Hercules Quarterly Hercules Real Estate Services, Inc. Volume 4, Issue 1 January 1 , 2010 A Note From Ken Lambert, Director of Compliance in 1986. The IRS has recently tiny in all aspects of program provided an update to the 8823 compliance. File reviews and Guide giving way to more con- physical inspections by State tinuity between the many State Housing Agencies, Contract Housing Agencies that monitor Administrators, Local Housing Inside this issue: tax credit compliance. The Agencies and Syndicators have guide also provides answers to increased. And through it all, Note from Ken 1 the major IRS issues that face Hercules Real Estate Services, tax credit owners today and Inc., RST Development and Lambert helps us as managers of the Triangle Construction continue Presidents Corner 1 program to better understand to meet the challenges head on how to avoid 8823s (notice of while providing excellent prod- tax credit non-compliance). ucts and services throughout Recognizing You 2 The HUD Handbook used to our communities and to our Welcome to 2010! Believe it manage our HUD portfolio, as residents. or not, we have just wrapped well as income calculations for One would argue that it is dur- Corporate Office 3 up the first decade of the new both HUD and Tax Credit, has ing times like these that we millennium. seen several recent updates. truly discover who we are as Shining Star In the many years that I have And internally, we have gone individuals and as a group of Amber Commons, 4 been associated with prop- through many changes. In people that make up a team. erty management and tax 2009, we combined the HUD 2010 is yet another excellent The Beginning, credit compliance, there have and Tax Credit Compliance opportunity for us to discover Middle and End never been more recent responsibilities into one group. and continue success individu- changes and challenges. In The Compliance Department ally and as a team. One way to Human Resources 5 2008, the Housing Economic now oversees all aspects of accomplish this is to embrace Corner and Recovery Act (HERA) compliance for both housing challenges we don’t yet see in was signed into legislation programs. order to ensure continued lead- Healthy Living 6 which brought about the big- With all of these recent up- ership and success in the fu- gest changes in the tax credit dates, we have nevertheless ture. Featured Benefit 7 industry since it’s inception seen an increased level of scru- Happy New Year! Presidents Corner, A Message from Curt Carter bring to mind the importance New Year and we will be of the three “R’s”. No, not the looking for those properties ones you learned in grade that do the best job of reducing school. These are the ones consumption. Wasting energy that get us through tough is just like a vacant apart- times and help us be more ment…once it is gone, there is successful. They are Respect no getting it back. Let’s all for each other, Respect for make an impact together. yourself and Responsibility for Lastly, in addition to getting your own actions. I have of- greener, we are going to work ten said that tough times really together on improving our We are all in the process of reveal a person’s true charac- sales abilities. There are sev- wrapping up another year and ter. We have all had plenty of eral new initiatives planned I am sure that as we say good- opportunities to do that re- that will help us sharpen our bye to 2009 we are all looking cently. skills and capture more cus- forward to 2010. I finally feel One of our key initiatives in tomers. We will also concen- that the worst may be behind 2010 will be a new focus on trate on being one of the best us and better times are ahead. being more energy efficient. in the business at customer While there will be some im- Yes, Hercules is going follow up. Stay tuned, these provement, many challenges “green”. We asked everyone exciting projects will be start- still face our business. It has at the properties to make it a ing soon. been a difficult year in so habit of cutting off electric hot I wish each and every one of many ways but I am hopeful it water heaters and keep the you the best and look forward has taught all of us a new re- heat on low. There is going to to great things from all of us. solve. These difficult time be much more to this in the Hercules Quarterly Page 2 Recognizing You Cindy Scanlan, Regional Director recognizes… Margaret Poitras, Regional “You are at Manager. At a time when the economy is down Margaret has lead the Fredericks- the top of my burg market to 95% occupied and a lease up to 80% and climbing. Margaret’s list as well most recent recognition came from our VHDA partner in the form of a glowing letter. To quote a section of the letter: “Margaret is one of the few regional man- exemplifying agers who takes the time and makes the effort to be with me throughout my in- all the char- spections. This speaks volumes to me about her dedication to her employer, her acteristics interests in the condition of her properties and her professionalism.” Margaret is Hercules extremely knowledgeable about her portfolio and cares about her employees al- ways making sure she let’s me know they are shining stars. I call on Margaret all wants in an of the time for special projects and no matter how busy she is or what she is doing employee.” she handles my request quickly and efficiently. Thank you Margaret for all of the hard work and dedication, and as our partner stated “You are at the top of my list as well exemplifying all the characteristics Hercules wants in an employee.” Sara McLaughlin, Director of Training and Transition/Regional Manager recognizes… The Maintenance Staff at Century Plaza. . Mo and Jay took the wind out of the November nor’easter that blew in. When the “The residents storm dumped buckets of water, it was no match for Mo and Jay. They jumped into action with waders and were back in rain coats. They moved resident’s furniture to protect from the rising waters, checked on the residents over their apart- the weekend to make sure that the carpet was drying and removed carpet in 5 units on Monday. The resi- dents were back in their apartments in 5 days. Thank you Mo and Jay for protecting both the resident’s items ments in 5 as well as the company’s apartments. days.” Joyce Kitzmiller, Regional Manager recognizes… Rhonda Babb, Community Manager and Ben Simmons, Service Manager both of Spring Valley in Colum- bia South Carolina. The first of October I found myself without a Community Manager at St. Andrews Pointe the sister property to Spring Valley. Given that “...this team both of these properties are 3+ hours away from me and I was in the throes of has gone finishing budgets for 6 properties it was not possible for me to be on site at St. Andrews every day during the time I was seeking a new manager. Well I above and be- shouldn’t have worried as in came “Rhonda to the Rescue”! For approximately yond to help 2 weeks Rhonda hit the road and travelled between both properties effectively wherever they managing both, and I must say neither property skipped a beat!! Rhonda also assisted with the hiring proc- ess. The new manager began October 14th, but that did not end Rhonda’s commitment to helping, she just can their switched from her “managers hat” to her “training hat” and helped Danon our new manager feel comfortable “Whatever It and bring her up to speed on Hercules policies and procedures. You would think that all was now well in Takes” atti- Columbia but along comes the month of November and St. Andrews Pointe found itself with no maintenance staff. Ben Simmons, Service Manager at Spring Valley and Rhonda by his side again assisted with no hesita- tude is as asset tion. They immediately jumped into action sending their Service Tech Wayne Evans over to St. Andrews to to the com- help out. While Wayne was still very new with the company because of the great training he received from pany” Ben along with the skills he possessed, we were able to permanently move him from Spring Valley and pro- mote him to Service Manager at St. Andrews. Ben and Rhonda continue to assist with two Service Tech’s, so they get the word out to everyone they know and begin the search to find new Service Tech’s for both proper- ties with Rhonda scheduling interviews and Ben conducting them. Ultimately, we find qualified Service Techs for both properties, while Ben and Rhonda ride off into the sunset after a job well done!!!! This is only one example of the many times that this team has gone above and beyond to help wherever they can. Their “Whatever It Takes” attitude is as asset to the company and I am thrilled to have this team in my portfo- “Thanks to lio!!!! Way To Go Rhonda and Ben!!!! all, I look forward to a Margaret Poitras, Regional Manager recognizes… The Fredericksburg Team. Both the office teams and wonderful the maintenance teams have worked incredibly hard over the past few months. The region has gone from 90% occupied at the first of October to 95% in December making the third quarter our best quarter for the 2010.” year. Thanks to all, I look forward to a wonderful 2010. Volume 4, Issue 1 Page 3 Corporate Office Shining Stars by Richard McGilvary Together Everyone Achieves More Richard McGilvary Rec- osity in taking time to help less to say, if it weren’t for her ognizes… Usually this others. Thank you Chessie attentiveness and excellent time is taken to recognize and Melanie for your excel- work ethics, many of us people on properties who lent work ethics that impact would be unhappy on pay- have accomplished a con- us and the atmosphere of the day. She’s a one-man-band sistent effort of excellence workplace. whose willingness and cheeri- throughout the year but I ness never cease to exude in Next I would like to applaud the workplace and for this found this year it was ap- Lisa in Payroll whose job is and how she does her job, we Karen Whetsel, Chessie Warren, propriate to recognize a imperative in keeping us all are very thankful! Accounts Payable Director of Human certain few in the corporate Resources happy when it comes to the office that help make my many details of receiving our Lastly, I’d like to give much job a little easier. pay. Lisa is great at making credit to Gigi and Karen in First off, I’d like to recognize things right so it all goes Accounts Payable. These two Chessie and Melanie in our smoothly and is willing to keep a large amount of pres- HR department who do a take on last minute changes sure off of me by constantly wonderful job of communi- that need to be made. Need- doing time consuming re- cating with Hercules prop- search, keeping vendors cur- erty personnel, resolving rent, keeping up with past-due employee issues from small items, keeping information to large and being adamant accurate and consistently fol- that proper procedures are lowing up with vendors. followed throughout. These Their willingness and abilities two are always pleasant to coupled with their kind per- work with and shine with sonalities make my job a lot their willing attitudes in the easier! Thank you Gigi and Melanie Haller, Gigi Kirchberg, Human Resources office as well as their gener- Lisa Harter, Payroll Karen for a job well done. & A/P Manager Accounts Payable Coordinator Amber Commons: The Beginning, The Middle, The End Amber Commons Apartments, of moving from a trailer with no Hercules’ newest property began running water to our beautiful their transformation in February clubhouse with state of the art 2009. With a new name kitchen and business center. (previously know as West Deer With team work, dedication and a Park) and everything on site com- commitment to this property, all pletely renovated to include, new parties involved have accom- floor plans, new kitchens with clean plished our goal in opening Am- touch stainless steel appliances and ber Commons. With much appre- 22 linear feet of countertop space, ciation to our leasing staff, Trian- bathrooms which include new over- gle Construction, all management sized luxury soaking tubs and add- and maintenance, we are proud to ing washer and dryers in every say that as we enter 2010 Amber unit. The property transformed Commons has achieved 82% oc- from an abandoned property to the cupancy and 84% leased. The newest Luxury community in property looks forward to achiev- Gaithersburg. Let the leasing be- ing 95% occupancy in the first gin. On May 27th the property wel- quarter of 2010. Amber Com- comed their first residents in over mons has proven that with team three years. Every week we wel- work, marketing and hard work comed a new accomplishment we are able to put the puzzle to- from the refinishing of the swim- gether and open this beautiful ming pool, adding a fitness center property. with the newest technology in fit- Margaret Poitras, Regional Man- ness equipment, new property ID ager signs and the most exciting addition Volume 4, Issue 1 Page 4 And The Winner Is... This past spring the 8 Atlanta properties got operation is and how humbling to realize the involved and participated in this years’ an- number of meals they provide to all walks of nual Atlanta Apartment Association food life on a daily basis. Everyone left the meet- drive. For more than 20 years the Atlanta ing with their “collection barrels” and a fired Apartment Association has held an annual up attitude and headed back to their proper- food drive to help support the Atlanta Com- ties to set up their display area and get the munity Food Bank. As a result of the asso- word out that we were collecting food dona- ciation’s contributions from Atlanta area tions. Over the next 2 + months while still apartment communities and the apartment keeping up with day to day operations of From right to left: Joyce Kitzmiller, Re- residents the Atlanta Apartment Associations each of their properties the teams at these 8 gional Manager, Pat McAuliffe, Regional food drive is the largest source of meals do- properties put forth tremendous effort to col- Manager, Susan Tate, Community Man- nated to the food bank annually with over 4 lect food donations in the hopes that our first million meals provided in 2008. time out as Hercules representatives would ment Associations annual “star” awards where Later, the evite came out from the apartment provide a good showing of our commitment. it was announced and we were presented with association asking for two representative vol- On October 8th all food donations were the 2009 First Place Rookie of the Year unteers from each management company I counted and decorated displays were viewed Award! This means that out of all the other asked Susan Tate our Community Manager to determine the Hercules winners. And the companies who also gave it a shot for the first at Arbor Lake if she would like to assist me in winners were: time and entered into the efforts of collecting this endeavor and she jumped at the chance. Most Food Items Collected for a large prop- for this very worthy cause we came out on top!! So off to the “kick off” meeting on June 17th erty – The Reserve at Ivy Creek (280 units) I had the honor of accepting the trophy and we were. There we were provided with the with 895 items plaque in front of a room filled with no less materials we would need to get started and Most Food Items Collected for a smaller than 750 of our peers. I must say that I was found out that this years theme was western property – Magnolia Village (192 units) with overwhelmed with pride hearing Hercules Real in nature and would be called “Outlaw Hun- 763 items collected Estate Services announced as the winner of this ger”. After that we rustled up the Commu- Best Decorated Display – Magnolia Village award! nity Managers and Service Managers from So you would think that after we delivered all This is an accomplishment that as a company Amal Heights, Arbor Lake, Ashley Woods, of the food donations during the annual pa- we should all be very proud of….WE ARE Cherokee Summit, Cobblestone Landing, rade to the food bank on October 9th that THE BEST!!! Magnolia Creste, Magnolia Village and The would be the end of the story. But as I found Reserve at Ivy Creek to attend a meeting and out the evening of November 19th the best ~ Joyce Kitzmiller, Regional Manager tour of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. was yet to come…that evening Pat Mcauliffe, Words cannot describe how impressive this Susan Tate and I attended the Atlanta Apart- News From Office Management from Carie Norwood Inspiring You We are sad to announce that Kenny Montgomery, Administrative Assistant is no longer “Simplicity is the ultimate sophis- with us. tication.” ~Leonardo da Vinci If you need administrative assistance, please contact: “Today I will do what others Carie Norwood, Office Manager Terry Johnson, Executive Assistant won't, so tomorrow I can accom- plish what others can't.” 757.473.3709 757.473.3718 ~Jerry Rice email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org "Feeling gratitude and not ex- pressing it is like wrapping a pre- News From Payroll from Lisa Harter sent and not giving it." ~ William Ward You asked and we listened! As you may have noticed when you view your paystub in HH2 the Hercules logo is now printed on the stub. We are still working with HH2 on the vacation and sick balances to be included as well. Please note the current balances are not accurate but we hope to have these balances up and loaded very soon. http://hre-rst.hh2.com If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact Lisa Harter at 757.473.3733 Hercules Quarterly Page 5 HUMAN RESOURCES CORNER From Chessie Warren, Director of Human Resources Open Enrollment Open Enrollment for 401K, UNUM, and 125 Cafeteria Plan has concluded. All changes and new enrollments were effective January 1, 2010 401K Notification 2010 Please note: The 401K employer match contribution has been temporarily suspended; the company does still offer our employees a 401K Retirement benefit and we encourage you to utilize it. We will notify you with any upcoming changes to this benefit. Evaluations…. Evaluation time is approaching and this is a time where you and your manager are able to dialogue about your goals with the company and your job performance. Why is this important? • During this time you are given a summary of your performance over the last year. • You are able to speak openly about your goals and objectives that you have for yourself. • Request needed training to help you develop in your career. This process also assists in building a line of communication between you and your manager Announcement for 2010– Holiday Change We have made a few alterations to the holiday calendar and we would like for you and your staff to be made aware of the changes effective January 1, 2010. This change will allow us to focus more on customer service, while observing the standard holidays within the property management industry. Effec- tive January 1, 2010 Hercules will observe the following holidays: Observed Holidays: New Year’s Day Labor Day Thanksgiving Memorial Day Christmas Day Independence Day Christmas Eve The company will also observe one floating holiday of your choice, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources for further information NEW Benefit ~ Identity Theft Volume 4, Issue 1 Page 6 Healthy Living Paprika Shrimp and Green Been Sauté • 1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound; 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skil- see Note), peeled and deveined let over medium-high heat. Add • 2 16-ounce cans large butter beans, or garlic and paprika and cook, stir- cannellini beans, rinsed ring constantly, until just fragrant but not browned, about 20 sec- • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar onds. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes • 1/2 teaspoon salt per side. Stir in beans, vinegar and • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided salt; cook, stirring occasionally, Ground pepper, to taste until heated through, about 2 min- Ingredients Preparation utes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley. • 4 cups green beans, trimmed (about 1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a Divide the green beans among 6 plates. 12 ounces) large saucepan. Put green beans in Top with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil a steamer basket, place in the pan, with pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup • 1/4 cup minced garlic cover and steam until tender-crisp, parsley. Serve with Brown Rice. 4 to 6 minutes. For more healthy and budget friendly • 2 teaspoons paprika recipes visit eatingwell.com Ten Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget In these troubled economic tights we are all tightening our belts and watching where we spend our dollars. This is par- ticularly true with our food budget. Many people are limiting the amount they eat out at restaurants and being more fru- gal with what they buy at the grocery store. Here are ten tips to help you eat healthy on a budget: 1. Make up a weekly menu and a shopping list – using a list helps you buy only the essentials and helps prevent those impulsive purchases for items you probably don’t need. Look at the store flyers before making up your menu to incorporate any items on sale. It goes without saying –don’t shop on an empty stomach either. 2. Stick to the perimeter of the store – the produce section, meat and poultry area, dairy case, and bakery. Make brief for- ays into the middle to get items such as frozen foods or canned fruits and vegetables. 3. Avoid pre-packaged, processed foods – not only are these more expensive, they are usually higher in sodium and fat. Try and make more items from scratch. Home cooking is not only healthier, it’s also cheaper. 4. Your protein tends to be the most expensive part of your grocery bill – aim for at least one meatless meal each week (pasta with marinara sauce, bean soup, vegetable stir fry with brown rice, etc). You can also stretch your protein by mixing in beans, legumes, or grains. For example I make meatloaf by adding oatmeal to my ground meat. It’s healthier to make meat a side attraction to your meal versus the main star. 5. Use unit pricing – compare what the cost of an item is by weight. The lowest priced product may not necessarily be the cheapest. 6. Buy items in bulk when possible and then repackage into smaller portions at home. This only makes sense if you know your family will go through the item before it spoils. Most meats and poultry items will last 3-4 months in your freezer, eggs up to 5 weeks in the refrig- erator. Bulk dried grains, beans, and legumes will typically last a year. 7. Pack snacks with you when heading out of the house. Nothing can ruin your budget faster than being so starved the drive through becomes your only option. Items such as homemade trail mix with dried fruits, nuts and seeds; whole grain crackers and cheese; and a peanut butter sandwich are easy to keep on hand and hold hunger pangs at bay. 8. Frozen fruits and vegetables can often be less expensive than the fresh alternative, plus they are picked at the height of ripeness and flash frozen so the flavor and nutrients are pre- served. Keep these stocked in your freezer for an easy addition to a meal. 9. Try growing your own small garden, even if it’s just a few pots for fresh herbs, lettuces, and strawberries. For just a few pennies you can harvest fresh produce all summer long. 10. When cooking make a double batch and freeze half so you have a meal already pre- pared for another time when you’re just too tired to cook. Information received from examiner.com Page 7 Hercules Real Estate Services, Inc. Founded in 1995, Hercules Real Estate Services is a family owned and operated business with headquarters in Virginia 168 Business Park Dr. Suite 103 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Beach, Virginia. Starting with just seven properties, Hercules Phone: 757.473.3700 now owns and manages over forty properties including more Fax: 757.473.3712 E-mail: email@example.com than 7,000 apartments in seven states. In little over a decade, Hercules has emerged as one of the leading companies of its kind in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions. Hercules Real It is with great pleasure that we release the fourth edition of the Hercules Quarterly. We look for- Estate Services emphasizes reliability and trustworthiness as ward to 2010 and as always we hope you have bedrock values that influence every company interaction, no enjoyed this edition of Hercules Quarterly. matter how large or small. We’ve found that, while this may Human Resources Department not always be the easiest way to do business, it’s the approach Melanie Haller that results in long-term success. We are on the web! www.herculesapartments.com Featured Benefit This Quarter we will feature the companies 125 Café Plan Many recognize this plan as Flexible Spending Account. What is a 125 Café Plan and how does it operate? Before the start of each Plan Year, you will be able to elect to have some of your up- coming pay contributed to the Plan. These amounts will be placed in special funds or accounts which must be set up for you in order to pay for the benefits you have chosen. The portion of your pay that is paid to the Plan is not subject to Federal income or Social Security taxes. In other words, this allows you to use tax-free dollars to pay for certain kinds of benefits and expenses which you normally pay for with out- of pocket, taxable dollars. However, if you receive reimbursement for an expense under the Plan, you cannot claim a Federal income tax credit or deduction on your return. What Benefits are available under the Plan? Health Care Reimbursement Plan. The Health Care Reimbursement Plan enables you to pay for expenses which are not covered by our insured medical plan and save taxes at the same time. The expenses which qualify are those per- mitted by Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code. A list of covered expenses is available from the Human Resources Department. In order to be reimbursed for a covered medical expense, you will need to submit a claim form to the HR Department with documentation of the expense. Dependent Care Assistance Account The dependent care assistance account enables you to pay for out-of –pocket work related dependent day care cost with pre-tax dollars. An eligible dependent is any member you can claim expenses on Federal Income Tax Form 2441 “Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expense”. Qualifying dependent Care arrangements include: A dependent (Day) Care Center, provided that if care is provided by the facility for more than six individuals, the facility complies with applicable state and local laws. An educational institution for pre-school children. For older children, only expenses for non-school care are eligible. An “individual” who pro- vides care inside or outside your home. The individual may not be a child of yours under age 19 or anyone you claim as a dependent for Federal tax purposes. When can I participate in the plan? You are able to participate in the plan after 90 days of hire, during an entry period. Our entry periods are twice a year, in June and November. You will also be required to complete certain application forms before you can enroll in the Plan. How much can I contribute annually? You may contribute up to $2000.00 annually; however, if all claims are not submitted by year end, the remaining balance is forfeited. The company does not contribute anything additionally to this benefit. What do I do to enroll? Simply contact Human Resources and ask for the 125 Café Plan package and we will send it to you. You will need to complete the appropriate forms and send them in during one of the entry periods. Please contact HR for more Plan details! *Information included is only a summary of the Plan.
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