John Henry of Village Apartments of Brownstown II was selected as the 2015 Maintenance Person of the Year by USDA Rural Development. He was given this special award by the RD Administrator, Tony Hernandez, during the awards breakfast at the CARH Annual Meeting at The Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C.
John cares for a 24 unit Family, Rural Development, Tax Credit property. Per Lori Martin, Regional Manager at Village Management Company, "John is an over achiever, especially when it comes to the needs of the residents and putting his heart into maintaining and improving the property. John goes above and beyond for so many reasons that over the past 2 years they are almost countless. We have received very good reviews with both of the governing agencies. John has always encouraged, purchased and helped the residents in planting flowers and decorating their patios. He takes great pride in the properties overall curb appeal... John has spent several hours for most of the summer helping residents maintaining their patios when they are unable to. John being a family oriented person, it shows with his extended family at the apartments. He looks at the apartments as his home away from home and takes care of the property in that excellent manner. He loves spending time with the residents and they also enjoy it."
Ms. Martin continues, "An example of how he goes above and beyond, apartment #15, Mr. Schuerman, has always been very reluctant to socialize or even go out of his unit for any reason. Most of the residents had never even seen him for the two years prior to John being hired. John was always very concerned over this and decided to make a plan to help him. He invited him to come out of his apartment and keep him company while he was doing his yard work. John explained it would truly help him out, he finally came out. Mr. Schuerman sat in the chair in front of his unit, which he had never done before. John had noticed he never has visitors except for a relative handing him groceries at the door and leaving right away. After Mr. Schuerman had started to talk and visit with John, he went a step further. John started calling agencies to come in and help with his meals, cleaning, and general hygiene needs. It has turned out to be a huge success and has changed the quality of life for Mr. Schuerman. When it is a sunny day or John is out working you will always see Mr. Schuerman sitting in his chair with a smile on his face and clean clothes on."
"John has hosted several events day and night on his own time. He loves to bring his smoker to the property and start cooking. He refers to all of these events as tenant appreciation day. He spends several hours preparing for these events such as marinating the meats for 2 days, making his famous barbeque sauce, and his special recipe for his baked beans. He always has to prepare extra so that the residents can take home left overs. One of these events was a fall party celebrating the finishing of the playground and picnic area. John had the idea to expand the area and the playground equipment to make it fit the needs of all the children and adults in our community. John, on his own time, is constantly helping the residents with tasks that they are unable to do for themselves. On his lunch hour he makes grocery runs and restaurant pickups. Some of the cost savings that John does for the property is that we rarely have to hire in contractors. His extensive knowledge in maintenance which includes, but not limited to, electrical work, plumbing, drywall, painting, and he is HVAC certified. John is also the maintenance trainer for the southern region of Village Management Company. He is continuously coming up with ideas that will save the property money, doing preventative maintenance or just better benefiting the residents."
These are just a few of the things that make John Henry a special maintenance person that on a daily basis goes above and beyond to help make the residents feel a sense of family in our community. Congratulations John Henry for being selected as the 2015 National Maintenance Person of the Year!