One never knows where a first job will lead. Twenty-four years ago, Karen Tepera decided to take a job as a leasing agent. Now, as of January 2006, she's vice president of business development for JPI, where she will be responsible for building the company's third-party business. Tepera, who has a bachelor's in marketing from Texas A&M University, previously worked for Westdale Asset Management as executive vice president.

Q: What appealed to you about this job?

A: JPI's reputation is unmatched. They set the bar for our industry 20 years ago and continue to do so in market research, technology, and career growth opportunities.

Q: What's a significant challenge for the industry in the coming year?

A: I see three key challenges. One, a new generation of renters–the echo boomers–is entering the market with new expectations about apartment living. Two, the wide availability of market, demographic, and performance-related data will require the deployment of sophisticated data management tools and strategies to ensure that important trending information is identified and incorporated into asset management and property management planning methodologies. Three, employees will have new expectations regarding training, support, and career growth opportunities. Retaining and leveraging employee capabilities will play a much more important role in property management moving forward.

Q: What are the big opportunities for multifamily firms?

A: As technology advances, we have two front doors to our apartment communities. One is the drive-by curb appeal including landscaping, flowers, and signage. The second is the Internet. Online, we have the ability to lease an apartment at 2 a.m. to prospective residents. They can complete an application, put down a deposit, and assign themselves to a specific apartment in the community.

Q: What was your first job in the multifamily industry?

A: Leasing apartments in Dallas. The community was 1,083 units, and I loved leasing! It was my first job out of college, and I told all my friends that I was going to do this until I got a "real job." Here I am ... 24 years later! I fell in love with the business.

Q: What would you change about the multifamily industry if you could?

A: [H]eavy loads of properties ... negatively affect NOI. I would encourage owners to take a hard look at the coverage ratio and number of people their management company has overseeing their assets.

Pamela Rothenberg, a real estate lawyer and the office managing member of the Washington, D.C., office of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, was recently named a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. This invitation-only organization includes only 900 attorneys in the country. Rothenberg's qualifications include her longtime pro bono work for N Street Village, a D.C. social service agency that helps homeless women and girls, her recognition in 2005 by the Washington Business Journal as one of the top five real estate lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area, and the publication of 38 of Rothenberg's articles in a variety of professional and trade journals since 1998.

Thomas S. "Toby" Bozzuto Jr. has been promoted to executive vice president of Bozzuto Development Co., where he will be responsible for daily operations as well as a broad scope of development activities, including management of the feasibility process, financing, design, approvals, and delivery of multifamily residential projects. Prior to joining the company in 2001, he worked as an analyst for J.P. Morgan in the fixed income/real estate debt group. Bozzuto Construction Co. has hired Kevin James as a project manager; he will oversee construction projects for third-party owners. He currently is focusing on Sheffield Greens, a 252-unit, garden-style apartment community in Waldorf, Md. Previously, he worked as a project manager for Erickson Construction. Bozzuto Construction Co. also hired Dan Buchta as project manager; he will handle a number of projects, including the infrastructure at the Village at Shirlington, a master-planned, mixed-use urban community in Arlington, Va. Previously, he was a project manger for Barton Malow Co. in Baltimore.

Faison Enterprises in Charlotte, N.C., has entered the multifamily industry with the hire of Wyatt T. Dixon III as managing director of residential and commercial development. He will oversee the firm's newly formed multifamily business with a specific focus on development in the Carolinas. Previously, he worked for Summit Properties and subsequently Camden Property Trust as vice president of development.