Charmaine Johnson has experienced a lot in her almost nine years at Campus Advantage. The majority of that time has been spent at Fairway View in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, leading her team with a dedication and integrity that has a noticeable ripple effect in her community, as well. Charmaine’s appreciation for the support and leadership she’s received over the years has inspired her to reflect our core values of Integrity, Intelligence, Passion, and Mojo in her day-to-day work. Read on to learn more about what first attracted her to a job with CA, the characteristics her team members all share, and her favorite moments with the company so far.
Tell us a little bit about your current role and how long you’ve been with the company.
I am the Property Manager at Fairway View Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and have been in this community for almost eight years. Prior to this, I worked at Crimson Student Living, a community we had in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a year. So I’ve been with Campus Advantage for almost nine years total.
What first attracted you to work for Campus Advantage?
At the time when I applied for my first position with Campus Advantage, I was taking a step back in my life. My brother and niece had passed away, and a lot of other things were happening, so I was looking for assistant property manager positions to take some stress off my plate. That’s when I went and applied for the student housing position in Tuscaloosa, and where I really began to love this company. Campus Advantage supports you on both a professional and a personal level. They always let you put family first. I remember a moment at one of our FOCUS Conferences when I got a message that my father was in the hospital and I needed to go see him pretty quickly. As soon as I told my regional manager, they had someone packing my things, another getting a car ready, and everyone stayed with me while they dropped me off at the airport. You don’t typically see that from a company. It touched my heart and made me realize what kind of company I work for.
What is your professional background?
Well, I have about 30 years of conventional commercial and student housing experience. I originally went to school for accounting and business management. I knew I wanted a career that dealt with money, but I also really enjoy being around people. When I started in this field, I was a single mother raising two boys. I needed something flexible, and I took a resident manager position that allowed me to be home and raise my kids because the office was actually connected to my house! In that role, I oversaw warehouses, mini storage, houses, and apartments — something like 400 total buildings. From that point on, I realized this was something I enjoyed doing and wanted to continue to pursue for years to come.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
I strive to incorporate the Campus Advantage values of Integrity, Intelligence, Passion, and Mojo in my day-to-day work. Whether it’s responding to emails or encouraging a resident or a team member, my main goal is to make a difference in people’s lives, either on the community level or on a personal level.
What three words best describe you (inside or outside of work)?
Integrity – I’m always trying to do the right thing. I’m very transparent when I mess up, and I’m always learning how to be better.
Dedicated – When I’m passionate about something, I give it my all and make sure I follow all the way through until I finish it.
Thoughtful – I’m always trying to think of what I can do to make someone else happy. I always say, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated,” so no matter their position, where they are in life, I think everybody should be treated with kindness.
How would you describe the Campus Advantage culture?
Caring – Everyone I interact with at Campus Advantage has a caring side to them. Whether it’s regarding property issues or personal things, everyone is always reaching out.
Committed – Everybody’s always committed to making certain you have the tools you need or that whatever you’re currently working on is resolved.
Loyal – They are always loyal to their teams. No one acts like a stereotypical boss; they are there for everyone and make sure you have everything you need.
What is one of your favorite moments with Campus Advantage so far?
On a corporate level, I always enjoy the CAmmys. I have been fortunate enough to win a lot of different awards since being here, including an Integrity Award and a Making a Difference Award. I really love seeing people being recognized for their hard work and accomplishments each year.
On a community level, after a major flood in 2016, I was awarded Louisiana Housing Hero from the governor of Louisiana. That was a very touching moment, and I couldn’t have done that without my staff.
Thinking about your most successful peers and teammates, what characteristics do they share?
Good leadership, sharing, and mentoring. They’re very good at taking someone in and sharing their knowledge, their experience, etc. I always tell people whenever I hire them that you can work your way up within Campus Advantage, which I have seen almost everywhere throughout the company. I’m willing to show them everything I know because someone took time and shared the same knowledge with me.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Getting to spend time with my grandkids, just being with family in general and doing activities with them. I also like my quiet moments with my pups, just sipping on a cup of coffee and watching the birds outside, or planting my flowers and watching them grow.
If your life had a soundtrack, name some songs that would be on it?
My assistant general manager and I decided my song would be “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield. I think that song just describes my outlook on life in general.