Two Triad-based Apartment Industry Leaders Inducted into AANC Hall of Fame

Two apartment industry professionals from the Triad were inducted into the Apartment Association of North Carolina’s (AANC) Hall of Fame this week. During a ceremony held at AANC’s 2019 Education and Legislative Conference in Raleigh, Sue White and Peter Placentino, both of Greensboro, along with seven other apartment professionals, were inducted into the 2019 AANC Hall of Fame.

Sue White, Donathan Properties

Sue White, President of Donathan Properties based in Greensboro, has been a member of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association for 39 years, serving as President in 1989-90. She has also been a member of AANC since it was founded in 1986 and served as AANC’s first president, not from the Charlotte area.

Ms. White has been involved in multi-family housing development since 1977. She began her career with McCoy Development, which later changed its name to Kenyon Investment Group. Kenyon subsequently merged with Sunstates Corporation of Raleigh, North Carolina. While with these organizations, Ms. White was responsible for the development of several luxury apartment projects that were pre-sold to Balcor/American Express. In addition, Ms. White operated Kenyon’s management company prior to the merger with Sunstates.

Ms. White left Sunstates Corporation in 1983 to start Donathan Properties, Inc. Bainbridge in the Park, Donathan Properties’ first development project, was a joint venture with 1st Home Federal Savings and Loan of Greensboro, North Carolina and was presold to a real estate investment banking firm headquartered in Westport, Connecticut. Donathan Properties developed and owns Briarleigh Park Apartments, a 216-unit community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which opened in July 1987.

Ms. White’s expertise includes the identification and purchase of sites, site layout, unit mix, project sales, marketing and lease-up, as well as overall construction management. Donathan Properties, Inc. is a HUD approved management company.

Projects in Ms. White’s development portfolio include:
Marchwood (264 units), Greensboro, NC
The Hedges (188 units), Greensboro, NC
The Forest (264 units), Durham, NC
Cooper’s Pond (172 units), Raleigh, NC
Drayton Quarter (206 units), Charleston, SC
Bainbridge in the Park (216 units), Durham, NC
Briarleigh Park (216 units), Winston-Salem, NC
Hyde Park (216 units), Cary, NC
Southern Village Apartments (250 units), Chapel Hill, NC
Brookberry Park Apartments (252 units), Winston-Salem, NC
Skybrook Apartments (268 units), Huntersville, NC
Haven at Regents Park Apartments (288 units) Fort Mill, SC

Peter Placentino, Brown Investment Properties

Peter Placentino, Senior Vice President of Property Management at Brown Investment Properties based in Greensboro, has been an active member of PTAA, AANC and the National Apartment Association (NAA) for over 35 years. He is the only person to serve as President of AANC twice, he also served as President of PTAA in 1990-91 and as Secretary of the National Apartment Association in 2000.

At Brown Investment Properties Mr. Placentino optimizes assets for each property owner. He believes in and supervises hands-on, detail-oriented management of physical assets, operations, and personnel. His extensive experience covers all types of tenant-occupied property – multi-family, retail, office, and industrial. He has many years of experience in construction, development, and legislative matters of the multi-family housing industry. This knowledge base brings additional benefit to property owners. Peter has been involved in distressed asset management since the 1980s and is an expert in stabilization and disposition of these properties.

Peter started with Brown Investment Properties in 1983 and has worked in property management since 1979. He is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) and a licensed Real Estate Broker in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Susan Passmore Talks Apartments, Critters and Rasslin’


This episode of Not a Complex podcast features an interview with Susan Passmore, Executive Vice President of Blue Ridge Companies, past-president and current board member of the Apartment Association of North Carolina, and newly elected Regional Vice President (Region 4) of the National Apartment Association.  We talked about Susan’s new role with NAA, her career (her first job was as a bookkeeper on a property in Asheboro, NC) and her varied personal interests – her lifelong passion for professional wrestling in particular. It’s a great interview and you’ll find yourself learning something while being entertained in the process.

So, sit back and enjoy the show. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email them to us at

Subscribe via: iTunesStitcher

Show Notes:

Phillips Management Group

National Apartment Association

Apartment Association of North Carolina

Susan’s Favorite Wrestlers,  Books to Give Employees and Musical Genre:

World Wrestling Entertainment

Chris Jericho

Ric Flair

Nikita Koloff

Dusty Staub books on leadership

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Favorite Genre of Music is “Old Pop”, for example Michael Jackson

AANC Introduces Will Brownlee as New Executive Director

At the end of 2015 Ken Szymanski will step back from his role as Executive Director of the Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC), after serving as the chief executive of both the AANC and the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association (GCAA) concurrently for the last 28 years. He will continue as the Executive Director of GCAA after 2015, but AANC needed to find a new chief executive as of January 1, 2016.

So it was with great excitement last night at the PTAA trade show that Jody Longwill, President of the AANC, announced that Will Brownlee – who is familiar to so many apartment professionals in North Carolina through his legal work on behalf of the industry – will be the organization’s Executive Director starting January 1.

Here’s a video of the announcement last night. Unfortunately due to my fat thumbs I missed the early part of the announcement during which Jody lauded Ken’s incredible work on behalf of AANC for the last 28 years, but please take my word that it was a worthy tribute for a great guy. Here’s the announcement.

Here’s a press release from AANC:

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                 October 28, 2015

Apartment Association of N.C. names new Executive Director

The Apartment Association of North Carolina (“AANC”) is a trade association of multi-family rental housing developers, owners, managers, and suppliers.  It is affiliated with both the National Apartment Association and seven (7) local Apartment Associations throughout North Carolina.  AANC is pleased to announce its selection of Will Brownlee as its new Executive Director and General Counsel effective January 1, 2016.  “We are extremely pleased that Will will become AANC’s executive leader”, said its Board President Jody Longwill, of Greensboro-based Burkely Communities. “The Board, in making this selection, has expanded the Association’s commitment to its work, as the Executive Director position becomes full-time.  For the past 29 years, Ken Szymanski has served the AANC with distinction as its part-time Executive Director.  Ken will continue to serve in his role as Executive Director of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association”.  

“Will brings a wealth of experience, energy, and commitment to the AANC’s work.  We look forward to Will’s joining and working with AANC and its associates to advocate for legislation that encourages affordable housing, quality construction and professional  management.”

Will Brownlee is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina and is the founder of Brownlee Law Firm, PLLC and co-founder of Loebsack & Brownlee, PLLC.  He has served the apartment industry for the last 18 years, including serving on the AANC Board of Directors and as author of the AANC Lease and Legal Handbook.  He holds degrees from The Citadel and the N.C. Central University School of Law.

“AANC and its affiliate members have a rich and accomplished history of advocacy for the N.C. apartment industry, particularly through the tireless efforts of its Board of Directors, its volunteer members, and the consistent leadership of Ken Szymanski over the past 30 years,” said Mr. Brownlee.  “I am proud to be part of such an organization and look forward to the opportunity to work with the AANC Board of Directors and the diverse affiliate and volunteer members of AANC in continuing their advocacy for the apartment industry and finding new ways to serve the AANC membership.”

For further information: Ken Szymanski, (704) 334-9511 x- 108

Applications for Larry Cranford Memorial Scholarship Now Being Accepted

The Apartment Association of North Carolina is now accepting applications for the Larry Cranford Scholarship, which can be used to pay for any one of NAA’s designations. Those include National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP), Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS), Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) and Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS).

Deadline for submissions is May 8, 2015 and you can apply by filling out and returning the application which you can find at this link: 2015 Larry Cranford Memorial Scholarship.

Here’s a little background about the scholarship:

The mission of the Scholarship is to foster the professional apartment industry education and career development potential of selected up-and-coming multi-family rental housing industry leaders in North Carolina.

It is named after long-time North Carolina apartment leader Larry Cranford. Larry was loved by many for his folksy ways, his absolute commitment to industry education, and his people skills. Larry taught apartment management and maintenance throughout North Carolina for some 25 years. Larry was the AANC President from 1996-1998.

PTAA is 35 Years Young!

Last night, March 31, 2015, PTAA marked the 35th anniversary of its founding on the same date in 1980. We did it in fine fashion by holding our largest Diamond Awards banquet ever, with over 400 of our industry’s best and brightest in attendance to recognize the exceptional performance of some of their peers in 2014. If you weren’t able to attend then you missed the 35th Anniversary video that our Public Relations committee produced to commemorate the occasion, but thanks the wonders of YouTube you can see it now. Enjoy!

Jody Longwill Named President of AANC Beginning September 1, 2014

PTAA is very proud to share this exciting news from AANC about our very own Jody Longwill:

A 28-Year Industry Veteran Longwill Foresees Continued Appeal for Apartment Living

GREENSBORO, N.C., June 12, 2014 –Jody Longwill, who serves as the Burkley Communities Director of Apartment Management and Staff Development, has been elected President of the Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC).  A 28-year veteran of the multi-family rental housing industry, Longwill has worked with Burkely Communities for 17 years, and served on the AANC board for 12 years, including the last two years as an officer of the board.  In addition, she is a past president of the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association, and has achieved the Certified Apartment Portfolio designation from the National Apartment Association.

“We are thrilled with Jody’s new executive role with AANC,” said Sterling Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Burkely Communities.  “Her industry expertise, strategic vision, and keen understanding of what diverse populations –from college students to older populations – desire from apartment community living makes her ideally suited to lead our state’s eminent trade association.”

“Under Jody’s leadership, the AANC is poised for growth, and will continue to provide an inclusive, cohesive voice for our industry,” commented Ken Szymanski, AANC Executive Director.

“For affordability, flexibility and other lifestyle reasons, apartment style living continues to evolve and thrive in North Carolina,” concluded Longwill, “It’s an especially exciting time to take on such an important leadership role with the AANC.”

Gov. McCrory Signs Bill That Shortens Eviction Time

From the Apartment Association of North Carolina‘s announcement that Gov. Pat McCrory today signed House Bill 802:

Many North Carolina housing providers have struggled for many years with the length of the process for evicting a non-paying tenant. Each day that the tenant remains in the rental unit is another day of unpaid rent and another day that the unit cannot be prepared and marketed for a new tenant. In some urban areas of the state it takes 45 days or more to complete the eviction (12% of the income producing capability for that property). This legislation addresses some of the areas in the system that can assist in speeding up the eviction process as follows:

  • would require magistrates to make their decisions the same day of the conclusion of the evidence, except magistrates may take 5 days for more complex summary ejectment cases which are spelled out in the bill
  • would only allow a magistrate to continue a case for not more than five days or until the next session of court, whichever is longer, unless the parties have both consented
  • would reduce the time frame from 20 days to 10 days to pay the costs of court to appeal a case
  • would require the tenant in an appeal to state a defense orally or in writing and make any necessary bond payments or the landlord can file a motion to dismiss the appeal
  • would reduce from 10 days to 7 days the time required to hold a tenant’s property once a summary ejectment is won and a writ to obtain the rental property is executed

The new law goes into effect September 1, 2013. If you’d like to read the full text of the bill you can find it here.

NC Legislative Update, AANC Legislative Days

There is encouraging news from Raleigh this week (5/13/2013) on a couple of pieces of legislation that are of particular interest to the apartment industry:

House Bill 773 is a bill that would revise the conditions under which counties and cities may inspect buildings or structures. This is a bill that is supported by the Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC) and was approved by the House on May 14, 2013 which will allow it to make crossover to the Senate.

House Bill 802 is a bill that would shorten the time period required to evict a tenant. This bill is also supported by AANC and also enjoyed bipartisan support in the House. Consequently it was easily passed with only three votes against it and will crossover to the Senate.

One result of this good news is that our industry representatives will have plenty to do in Raleigh next week during AANC’s Legislative Days (May 21-22, 2013). PTAA has 20 representatives headed to Raleigh to join over 100 other apartment industry leaders from around the state. If you would like to join them please contact Jon Lowder  TODAY (May 16, 2013) to RSVP.  You can call him at (336) 294-4428 or email him to let him know you’d like to make the trip to Raleigh. Legislative Days is free to all PTAA members from management companies/apartment owners and to all Legislative Days sponsors. Vendor Partners are welcome to attend but there is a registration fee that would apply.

Impact of the 2012 Elections on the Apartment Industry

On Tuesday, November 27,  PTAA welcomed Ken Szymanski, Executive Director of the Apartment Association of North Carolina (AANC), and Colleen Kochanek, AANC’s lobbyist, to update our members about the likely effect this year’s election results will have on the North Carolina legislature, and in particular what it means for the apartment industry in 2013.  Ken was kind enough to share a few slides (see below) showing the makeup of the legislature in 2013 and you’ll notice how many “freshman” legislators the state will have next year. Both Ken and Colleen stressed the importance of reaching out to these new legislators before they head to Raleigh next year, and of the need to start educating them about the apartment industry and the important role it plays in providing housing and jobs to its residents, and tax revenue to its local municipalities. There will also be a steep learning curve for issues of particular concern to the industry like continued work on legislation related to local governments’  rental housing registration/inspection programs to name just one.

If you missed the dinner meeting you’ll have the opportunity to see them again at AANC’s Legislative Days in Raleigh next spring. Stay tuned, and if at all possible, plan on making the trip to Raleigh.
[slideshare id=15412072&w=427&h=356]

Proposed Amendment to Raleigh’s PROP Ordinance

Last summer North Carolina’s legislature passed a new law that would limit the ability of municipalities to enact rental registration and inspections ordinances.  The city of Raleigh is considering changes to its PROP ordinance as described in a recent issue of NAA’s Hotsheet:

The Raleigh City Council is considering amendments to its existing Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit (PROP) ordinance program. The changes, based on recommendations from the City Attorney’s office, would increase permit fees significantly and would allow the city to revoke an owner’s permit to operate, prohibiting the owner from renting out an entire property for the violations of a single unit.

A property owner is required to have a PROP permit if the property receives repeated violations, such as nuisance, occupancy, or inspections violations. In the program’s current form, a property owner may apply to have violations removed—to avoid the PROP permit requirement—if he or she evicts or removes the problematic tenant(s). The proposed revisions would limit an owner’s ability to contest violations. Other onerous provisions include:

  • Expanding the types of violations included in PROP, such as failing to register a rental property, underage drinking, or if a tenant is otherwise engaged in several forms of criminal activity;
  • Revocation of owner’s PROP permit if a unit receives 3 violations within a 24 month period; and
  • Permit fee increases from a $200 administrative fee, a $300 permit fee for the first year and $500 for any additional year to a $500 non-refundable deposit and tiered system of permit fees ranging from $1,000 for 1 to 4 dwelling units to $10,000 for 20 or more dwelling units.

The City Attorney’s office has been charged with rewriting the PROP ordinance to comply with a newly enacted state law. The new law, Senate Bill 683/Session Law 2011-281, limits the ability of cities and localities to enact rental registration and inspections ordinances. The city of Raleigh claims that the law would reduce revenues from the PROP program. The City Attorney’s revisions would increase the number of properties flagged by PROP, raising revenues and offsetting the shortfall created by the new law. The Triangle Apartment Association plans to work with the City Attorney’s office as it plans further revisions.

Please contact < href=”“> to request a copy of the ordinance. (Raleigh Public Record, North Carolina League of Municipalities, Triangle Apartment Association)