UGOC Spotlight: United Group Recognizes January Work Anniversaries

January 28, 2020
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A new year means celebrating new work anniversaries! To kickoff 2020, United Group is recognizing Karen Murray and Stephanie Proper, who are celebrating their tenth and fifth year with the company, respectively.

Karen Murray wears many hats in her personal and professional life. She is a mother of three children and has five grandchildren who she loves to spend time with. All humans aside, Karen is a proud “pet mom” to her cat Sissy and dog Molly (who is one happy pup, because she gets to enjoy two walks around the neighborhood every day, regardless of the weather conditions). Speaking of weather, Karen is a diehard weather enthusiast. If you ever need the latest weather forecast, Karen is your go-to source.

United Group will always be thankful that she opted for a career in property management instead of meteorology. She splits her time as the assistant property manager at Parkstead Copenhagen and Parkstead Watertown at Thompson Park, and for ten years she has worked to create a unique and friendly environment to the countless residents that she has served. She’s very passionate about her career and is always willing to go the extra mile for her community. She earned her Accredited Residential Manager certification and became a Certified Occupancy Specialist through the Institute of Real Estate Management, and she also completed “This Is A Soldier 101” through Army Family Team Builder.

Stephanie Proper, United Group’s accounts payable specialist and self-proclaimed “cat person” never backs down from a new challenge. She learned to ski as an adult and quickly conquered the high and steep peaks of Breckenridge, CO. Her deep interest in food and restaurants rivals the late Anthony Bourdain’s. She’s known to travel many hours to parts unknown just to enjoy a meal at a new and unique restaurant. Her daughter, a freshman at SUNY Albany and her son, a senior in high school also keep her busy, along with her two cats and sixteen-year-old beagle. Stephanie also enjoys her fair share of relaxing and hosting parties for her friends and family.

Stephanie has brought great energy and a strong work ethic to United Group. She relentlessly works to solve problems and help her colleagues. United Group will always appreciate her efforts, kindness and sense of humor!

Happy Work Anniversary, Karen and Stephanie! United Group is very grateful for your work ethic, enthusiasm, and dedication to our company.

Learn more about Karen and Stephanie by reading about their experience with United Group!

Name: Karen Murray, ARM/COS

Office: Parkstead Copenhagen & Parkstead Watertown at Thompson Park

Role: Assistant Property Manager

1.) What do you remember about your first day with the United Group?

I remember walking in and getting my cubicle setup and organized. I met Stacey Spinner who had me complete new hire paperwork. I remember it being crazy busy. That day and the days following, there was always a group meeting each morning that you needed to attend. We discussed issues and brain stormed on how to increase occupancy. We were informed of upcoming rental specials and welcomed any new employees. It was a meeting that you really didn’t want to miss.

2.) Are you in the same role? What has changed about your role?

I started as a leasing agent for Parkstead Watertown at Black River formerly Mountaineer Estates. That was a good starting point. Starting from the ground and working my way up to APM at Parkstead Copenhagen was definitely the way to go for me. 3.) Tell us what an average day at the office looks like:

Depending on the time of month, an average day can change. Typically, Dustin; maintenance supervisor and I have a quick huddle first thing in the morning on where he’s at, what is on the agenda, open work orders etc.. I review emails, reach out to prospects and do any payables. Residents will stop in when they come down to collect their mail as their mailboxes are here at the office. I try to get out on site each day if only for a short amount of time. I enjoy visiting with the residents and hearing what they have to say.

4.) Tell us one of your favorite early memories from your office:

Back then all of the properties were located on Water Street in the same building with little walls separating us into cubicles. It was nice that were had each other to talk to and share our unit availability with. We did have a lot of fun. I remember a GIECO insurance rep stopped by and handed out these sponge balls and we were all throwing them to each other and over the cubicle walls. It was a way of releasing stress. Everything was new to all of us. These sites were just released back to United Group after a 20 year military housing agreement. So we were the first ones trying to lease these out to civilians. It was a learning process and there were many training sessions from our corporate office on computer software, Fair Housing and the “how to tour” a prospect.

5.) What do you love most about United Group?

Making new friends and establishing relationships with employees and residents. It’s been exciting to watch these seven properties evolve into the communities they are today and I’m glad to be a part of it.

6.) What advice do you want to give yourself now, after working for the United Group during for past 10 years?

Best choice I ever made was to accept the job offer!

 

 

 

Name: Stephanie Proper

Office: United Group Corporate Office

Role: Accounts Payable

1.) What do you remember about your first day with the United Group?

Meeting the whole department at a pizza lunch, I had the worst cold and felt terrible, but they made me feel so comfortable.

2.) Are you in the same role? What has changed about your role?

Yes-ish, still in A/P but have added duties to that role as well as learning and working in Investor Services.

3.) Tell us what an average day at the office looks like:

Plugging away getting the bills paid, sending cat memes to co-workers, managing the banks. Every day, I have something a little different to do depending on who needs what and I love that about this job.

4.) Tell us one of your favorite early memories from your office:

I was only here for a couple of months when an employee had a twenty-year work anniversary and the entire corporate office went to celebrate. It was inspiring to think that so many people have been with this company long enough to become a family, I was impressed. And there’s always great food involved. 😊

5.) What do you love most about United Group?

The people - from my department (#ateam) all the way to sites in Colorado, we have fun working together!

6.) What advice do you want to give yourself now, after working for the United Group during for past 5 years?

Don’t do anything different, I’ve had a great five years!

 

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