and do what we can to meet the needs of our communities.
We have a bright year ahead, and I look forward to all that’s in store. In the meantime, I continue to wish you and your loved ones good health.
Again, thank you for being the “Campus Advantage.”
Have a safe and healthy spring!
Mike Peter, President and CEO
CAmmy Awards 2021
We were fortunate enough to continue the tradition of our annual CAmmy Awards earlier this year by bringing together our corporate employees and general managers virtually. We enjoyed recognizing employees and properties for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance through what was a challenging 2020.
These awards continue to be a key component of our Campus Advantage culture, which is designed to serve and inspire employees and residents to achieve their full potential. This annual gathering is just one way we help empower and encourage one another to deliver a world-class experience to residents.
This year’s winners and finalists definitely deserved the recognition they received. We applaud each and every one of them for continuing to help Campus Advantage lead the world in creating financially successful communities that excel in providing rewarding living, learning, and career experiences.
Welcome, Beth Pinder and Theresa Sopata
Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to have Beth Pinder and Theresa Sopata, two accomplished industry veterans with 35 years of combined student housing experience, join our Campus Advantage team as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Business Development and Client Relations, respectively.
As COO, Beth provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to effectively grow the organization. Prior to joining our team, Beth spent nearly five years at CA Ventures as COO and was responsible for overseeing a portfolio consisting of 23,945 beds in the United States, South America, and Europe.
As Vice President of Business Development and Client Relations, Theresa is responsible for driving new revenue for our third-party management and consulting platforms. Theresa has more than 15 years of real estate industry experience, including student, multifamily, new development, and industrial. She most recently served as Director of Client Services at Greystar, where she facilitated key communication, initiatives, and deliverables to drive portfolio growth, and ensure client satisfaction while offering consulting services to execute clients’ various business strategies.
These two women are not only outstanding additions to our company and executive leadership team, they complement our strong, people-oriented culture. We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board, and to play an impactful, integral role in the ever-changing student housing industry.
Property Spotlight: Arcadia on the River
Located in Milledgeville, Georgia, Arcadia on the River is a 123-unit, 510-bed community offering two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-bedroom cottage-style residences right on the river. Amenities include a large pool with tons of area to relax, indoor/outdoor workout facilities, kayak storage, volleyball, bocce ball, softball, football, table tennis, foosball, billiards, a yoga center, and a juice bar. Located just minutes from Georgia College & State University and Georgia Military College, Arcadia offers daily shuttle service to campus. The property is currently pre-leased at 99% for fall 2021 and is focused on giving residents the best resident experience during their time at the property.
Employee’s Take on Work-Life Balance
By Melissa Hinton, Regional Manager
For me, having a healthy work-life balance means I have time for both my career and my family. This is so important because I love working in a career that is rewarding and challenging, but my family is what I live for. The more I can ensure my personal life feels fulfilled and satisfying, the more passion I can bring to Campus Advantage every day.
As I typically work from home, it can be hard to maintain strict office hours, but I try to not arrive at my desk until 8 a.m. and try to wrap up my day by 5:30 p.m. My husband and I have two teens and one rule that we live by is, “No phones during family time.” I always turn up the ringer because, of course, I do need to be available for my teams, but I don’t need to have my phone in my hand, distracting me from my family.
I tell my teams, “You can’t expect anyone else to take care of you.” We must be our own advocates, so if you need time or a vacation, take it! I recently took PTO and a major incident came up at one of my sites. Anna Flores, our Senior VP of Operations, made a point to call me and tell me to focus on my family and allow her to handle it. That meant so much to me — that I could trust things to be handled in my absence.
In my free time, I love to read. I have a to-be-read list a mile long, and when I’m in the car, I’m typically listening to an audiobook. I also enjoy hiking, traveling, and binging the occasional TV show.
STUDENT HOUSING INVESTMENTS
Student housing’s recession-resilience makes it a value-add investment during times of economic uncertainty. If you or someone you know is interested in an expanded investment portfolio, Campus Advantage specializes in all aspects of student housing — operations, marketing, consulting, development, and acquisition — and has delivered excellent returns for over a decade. Learn more about our investment fund opportunity here.
Our Latest Content
Student Housing Investments in 2021
2021 has arrived, and with it, investors look ahead to another year of making the right decisions for their portfolio. Commercial real estate experienced tremendous volatility in 2020 due to COVID-19, and among the class’ pillars — office, industrial, multifamily rentals, retail, and student housing — office and retail faced (and continue to face) significant volatility. In contrast, student housing is proving resilient throughout the pandemic and subsequent recession. Looking ahead to 2021, there are a number of reasons why student housing is predicted to continue to perform as a worthwhile investment. Read more.
Evolving Community Spaces in a Post-Pandemic World
2020’s COVID-19 pandemic forced student housing owners, developers, and operators to significantly alter amenities, common areas, and operations to fit ever-changing protocols and resident needs. As 2021 rolls onward and the country is faced with lingering unknowns surrounding the vaccine and social distancing requirements, Campus Advantage has learned so much that will be implemented this year. This includes keeping necessary amenities clean, keeping property technology up to date and efficient, and ultimately providing the respite that a student housing community should be during these times and beyond. Read more.
Jermaine King — Corporate Accounting Manager
Allison Mussoline — Senior Brand Account Manager, Catalyst
Daniel Russo — Technical Director, Catalyst
At Campus Advantage, we truly believe our team is the core of our success. And when it comes to seeking out new team members, we look for people who will contribute to that success and who love to learn, enjoy innovating and testing the latest technologies and trends, and are passionate about making raving fans of our residents and clients.
Over the past year, despite the challenges the pandemic presented us and the industry, we continued to hire employees who embody and embrace the Campus Advantage dynamic personality, core values, and vibrant culture, and have helped drive our overall success. In just a short time, they’ve contributed to thriving student communities that drive value for our partners — and have fun while doing so!
Do you know a motivated, energetic individual who wants to be part of a company dedicated to developing and inspiring employees to achieve their full potential? Or who would be a great fit for the student housing industry? Check out our open positions and send them our way!
Austin Young’s Dedication to Excellent Resident Events
Austin Young has been with Campus Advantage for a year and a half, and during that time, he’s made a big impression. As the Resident Director of Forum at Denton Station, Austin oversees all resident disputes and on-site events, and takes a lot of pride in offering creative and engaging event experiences that connect residents with staff and each other. He took a moment to share what he loves most about working at Campus Advantage (hint: it’s the people), and how he motivates his team to be the best they can be.
Katie Zarzana is an All-Star
Katie Zarzana is a bit of an all-star at Campus Advantage. Supporting the team as the Senior Executive Assistant for four and a half years, she acts as the primary point of contact for the CEO and is a go-to resource for the executive management team. But the role she plays at Campus Advantage is difficult to describe in one sentence — she touches all departments, moves projects forward, ensures clarity among teams and leadership, and reinforces the company’s culture. She even won Employee of the Year this year! We talked to Katie about her time at Campus Advantage, thus far, and her perspective on how the company is moving forward.
From a Student Housing Professional: Key Learnings and Advice for Moving Forward
Movers and Shakers (Lori Moran)
Campus Advantage Hires Theresa Sopata as Vice President of Business Development and Client Relations
Industry Experts Provide Best Tips and Strategies for Management Success
Question of the Month
How the Pandemic Became a Technology Accelerator
Campus Advantage Hires Beth Pinder as Chief Operating Officer
Back to the Workplace: How to Plan Your Reopening
Movers and Shakers (Beth Pinder)