The Bozzuto Buzz is about coming together and connecting as a community—sharing our stories and using our voices to express the triumphs and challenges we face. If you would like to submit your story for consideration in a future Buzz issue, please use the form here.
Read These Stories
An Introduction by Chief Administrative Officer Julie Smith Join Our Courageous Conversations Get Involved With ERGs Save the Date: Resident Appreciation Day Building on a Solid Foundation Coffee With Toby: Virtual Edition
The Power of Community: An Introduction by Julie Smith
The year 2020 may prove to be one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes. COVID-19 has changed our daily lives in ways that we never could have imagined. The obstacles seem endless yet we rise to meet them every day. When combined with the painful social injustice that we have witnessed over the last several months, we find ourselves feeling emotionally exhausted. But when we have the opportunity to connect with our community—our friends, families and colleagues—we feel the restorative power of connection.
The opportunity to have a meaningful discussion can provide tremendous support just when we need it. That is why we launched the Courageous Conversations series. Using our Bozzuto community to share our experiences and actively listening to others are ways to find sanctuary in a world with a lot of noise. We believe that we will be a stronger, more connected company by actively broadening our perspectives and becoming more culturally competent. I encourage to you participate in these dialogues about race with hopes of gaining a better understanding of each other, our existing challenges and the work that is ahead.
In this issue of the Buzz, we see the power of the Bozzuto community reflected in the career of one of our team members. We see it in employee resource groups and BMC’s attentive efforts to take great care of our residents. We see it in Toby’s virtual coffee chats with employees. In these unprecedented times, by simply caring, we lean on our core value of concern. And in a world where we must, for now, be distanced from one another, we still remain connected members of a family who takes care of families.
Join Our Courageous Conversations
As a meaningful next step in Bozzuto’s commitment to positive change, we seek to better understand the diverse perspectives of our team members. Bozzuto is hosting Courageous Conversations, a series of virtual forums designed for employees to participate in dialogues about race and share their personal reflections. These 90-minute discussions are led by professional facilitators, as well as our trained Bozzuto Community Forum leaders and Employee Resource Group leads.
Each 90-minute session has 50 or fewer attendees. They begin with everyone together as a larger group, then break into smaller six-to-eight-person groups for 30 minutes before coming back together as a group to share their learnings and reflections.
“We see this as a chance to learn from each other in a trusted environment while making new connections that we hope will continue after each session,” reflected Chief Administrative Officer Julie Smith in an email to all employees. “We believe that these discussions will allow us to learn from one another, while continuing to broaden our cultural competency. As a company that honors diverse perspectives and inclusion, we look forward to this opportunity to share our experiences.”
The series of conversations began on July 2 and will continue throughout the month. If the sessions are impactful and valuable, they will be continued indefinitely. They are also adjusted based on feedback from participants.
Get Involved With ERGs
As you may have learned from our previous issue of the Buzz, employee resource groups (ERGs) are six internal, employee-led communities that are based on shared cultures, heritages or other significant bonds—and they’re coming to your region very soon. Open to all employees, these groups are a way for us to interact with colleagues outside of our immediate teams, celebrate our diverse backgrounds and connect and feel at home. While each ERG has their own mission, they also exist to extend meaningful opportunities of cultural education and engagement to the entire Bozzuto employee base.
Are you interested in joining or leading one of the ERGs below? We’re getting ready to relaunch the groups and want to know how you would like to get involved. Fill out this survey to show your interest and you will be contacted directly with more information.
Below are Bozzuto’s current ERGs and even if you don’t strictly identify with one of these groups, your participation as an ally and advocate is encouraged and valued.
- LIFT – LGBTQ+ Individuals and Friends Together; expresses individual authenticity and a culture of belonging
- VIDA – Promotes awareness and understanding of Latinx/Hispanic culture
- SOUL – Shades Of Unified Leadership; brings together African/African American/Black people to champion workplace diversity and make a positive impact in the community
- VETS – Veterans Empowered to Succeed; strengthens recruiting and retention of service members and their families
- Women@Bozzuto – Aims to support and inspire the women of Bozzuto in their determined drive to excel, both personally and professionally
- Young Professionals – Engages young professionals through connection, development, inclusion and empowerment
As we continue to actively grow and roll out these ERGs, be on the lookout for more information on how to become an active member and take part in upcoming events.
Save the Date: Resident Appreciation Day
There’s no question that our world has changed over the past several months. However, one thing hasn’t—our commitment to creating sanctuary for those we serve. Our residents have noticed and, as a result, made us the #1 rated property management company in the nation for the sixth year in a row.
Resident Appreciation Day has been a favorite tradition at Bozzuto Management Company (BMC) since 2017. We use this day to thank our residents for their support by hosting pop-up celebrations, offering sweet treats and more. This year, we’re taking the celebration virtual. On July 23, 2020, Bozzuto communities throughout our portfolio will thank their residents with virtual gatherings and other innovative ways that show our thanks while keeping everyone safe. Check out this marketing playbook for ways to show your gratitude for our residents’ continued support. #BozzutoRAD
Building on a Solid Foundation
One of the benefits of working for a company with four integrated divisions is the mobility. 21 years ago, Bozzuto Construction Company (BCC) Senior Superintendent Tony Muniz began his career journey at Bozzuto Management Company (BMC) as an assistant service manager at Crystal Park Apartments, eventually moving up to a service manager role at The Metropolitan. After five years at BMC, Tony wanted to try a construction role at BCC. A fourth-generation veteran, Tony was put in touch with a Bozzuto recruiter by an old military colleague. Landing his current role as a senior superintendent is one of his proudest achievements. He is pleased with the growth and development he’s received at Bozzuto and enjoys seeing the physical results of the work he does.
“With hard work, determination and vision, I successfully achieved many milestones within my career at Bozzuto. To me, this is evidence of how Bozzuto actively fosters employee engagement, loyalty and growth which enables team members to excel within the company,” he said.
Coffee With Toby: Virtual Edition
Many Bozzuto employees from various regions have sat down with President and CEO Toby Bozzuto for coffee and great discussion. During these sessions, Toby discusses the current state of company affairs and answers questions from the field.
When the pandemic took hold, Toby knew that it was more important than ever to make sure he was being open with and supportive of his employees—and taking the proper steps to protect them. Thus, Coffee With Toby went virtual. Recently, Toby hosted Zoom calls with team members in the Chicago and Tri-State areas. During the calls—each of which had more than 50 participants—Toby discussed the state of the company, health of the markets and diversity and inclusion efforts. The Managing Directors and Senior Vice Presidents then took over for Q&A sessions featuring questions asked by the team. Keep an eye out for future opportunities to have virtual coffee with Toby!