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CHP Announces Employees of the Year

Every year, CHP recognizes employees who have demonstrated exemplary service—service to our clients, service to work colleagues, service to the communities in which they work, and overall service to the company. The following four staff members were recently honored for their professional commitment and hard work as CHP’s 2013 Employees of the Year. Congratulations to these deserving individuals!

RYAN STENGER - Homeownership Specialist
Ryan is a Homeownership Specialist with the CHP Homeownership Center in Christiansburg. He is a certified housing counselor and provides individual homeownership coaching, teaches group education classes, and handles loan origination for CHP.

In nominating him for Employee of the Year, Principal Broker Kamilia Lawson said that Stenger has already counseled and educated over 550 households and helped 76 families purchase homes in the almost three years he’s been with CHP. Additionally, he has conducted significant marketing and outreach to employers, real estate agents, and others which has increased our customer base and improved the visibility and reputation of CHP Homeownership.

Lawson went on to say that Stenger regularly demonstrates both teamwork and team leadership, particularly when it comes to our lending activities and his involvement with the loan committee at CHP. “He stays up to date on industry changes and new regulations related to mortgage lending, going above and beyond the education required in an effort to improve his knowledge and understanding of lending related matters so that he can communicate those to the rest of the team and keep us abreast of changes on the horizon,” said Lawson.

In addition to gaining numerous training and certifications during his time with CHP, Stenger is often the face of CHP Homeownership at various events in the community which reach potential clients and is well-known and respected by many local realtors, lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, and others.

Many of Stenger's customers agree that his work is remarkable.  "I had a wonderful experience with CHP as a first-time homebuyers. Ryan was invaluable as a homeownership specialist.  I cannot imagine trying to apply for a loan without him. He knew the answers to all my questions and made sure to explain everything in great detail.  He went over all the forms several times to make sure nothing was missed.  Without their help, we would not have our house!" commented CHP client Allison Gallimore.

MANDY WADLEY - Property Software Coordinator
Mandy Wadley started with CHP in 2002 in the property management department. Her data entry and paperwork skills got her noticed and she was soon recruited into the compliance division. Her success in this capacity ultimately led to her promotion to Property Software Coordinator and she was recognized across the properties as the rental system software expert and resident “guru.”

Wadley was nominated to be an Employee of the Year by Vice President of Asset Management Kirsten Anderson because of the significant role she played in CHP’s conversion to the Yardi Voyager software system. Anderson said that when others, including herself, were ready to pull their hair out, Wadley had the positive attitude and the encouraging voice to bring people back to point by saying, “Yes, but think about how great this is going to be when we get it all done!”

Anderson said, “When we changed to Yardi Voyager in 2011, Mandy was given the responsibility to convert approximately 100 properties from the old rental system into the new system. She handled the challenge with grace and dedication. We absolutely couldn’t have accomplished this without Mandy’s expert knowledge and her patience with all of us!”

Over the last three years, Wadley has become our in-house expert on the rental system, attending various trainings with the software company to learn more in depth the capabilities of the software. She has also been able to help identify new ways that the system could help save the organization time and money. “The most awesome part about Mandy is her ability to look at the bigger picture when it comes to this project—no matter how frustrating the conversion, training, or fixing gets—she always kept her eye on the long-term benefit of this software for our corporation, its efficiencies, access to information, reporting, etc.,” explained Anderson.

Several of Wadley's colleagues have also sung her praises, including Property Manager Lovie Gilley who said, “I was a new employee with CHP and had to learn the whole Voyager system from scratch. Mandy had so much patience with me and would stay on the phone with me as long as I needed her, even after hours. She was my rock the first couple of months and I don’t know what I would have done without her. It is such a pleasure to work with and learn from her.”

RAJ CASPER - Energy Solutions Training Program Manager
Raj Casper joined the staff at CHP’s Research and Training Center after it opened in 2010. Vice President of Energy Solutions Mark Jackson remarked that. “Raj was an excellent addition to our team three years ago and continues to be an All-Star for CHP. During the last year, he has continued to develop as a leader for his team, handled multiple projects concurrently, and helped lead the training center in its accomplishment of multiple stretch goals that will maintain us as a leader in the industry.”

A few of Casper's accomplishments include project managing a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant with a closeout that included meeting and/or exceeding its goals and leading the development of the Learning Management System (LMS) and Training Management System (TMS) to deliver online training for thousands of participants in building science and weatherization courses. Casper also led the IREC accreditation process of three additional courses under the new Home Energy Professional (HEP) suite of certifications to include Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector and Crew Leader— putting CHP in an elite group of only 14 accredited training centers in the nation.

Casper is exceptional for his willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done and keep the training center running smoothly. He is there to help CHP staff log into the LMS when they forgot their password. He is expert in writing complicated policies and procedures to gain program accreditation. He can serve as the compliance officer for a million dollar grant, or, when the need arises, he is right there to pitch in to clean up the lunch dishes when classes are in session.

“Raj has an amazing attention to detail and that, along with his positive and remarkable work ethic, contribute to the success of our work on a daily basis. Without Raj, we would not be where we are as an IREC accredited training center but perhaps the top weatherization training center in the nation,” said Director of Training Phil Hull. “None of the students coming to us understand all that he does to make their experience and the training center what it is. He is the ‘wizard behind the curtain.’”

Added Quality Control Manager Les Lester, “Raj’s hard work is driving CHP to world class recognition. Raj reminds me of the analogy of a duck on a pond: Calm and collected on the surface but paddling like heck underneath.” 

HEATHER CHASE - Administrative Operations Manager
Chase joined CHP in the spring of 2012 and seemed to hit the ground running with an abundance of energy, good cheer and, most importantly, a “can do” attitude that served her well as she had to learn the names and locations of almost 400 staff, 120 properties, and the dozen or so main divisions and programs that comprise CHP’s business operations. She oversees two facilities with three buildings and 50+ occupants and has the plumber’s number on speed dial! Chase also actually knows where the cars in our 100+ vehicle fleet are garaged, who drives them, and which ones’ tags need to be renewed!

Her day-to-day responsibilities include general office management—phones, supplies, jammed copiers, and bills to pay; her bi-weekly responsibilities include payroll support and assisting with collecting paperwork for new employees to ensure that everything goes smoothly. She manages 160 cell phone/iPad data plans and is always up to speed on who has gone over their data allotment!

At the beginning of 2013, CHP switched from paper timesheets to a payroll software system and Chase sat side-by-side with Payroll Manager Brenda Howel to learn the ins and outs of the new system. She is also able to help employees with their access to the Employee Self Service feature, and when folks get frustrated with the computer and software system, Heather is the friendly person on the other end of the line who patiently walks them through the log in and then gives them the credit for having figured it out.

Said Chief Administrative Officer Susan Sisk, “Heather’s work is excellent, but it is her personality and attitude that make her outstanding.”

Director of Human Resources Clay McCoy concurred, adding that, “Heather’s smiling greeting each day, positive demeanor, and helpful nature make working with her a pleasure while simultaneously multiplying our efforts as an effective team. On a personal and professional level, Heather is super-organized and flawlessly juggles family, three wonderful children and career responsibilities with grace. She is simply an amazing person and an inspiration to those who work closely with her.”