Canadian Influence

Meet Zach Scott. As vice president of programming for Yardi in Canada, Scott leads a team of engineers conducting research and development. This diverse group, primarily located in the Saskatoon and Vancouver offices, works diligently on designing and coding features for some of our leading edge solutions such as Yardi Matrix, Pulse, and IoT.  Read on to learn from Scott about some of the fascinating work they do to improve Yardi’s proptech platforms on a daily basis. Are these solutions used primarily in the U.S. or throughout North America? Scott: Over the last two years these products have gained in popularity within the Canadian real estate industry and leadership at Yardi Canada is ready to support the need. Tell us about your team’s involvement in Yardi’s early development of the Internet of Things (IoT) platform? Scott: In 2018, as part of a one-month moonshot challenge, we designed a hub and built the software that now serves as the core of Yardi’s IoT platform. The hub sits in an apartment unit and bridges communication between the various smart devices in the unit and Yardi’s cloud-hosted software. We can’t reveal much about how the hub works or what exactly went into making it but what I can share is that in addition to building software solutions, Yardi has now entered the era of building hardware that connects our clients’ buildings to their business workflows. What do those efforts look like today? Scott: Every month, Yardi ships IoT hubs to be installed at client properties. With hundreds of hubs operating 24/7 today, the team has successfully turned an idea into reality. We continue to add features guided by client feedback. We also have a list of enhancements we’d like to add to the hub, features like Wi-Fi...

Contributing in Canada Sep18

Contributing in Canada

When it comes to teams, families and communities, communication is a key factor for success. In-person and virtual soft skills are steadily growing in importance. Yardi team member Meherzad Bakht is teaching youth how to embrace a healthy lifestyle and improve their virtual communication skills. Simultaneously, he’s honing his own soft skills and furthering his career. Overcoming challenges with tech Bakht is a Yardi Voyager sales representative based in Toronto. He’s celebrating eight years with the company. He began his career with Yardi because it brings together his “passion for real estate, sales and technology into one position.” On a typical day, Bakht learns the needs and tech requirements of prospects and clients. He then aligns them with the best technology solution(s) to help them achieve their goals. Through his work, it’s clear that he cares about helping people overcome challenges. Game On! Bakht expresses that care through community involvement. He volunteers with Greater Toronto Big Brothers, Big Sisters Game-On after school program. This virtual mentoring program is for boys ages 11 – 14. The youth learn the foundations for making healthy choices, such as physical activity, nutrition, and emotional intelligence through discussion. “I knew I wanted to work with kids and give back to the community through mentoring,” says Bakht. “Over the last several months, I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with these kids and just being a resource. This is something I didn’t have when I was growing up and I know how important that could be in someone’s life.” Join Bakht in supporting Big Brothers, Big Sisters by making a donation. Bakht understands that sometimes, youth want to talk to someone who is outside of their immediate group of friends or family. The fresh perspective on past experiences and guidance is impactful at that age. Bakht recalls one of his favorite activities, making stress balls with the kids. The organization sent the supplies to participants. Virtually, Bakht guided the kids in how to make the sensory tool using a water bottle, flour and a balloon. During the activity, they all chatted about what was on their minds. “This was a really fun experience when we are actively working together and it was great to teach them problem solving skills,” says Bakht. He continues, “I actively worked on communication and listening. They really go hand-in-hand. Youth at this age can be easily distracted, especially in a virtual environment. We have to work on keeping them engaged and active. That’s why creating the stress ball with them was such a great experience.” Mentoring offers transferrable skills “My experience with Game On is a great way for me to get additional practice for collaborating with others, internally or externally, in a virtual world,” reflects Bakht. “These are great skills to practice because as a senior account executive, I need to be able to listen to and understand our clients’ needs to communicate how Yardi can best help them.” Over the last two years, the use of property management technology has grown. Many organizations have implemented, disparate systems. Some don’t know that a fully integrated property management, accounting, leasing and marketing solution is available. But Bakht works with clients wherever they are in the tech adaption process. Once he understands the bigger picture, he can help clients reduce touchpoints, gather reliable data and reporting—all via remote access. “Technology can be a true problem solver. And my work with Game On has improved my virtual communication skills so that I can even better serve our clients.” Tips for getting involved Bakht encourages community involvement, and not to be daunted by preparation. “If others are looking to volunteer and give back to the community, I would say don’t overthink it. Do some research, see how much time you have and reach out. These organizations are in need of volunteers, so they will work with you to align your goals, skills and how...

Finding Solutions Together Aug09

Finding Solutions Together...

Did you know that companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians? Or that innovation is six times higher at companies with the most equal workplace cultures? Commercial real estate is among the many industries making gains towards equity, and it’s not coincidental. Heather Brady is one of thousands of women actively promoting change from within. Meet Heather Brady As the regional director of sales for Yardi Canada, Heather is accountable for the success of both the Voyager and the Breeze Premier sales teams. In total, there are 13 sales executives in Canada engaging with clients from coast to coast.   That’s a lot of terrain to cover. “There is never enough time in the day,” she laughs. “We have a large market share so that’s a lot of clients and still lots of opportunities. Teamwork and prioritization are key.” Heather handles each day in stride, guiding her team to foster relationships with existing and new clients while achieving corporate performance targets. “At Yardi, we bring a lot of new products to market every year and all products are developed with clients’ input or their benefit in mind,” says Heather. “It’s a key to our success.” She continues, “I love getting feedback from clients about how much our products have helped their organizations. During COVID, our products allowed clients to automate their AR, AP and leasing functions. That is so valuable, and we received such great feedback. It feels wonderful to know we’re valuable to their organizations, and of course it makes us feel energized to get more clients using these products!” Foundations for success Game-changing products are only part of the reason that Heather has forged a career with Yardi. She...

Changemakers Series

In a one-of-a-kind series sponsored by Yardi, Senior Housing News (SHN) is recognizing pioneers driving the future of senior living. Deemed 2021 Changemakers, these leaders have taken unique steps to transform their organizations — tackling unforeseen challenges along the way. Say hello to Adam Kaplan Adam Kaplan is an accomplished Yardi client and the founder and CEO of Solera Senior Living. Selected as a member of this year’s Changemakers class, Adam has shown that taking an innovative approach to senior living is key to evoking positive change. Since founding Solera in 2016, he’s pursed a focused strategy to take on complex projects — helping Solera grow into an organization with a hospitality-driven culture, empowered teams and a commitment to resident care. With insights captured in his Changemaker interview, Adam shares where Solera is headed next, how he’s driven change and what he’s learned during his years in senior living. Here’s a highlight: As you think back on your career in senior living, what changes have you driven that you’re especially proud of? Many of the changemakers [in this series] are the pioneers who paved the way for people like myself. I don’t see myself as a changemaker, I see myself as somebody who has been fortunate enough to build on a foundation that was put in place by the incredible senior living entrepreneurs who came before me. That said, the industry today is still led by many of those pioneers. While we’ve attracted a lot of talent to the industry, I think we’ve done a pretty poor job of attracting talent into operations as the industry matures. Many entrepreneurs have come into the industry through startups in technology, services and media, but the same cannot be said for operating companies. When I left Senior...

Changemakers Series

This year, Senior Housing News (SHN) has honored a variety of senior living leaders through their Changemakers series. And without fail, each member of the Changemakers class is inspirational, unwavering and transformative in their approach to industry obstacles. That certainly describes Yardi client Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO of The Springs Living. Headquartered in McMinnville, Oregon, The Springs Living owns and operates multiple senior living communities across Oregon and Montana. Fee started the company in 1996 with a mission to create communities that felt like home and since then, he’s elected positive change in the company’s design and operations. That’s exactly why he was chosen as a 2021 Changemaker and interviewed in this special series, sponsored by Yardi. In this excerpt from his SHN interview, you’ll learn how Fee has led The Springs Living through a period of change — and how he’s preparing for the future. Plus, you’ll get an inside look at Fee’s approach to innovation, his dedication to senior living and his tolerance for risk. Do you agree that change-makers are risk-takers, and secondly, how do you describe your own personal tolerance for risk? I would say that we’re probably categorized as both innovators and risk-takers, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t see it as risky. This is what we’ve learned. This is what we believe the market wants and we have hedged it in ways that we think makes sense — that eliminates risk. It’s been really fascinating to see how different people look at the mountain from a different side. When you go on a hike, you look up the hill and you think, okay, I’ll remember that spot when I get there, and then when you get up there, it looks completely different. Our view...

Team Works Jul16

Team Works

When do you know you’ve found the right job? Many employers offer competitive compensation. Stand out companies encourage, support and celebrate the personal and professional development of their team. Add in a company culture that nurtures clients and community relationships and you’ve got the Yardi Breeze sales department. Staying connected The team consists of about 140 members servicing both Breeze and Breeze Premiere. They are responsible for positioning and selling the software to companies that specialize in managing real estate assets within targeted markets. Yardi Breeze sales team members represent at an in-person trade show event. Team members reside throughout the U.S. including Santa Barbara and Oxnard, Calif., Salt Lake City, Dallas, Irving, Texas, Long Island, N.Y., Raleigh, S.C. and Atlanta. Though far apart, team members share common goals and support one another’s progress. What prompts a 14-year career with Yardi? Mark Coverdale, director of Sales, began with Yardi 14 years ago. “I was excited to start a career in software sales. Once I was at Yardi, I knew this was a place I could be for many years.” The collaborative culture appealed to Coverdale. “In addition to collaborating with other departments, our sales teams meet regularly to give each other advice and guidance regarding sales opportunities, how best to take care of clients, and sharing success stories that we can all benefit from.” He was also drawn to the relationships that Yardi fosters with its clients. “In our industry, we cannot ‘sell and run,’ nor do we want to,” says Coverdale. “We take great pride in building partnerships with our clients. Sometimes the sale is just the start as we continue to build and nurture relationships that last for years.” Client feedback prompts product development, which in turn creates better products and happier...

Housing + Self-Sufficiency Jul12

Housing + Self-Sufficiency...

Access to affordable housing can be a life-changing experience for residents, especially when residential units are paired with social services. HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a perfect example. The goal of FSS is to transform individuals and families by stabilizing housing and providing services like childcare, education, physical and mental health, food and other tools to overcome barriers to increasing income. New Directions is a mission-based affordable housing provider based in Louisville, Kentucky. HUD recently approved New Directions to administer FSS for residents living in seven of its properties. New Directions calls its FSS program “I Rise,” a title inspired by the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. New Directions is led by Bridgette Johnson, its chief operating officer. Bridgett studied the success that public housing agencies (PHAs) were having with FSS and found that most of the FSS graduates she spoke with had moved on to home ownership, started their own business, or both, within a few years of graduating from the program. Inspired by those success stories, Bridgette created I Rise for New Directions, and conducted extensive fund raising to pay for staffing. FSS does not pay administrative fees for affordable housing providers, a significant difference from PHAs’ ability to pay staff with a portion of FSS funds. Solving the “Benefit Cliff” Affordable housing and social services workers often refer to the “benefit cliff” as a metaphor to describe how access to programs can suddenly be taken away when participants’ incomes rise. That can cause households to lose access to support before they are entirely self-sufficient. Under FSS, participants can maintain enrollment in social services even as their income increases. FSS prevents participants from falling off the benefit cliff by requiring households to save a portion of their increasing wages...

One Team, One Dream

When Yardi expanded to the Asia Pacific (APAC) market 15 years ago, it entered uncharted territory. Supporting a new team more than 11,000 miles away from the Santa Barbara headquarters required creativity, cultural savvy, a bold sense of exploration—and of course, technology. Since then, the Yardi Systems Pty Ltd. has established itself as a trusted leader in proptech. That trust has developed in part due to the marketing team which consists of three members serving from Sydney and Singapore. The team builds association relationships and develops the Yardi profile as trusted partners to and supporters of the real estate industry. This is done through content-rich materials such as white papers, articles, online events and APAC’s biggest initiative, the APAC-wide PropTech survey. The team is also responsible for translating Yardi’s global identity to the local markets. This includes marketing materials dedicated to the APAC region as well as sales and service materials. Big fish, growing pond Marketing manager Nina Feldman began her career with Yardi APAC five years ago. She was intrigued by working with a global organization that was relatively new to the region. “I get to work in the most awesome corporate environment that also functions like a startup – this gives me a whole heap of challenges but lots of fun, too,” says Feldman. Nina Feldman The APAC marketing team shifts through diverse workflows to accommodate the needs of the region’s sales and services teams. She finds it challenging to balance local agility with the unique demands of a global organization. It’s a challenge she tackles each day with the help of communication. “Communication, communication, communication. I’m a firm believer in one team, one dream. We’re all working for the same outcome. Whilst the ideal process never exists, I will always keep everyone in the loop so they feel informed and comfortable with whatever is happening or the timelines involved,” she says. Get in-depth insights on local best practices at the Mingtiandi Asia Logistics Real Estate Forum, sponsored by Yardi. Building cohesion while working thousands of miles apart Sasha Shatilova and Ian Khoo are marketing associates in the APAC team. Though both virtually joined Yardi during the pandemic, they felt welcomed and engaged from day one. Ian Khoo Sasha Shatilova “A highlight is definitely the first team lunch with Nina and Ian where each of us made a short PowerPoint presentation about ourselves. Very geeky, I know, but we have really bonded as a team through that activity,” says Shatilova. Khoo adds, “It has been a complete work-from-home environment which eliminates that warmth you get when you are in an office. Thankfully, my marketing team has been really warm and supportive and daily video calls with them has generated that sense of camaraderie that you’d get over office lunches.” Both associates were pleasantly surprised by corporate culture at Yardi. “There is an incredible support system here at Yardi,” says Shatilova. “Despite it being a very large company, the culture is surprisingly flat. You really feel that your ideas are being respected and your voice heard.” Khoo agrees. “I am able to feel a sense of community. Nobody shies away from extending a helping hand wherever possible, be it across the world in the U.K. or even locally in a separate department. There is a strong sense of collaboration within each project where everyone feels heard and feel like they are able to contribute their own ideas.” Interested in becoming a Yardi team member? Explore opportunities in your...

Changemakers Series

How can senior living leaders drive change, all while prioritizing resident care in their communities? Ask Michael Joseph, founder and president of Clover Group and member of the 2021 Changemakers class. From building a company model to serve middle-income seniors in independent living — to operating 40 communities with expansions on the way — Michael has become quite the industry trailblazer. In this year’s Changemakers series, a collaboration between Yardi and Senior Housing News (SHN), interviews are conducted with pioneers across the industry. For Michael Joseph, his unique pathway to serving the middle market has earned him the Changemaker honor. Check out this excerpt from the SHN interview where Michael highlights his approach in navigating change, along with his strategies for shaping the middle-income segment in senior living. Can you highlight a few changes that you have driven that you are most proud of, or that you believe have been most significant to Clover or the industry? I think the greatest achievement we’ve done at Clover started with the very first deal. I think the greatest achievement is that we focused on a segment of the society that no one else focused on, which was the middle-income, independent living person. The focus at the time and frankly until very recently was the wealthy — with either what was then called assisted living, or upscale senior communities like Del Webb-type places — and then the poor, where you had low- to moderate-income tax credit deals to provide senior housing, and subsidized nursing homes. What we didn’t have was anybody focusing on the healthy, middle-income person, who had very terrible options at the time. Their options were to move in with one of their kids, stay in a house that they could no longer really live...

Changemakers Series

With challenges on every horizon, the senior living industry needs leaders who aren’t afraid to channel new ideas — and invoke change. For Les Strech, a recognized Changemaker, being a catalyst for change is second nature. Through the Yardi-sponsored interview series with Senior Housing News (SHN), leaders are honored for their insightful contributions in senior living. Namely, their ability to pair difficult conditions with forward-thinking strategies and transformative actions. Deemed the second member of the 2021 Changemakers class, Les Strech embodies this fully — having led Thrive Senior Living through various challenges in the last decade. Journey to Changemaker Les Strech is president of Thrive Senior Living and a longstanding Yardi client. With extensive experience in senior housing, he’s continued to stand out as a visionary leader who redefines standards and challenges long-held design beliefs. In streamlining operations over the years, Thrive has implemented senior living suite products including RentCafe Senior Living, RENTCafé Senior CRM and Job Cost. In this excerpt from the SHN interview, Les talks about the various facets of change within senior living today — sharing the steps he’s taken to stay ahead of the curve. Can you talk about the early days of the company and the growth plans at that point from the perspective of change? I came into the industry as chief operating officer of a smaller-sized freestanding memory care portfolio. That was my viewpoint, and the heart for me was making a difference for folks with changing cognitive ability. It really became a thirst and a hunger to understand what dementia is and how it impacts people, families and the world. One of the things that I consistently talk about on leadership is that the biggest difference between you today and you five years from now is...

Changemakers Series

It’s time to recognize a new wave of senior living leaders! Published by Senior Housing News (SHN) and sponsored by Yardi, the Changemakers series is back for 2021 — highlighting exceptional leadership in the senior living industry. With insights captured through in-depth interviews, this year’s Changemakers are recognized for their unique strategies in navigating industry challenges. And there’s no questioning the obstacles the industry has faced — especially during the pandemic. But these visionaries have pushed forward. They’re utilizing their knowledge and skills to pave a bright future in senior living, and they’re here to share their expertise. Released in batches over the next several months, the first interview is ready for you to explore: Meet Terri Cunliffe Changemaker Terri Cunliffe is President and CEO of Covenant Living Communities & Services, a non-profit operator of senior living communities. Since joining the organization in 1988, Terri has devoted her career to improving the lives of seniors — quickly evolving into the leader she is today. Appointed as COO in 2010 and later CEO in 2015, she’s expanded the efforts of Covenant Living and its many communities, introducing proactive measures every step of the way. And with over three decades of experience, Terri is no stranger to change. In the following excerpt from the SHN interview, see how Terri’s knowledge — and dedication — have proven successful in maneuvering through an ever-changing industry, all while leading Covenant Living’s journey to growth. To be a changemaker, you’ve got to be willing to take risks. Do you agree with that? How would you describe your own risk tolerance? When I think of risk, I think the longer I’m in the role, the more risk I’m willing to take, because I understand the implications of that risk. If we...

Reasons to Celebrate Mar29

Reasons to Celebrate

It’s been one year since most Yardi employees transitioned to remote work environments. One year since we anxiously attended virtual town hall meetings to learn the next steps. One year of navigating the blurred lines of our professional and personal lives before settling into a new normal. A lot has changed since then. Haphazard workspaces now have a more customized and personal feel. We’re reaching productivity goals and we’re all experts on Teams and Zoom. Our pets are accustomed to seeing more of us, and the novelty of sleeping on the keyboard has (mostly) worn off. Much has changed beyond office work as well. Many employees used their time in quarantine to set goals and embark on new personal journeys. Yardi Atlanta team members used Confluence to celebrate their one-year work from home journeys together. Quarantine journeys Employees posted images and shared stories depicting “How it started and how it’s going.” A few fun quarantine accomplishments include: hiking new trails growing a beard developing baking skills raised bed and container gardening sewing stuffed animals candle making woodworking and reupholstering heirloom furniture adopting pets, including sugar gliders pulling home design projects out of “DIY purgatory” Some stories were real heart warmers that demonstrate the power of family. “My Yardi family helped me purchase my first car!” announced MeaResea Homer, technical account manager. Homer (pictured, right) told colleagues that she was searching for a new car. It would be her first purchase, and she was stoked. “Amanda Carlisle recommended the salesman that she purchased her vehicle from. She got me in contact with him and I scheduled the appointment in late November. To help me out even more, our colleague Jody Borgemenke picked me up, took me to the dealership and supported me through the process. Pedro...

Bryan McCaleb Mar24

Bryan McCaleb

Bryan McCaleb, president of Sagora Senior Living, a Fort Worth, Texas-based Yardi client and operator of more than 30 properties, discusses how his company has handled two major challenges – the pandemic and severe weather – in excerpts from an interview originally published in Multi-Housing News. How would you describe 2020 from the perspective of a senior housing operator? McCaleb: The pandemic led us to introduce new safety protocols and change what our day-to-day routines looked like. Our teams came together to implement changes for the best protection of our residents and associates, and I feel like our organization is stronger than ever before. How has technology helped you during COVID-19? McCaleb: At all of our communities, we have communication stations set up and equipped with iPads where residents have the ability to schedule virtual visits with their loved ones. More seniors have taken to social media to keep up with their families, which has broadened their reach with grandchildren and out-of-state loved ones. How did you keep your residents safe during the recent severe weather conditions in Texas? McCaleb: Some communities experienced power outages, water outages, water leaks and/or boil-water orders. For these challenges, we relied on onsite generators for heat and power, bottled water for our residents, and constant communication with our residents and their family members. Our associates stayed at our communities when needed to ensure that our residents were safe, comfortable and cared for. Although communities in Texas and Oklahoma had damage, we are thankful that all of our residents and associates weathered the storm safely. What was the most difficult thing for you in the past 12 months? The most satisfying? McCaleb: The most difficult thing was seeing how COVID-19 affects people—even beyond health complications, such as emotional and financial...

#YardiLove Feb17

#YardiLove

Compassion takes on a lot of forms. Sometimes it’s the coworker who helps you troubleshoot an issue for a client. Other times, it’s like coworkers coming together to support a peer during their darkest hours. The Yardi Atlanta team recently celebrated a virtual Valentine’s Day that showcased compassion, love and camaraderie in their many forms. #YardiLove in Atlanta Organizers Michelle O’Neal and Carolyn Goldin encouraged employees to share their appreciation for their terrific teammates by visiting the office’s Confluence page. There, they could post Valentines “javascript style.” In the comments section, teammates left kind notes, GIFs and memes to brighten one another’s day. They could also post a picture of themselves with their favorite Yardi employee(s) or Valentine(s). The contest encouraged Yardi employees to celebrate togetherness even while they are apart. O’Neal explains, “I think we all are searching for ways to reconnect with our friends and colleagues.  Because Valentine’s Day is thought of mostly for love relationships, we thought we’d play off the relationship idea and swing it towards the relationships we have here at Yardi. We are a tight-knit culture that enjoys the social aspect.” The photo submissions showcased the creativity of Yardi Atlanta. They shared digital collages, screenshots of Teams meetings with fun backgrounds, wedding photos, as well as group pictures taken in past years. Each collaborative effort confirms that team spirit and Yardi’s corporate culture are alive and well, even in our remote work environment. Some employees opted to also share their images and kind words on social media under #YardiLove. Carolyn Goldin, consulting practices at Yardi said, “We wanted to share the #YardiLove especially because we haven’t connected with officemates who aren’t on our immediate teams in a while.” Participants were eligible to win Tango gift cards in a...

Black Innovators in Tech

The technology that you’re using to read this blog post was created in part by a black innovator. The smartphone that’s beside you and the streaming service that you use for your favorite shows are both the contributions of black scientists and mathematicians. This is astounding considering that only 1% of tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are black, per a recent report. African Americans made strong contributions to technological advancement throughout the Golden Age of Invention. They paved the way for, and participated in, the boom of Silicon Valley and subsequent tech hubs. We’ve compiled just a few tech powerhouses in this list, focusing on contributors to computing. Where would we be today without video conference calls? Better question: where would we be today without Marian Croak? Croak is the pioneer of Voice over IP, technology used to communicate via audio and video while using the internet. She holds more than 100 patents in VoIP technology with an additional 100 currently in review. Croak serves as vice president of Engineering at Google. High speed internet is also a household name thanks to Victor Lawrence, an electrical engineer and pioneer in global telecommunications. His contributions helped to bring greater accessibility to high-speed connections. Because of his work, small businesses and households have access to broadband, DSL, HDTV technologies and wireless data transfer. Additionally, his work has advanced data encoding and transmission, modem tech, chip design, ATM switching and protocols, as well as audio and video coding. In short, the U.S. economy might not have survived the pandemic without Lawrence. Ever heard of an electret microphone? You likely use one every day. James West invented the first practical electret microphone. It is used in many smartphones, cameras and digital recorders. What made his take on the electret microphone unique is that it uses a charged material instead of a cumbersome polarizing power supply. Inventor and engineer Otis Boykin was a tech master with range. He improved everything from common household items to military technologies. He held 28 patents and his electrical resistors are used in computing devices, missile guidance as well as pacemakers. His innovations resulted in safer and more efficient resistors, which promoted the mass affordability of electronic devices. Roy Clay stands among Silicon Valley’s earliest pioneers. His earliest notable work is as a research and development director with Hewlett-Packard (HP)’s computer division in the 1960s. He went on to create Rod-L Electronics, which is a world leader in developing electrical safety testing equipment. One invention includes dielectric withstand testers that protect personal computers from electrical surges. During the same time and practically down the street, Mark Dean was developing the earliest IBM PCs. He pioneered three of IBM’s nine original patents including the first gigahertz chip. We can also thank him for color PC monitors. (Do you remember when they were green and black? Yikes.) Dean and his partner Dennis Moeller created microcomputing systems with bus control for peripheral process devices. That means you can plug in speakers, disks drives and other peripheral items to ports on your desktop and laptop devices. As early as 1999, he launched development for a voice-activated tablet. Fast-forward and Dean is still a contributor to the industry as CTO for IBM Middle East and Africa. Paving the way for Clay and Dean was Frank Greene, a leading technologist responsible for high-speed computer systems in the early 1960s. He is also the founder of Technology Development Corp. and ZeroOne Systems, Inc. a venture capital firm for minoritized groups. Etta Falconer is another noteworthy technology trailblazer who dedicated much of her life to the advancement of marginalized groups. Falconer began her career as a mathematician and soon became one of the first black women to earn a master’s degree in Computer Science. She then dedicated herself to increasing the number of black women in mathematics and math-related careers by teaching at Spelman College, a historically black university in...

Dynamic Compassion

What do you do you’re the director of a school foundation and, suddenly, there is no school? You find yourself rapidly organizing to get meals and social services to kids in need. When schools open with remote learning, you pivot once again to get educational supplies and technology to families—even when there isn’t a one-to-one ratio for supplies. For Jill Henden and fellow members of Cherry Creek Schools Foundation (CCSF), the past year has been full of twists, turns and pivots. The organization has remained nimble in the face of change—and they need community to support Cherry Creek School District. Cherry Creek Schools district Henden established a relationship with Cherry Creek Schools district when her sons were just boys. Now, one is a graduate. “It’s been good to us. It’s been an incredibly experience for my sons, and I wanted to get more involved even though I don’t have a background in education,” she says. Nine years after joining the non-profit, Henden has overcome a learning curve that included countless acronyms, long meetings and navigating the complex relationship of local and federal funding. She happily serves the foundation as executive director. “It was definitely a learning curve,” she laughs. “I’ve worked with non-profits in the past, so I’m used to learning quickly as I go. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible leaders. They’ve been phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from them.” Over the years, Henden has observed the intricacies of the Cherry Creek community and the nuances of serving a diverse group of students and their families. The community is more complex than many are led to believe: “Many people think we’re a wealthy suburban school district and we don’t struggle with the same problems as our neighbors,” she explains. “Nearly 30%...

Angela’s House

Even brief lives can leave a lasting impact. Baby Angela Policastro departed from this world shortly after her first birthday. Her life inspired the creation of a unique non-profit that supports medically frail children and their families. Yardi united efforts to support this groundbreaking organization. About Angela’s House Angela’s House is a not-for-profit agency that offers support and services for the families of medically fragile children. By coordinating an array of essential home care services, Angela’s House gives families an opportunity to focus on each other rather than finding, negotiating, funding and scheduling necessary resources. Home care services were only the beginning. Since 1992, the organization has expanding to include three residences. On average, the residences and home services serve 600 children each year. Programs cover medical supplies, therapeutic equipment, assistive technology, home modifications, respite, counseling and crisis assistance as well as special camps and other enrichment resources. These offerings are called the Everyday Wishes, providing for the everyday needs of kids as well as critical care. Angela’s House + Yardi The Angela’s House 3K Walk raises funds for the Everyday Wishes. Yardi has participated in the walk for the past three years. The 2020 Virtual 3K Walk theme, “At Your Place, Your Pace” encouraged participants to practice social distancing while supporting the organization. Patrons walked with their families, friends and neighbors to raise funds for the cause. CSD team leader Mark Skapinski and fellow planning committee members Sue LaGuardia, Joseph Montesano, and Cristine Gleason led the initiative at Yardi. #TeamYardi showed up in full force! In total, 31 Yardi employees participated in the walk, including eight from CSD. Different departments walked at different times, continuing support for the organization throughout the day. CSD team members walked with one another via Microsoft Teams video...

Behind the Scenes Jan18

Behind the Scenes

Take a look behind-the-scenes of the Yardi Corporate Training group to discover what drives their performance and how they help new employees develop the skills needed to be effective, thoughtful and proactive. Online training and onboarding Yardi Corporate Training group has offices in Raleigh, Santa Barbara, Cleveland, Toronto and Saskatoon. A team of 10 provides fellow employees with the knowledge and skills needed to optimally perform their jobs. “The team objectives are to offer programs that will foster career and personal development either in job-specific training or soft skills,” explains Jamie Hall, team lead. “We provide new employee training, training through our Aspire product and employee webinars. Our well-designed programs help employees become more productive and efficient, increase motivation, reduce turnover and help convey our company culture.” Hall has 20 years of experience in education and training. He joined Yardi five years ago, drawn to the company culture. “I learned more about Yardi and the culture that just made me enjoy my work much more. I think it’s important to share the Yardi culture with new employees so that culture continues as we grow,” says Hall. He and the Corporate Training team have worked closely with the Yardi Aspire department to educate about 500 employees each year. That includes new employee training and onboarding. Hall leverages the Aspire product to deliver knowledge and information to new hires across the globe. It’s a testimony to the strength of Aspire and the company’s confidence in its own product. Learn how you can automatically distribute role-based learning plans for your organization. The power of cloud-based eLearning A challenge for workplace students translates to a challenge for the Corporate Training team. With over 7,000 employees worldwide, the greatest challenge to date has been access. “One of the challenges...

Social Seniors Dec15

Social Seniors

Have you ever heard the saying that attitude is everything? How we choose to respond to a situation impacts our outlook, our possibilities and the responses of those around us. During tough times, one young woman in Raleigh constantly recommits to her positive attitude. Her decision to do so has positively impacted the entire community. Meet Victoria Meet Victoria Polston, activity and wellness director at Spring Arbor of Raleigh, an HH Hunt Senior Living community. Victoria is like many employees in assisted living communities: compassionate, patient and heavily caffeinated. She also exemplifies personality traits that have become indispensable during the pandemic: creativity, grit and optimism. As cities issued quarantine mandates in the spring, Polston faced a community of seniors who were more isolated from their loved ones than ever before. Excursions and visitors were no longer an option. Some seniors couldn’t understand the severity of the pandemic or their vulnerability. They were hurt, depressed and confused that their loved ones were no longer coming to visit. Polston got creative with engaging activities for her residents. “My goal is to make the lives of residents fun, active and worth living,” says Polston. “When I do something, I like to go all out.” Fun for every season In the warmer months, Polston offered seniors hula dancing and a luau, fake tattoos, a Mardi Gras party and a butterfly exhibit. She even coordinated a farmer’s market on the premises to replace an excursion that residents missed. As the weather cooled down, the activities continued indoors. Seniors made gourmet truffles, and danced during a neon glow stick party. They customized their shirts with glow-in-the-dark paint and donned glowing necklaces and bracelets. “I filled our activity room with black lights and all my residents were so excited when they...

Apart Together Nov10

Apart Together

Remote work environments have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Seven months into telecommuting, Yardi employees across the U.S. weigh in. March madness, IT edition In mid-March, Yardi’s IT department miraculously (read: after much hard work and dedication) managed to transition more than 30 global offices into a remote work environment in about two weeks. It was no easy feat. The diligence of the IT department and the patience of fellow employees made for a relatively smooth transition. Virtual town hall meetings kept employees up-to-date on the latest developments from the corporate headquarters. Productivity remained steady as team members learned to navigate workflows from home. Gradually, a new normal set in: video conferencing replaced conference rooms and chats replaced quick conversations over cubicle walls. Social committees reconvened team-building activities to maintain camaraderie and engagement. Pets became coworkers who made (sometimes) unsolicited appearances on calls. Yardi team members around the world began to witness firsthand the joys and challenges of their remote work environments. Different, but still efficient Some characteristics of office culture simply cannot be replicated when working from home. Chatting with coworkers in the lounge, grabbing lunch together and team functions are just a few of the office features that employees missed. “Working at home can be a bit stagnant,” admits Luis Estrada, a marketing writer in Miami. He conducted his interview for this post via Microsoft Teams chat. “My dining room is my new office. It’s routine, same old stuff.” “I miss my coworkers and the close collaboration in the office,” says Evan Hearn, energy management analyst in Atlanta. Taylor Leandro, HR generalist in Santa Barbara echoes the sentiment. “I mostly miss the daily interactions with my teammates and fellow colleagues. I also miss the ability to walk over to someone...