Draper and Kramer, Incorporated announced that Kristen Alessi, property manager at 1130 S. Michigan Avenue, was named Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) of the Year by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)’s Chicago chapter. The award was presented to Alessi at IREM Chicago’s annual Premier Awards, held March 8 at Chicago’s Drake Hotel.
“Kristen elevates every project she undertakes, whether it’s leading operations at 1130 S. Michigan, creating company-wide employee recognition programs, supporting the industry with her involvement in professional organizations or giving back to the community through charitable initiatives,” said Julie Stevlingson, senior vice president and director of management services at Draper and Kramer. “She is a tireless worker and an exemplar of what an ARM can and should be. I can’t think of anyone else who is more deserving of this award.”
ARM certification through IREM signifies an individual has met requirements set by the organization for residential management experience and education, passed the ARM certification exam, completed IREM ethics education and pledged to uphold the IREM Code of Professional Ethics.
Alessi was nominated for the ARM of the Year honor for her overall leadership and success in the management of 1130 S. Michigan, a luxury apartment tower in Chicago’s South Loop, including achieving and maintaining a 95 percent average occupancy rate at the property, overseeing the renovation of 139 units, implementing more than $18,000 in annual cost savings and introducing new resident amenities including a printing/scanning/faxing service and valet parking garage technology that shortens wait times, as well as a new resident-led book club, running club and family fun groups.
In addition, Alessi developed a monthly newsletter that strengthened communications between upper management and the firm’s rental division, continues to spearhead employee appreciation outings such as a group lunch for every leasing and renovation goal met, and was one of the initial participants in a new employee development program now used across Draper and Kramer.
Alessi was also recognized for her contributions to the greater Chicago community. These include resident donation programs benefitting Toys for Tots and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Outside of her professional responsibilities, Alessi regularly volunteers for various causes and organizations, including her local animal shelter.
As property manager of 1130 S. Michigan, Alessi manages a 25-person team and oversees all aspects of operations for the 656-unit community, which includes three commercial retail spaces. Alessi joined Draper and Kramer in 2013 as a property administrator. She is a graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management. In addition to IREM, she also belongs to the Chicagoland Apartment Association and is a member of the organization’s professional development committee.