Cream of the Crop
by Pam McElroy
Get to know the dedicated and passionate winners of the 2016 Trophy Awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award
SFAA Executive Director Janan New and SFAA President Eric Andresen honored Trinity Properties founder Angelo Sangiacomo with the Lifetime Achievement Award. His wife of 59 years, Yvonne Sangiacomo, and his children accepted the award on his behalf.
Angelo passed away in December 2015 at the age of 91, after approximately six decades in San Francisco real estate. He was born in San Francisco in 1924 in the Richmond District. He bought his first property after serving in the Navy in World War II, paying a couple thousand dollars for a four-unit building by Ocean Beach. He fixed it up himself and rented each apartment for about $75. His passion for building, design, and architecture grew from that point forward.
Now, his family-owned company owns and operates thousands of apartments in dozens of buildings across 16 San Francisco neighborhoods. He self-financed and devoted his final years to a remarkable project, Trinity Place—a four-building mixed-use complex with 1,900 apartments in SOMA—which will open to the public this spring.
The SFAA is honoring Angelo for accomplishing what he originally set out to do: provide good homes for good people. He loved San Francisco and had a passion for building homes that residents would love to live in.
James R. Parrinello, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello
Gross & Leoni, LLP
SFAA Executive Director Janan New and SFAA President Eric Andresen presented James Parrinello with this year’s President’s Award. Because of James’s unparalleled legal representation, the SFAA is able to fight on behalf of San Francisco property owners. The SFAA has become incredibly effective in court under James’s representation, striking down dozens of pieces of bad legislation that don’t meet legal muster. James and Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, LLP have been instrumental in the SFAA’s success in court, and also in keeping the SFAA out of court, for close to 20 years. During this time, James has worked tirelessly for the SFAA, even when on vacation or in trial, defeating relocation fees legislation, protecting property owner rights in regards to the Ellis Act and the Costa Hawkins Act, fine-tuning the new ADU legislation, and protecting capital improvement pass throughs.
James is proud of his work and thankful to win the President’s Award and has it prominently displayed in his office. “I am proud to have been with the same firm my entire career, to have been one of the founders of the firm, and to have worked with so many good, smart people.” He looks forward to continuing doing what he loves most about his career with the SFAA. “Interacting with clients is the best part of my job, and candidly helping them deal with matters of concern.”
We respect James’s expert opinion, knowledge of constitutional law, outstanding work, and dedication to our cause. He has made significant improvements to our industry and in our community. We’re incredibly grateful for his guidance and look forward to many more years of success under James’s representation.
Assistant Manager of the Year Award
First-time winner Milan Jezdimirovic’s passion and hard work earned him his nomination, although he credits his colleagues and work environment for helping him succeed. “It’s really important to work in a good environment and to be surrounded by smart people you can learn from.” He enjoys working at Emerald Fund because it’s a small, privately owned company, which allows him to continue his love of learning. “I get to work closely with owners and upper management, so every day I learn something new.”
Of his accomplishments, Milan is most proud of his team’s work overseeing the rehab of SOMA Residences—a 278-unit building—which is now one of the most profitable properties in Emerald Fund’s portfolio. He’s also proud of the experience he’s gained in finance, contract negotiations, and construction.
Assistant Manager of the Year
Sarah Cohen felt proud and grateful to win her first Trophy Award, which she plans to keep in her office. She attributes her success to her passion and drive for Parkmerced’s vision. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of building a vibrant, engaging, natural, and sustainable eco-neighborhood.”
Sarah emphasizes the importance of working on a team, which she adds is easy to do at Parkmerced. The people she works with every day are one of the things she particularly loves about her career.
First-time nominee Mark Blackwood is known for his follow-up at Mosser Companies. He can always be counted on for his willingness to get things done, no matter how challenging the task. His favorite aspect about this career is being able to learn from a diversity of projects. “I like the challenge of being involved in and learning from the many different aspects of property management.”
He was surprised to win the award, which is his first and one of the accomplishments he most proud of in his career, along with completing his CCRM. He plans to keep the Trophy in his office.
Resident Manager of the Year
GreenTree Property Management
Greg Goglin is proud of the fact that he has serviced 530 units and 38 different buildings with GreenTree Property Management.
Greg was elated to win the award, crediting his many 2016 accomplishments, including earning his real estate license, designing a training program for more than 100 resident managers, managing capital expenditure projects, and completing his own maintenance projects, like large-scale painting. “I believe I won the award because of the things I do beyond the scope of my regular job duties.”
However, the extra work doesn’t burden Greg. He enjoys the variety of his career. “I love how every day is different,” he says of his day-to-day work. This is Greg’s first time being nominated for a Trophy Award, and he feels like his hard work has paid off.
Best Amenities of the Year
It’s not hard to see why NEMA, Crescent Heights won the Best Amenities award two years in a row and the Best New Development award in 2014. There is nothing ordinary about the amenities at NEMA.
The property’s personalized, high-tech amenities and overall urban luxury have set a new industry standard in San Francisco. Among the amenities are valet parking, car wash, electric car charging stations, and a dedicated art curator and notary public; among the services offered to residents are housekeeping, childcare and pet care, organic grocery and wine delivery, 24/7 spa treatments, and concierge services. Club Solarium is a beautifully designed communal space furnished with a 65-inch widescreen television, movie library, fireplace, wet bar, kitchenette, and pool table; there are other communal spaces available for yoga and co-working. In addition to the onsite amenities, NEMA also organizes excursions to destinations like Tahoe and Wine Country for its residents.
NEMA offers high-tech conveniences like online rent payments, keyless entry, digital touchscreens for in-building messaging to notify residents of guest arrival, and smart elevators. Residents at NEMA are truly living a modern and luxurious lifestyle.
Best New Development of the Year
Olume 1401 Mission Street
Monogram Residential is no stranger to the Trophy Awards, having won the Community Director award in both 2014 and 2015, and they feel rejuvenated after winning their first Trophy for Best New Development for Olume. “This award has sparked a new drive to offer a tailored living experience for our residents. The Olume team is extremely proud and honored,” says Community Director Christian Filostrat.
Olume is a vibrant luxury apartment building in the Mid-Market area and the first in California to feature Fiber internet speeds. The unique studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments have polished concrete floors and glass panels in the bedrooms. The rooftop is a resident favorite, with its 360-degree views, fire pits, grills, and high-end fitness center. Other amenities include a pet park, a lounge and coffee bar, electronic vehicle charging stations, and bicycle parking.
Additionally, Olume is LEED certified and committed to keeping high environmental standards. The property was designed and constructed to consume fewer resources and provide a healthy environment for residents. “Our team is very proud of Olume, and having won this award affirms our pride,” adds Christian, who says the Trophy is showcased in their leasing office.
Industry Partner of the Year
West Coast Property Maintenance, Co.
West Coast Property Maintenance is known for the excellent maintenance, janitorial, construction, and renovation services it’s been providing to property owners since 1956. But this Trophy award is also for what WCPM does for the San Francisco rental industry as a whole, by providing free services to SFAA, participating in SFAA’s Good Samaritan Program, donating appliances and services to disadvantaged tenants, and donating funds and labor to charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Rebuild Together.
“It’s important to give back, and we’re proud to be in a position to do just that,” says Eric Andresen, owner of WCPM and President of the SFAA. “Our ability to do good work is directly related to our industry and the trust and support we get from so many of San Francisco’s income property owners.”
This is WCPM’s first Trophy award, and it is proudly displayed in the company’s office.
Administrative Professional of the Year
Camron Hassanzadeh certainly has his hands full managing his career at Trinity along with his workload as a full-time grad student, and his Trophy award only pushes him to accomplish more. “This award motivates me to build off last year’s work to have another successful and productive year,” he says.
Camron has a knack for finding ways to improve everyday business processes, which he attributes to his win. He successfully implemented a new call center to improve customer service for prospective and current residents, but it also provides data analysis and the resources necessary for making cost-effective decisions. His favorite part about working at Trinity is learning how the rental property business works overall, because of the diversity of projects he is able to work on. “I love being about to get my hands on anything and everything,” he explains.
Leasing Agent of the Year
Jenine Atencio’s love of people and knack for identifying great opportunities have led to her success. She enjoys working with people from all over the world, and using her experience to find them the properties they want. “Being mindful of my clients’ objectives and maximizing opportunities on their behalf is very satisfying,” she explains.
She has been working in the leasing, property management, and corporate housing and sales industries for several years, and she is honored to be recognized with her first Trophy Award. “I’m proud of my experience and of working with the interesting people I’ve been lucky enough to meet throughout my career.”
Onsite Leasing Consultant of the Year
Win Chen isn’t just a salesperson; she connects with her clients. “I treat each deal as relational instead of transactional,” she explains. Her goal with each client is to really listen to what they want, and to do her best to deliver it to them.
Win takes the time to educate her clients about current market details before presenting them with the best available options. Her five-star Yelp reviews reflect just how much her clients appreciate her approach.
This is Win’s first Trophy Award, and she has it displayed prominently in her office.
Maintenance Manager of the Year
Maintenance management can be difficult, with having to weigh the needs of both homeowners and renters, but Nick Taylor’s microscope attention to detail and follow-through makes it possible. He’s helped Onerent go from 0 to 1,200 units under management in just 18 months.
Nick Taylor was elated and proud to win his first Trophy Award. “It’s nice for maintenance managers to receive recognition for the impact they have on the day-to-day lives of residents.” Nick also credits the team he works with for his success. “My team has great energy, and they allow me to operate at a high level.”
Maintenance Technician of the Year
Alberto Ramirez enjoys his job with Parkcerced, which is one of the reasons why he performs it so well. “I really love how it always keeps me on my toes because each day brings something different,” he says. He attended four years of electronic and mechanical engineering schooling and has worked in this field for many years, so he brings his thorough experience, as well as his positive attitude, to the job every day.
Alberto is thankful to have won his first Trophy award, which he has proudly displayed in his living room.
Property Manager of the Year
The nominations SFAA received for Rob Brandenstein had a lot in common: Rob believes even the smallest task is worth doing well. “This is what keeps me motivated. It’s the foundation from which everything I do is built,” he responded. What he enjoys most about his work are the varying responsibilities and the strong team that he’s a part of. “There’s never a dull moment.”
This is Rob’s first Trophy Award, although it’s not the first time he’s been recognized for his stellar work (he was nominated for Sailor of the Year when he was in the Navy!). His Trophy Award is displayed alongside of the awards won by his incredible staff.
Property Manager of the Year
GreenTree Property Management
The three things Lisa Levy strives for every day are organization, communication, and dedication. “If I can focus on these three things, the little things usually take care of themselves,” she explains. Judging by her success, we think she’s onto something.
She enjoys everything about her career, including the varying daily challenges and watching historic buildings be restored to their former glory. But her favorite thing about working in the rental industry is the feeling she gets when she helps someone find a place to call home. “It is really gratifying. It’s an amazing feeling,” she describes.
Property Management Company of the Year
GreenTree Property Management
GreenTree Property Management is responsible for more than 4,200 apartments in almost 200 buildings throughout San Francisco. While this may seem daunting, GreenTree has it all figured out. “We strive to exceed our residents’ expectations for service and responsiveness every day, and we feel we’re pretty successful in doing that,” says Mike Hall, employee of the company.
Last year was a very busy year for GreenTree, and they’re up for the challenge of an even busier year ahead.
This is the first time GreenTree Property Management has won this Trophy Award, and they are excited to have won. “It’s fantastic. Our hard work and strategy for growth is paying off in a lot of ways, and this recognition is appreciated.”