From Patsy’s hard-to-beat camp set-up and Andrew’s initiation of the Polar Plunge Challenge, to a deep dive into our Councils of Excellence and a blast from the past during our childhood photos game – Camp Community Life 2021 was nothing short of memorable.
However, recognizing some pretty inspiring colleagues was the cherry on top of the three-day affair.
The Community Lifer of the Year (CLOY) Award recognizes a teammate that exemplifies DMB Community Life’s core values – trust, reciprocity, spirit, and legacy. The 2020 Community Lifer of the Year, and the five finalists carried these values beyond their daily work and projects.
Lifer of the Year: Monica Wolf
Drum roll please…for Cohere’s 2020 Community Lifer of the Year. Our honoree is as special and rare as a unicorn, with a brain for business and a heart for community. When our team discovered her a couple of years ago, it was like hitting the jackpot. We were just about to launch a new community with our long-time partners at DMB Development – a unique water-centric community along the California Delta that was a little remote and a lot intimate with less than 500 homes.
Ramp up would be slow and it would require someone with a broad skill set. Someone able to handle the start-up of a Welcome Center and the management of day-to-day operations with remote support from our team. Monica Wolf was the woman for the job and no doubt still is.
Monica’s role in the Delta Coves community is unique and combines responsibilities in development, marketing, community operations, and engagement. Her role only became more complex in 2020 – she welcomed her first residents and hosted virtual meet ups, managed the completion and opening of Island Camp, launched her first community celebration, held her first board meetings, took on oversight of landscape and facilities, and even immersed herself in association management classes. Monica single-handedly embraced these obligations with absolute grace, joy, and gusto.
As one colleague put it, “She is a great person, and will do great things – it’s only the beginning of her story.” Monica Wolf is one tough cookie, and we couldn’t be prouder to have her on our team and grant her the award of 2020 Community Lifer of the Year.
Finalist One: Rebecca Zieber
Best described as a collaborator, partner, mentor, and leader, if you’re lucky enough to work alongside Rebecca Zieber, you know just how accurate these characterizations are. Rebecca started the year with a transition from Marley Park to Verrado. Despite the increase in size and complexity of her responsibilities, Rebecca embraced it, taking a deep dive in educating herself on the community and her brand-new team, cultivating relationships with residents, navigating the Trail 340 challenges, and launching the community’s Landscape Advisory Committee. Whew.
Finalist Two: Stephanie Madden
Everyone loves to be around Stephanie. She’s fun, energetic, positive, and above all, passionate. When she first came to Eastmark we took a mutual leap of faith to hire Stephanie Madden – she was over-qualified for our Coordinator role and was quickly promoted to Community Engagement Manager.
She’s a known leader among her colleagues and fellow Eastmark residents. She flawlessly executed events despite a wave of COVID complications. From entertaining preschoolers in the morning to leading group fitness runs in the afternoon to facilitating Eastmark Leadership in the evening, Stephanie’s abilities know no bounds.
Finalist Three: Kat Prusinski
A rare combination of Realist and Dreamer, teammates even say she’s a personified Mullet – business in the front, party in the back. Energetic, driven, and completely dedicated to our mission, Kat Prusinski has Community Life seeping through her veins. To her team and residents, she’s their number one cheerleader, tough critic, coach, and teammate.
Kat took COVID by the horns and created the blueprint for navigating the pandemic across all our communities – an initial Emergency Response Plan for Verrado and Victory at Verrado that turned into Standard Operating Procedure overnight. She knows perhaps better than anyone that you have to kiss a few frogs before finding Prince Charming and you have to be willing to squeeze a lot of lemons to make lemonade.
Finalist Four: Skyler Jewell
Our fourth nominee could also technically qualify for Rookie of the Year. Although he’s new to Cohere (formerly DMB Community Life), he’s no stranger to purposeful work. Skyler Jewell and his Texas teammates at Kissing Tree (and Easton Park) joined our Company in September and has been a rock-solid champion for our culture and vision ever since. He has a boat load of community association management experience and a sizable personality to match – energetic, proactive, forward thinking and all kinds of fun. Aside from seamlessly transitioning his team to a new employer, new systems, new everything – he managed to open the amazing new fitness center at Kissing Tree, navigate COVID like a champ, and remain a strong advocate for his team and community, all with ease.
Finalist Five: Patsy Fawcett
Our fifth and final nominee is the first pick for dodgeball – the kind of person everyone wants on their team. Sharp as a tack, hardworking, and deeply committed to her team and the residents we serve, Patsy Fawcett deserves to be celebrated for her super-human achievements. 2020 was no doubt the year of the unexpected. It was also the year of transition – from communities to governing entities coming and going, Patsy made transitioning from one management company to another look easy with few, if any, significant snafus. Not to mention, she managed to hire and train two entirely new accounting associates – almost completely remotely.