His story began in Portage, PA, where he grew up and attended high school. Armed with a certification from the Computer Learning Network school, Michael ventured into the workforce, eager to explore opportunities in the IT field. However, fate had other plans for him when a friend mentioned a maintenance position at a residential property in Monroeville.
The only reason he considered the job was because he knew they had an IT department and was hoping this would be his way in. Despite lacking prior maintenance experience, Michael took the leap, moved to the property, and started his journey into the property management world.
When an IT position opened up, it was too late for Michael as he had already started a family, making the travel requirements impractical for his new life. However, this turned out to be a blessing, as Michael found success and excelled in his maintenance role.
As the property transitioned to Walnut Crossings under Walnut Capital in 2003, Michael continued to grow both personally and professionally. Living on-site for over a decade, he became deeply connected to the community, fostering a unique understanding of the residents and their needs.
Fast forward to 2023 when he got a call from Alissa, our Director of Leasing and Marketing, offering Michael the role of property manager. Despite initial shock and uncertainty, he accepted the challenge, marking a significant shift in his career.
I had to check the phone again to make sure it was her. I was in shock.
With Sidney, the assistant property manager, and Leslie, the leasing consultant, by his side, Michael embraced the learning curve of property management. While still leaning towards his maintenance roots, he eagerly absorbed the ins and outs of leasing, recognizing the importance of making residents happy to ensure a positive living experience.
Michael's daily routine involves meticulous planning, checking his calendar nightly, and utilizing Google Tasks to stay organized. Invoices, late payment notices, resident concerns - he tackles them all, ensuring a smooth operation at Walnut Crossings. And, of course, he starts some mornings with a visit to Chick-fil-A for a positive kick-off.
I am a people person. I love talking to people and I get that tenfold in the office.
When he's not managing the property, Michael enjoys watching Steelers games with his family, camping, and recently exploring the world of RVs. His family even bonds over customizing an imported Japanese truck for his son, a project that involves them learning to drive stick with a right-handed Japanese vehicle.
Having worked at Walnut for over 20 years, Michael has plenty of memories to share. One that stood out was the Walnut Capital casino-themed party. He had a blast and even wins big, but didn't realize he was supposed to cash in his chips for a prize, so he gambled them all away. Luckily, it wasn't real money.
He also reminisced about the time when both of our elevators were out of order. The only way one of them would operate was if someone was inside to push the button. So Michael did what any person would (not) do, and sat inside the elevator on a chair for nearly 8 hours, ensuring that residents who needed to use the elevator could do so.
From winning Maintenance Tech of the Year to stepping into the role of Property Manager overnight, Michael has truly shined during his time with us. His favorite aspects of the job revolve around our residents and the meaningful connections he has forged with them.
It's hard to put in words how much Walnut has grown [since they bought the property], and it's nice to see. It's always going in a positive direction.
Michael's story highlights the importance of embracing new opportunities and evolving with the ever-changing landscape of property management. As Walnut Crossings continues to thrive, Michael remains at the forefront, ensuring residents have not just a place to live but a community to call home.