Thankful for…2017


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We want to to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. In honor of the holiday, we’re sharing another inspiring edition of our popular “Thankful for…” series! Continue reading below for some sincere reflections from employees representing offices throughout our company about what they are thankful for this year. Enjoy!

Marcy-Coffman“Always, I am thankful that we live in a country where we are free to work, play, and think as we choose. We are blessed to have fun, loving, and supportive family and friends. And, I am grateful that my husband (Donnie) and I are fortunate to have jobs that we like, that provide us with a great life and good health to enjoy it.

In 2017, I am thankful that our daughter married her best friend in July in the mountains of Colorado (photo was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park), and they are building a bright future together. And that our son is raising our 2-year-old grandson with family values and an appreciation for the beautiful outdoors. I am grateful that we checked off bucket list items by going to the Daytona 500 and visiting Savannah, Hilton Head, and Charleston this year. But I am mostly blessed to have the physical and emotional strength to support the many family and friends currently dealing with personal challenges.”

– Marcy Coffman
Office Manager (Nashville, TN))

Derek-Naber“I am thankful for my growing family (Halloween photo 2017) with new baby Naber due in early December!

Looking forward to a fun and exciting holidays here at the end of the year!

Plus a lack of sleep…”

– Derek Naber, LEED AP®ND
Developer (Indianapolis, IN)


Benton-Smothers“I’m thankful for:

  • Health
  • Good family
  • My darling wife Stuart
  • The vodka martini
  • Electricity
  • Capitalism
  • Bodies of water
  • American history
  • Challenges and learning through experience
  • Mulligans
  • The smell of freshly cut grass
  • My sidekick and chief wingnut of our family, our retriever Lily (pictured at 8 weeks and about 60 lbs lighter)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!”

– Benton Smothers
Vice President – Development (Nashville, TN)

“I am Thankful for –

  • the unwavering love and support of family and friends;
  • the joys and challenges of being a husband / father / coach;
  • the opportunity to become part of the Holladay Properties Team and the warm welcome I have received; and
  • health, happiness and peace of mind.

Wishing one and all a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!”

– A. J. Monroe
Vice President – Planning & Development (Portage, IN)

Kathy-William“20 things I am thankful for

  1. My husband. He is the most remarkable, caring, handsome man I’ve ever met. I am truly grateful for all he has brought to my life.
  2. My son. He is my biggest blessing. Being a mom has been the most rewarding experience of my life.
  3. My family. They are my foundation and very often my voice of reason.
  4. Love. It’s completely enchanting and amazing, isn’t it?
  5. Music. It speaks to my soul. It is my escape.
  6. Freedom. I am SO lucky to live in a country that offers so much freedom.
  7. My job. I love what I do and who I do it with. Holladay and the people within are incredible.
  8. Health. Having good health allows me to freely participate in life. My life would be drastically different without it.
  9. Ability to travel. So much to see, so little time. As many of you know, I work in order to fund my travels. I love the feeling of discovering new places.
  10. Dogs. They are amazing creatures – I love you, Bella.
  11. Laughte There is little better in this world than the sound of laughter.
  12. Sunshine. Ahhh the feeling of sunshine on my face. We haven’t seen near enough of it lately and I miss it greatly!!!
  13. Patience. Something I strive for in my daily life and something I pray that others have for me.
  14. Photographs. A picture is worth a thousand words. There is nothing quite like a brilliant image to capture a moment.
  15. Honesty. It really is the best policy.
  16. Loyalty. Is the most important quality you can have.
  17. Kindness. Even the smallest act or word can change a day around…
  18. Peace. Something I seek day in and day out and constantly hope for in this world.
  19. Nature. In all of its glory, brings me the greatest peace.
  20. My God. That He died for me, is always there for me, provides me with unfailing love, never gives up on me and represents a power so awesome that its force cannot and will not be stopped on earth.”

– Kathy Williams
Director of Administration (South Bend, IN)

What are you thankful for this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!


Winter is Coming…


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Winter is coming, and in South Bend, IN, snow is an inevitability. In preparation for the coming winter season, we spoke with Shane Hendrickson, Landscape Foreman for the region, about the process of proper winterization, and the challenges that he and his team will soon face, when snow is on the ground.

o   How does your crew go about preparing the grounds at our properties for the colder months?

“Winterization of our properties starts at around the first frost, which is usually in mid-October. At that time, we remove all of the annual flowers and plant mums for fall color. We then cut the grass shorter, and apply a special fertilizer that contains nutrients that strengthen the plants and their roots. When the fall mums begin to die off from the cold, we remove them, and plant flower bulbs in preparation for the spring thaw. We also we ensure that damage is not caused to the sprinklers, by blowing out the irrigation systems with a large air compressor. The prevents the lines from breaking, due to freezing water.”

o   Does your team perform any ornamental landscaping? If so, what?

“Each year, we decorate the Inn at St. Mary’s and the Hilton Garden Inn located on Indiana State Route 933, with exterior Christmas lights. The process begins in October, when we map out the trees on the properties to get a nice, balanced arrangement of the lights amongst the branches. Then, our crew carefully follows the design, and wraps each tree with around 1,000 lights. We squeeze this in on days that are not conducive to our fall leaf cleanups. Last year we put up 40,000 lights. That number will increase, this year, as we are also putting lights up at the South Bend Medical Foundation, in downtown.”


o   What do you and your crew do, to prepare for the first snowfall?

“This may seem surprising to some, but snow preparation typically starts right after the previous season ends, in early spring. During this time, we evaluate existing, and procure new snow-removal contracts for the upcoming snow season. In July, we reserve all of the rental loaders and pushers that we will use to plow and salt the lots. Then, in September, we lock in our pricing, and reserve what we need in bulk salt for the lots and sidewalks. This year, we ordered 200 tons of bulk salt, and 8 pallets of sidewalk salt. In order to make sure that everything is in working order, we carefully examine all of our equipment (plows, salt boxes, snow blowers, spreaders, etc.). After confirming that our equipment is in good condition, we walk through the properties that we will be providing snow-removal services to, and secure stakes around the curbs, to ensure a safe and efficient plow.”

o   What is the most difficult challenge that you and your team face, in regards to snow removal?

“The most challenging snows, are the ones that happen at day break, when we get heavy snow, and everyone is trying to get to work. There is heavy traffic, and people are always flying up behind us! Even with our lights flashing, we have to be extra careful. It can be very nerve-racking.”

o   Finally, what do you enjoy most about performing grounds work during the winter season?

“I enjoy snow-plowing the most, especially during the middle of the night. When there is no traffic and fresh snow covers everything, it is a beautiful thing.”

Shane came to Holladay Properties in early 2016, with an Associate of Science Degree in Horticulture from Vincennes University, and over 30 years Landscape Management experience. With his expertise in landscape management, we know that we are in good hands for Winter 2017-2018.

Perseverance Results in Savings


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By Michael Hancock
IT Administrator (Nashville, TN)

It all started after our project with MetTel went awry. When we were going back to Verizon, I was still shopping around for other competitors’ business cellphone pricing. Others had components such as unlimited data, but not necessarily the nationwide reception that Holladay had grown accustomed to with Verizon. After finally getting everyone back onto the Verizon network, I went in and spoke with our Nashville business representative Matthew Gabel.

I discussed with Matt why Holladay was initially going to leave Verizon due to what MetTel was promising, and told him we did not want to leave Verizon, but what Met- Tel offered was too good to pass up. We went over what I was looking for: nationwide coverage, an unlimited plan (which covered data, data messaging, minutes, texts, and hotspot), while being reasonably priced. In the past, Verizon had offered this, but only for 4 lines on an entire account.

We looked over the employees who use the most data and locations, and luckily Verizon was beginning to roll out a new opportunity for an unlimited business plan. Matt said Holladay qualifies because of our long relationship (15+ years) with them.

The plan itself only costs $45 dollars per line a month across the board, which, in our case, a line was costing $65-120 a month depending on the device. I realized this would be a huge savings for Holladay! The total for all of the lines moving to the new unlimited plan will be $5,085 monthly plus tax. That’s compared to last month’s bill at $8,200 after tax. And so, in actuality, in an entire year, Holladay will be saving about $37,400 (before taxes). Because a portion of the bills is allocated to certain clients, these savings will be shared with them, too.

Holladay Happenings Issue 38


Progress is underway on Burlington Station


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Development is well underway on the Burlington Station Luxury Residences in downtown Downers Grove, Illinois.

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The luxury apartment complex will feature 89 one and two-bedroom units, ranging from 750-1550 square feet. Residents will be able to enjoy a number of on-site amenities, including a cyber café, heated garage, clubroom, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor amenity deck with a dog run, pet spa, outdoor lounge areas with TVs, an on-site leasing concierge, package handling, dry cleaning drop-off service, and more.

While these features will offer residents remarkable on-site convenience, it is the building’s location that will truly set it apart. “The location in Downtown Downers Grove is ideal, as residents will have immediate access to the express train service to Chicago, as well as close proximity to 50+ restaurants, shops and other conveniences,” remarked Drew Mitchell, Vice President of Development and Project Manager at Holladay Properties.

Carlson Construction is currently finishing pouring concrete for the garage floor, installing electrical equipment, and finishing framing for the 2nd story.

Construction 3

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Construction 5

The Burlington Station Luxury Apartment community is set to open for accommodation during the summer of 2018. For more information on leasing, please visit:

There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition…


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On Thursday, October 19th, Holladay Properties’ South Bend office hosted its annual Chili Cook-Off. The friendly competition took place at the Holladay-owned Hilton Garden Inn on State Road 933. 19 Chefs and 8 card sharks from the Northern Indiana branches gathered to compete for the titles of Best Chili, Best Dessert and Top Euchre Team.


The winners were:

1st Place – Shasta Kreighbaum
2nd Place – Paul Phair
3rd Place – Kathy Williams
People’s Choice – Kathy Williams

1st Place – Catherine Garrison
2nd Place – Todd Monk
3rd Place – Nora Wiseman
People’s Choice – Cassie Sprigg

1st Place – Melissa Morin and Kurt Palmer
2nd Place – Amanda Domalewski and Todd Topolski

When asked to share their award winning recipes, the winners were not keen to divulge. “The Chili Cook-Off is an event that our office looks forward to, all year,” commented Cassie Sprigg, winner of the People’s Choice Dessert award. “I would tell you my secret ingredient, but that would take the fun out of next year’s competition.”

Here’s to looking forward to the 2018 Chili Cook-Off!

I had to order paper!


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By Bryan Monahan
Property Manager – Minneapolis, MN


Well, I’ve come to the end of an era…I had to order paper. Six years ago, when I started with Holladay, I made it a goal in this office to be as paperless as possible, starting with our AR/AP process. And while my quest of reducing the amount of paper we use was met with snickers along the way, I embraced the ‘Paper Nazi’ title I inherited due to our efforts. It has been six years since I’ve ordered paper (or supplies in general) for the Minneapolis office.

Let’s look at the last six years for a second. When I started, the Minneapolis office budget was around $1,000 per year. In the first year, I reduced the office supplies budget to about $150. Each year, during projections, I further reduced the office supplies budget to about $20, and didn’t spend that! Over the last five years, I’ve bought stamps for the office…that’s about it, and have saved about $5,900 in the Minneapolis office/office supplies budget in the last six years!


Let’s look at a few paper/printing related items specifically. In 2015, Holladay purchased the printer that is currently used in Minneapolis and discontinued service for it. In the four years prior, Holladay leased the machine at $300/month.

Service for the machines was an extra expense, and toner replacements weren’t included. Because our office rarely prints, we have not had a service related call on the printer since it was purchased.

  • Printer Toner Cartridge Savings – $46 each X 6 = $276 (Color bundle including Black is$235). Estimated number of cartridges that may have been used over the last six years = 6 (1 per year, and this may be a low estimate)

  • Paper Savings – 5000 pieces of paper (10 reams) per case X 5 years = 25,000 piecesof paper (or about 50 reams of paper) saved in 6 years

  • Paper cost savings – $45 per case X 5 = $225

  • Printer/Scanner/Fax Machine – Lease/service $300/month X 24 months = $7200

Total estimated paper/printing savings for 6 years = ~$7,700!

common maple tree isolated on white background

Now, how many trees is that? Based on the calculations of

  • It takes 24 trees to make one ton of uncoated non-recycled printing and office paper.

  • It takes 12 trees to make one ton of 100 percent non-recycled newsprint.

  • It would take a little more than half a tree to make a case (10 reams) of 100 percent, non-recycled 20-lb. copier paper.

  • One tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper, or 8,333.3 sheets.

  • One ream (500 sheets) uses 6 percent of a tree.

  • One ton of coated, higher-end virgin magazine paper (used for magazines like National Geographic) uses a little more than 15 trees.

  • One ton of coated, lower-end virgin magazine paper (used for news magazines and most catalogs) uses nearly 8 trees.

We’ve saved roughly 2.5 trees in this office alone, not to mention all of the manufacturing costs, Co2, H2O, etc., associated with making paper.

Anyway, it’s been a great run – one I’m actually proud of, and one that assists with our green efforts here in Minneapolis. I encourage you to look at the green documents linked below (but please don’t print them!):

Holladay Properties Mid-South Operations continues to develop practices of paper saving, printer maintenance reduction, and recycling. Please consider this in each office.