A Friendly IT Reminder


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BY: Bill Starkweather
IT Director – South Bend, IN

As a reminder, please keep the following items in mind:

– 1 –

At the end of the work day, please close all of your applications, restart your computer, and leave it at the CTL+ALT+DEL screen. This will help with a couple of things:

  • In case of power loss, open unsaved files will not be lost.
  • In case of loss of connection to a database, users will not be locked out and require I/T to unlock.
  • Microsoft Windows operating system updates are installed in middle of night instead of when you turn your PC on the next day. This will help prevent excess network traffic occurring  thing in the morning as well and slowness on your computer while updates are being installed.

NOTE: If you are a laptop or tablet user, this does not apply to you unless your laptop is left in the office overnight. You will receive your updates the next time you attach to the network.



– 2 –

Be mindful of the emails that you are opening. While our SPAM filter and AntiVirus software will capture harmful emails and email attachments, nothing is 100%.

  • Only open emails and attachments from a trusted source.
  • Upon receiving the SPAM quarantine email, think about whether you really need the email, because it was quarantined for a reason by the SPAM filter.
  • If you have any questions about whether or not to open an email, error on the side of caution and contact Information Technology.


– 3 –

Be mindful of the internet sites you are accessing. Internet sites can contain harmful files and links. Please, only visit sites that you are familiar with or are from a reputable company. Downloads of files should be from a known site.


These tips will help to keep our computers and network running safely, and efficiently.


A ‘Change Maker’ in our midst


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By: Amanda Watson
Director of Marketing – Portage, IN

“Everyone at Holladay is extremely proud of Cassie’s dedication to her work at the United Way as she  has gone above and beyond her duties with her role on the United Way Board,” said Jackie Green, Partner & VP – Property Management recently said about Cassandra “Cassie” Sprigg, Holladay Properties’ United Way Campaign Manager. In addition to serving as Holladay’s Social Media Coordinator, Cassie is also a part of the Indiana Property Management Team led by Jackie Green.

Cassie was recognized at the United Way of St. Joseph County’s annual meeting breakfast on February 15th at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. While Cassie could not be at the event due to illness, a team of Holladay staff attended in support of her efforts and were on hand to cheer wildly when she was honored as a “Change Maker” for her volunteer role on the 2017 Program Solutions Investment Panel.



“We are extremely grateful for Holladay Properties’ commitment to building a better community for us all by encouraging Cassie to participate is such a key area of our work,” said Rachel Brown, Director of Mission Advancement for the United Way of St. Joseph County. “More importantly, through Cassie’s active and collaborative role, she is helping United Way make tremendous strides toward breaking the cycle of generational poverty and helping stabilize the families of today.”

Cassie-SpriggCassie has made a huge impact on the both the Holladay team and the United Way. Last May, she was honored with the award for Campaign Manager of the Year at the annual United Way of St. Joseph County Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for her efforts in the 2016 South Bend office fundraiser which raised $18,100 for the charitable organization.

“This is a great story of a temporary employee that has filled a necessary position and is doing a great job! She always has a smile, very warm to all the visitors and callers.  She is such a positive and energetic person, ” Manette Tepe, Partner & VP-Development said. “I am very proud that she is part of our Holladay team!”

Find out more about the United Way of St. Joseph County or donate at: http://www.uwsjc.org/.

If you would like to share any thoughts on Cassie’s impact on Holladay or her commitment to the community, please comment on this post!




What’s with the Llamas?


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BY: Marcy Coffman

Did you know that Tracy Francis, Holladay’s Director of Brokerage Services in Nashville, TN is the owner of 3…well, make it 4 llamas?

“This family of llamas and I live on 30 acres outside of Ashland City, TN,” said Tracy. “The first few years that we lived here, we had our neighbor keep some cattle in our pasture to maintain our field. However, a couple of years ago I thought, ‘with all this land we can certainly do a little more – even though I have very little extra time’.”

Tracy explained, “We talked about horses – but they are hard on a pasture and a little more high-maintenance than we wanted. So we opted to get a few llamas – I refer to them as my lawn ornaments. They are very low maintenance and are funny to watch. Llamas are great protectors against coyotes and other predators. My Blue Heelers would love to herd them… however, since the llamas could easily hurt – if not kill them, the dogs cannot go into the pasture anymore.”


“They are extremely curious and not much gets by them!” Tracy exclaimed. “Any time I am working in the yard or if I have something delivered, they walk over as close as possible to check out what is going on. An interesting fact that I never knew, is that when llamas get very alarmed they make a noise that sounds like the noise you associate with the screeching from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Wow!”

“I never thought we would have any crias (baby llamas), because apparently llamas have a hard time making it to term – my vet said. I was fine with that,” Tracy continued. “Bernard (white hair), Lilly (red hair) and Misty (black hair) were all that I needed. Well…to my surprise, when I went to feed the llamas on the coldest day of the year in our area (January 16 – the snow day), I found a cria in my barn.” She confessed, “I HAD NO IDEA ANYBODY WAS PREGNANT. That sounds ridiculous…but it’s true. My vet assured me that nature will take its course and everything should be okay. So now, I have a chocolate brown baby llama with blue eyes. I am trying to think of a name for this little boy.”

If you have any thoughts as to what Tracy should name her new llama, leave them in the comments!

Molding Young Minds


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By: Amanda Watson
Director of Marketing – Portage, IN

Drew Mitchell, VP – Development (LaGrange, Ill.) and Jessica Vargas, Project Architect (Portage, Ind.) are board members of Junior Achievement of Chicago – Northwest Indiana Division, a nonprofit organization that provides unique learning experiences for students throughout Northwest Indiana. The Board recently announced its upcoming fundraising event, the second annual JA Prom Night.

On February 23, the Avalon Manner in Merrillville, Ind. will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. All proceeds from the event will help fund JA’s programs, which are designed to strengthen students’ awareness of the critical pillars: Financial Literacy, Work Readiness, and Entrepreneurship.

Junior Achievement

JA programs start in kindergarten and go through high school, empowering the next
generation to own their economic success through every stage of life. Last school
year, JA of Chicago was in over 2,000 classrooms in Lake and Porter Counties and reached over 49,000 students.

Those wanting to support JA’s Northwest Indiana Division are encouraged to attend or sponsor this signature event. The event boasts a silent auction, prom court, and local basketball legend Pete Trgovich as the emcee. Register for the event…

Getting to Know Them


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By: Cassandra Sprigg
Social Media Coordinator – South Bend, IN

In 1967, when we were still the Holladay Corporation, we merged into the multi-family residential market with the creation of our first Midwest apartment complex, West Jefferson Apartments, in Mishawaka, IN. Several multi-family projects and 23 years later, we developed Maple Lane Apartments in Elkhart, IN, which, along with West Jefferson Apartments, we continue to manage to this day. As we prepare to further expand our portfolio with the addition of the Promenade at Founders Square and Burlington Station, we sat down with our Property Managers, Melissa Morin and Gary Stump, to hear about their experiences in managing these successful residential communities, and why they love what they do.

West Jefferson Collage

Melissa Morin – Property Manager – West Jefferson Apartments

Tell us a bit about yourself:

MELISSA: I joined Holladay Properties in March of 2011 as a housekeeping and grounds crew member at West Jefferson Apartments. In the following years, I worked my way up to leasing agent and was promoted to Property Manager in 2015. In 2016, I earned my Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) certification. My duties are to find prospective tenants, take care of day to day operations of the property, manage any issues that our tenants are having, and ensure the property is in good working order.

GARY: I first came to Maple Lane Apartments in 1988, when I was hired in as a maintenance technician. I became the Maintenance Supervisor in 1990. Then, in 2015, I was promoted to Property Manager. I have a total of 35 years of maintenance experience. What most people may not know, is that this was not my original career path. I studied Music Education at Ball State University, but eventually decided not to go into teaching.

In a few words, describe your apartment complex:

MELISSA: West Jefferson Apartments was built in 1969. We have 96 very spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units on our beautifully landscaped grounds, located minutes from major shopping and dining. We also offer off-the-street parking, 2 on-site laundry facilities, and 24-hour maintenance service.

GARY: Our property is located on 33 acres of wooded land, where we coexist with a variety of local wildlife. We have 308, 2-bedroom apartments, with variations including 1-2 bath units, and units with fireplaces. 77 apartments also come with the convenience of attached garages.

What is your favorite thing about managing your property?

MELISSA: My favorite thing about managing my property is the people. I meet pretty unique people every day, and treasure the relationships that I have with my residents. There is never a dull moment, and that makes me love my job even more!

GARY: I’m really proud of the property and how our residents take ownership of their spaces. It’s amazing what some will do to make it their home. It’s more of a home to them than an apartment. I, myself, have lived here for 25 years, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Maple Lane CollageGary Stump – Property Manager – Maple Lane Apartments

Are there any challenges that you face?

MELISSA: The most difficult part  in managing my property is making sure that the residents are following the rules and regulations that have been put in place for the property.

GARY: Unfortunately, not everyone follows the community rules. Noise and parking issues are an everyday occurrence. It’s always a few that cause issues for the many. Most of our residents do a great job at following the rules, though.

Without naming names, what is the craziest situation that you or your staff have encountered, and how did you meet the challenge?

MELISSA: One of the craziest things that I have ever come across is, one time – when Kurt and I were performing our annual smoke detector inspections and checking for plumbing issues – we went in to a resident’s bathroom, and found a turtle swimming around in the bath tub. It turns out, it was his home! I had to explain to the resident that the turtle needed a cage, and that letting it live in the tub was not a good idea.

GARY: I could write a book, but the one that stands out for me is an instance in which two adult residents were changing into their swim suits at the pool…in front of everyone. When we approached them, they acted as if it was okay, since public nudity was not frowned upon in their home country. They were promptly told that it was unacceptable, and that it would not be allowed to happen again. The funny thing was, their apartment was right next to the pool! Go figure.

Is there anything you wish that your tenants would know/do to make managing their properties go smoothly?

MELISSA: One thing I wish the residents would be more conscientious of is that, while our lot is private, there are not a lot of parking spots. When they have company over, their guests should not take up all of the other spots. It is very important to follow the rules and regulations.

GARY: I would like our tenants to carefully read their leases. That way, if a problem occurs, they will be aware of the consequences and the steps we have to take.

Melissa and Gary have experienced great success with their residential communities. In the past 3 years, they have maintained quarterly occupancy rates at West Jefferson and Maple Lane Apartments at 98% or higher. Way to go, team!

Hold the Stuffing!


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By: Cassandra Sprigg
Social Media Coordinator – South Bend, IN

They say the average American gains about five pounds over the holiday season. To encourage employees to make healthier choices over the holidays, our South Bend office sponsored a “Hold the Stuffing” Challenge. From November 27, 2017 to January 5, 2018, employees who chose to participate were challenged to lose or maintain their current weight, and perform a designated physical activities throughout the holidays.

The rules were:

  1. Complete the initial weigh-in between November 27 – 29 with Office Manager and Executive Assistant, Amanda Domalewski.
  2. Lose, maintain, or not gain more than 3 pounds through January 5.
  3. Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day for 3 days, or do 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times during the week of December 10 – 16.
  4. Complete a final weigh-in between January 5 – 8.



On January 18, after compiling all of the weigh-in and physical challenge data, the participants that took part in the challenge gathered together for a small awards ceremony. Those who were successful in meeting the “Hold the Stuffing” Challenge requirements were rewarded with a $50 Visa giftcard.

“I love that my company cares about their employees’ health,” Property Manager Samantha Hale posted to social media, shortly after the ceremony.

The next weight-loss challenge, the “Biggest Winner,” kicked off Monday, January 15. Good luck to our participants! Let’s keep Holladay healthy!