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ActiveBuilding Employee Spotlight: Valerie Updegrove

Posted on Monday, December 21st, 2015

Welcome to the seventh edition of our Employee Spotlight blog series! Throughout this series we’re interviewing members of our team and discovering what makes them tick.

This time we’re learning more about Valerie Updegrove, a Product Sales Representative who has been with ActiveBuilding since February of 2012.  Let’s learn what Valerie’s favorite project has been while at ActiveBuilding, how her phone helps her in the kitchen, and how she is engaged with the multifamily community even outside the office.  Let’s get to it!

What is your role at ActiveBuilding?  When I joined ActiveBuilding, I was a National Account Executive for the southeastern half of the United States. After ActiveBuilding was acquired by RealPage in October 2013, I have taken on the role of Product Sales Representative (PSR). As a PSR,  I work closely with RealPage Sales Department, Product Support, Product Management and Executive Staff. I assist the sales team in establishing a sales relationship with each client/prospect in their portfolio at the executive level and promote new Resident Services business through identification, development, negotiation, and closure of new deals. I also enjoy participating in the subsequent maintenance of client relationships.

What do you like most about ActiveBuilding?  ActiveBuilding is on the cutting edge of technology for the multifamily community. With 19 years of experience in the apartment industry and 8 years of that being on-site, I can relate to both the operational teams’ and residents’ pain points. ActiveBuilding provides so many solutions that I would’ve loved to have while working on-site. Just the communication piece alone is a HUGE value! Not only does it save the on-site team hours during operations, but it recognizes the residents’ preferred method of communication. This type of communication provides a community network and builds a sense of community that drives retention.

What has been your favorite project at ActiveBuilding?  The additional integrations with the acquisition by RealPage and now The Egg; the smart locker system that integrates with the ActiveBuilding Resident Portal to provide a package delivery solution for multi-family communities.

Iphone, Android, or Windows phone?  Why? Well, my original love for a smart phone came from the Blackberry. Then, I found the iPhone when it was first introduced and I’ve never looked back. I can do everything from my iPhone, including managing business, personal life, and surfing the internet. I have also developed a love affair with all my Apps.

Now that we know what phone you prefer, what’s your favorite app?  I am a foodie and find that it is a great way to bring family and friends together, so I get the best of both worlds. With that said, I love any app that has to do with food. My grocery list is managed by Grocery iQ, I utilize Pinterest and Allrecipes for new and different platters. My most recent fav is Food Substitute Search. This is such an amazing app to help you cheat while cooking. Premise is if you are missing an ingredient for your recipe, it will help you recreate the ingredient.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere there is water, live music and an adult beverage.

When you’re not being amazing at your job, what do you like to do outside of work?  I have two wonderful boys: Christian (5 yrs)and Garrett (2 yrs). They are the loves of my life and bring so much joy every day. I cherish time with my church, family, and friends. I always love trying a new restaurant and new food. Also, Christian just started playing, soccer, t-ball and football this year. I enjoy going to the games and watching him grow; we are competitive in nature in my family.  I also enjoy serving on the Apartment Association Tarrant County Community Service and Ambassador of Fun Committees. The committees allow me to host events, help raise and fund a wide variety of projects for our community service partner – Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth and the Marine Corps Toys-for-Tots annual campaign.

Have any questions for Valerie?  Ask in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

ActiveBuilding Employee Spotlight: Karina Vest

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Welcome to the fifth edition of our Employee Spotlight blog series! Throughout this series we’re interviewing members of our team and discovering what makes them tick.

This time we’re learning more about Karina Vest, an Implementation Consultant in our New York office who has been with ActiveBuilding for 4 years.  In this Q&A you’ll learn about an exciting project Karina is involved in, why she’s not exactly committed to Apple, and where she recently vacationed.  Let’s go!

What is your role at ActiveBuilding?  I am currently a part of the Implementation Team. When a client signs up for ActiveBuilding, my team builds the portals, and coordinates training for the onsite teams. Our job is to ensure that the staff feels empowered to run the portal and have a successful on-boarding experience!

What do you like most about ActiveBuilding?  I love the people that I work with! They’re a fun group who motivate and challenge me every day.  I also like working with innovative products such as ActiveBuilding and The EGG; they can have such an impact on a resident’s daily life.

What has been your favorite project at ActiveBuilding?  I would have to say being the Account Manager for our clients in Dubai. It is such an exciting opportunity to bring our product overseas and work with a wonderful team abroad.

Iphone, Android, or Windows phone?  Why?  I’ve always had an iPhone, but I’ve been tempted to switch recently. There have been some really cool features available on the Android market, so come back to me in a month with this question.

Now that we know what phone you prefer, what’s your favorite app?  I think my iTunes video app since I get to watch TV shows on my commute to and from work. I finished The Sopranos that way!

What’s your favorite vacation spot?  I just came back from Italy, so I am tempted to say Italy is my favorite vacation spot because of the food, the art and history.  I would have to say Colorado is a favorite as well; it is so beautiful there and the air is so fresh (especially compared to NYC).

When you’re not being amazing at your job, what do you like to do outside of work?  When it is warm, I love to be outdoors, and go hiking, biking, and camping whenever I can. It is getting pretty chilly in New York right now, so I am learning how to make candles and of course football season is back.  Go Broncos!

Have any questions for Karina?  Ask in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

ActiveBuilding Employee Spotlight: Joy Nandi

Posted on Monday, October 12th, 2015

Welcome to the fourth edition of our Employee Spotlight blog series! Throughout this series we’re interviewing members of our team and discovering what makes them tick.

This time we’re learning more about Joy Nandi, a Software Development Engineer in Test who’s been with our Seattle office for just over a year.  You’ll learn some interesting things about Joy such as what he likes building outside of work and why he just can’t settle down with an iPhone.  Let’s get to it!

JoyNandi

What is your role at ActiveBuilding?  I am a Software Development Engineer in Test. My primary role is to write code to automate API tests, end to end tests (basically make the computer use our app in the way our users would and see what problems come out) and also test on android, iOS and other physical devices. I also love to help people dig up data and look at anomalies and provide quick fixes so that our customers have a great experience.

What do you like most about ActiveBuilding?  Without a doubt, it is the people I work with everyday. They are funny, crazy, brilliant, serious, artistic, passionate and all in all great at bringing out cool products and improving the lives of people who use them. I also love the fact that we have the atmosphere of collaboration and the freedom to try out new things. The constant focus on making the users’ experience great is highly motivating.

What has been your favorite project at ActiveBuilding?  My favorite project that I have directly worked on has been our Test Automation Suite – both front end/end-to-end and API level –  with several moving parts all wired up and running in synchrony. Adapting it to test our Ionic App has been a great learning experience. It is always exhilarating to start something from scratch. Other than that, I would say our Egg and LDS projects have been two more that have influenced me deeply. I am super excited about two other projects currently in the pipeline, that will help our city customers in their busy lives.

Iphone, Android, or Windows phone?  Why?  I currently use an Android phone and here is a laundry list of phones that I have owned so far (I will limit myself to “reasonably” smart phones) – Nokia 5230 Nuron, Motorola Droid (Original one), HTC Titan, HTC 8x, Nokia Lumia 1320, iPhone 5 (this has an interesting story but for another time), Nokia Lumia 520, Nokia Lumia 521, Amazon Fire phone and a bunch of others that I will not bore you with. I also have a  fully functional original iPhone. Over the past 5 years, the majority of my time, I have used a Windows phone – mostly because I needed it for testing. I have never gotten around to using an iPhone for an extended period of time because I like my iPad 2 better. And having been a Linux/C++/Java person in college, an Android phone seems the most natural. I am glad that there is no question asking me why I have so many phones.

Now that we know what phone you prefer, what’s your favorite app?  I am not a big gamer so that kind of gets rid of a whole chunk of apps. Most recently I have started liking the Google Fit app and in general I like most apps that use the phone’s location and positioning capabilities – a remnant of my craziness with The Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter. Along the same lines, I think transit apps are really cool.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?  I wouldn’t exactly call it a vacation spot, but I am surprised at the number of times I have found myself at the Deception Pass. I find it very refreshing. I have plans to visit Alaska within the next year, so looking forward to that!

When you’re not being amazing at your job, what do you like to do outside of work?  I love collecting and tinkering around with old, obscure, semi-functional gadgets and sometimes end up fixing them (only sometimes). I also love fooling around with Legos (my favorite is Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0 #3804) and Ikea furniture. I still have enough space in my garage to keep our car so don’t call me a hoarder… yet ;). Dinosaurs (and paleontology in general) are also things that interest me a lot. Not a big out doors person but I enjoy the occasional hike, walk or run in our beautiful evergreen state. 

Have any questions for Joy?  Ask in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

ActiveBuilding Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Lee

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Welcome to the third edition of our Employee Spotlight blog series! Throughout this series we’re interviewing members of our team and discovering what makes them tick.

This round we’re learning more about Jennifer Lee, a Client Success Manager in our Seattle office who joined ActiveBuilding in 2013.  You’ll learn a lot about Jennifer in our Q&A including the unique perspective she brought to our team due to her previous experience and the time she went on a road trip with her BFF.  Let’s get to it!

jenscuba

What is your role at ActiveBuilding?  I’m a Client Success Manager.  My position with ActiveBuilding is to ensure that our clients have a full understanding on how our product works and have a great overall experience.  I am in constant contact with my clients, answering questions and addressing any concerns they may have.

What do you like most about ActiveBuilding?  I used to work onsite, so I completely understand the day-to-day life of Property Management.  I am VERY passionate about ActiveBuilding as a whole.  I know how much time it saves and how efficient it is for the onsite teams.  I honestly do not understand why every community doesn’t have ActiveBuilding!  :)

What has been your favorite project at ActiveBuilding?  I don’t know that I have one specific project as a favorite.  My overall experience on all of my projects has been great.  I take a lot of pride in what I do, and in our product.  So it’s hard to pinpoint specifically but if I have to, then I would say working with my clients.  I enjoy getting to know them on a personal level, and getting to meet them in person.  I’ve met a LOT of great people, and it makes my job so much better.   When you come to work and get excited because you’re calling a specific client and know you’re going to get a good laugh from the call, it makes your day!

Iphone, Android, or Windows phone?  Why?  I have to say I’m an iPhone kind-of-gal.   Where do I begin?  The functionality of iOS is really easy.  One Button – do I say more?  The Emoji’s are pretty fun too. As Tracy mentioned in a previous blog post – iMessage.

Now that we know what phone you prefer, what’s your favorite app?  Exactly who came up with this question?  Who really has just one? This is what I use frequently: OneBusAway (yes, I ride the bus to work, the only way to do it in Seattle), Maps (I don’t want to be lost), Pinterest (LOVE),  UP (Need to monitor my steps and sleep), UBER (That’s right, best thing EVER!), Kindle (at least I always have something to read.)  Oh and Amazon Music.  As you can see, I could  keep going with this list. :)

What’s your favorite vacation spot?  I LOVE to travel!  Two of my more memorable trips that come to mind are: Going camping (yes, tent and sleeping bag) on the beach on the North Shore of Oahu for a week with some friends.  Nothing like sleeping 20 feet away from the Ocean.  It was such a cool trip!

When my BFF and I went on our Thelma and Louise trip (all laws were obeyed) we drove from Southwest Washington through Idaho to the east side of Montana, then went south through Yellowstone to Wyoming, and circled back.  We were gone a week, and only stayed in a hotel for the first three days.  Every day after that we were camping.  I even slept in a Tee-Pee that trip.  One with nature, as they say.  As long as I’m with friends or family I don’t care where I’m going, I know I will have a great time.

When you’re not being amazing at your job, what do you like to do outside of work?  I love spending time with friends and family.  I love to read, so if you have a great book to suggest, let me know!  We can discuss it after I finish.  I LOVE the summer time for some BBQ parties!  Seahawks!!!  Yes, I’m a 12!  Sitting by a campfire and solving all the worlds problems with a great friend and a glass of wine.  I could go on and on about things I love.

Have any questions for Jennifer?  Ask in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.