Orlando Sentinel names Premier Association Management

2016 Community Service Champion!       

 

The Rewards of Being Neighborly     

 By Christine VanDyk 

August 21, 2016

 

  

She was a single mom with two kids just plugging away like we all do. Her days were spent clocking in at work and the evenings were full of homework, laundry and a good television show if she was lucky. But all that came to a sudden halt when this Orlando-area mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. As the medical bills mounted and the time-off accumulated, it wasn’t long before she’d lost her steady job. Worrying over how she’d pay the bills and who would care for her children was more than she could handle. That’s when a simple conversation helped her begin to turn things around.

 

“It was just before the holidays when this young mom mentioned to her association manager that she’d recently been laid off and was having a hard time meeting her bills,” Gina Holbrook, President of Premier Association Management of Central Florida said, "Life had caught her off guard.  Here she was healthy and sel-sufficient until she went in for her yearly exam. Two days later she learned she had stage-three cancer.”

The HOA management company had just began the Premier Gives Back Foundation to help families in need living within the 67 communities managed by the firm. They beganby training the staff to notice when a bill had been missed, a yard had not been mowed or another sign of distress had occurred. Then, the foundation moved in to take care, learn the resident’s story and see how they could help make things better. 

 

“She was one of the first people to apply to the foundation,” Gina Holbrook said. “We reached out to assist her by buying toys for the kids, a Christmas tree and a holiday meal. Over time we even helped with her bills and we were able to assist her in getting another job.”

 According to Gina Holbrook, HOAs were created to build a sense of community but “so often they get stuck on the rules and finances of running a neighborhood and forget to be neighborly.”  “After all, when was the last time you had a pot luck or spent time getting to know your neighbors?,” she asks.

 

For Premier, many of the communities they represent are distressed and it is their job to bring assessments up to date, increase property values and help the communities stay solvent. A large part of that involves lending a helping hand to residents in need.

“We help when someone can’t pay a phone bill or the electric,” Larry Holbrook, Vice President for Premier, says. “We help folks clean up their yards or work with the bank to satisfy their mortgage. If we can reach someone early, before they are buried in debt and things begin to snowball, it can be life changing.”

 

Gina Holbrook says “it’s always been in our hearts to help. It’s how we raise our kids to be, how we encourage our staff to act and it’s the right thing to do.”

Gina Holbrook is quick to point out that accepting assistance, even needed assistance, doesn’t always come easy for some residents.

“It’s hard to have someone come into your home when you are a proud person,” she says. “That’s why we make every effort to make the kids feel comfortable and encourage the homeowners to help with what we are working on. We make sure we’re not just doing for, but we’re working with people.”

The foundation also provides assistance to military initiatives, something that is very personal to Larry Holbrook who is a veteran himself.  “I’ve been deployed three times,” he said. “I’ve seen some terrible things and I know what it’s like to watch your friends come home injured or sick.”  That’s the reason behind Premier Association Management’s avid support of the Hero Miles and Hotels for Heroes programs. “When an injured service person goes to the hospital, the military doesn’t pay for their family to travel with them,” he said. “These programs allow people to donate hotel and airline miles for the families to use.”

Through the foundation, employees of Premier Association Management have also served lunch at the Ronald McDonald House and worked with the Make a Wish Foundation, assisted House of Hope and collected school supplies for needy students. There are supermarket vouchers at Thanksgiving and Christmas Shoe Boxes for the holidays among the long list of good things the organization is committed to providing.

“It’s what makes us human,” Gina Holbrook says. “Service is in our blood.”

Her husband agrees: “There are things in life that are bigger than you. So many people think it’s all about them. I’ve found that I’m just fortunate while there are some who’ve been dealt a bad blow. It’s a great thing to help people who just need a step up.”

Today, thanks to the help of Premier Gives Back, that single mom is back on track. She kept her home, has a great job and has been cancer-free for two years. And when it comes time to donate for the annual holiday drive with the foundation, she’s one of the first to chip in and lend a hand. This full-circle moment is thanks to one company who understands the importance of being a good neighbor.

 

Celebrating our Corporate Heroes

The Best Places to Work in Central Florida

 

 


 

 

 

Premier Association Management of Central Florida, Inc.

3112 W Lake Mary Blvd   *   Lake Mary, FL 32746

533 Cagan Park Avenue ,  Suite 306  *  Clermont, FL 34714

Phone: (407) 333-7787   *   Fax: (407) 333-7767

 

 
 
 
 

 

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