Lisa-Marie Barry is Opening Doors for Her Residents and Team

What originally began as a shuttle driving position in 2017 eventually led Lisa-Marie to a leadership role as  General Manager at Arcadia on the River in Milledgeville, Georgia. During that time, she’s continued to share the same commitment to growth and support with her own residents and team — including a passion for learning and an open-door policy. Inspired by her own mentors, “Miss Lisa” is well-known for taking care of others, her community, as well as plenty of plants and animals along the way. Read on to learn more about her professional background, the value that represents her best, and a hilarious CAmmy Award surprise.

How long have you been with Campus Advantage?

In 2017, I was a shuttle driver for another property here in Milledgeville, and I just loved being around students. It was my passion. I came to Arcadia on the River with the new shuttle company and would come in the office and talk with everyone. After two years of driving the shuttle, I joined as their bookkeeper, and from there I became the Assistant General Manager, and now General Manager! I’ve been here over five years now.

Tell us a little bit about your professional background.

I’m originally from upstate New York, and I managed an estate up there for 14 years. The owner of the property owned a communications company in Poughkeepsie, NY. I took care of his landscaping,

running his household and indoor pool. I also owned my own nail salon, Fancy Fingerz, in Pine Bush, New York. When I moved down to Georgia in 2006, I was semi-retired and decided I wanted to go back to work, so I began driving a shuttle for a student housing complex. From there I was like, “You know what, I really love dealing with the kids and I loved learning about college life.” I also love absorbing things. If I can’t figure out what it is, I’m on the internet trying to learn about it and how to fix it, especially if it has something to do with maintenance.

Tell us a little bit about your current role.

In my current role I do a lot of the property inspections, help maintenance with any kind of issue they may have, assist with bookkeeping, and help train new staff. Mostly I would say I help our residents — I have an open-door policy, and residents come in all the time to talk to me. That’s what I love doing, and that’s what the residents know. I’m “Miss Lisa,” and that’s pretty much what I think my strong point is: taking care of our residents.

What first attracted you to work for Campus Advantage?

Well, I give that credit to Melissa Hinton, her mojo, and her personality. When I first came to Arcadia, I didn’t know much about student housing. Melissa explained everything to me, and I was just so intrigued with it. Just watching her and how she dealt with things — just the way she talked about Campus Advantage, and her mojo and passion for the company. That’s what got my attention!

What does a typical day look like for you and your team?

I have Karitza, who is the Leasing Manager here, and Tionna Williams was our General Manager. I have my Community Assistants, who I’m very close with, and I try to include them in everything to mentor them. I’m sort of like the mom. They come to me with a lot of problems, but like I said, I have an open-door policy. Residents will also come in for help with issues, from how to fill out a money order to how to put washer fluid in their car. The team here, including the maintenance team, we are all very close. I’m always trying to make them be the best they can.

What three words best describe you (inside or outside of work)?

Dedicated – When I set my mind to something, I try to figure it out. I am very dedicated, and I put my mind to it.

Supportive – I love supporting my CAs and my maintenance guys. I try to keep them happy because they are the backbone of this property.

Caring – I have a lot of empathy. I try to even with residents or parents who call. If they’re having issues, I try to be very caring.

How would you describe the Campus Advantage culture?

People Driven – I really love how committed to their people they are, whether it’s their employees, clients, or residents.

Diverse – I really enjoy their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and I just joined the team myself!

MOJO – We take our work seriously, but always find ways to have fun!

What is one of your favorite moments with Campus Advantage so far?

In 2022, I got the CAmmy Award for AGM of the Year, and I had no clue — my team totally kept it a secret up until the moment. I was watching on the livestream that night and when Tionna went up on stage to announce Jamir (our leasing manager at the time) winning the award for Leasing Manager of the year, and I was so happy for him. And then they said, “Lisa-Marie Barry, Arcadia on the River!” I was sitting on the couch, and I had my earbuds in and I screamed so loud the cat went flying the dogs started barking, I was so excited. I did not expect it. The best moment was getting that award.

Which of Campus Advantage’s core values represents you best?

I’m very passionate. For five years, every morning, I have driven the property. I make sure that everything looks good. I’m very passionate about the property itself and always maintaining an excellent curb appeal. ​​I want to make sure everything is always perfect. Maybe sometimes I take it a little too far. I try to keep that up every day, even though we’re seven years old now, I want things to look perfect, but that’s my passion. Arcadia is my passion.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

My motivation is my team! We have a close bond here that makes coming into work enjoyable. From the CAs to the maintenance team, they are definitely my work family. I also have a crab in the office; he’s our mascot he lives in a little fish tank and must be fed — that is also motivation.

Thinking about your most successful peers and teammates, what characteristics do they share?

When I think of success, I think of Melissa Hinton — I don’t know how she does it, how she organizes her life and still maintains to tackle such a busy schedule with a smile on her face. I’m also inspired by Tionna. She has a strong drive to become Regional, and I find it really inspiring how hard they both work for not just themselves, but their teams.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I have an addiction to plants — I love taking care of them. My house is full of plants; I won’t even tell you how many I have, but that is what I love doing. I go home at night and make sure everybody’s watered and happy. I have dog named Rocket, he is a blue heeler, and a stray cat we named Freya. I also raise chickens which everybody knows about. Animals and plants are my passion. I live with fur in my life and dirt on my hands!

If your life had a soundtrack, name some songs that would be on it?

I am a big Kenny Chesney fan — especially the song “Be as You Are.” I am an Island Girl at heart. That album speaks to my soul.