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CHP Announces 2008 Employees of the Year

Every year, Community Housing Partners (CHP) selects a handful of outstanding staff members to be Employees of the Year.  These employees are recognized at the year-end board meeting for demonstrating a strong work ethic and commitment to CHP's mission:

If you ask Construction Superintendent Dale Tibbs what he does for CHP, he simply says he “takes the bumps of the road and makes it smooth.”

Dale’s supervisor, VP of Construction Todd Peacock, confirms that Dale indeed has a knack for maintaining order and efficiency on the job. Fortunately for CHP, “we can always count on Dale to keep a job running smoothly and keeping everyone and everything organized,”
says VP of Construction Todd Peacock. “He works exceptionally hard and always has a good attitude.” Peacock adds that Dale stepped up and was instrumental in completing the Lafayettes on time after his predecessor left CHP for another opportunity.

Dale has been on staff in the Construction Department for four years, after working previously for CHP as a subcontractor. In the short time he has been here, Dale has risen from a carpenter to a project Superintendent, working most of the time on CHP jobs in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

As Dale has managed the day-to-day activities on various job sites, his supervisors have noticed and appreciated his ability to supervise, schedule, manage materials, tackle challenges, and consistently meet crucial deadlines. In other words, Dale is the guy to go
to when you want to get things done, and done right. CHP employees and community partners also got to see Dale in action at the
KaBOOM playground build in Virginia Beach in August. He came early, stayed late and got the job done. In his typical fashion, however,
Dale is reluctant to take all the credit for a job well done, asserting that, “it really is a team effort. I work with a great group, and couldn’t
get it all done without them.”

It is this commitment to his job and his coworkers, as well as his consistently positive spirit that explains why Dale has been
nominated as a CHP Employee of the Year.

Kamilia Lawson’s gentle smile and easy-going demeanor belie her strong sense of business and commitment to community development. As CHP’s newest, and only, real estate broker, Kamilia has been working diligently for the past year to restart the CHP Realty division. During this time, she also managed to attend and study for broker classes, ultimately passing the certification exams
and interviews with the Board of Realtors in Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky!

Kamilia actually began her career with CHP in 2006 as a HUD fellow while pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration at Virginia Tech. During that time, she assisted with CHP’s newsletters, an employee survey analysis, grant writing, special events, and pretty much anything else that needed to get done! Kamilia then worked part time to help market and sell the Roanoke and Lee duplexes, and was finally officially hired as our Special Projects Coordinator after her graduation in May, 2007.

A quick and enthusiastic learner, Kamilia hit the ground running in her new position, exploring possible development opportunities and assisting with the sale and marketing of other CHP properties. Some of her tasks included pre-qualifying home buyers, linking people to homebuyer education resources, providing post-occupancy counseling, researching the manufactured housing deal with Clayton Estates, and collaborating with partners on the proposed Harding Avenue green subdivision.

Because of Kamilia’s entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to expand her professional boundaries, Kamilia has been able to help CHP continue to grown and expand, furthering its mission to create affordable, sustainable housing opportunities. Such energy and commitment makes Kamilia an ideal candidate for CHP’s Employee of the Year.

Ask any resident or staff member at Ansell Gardens apartments in Portsmouth, Virginia the secret to the success of their community, and the answer is always the same: Ms. Sylvia. Everyone knows that Sylvia Gaine’s “steel magnolia” approach to managing the Ansell Gardens property for the past seven years has wrought a thriving community out of a depressed and impoverished neighborhood. In fact,
Sylvia continues to keep her occupancy rate at or close to 100%, and even received a RECERT waiver in 2007.

Sylvia dedicates most of her personal and professional time and resources to providing the safest, most comfortable, and empowering environment she can for her residents. A strong and charismatic woman who refuses to take no for answer, Sylvia works diligently with the community, staff, and residents to promote a positive place to work and live, where every individual is encouraged to thrive
and succeed. From overseeing resident and daycare services to community fun days and field trips, Sylvia has taken it upon herself to enrich the lives of those around her.

Sylvia, along with her AmeriCorps workers, volunteers, and AARP staff, have provided several wonderful events and donations for the community over the years, including: their annual residents’ Community Day; a project with the local food bank to collect and distribute food to over 200 families; multiple yard and bake sales to raise money for their community center; a senior health fair at Christmas that gave out free turkeys to all who attended; a field trip for Ansell families to the Virginia Beach Christmas lights show; an interview on the local news to highlight Ansell and CHP; and the purchase of coats for all the resident children who did not have any.

Needless to say, Sylvia is an ideal candidate for CHP’s Employee of the Year for bringing passion and energy to her job every day, and tirelessly committing herself to the welfare of her Ansell Gardens’ family.