With our virtual 2021 Kickoff festivities coming to an end, we’re taking a look back at Venterra’s 2020 highlights!
Prior to COVID making headlines, we enjoyed meeting up and having a blast as a team! In January, we roared into 2020 at our annual Kickoff Parties in Atlanta and Houston, and, not long after, Venterra’s leaders got together for our annual Venterra Leadership Conference! Early in the year, we got a chance to reflect on the moments that made 2019 special when our 11th edition Venterra Experience book was released, and we announced the addition of a new complimentary vacation suite for our team members. While CV-19 might have kept this new perk from being able to be used as we had hoped in 2020, we’re looking forward to the new memories our team members will be creating at the Nashville suite or our existing vacation suite in Orlando!
As it did for most, the spread of COVID-19 affected our 2020 plans in some major ways. While we were fortunate to be able to quickly respond by shifting the way we operate, we still remained dedicated to a people-oriented business approach. Appreciation and support for our employees, residents, communities, and the healthcare heroes in our lives was shown throughout the year, including presenting more than $50,000 in gift cards to resident nominated and employee nominated Healthcare Heroes. And, to better serve our residents, Venterra maintenance team members took to YouTube, creating nearly 200 “how-to” videos. Although the pandemic shook things up, it didn’t keep us from celebrating employee achievements like Mollie Witt’s recognition for her training skills, enjoying special occasions like tacky sweaters for the holiday season, rolling out new employee perks like discounted pet meds, or going all out for our 2021 Halloween contests!
Although the year marked an economic downturn, our acquisitions team still managed to stay very busy throughout 2020, and we wrapped it up with five new communities in the Venterra portfolio! These include The Harrison and The Whitney in Sandy Springs, GA, The Maddox in Duluth, GA, Canton Mill Lofts in Canton, GA, and Park on Wurzbach in San Antonio, TX. Residents of the new communities can rest easy given the news we received in May that 98% of our communities were designated as Top-Rated on ApartmentRatings.com! In addition to welcoming these new properties into the Venterra fold, two new land acquisitions went under contract in the last quarter of 2020, and we’re looking forward to continuing our venture into property development at these Houston locations.
We also faced hard truths last year. In response to the events that highlighted the issue of racial injustice in the nation, we committed to standing together to seek equality. This requires confronting difficult realities head-on, continuously educating ourselves, and working hard to make meaningful changes. We’re excited about making good on this commitment in 2021 and far beyond.
In a year as trying as 2020, we were thrilled to see that our employees continued to report being happy as members of the Venterra Family. Our Great Places to Work employee survey resulted in us being re-certified as a Great Place to Work, highlighted our ability to innovate, and resulted in recognitions that included Best Medium Places to Work, Best Workplaces for Women, and a 3rd place ranking as one of the Great Places to Work in Texas. In addition to the employee survey, we also saw positive feedback on our annual leadership survey before the year came to an end.
While 2020 was certainly a year that will be remembered for its challenges, we’re truly grateful for the opportunity it presented to grow as individuals and as an organization, and we are looking forward to what 2021 has in store!