Cynthia Y. Thompson is banking on her past to enhance her future. With nearly three decades of experience in the regional banking industry, she brought her human resources expertise to Mid-America Apartment Communities in May, when she was named the company's senior vice president and director of human resources.
With deep Tennessee roots, Thompson will be in her element recruiting for the Memphis-based REIT. She has a bachelor's in management and an MBA with a concentration in human resources, both from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and senior professional certification from the Society of Human Resource Management. To stay current with HR issues, she is president of the society's Memphis chapter and teaches the discipline at her alma mater.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
A: My goal is to increase the visibility of Mid-America as an employer of choice in the REIT industry. In addition to competitive salary and benefits, we are differentiating the company within the multifamily industry by implementing career development programs and opportunities for professional growth. Mid-America is currently the only apartment REIT offering in-house Certified Apartment Manager training.
Q: What do you see as a significant challenge for the multifamily industry in the coming year?
A: Property management is becoming more complex, and there is a shortage of qualified professionals in the field. In addition, the workforce is aging, and historically the majority of the multifamily industry workforce has been composed of females under 50 years old. Industry turnover also remains a challenge; a recent survey conducted by Strategic Programs in Denver cited lack of upward mobility as a top reason for turnover in the REIT industry in general. We need to upgrade our retention toolkits to address this issue or we will continue to lose high performers to other industries that provide faster career tracks.
Q: How would you describe the multifamily industry in terms of career opportunities?
A: The career opportunities will increase as the industry continues to grow and expand to include student housing, senior housing, and military housing. The perception of property management as a career path will also continue to improve as other universities and colleges join the ranks of Florida State University, Virginia Tech, the University of Georgia, and others in offering residential property management programs.
Passco Cos. has announced the promotion of Alan Clifton to vice president, leasing and disposition. Clifton has also been named a member of Passco's executive committee. Clifton, former director of leasing and asset management, remains a member of Passco's acquisitions committee and continues to be responsible for all dispositions for the company. He is also responsible for the leasing of all of Passco's retail and industrial holdings throughout the United States.
Scott H. Olmsted has been promoted to vice president of RMJ Development Group. His responsibilities include overseeing the development of Madison Crescent, a $100 million upscale mixed-use center anchored by a Harris Teeter grocery store in Gainesville, Va. He also directed the development of the Evergreens at Columbia Town Center, an RMJ award-winning active adult community in Columbia, Md.
Tarragon Corp. has appointed Michael R. Greenberg as executive vice president. Greenberg, who has more than 28 years of experience in many areas of the real estate industry, will be based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has received numerous regional and national industry awards for his home and community designs, including the prestigious NAHB 2004 Builder of the Year Award.
Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp., the New York-based subsidiary of Hypo Real Estate Bank International, has announced the appointment of David M. McNeill as director, origination. Prior to joining Hypo Real Estate Capital, McNeill was senior vice president and New York real estate group manager at Wells Fargo Bank, where he was responsible for managing New York-area loan originations and grew that loan portfolio by 85 percent from 2004 to 2006.
Marc Kotler has been promoted to vice president of Cooper Square Realty. Kotler joined Cooper Square in 2003 as senior property manager and most recently held the title of managing director, spearheading the firm's entry into a specialized division focusing on property management and consulting services for new residential development projects.