Love in the Industry

Posted By: Kelly Wakefield (deleted) Industry Trends, WMFHA Updates,
Valentine's Day is the perfect time to celebrate love in the multifamily industry! Meet some of the couples from the WMFHA membership:

Stephanie Moss and Nick Hamby

Stephanie and Nick met in 2009 when she was a property manager for Fairfield Residential and he was a porter.  He ended up moving back to California after working through the ranks to an Assistant Maintenance Supervisor, and they remained in touch. In 2013, she had an opening for a Maintenance Supervisor and knowing Andrew's work ethic and abilities, she reached out to offer him the position. He accepted and returned to Washington. The property was sold in 2014 and he ended up back in California for about 4 months as a Renovations Manager. In 2015, he moved back and took a position at Restoration Envy and they have been together since!

Kathie and Bill Cook

It was NAA 2004 in Las Vegas. Kathie was with Apartment Finder and Bill was with Metric. Bill was walking around the exhibition hall with Kari Anderson and they came by the Apartment Finder booth. Kari said, “Kathie, I want you to meet Bill Cook.” She turned around and shook his hand and they both said ‘it’s nice to meet you.’

Back then, the Paragon Awards and the Gala were on Saturday night. WMFHA won the Paragon Award for Membership. Bill, Kari, and Glenn Gonzales were there to accept the award. Kathie invited Glenn and his wife, Heidi (WMFHA’s Executive Director at the time) to sit with her at her table. Bill sat next to Kathie and they got to chatting. He invited her to dance and they got along immediately. 

When they got back to Seattle, he asked her to have dinner with him. She did and they were married 6 weeks later, in August. The following May (2005), Bill legally adopted their son, Jonathan (he was 12 years old at the time). In August this year, they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary.

Marion Durand and Christina Koski 

This one is short and sweet. Marion and Christina were introduced by friends on New Years' Eve 2013 in Las Vegas. The rest is history!

Austin and Chantel Emery

Austin and Chantel both grew up in the Port Townsend area and were introduced by mutual friends when she was in 8th grade and he was in 9th.  They went to rival high schools and remained friends throughout high school. They both moved over to Seattle after graduation and started dating in 2006 after she graduated. They got married in 2015 and had their son Jackson in 2017. 

April and Chris Ramsey

April and Chris also went to high school together, but they didn't start dating until June 2008. She started in property management in 2005 and recruited Chris to the industry. She even got him to move to Maryland to be with her! April knew he would be awesome in the field and she was right. We are both going strong as property managers 12 years later and the multifamily industry!

Pam and Pat McKenna

When Pam was in college she decided to live with her sister in Chicago for the summer break.  She was hired as a waitress at a little corner restaurant in the West Roger’s Park neighborhood. The woman that ran the dinner shift was a loud Greek woman that would tell customers that Pam was going to marry her son. Pam would roll her eyes and laugh because she had never met the owner's son. Keep in mind, Pam grew up farming in a small rural area in Oregon so Chicago was a new and exciting place to spend the summer.

One night Patrick came into the restaurant to see his mother around closing time. She asked him to drive Pam home so she didn’t have to walk. Finally, she had a chance to meet the lively, energetic and mouthy son of the owner. It seemed he would be a lot of fun to hang out with for the summer. They made a date for dinner that Friday night and the rest is history. They have been married for 31 years this June. After all these years they actually like spending time together and enjoy life, living it to the fullest.

Jennifer Hizon and Preston Bliss

Jennifer and her husband met in 2017, She was a property manager and he was a Maintenance Tech at the time. They grew together within the industry and landed a property a few years later with working as a husband & wife team. They used to joke about crazy would it be if they got to work together on the same property. Well, that crazy idea came true and they are stronger than ever, accomplishing their goals with an amazing team. They have a total of six kids between them with one son together. They literally are the Brady Bunch with three girls and three boys. They LOVE their family and enjoy working in the multifamily housing industry together. 

Jennifer and Aaron Hansen

Jennifer and Aaron were both home on summer break from college working at a conference center. He was on the maintenance team and I was on the service team. We were just friends all through the summer and it wasn’t until she went back to school that they realized they wanted to be more than that. Thirteen years later, and here they are! (There's more to this story but you will have to ask them...)

Greg and Sloane Cerbana

It was the fall of 1988 when he saw her for the first time. The Miami Sound Machine, New Edition and Madonna ruled the airwaves; Big hair, mini-skirts, huge hoop earrings, scrunchies, banana clips and cropped jackets with big old shoulder pads were part of the standard wardrobe for the ladies that majored in Fashion Merchandising at the Art Institute of Seattle and his girl wore it all!  Greg met Sloane in the dorms at Seattle University. Truth be told, they were a bit of an odd pairing. She was studious, hardworking, and super serious about her education, the girl who made it out of her small town in OR up to the big city in Seattle. He was the island-born middle son of a Master Sargent and a Secretary, an ok student on an ROTC scholarship who got by on late-night cram sessions and also loved to have a good time. But they connected that freshman year by watching episodes of the Young and the Restless together, and the occasional departure from the school cafeteria to splurge at Sizzler.

They were married 6 days after he graduated in the summer of 1992 and will be celebrating their 28th anniversary in June of this year. They have four wonderful kids that still like to hang out with them (Chelsie, Kai, McKenna, and Kekoa), great jobs that fulfill them, lifelong friends that connect them and keep them grounded, and a hunger to share their story of faith, hope, and love with anyone that will listen.

Niki and Bobby Rubalcaba

Their lives collided while working together at the same community. Shortly after taking a position at different communities, they found ourselves drawn to spend more time together. After three years of dating and almost twelve years of marriage later, the rest is history. 

Belinda and Doug Zylstra (Mama and Papa Z)

Doug and Belinda Zylstra have been married for 33 years. While Doug was attending college in Iowa, his friends introduced him to a local girl. Never mind she was in high school, they fell in love. They married after graduation and moved home to Seattle. Working together has been such a fun adventure for them. They hope it’s the last stop on the road before retirement.  

Chris Koegel and Brett Waller

Brett and Chris met through a mutual friend and ended up chatting via email and text for a full week. Chris had never in his life texted and emailed so much! When they finally connected in person and had dinner in Ballard - Chris knew immediately this was a lifetime partnership! The rest is history!  They are best friends and true loves for sure.

Marina Singh and Jake Willmott

The love story started prior to them working together. They had a mutual co-worker who said that she would be very happy to meet Jake and they mentioned the same about Marina to Jake. A few months after that, they started working together at lease-up where they met in person. They hated working with each other. They were stuck in the friend-zone status after she became his boss. A few months later they fell in love and started working for different properties. Today they are best friends and partners in crime.  

Love does happen in this industry!