Education & Business Experience
Michele attended and graduated high school in West Des Moines, received her undergraduate degree from University of Iowa and started working in the insurance industry right away in 1987. Running her own Daycare Business from 1990 to 1994, she applied professional practices to this business such as contracts, state licensing, and participated in nutrition and education programs for the children in her care. She was approached and agreed to write and teach a class on starting your own business by the Des Moines Adult Education Program.
Once the kids went off to school Michele entered the property management industry. Various roles in the industry included: Assisting the President of the company in the development of new properties by interfacing with the builders, vendors, lenders, investors and financial institutions. The balance of this position was developing training protocols for on-site employees and working with after-hours resident issues.
In 1996 another promotion expanded her role to include but not limited to fee management, proprietary management and the development of new properties. All properties were multi-family, financed both conventionally and with tax-credits. In June 1998 Michele ended her career at PPM, Inc. as the Vice President of Des Moines Operations which included twelve multi-family properties. This was for an opportunity in commercial real-estate management.
In 1998 Michele started a five-year employment period with Terrus Real Estate Group. This included the management of over 833,000 square feet of investment office space primarily located in downtown Des Moines. Her responsibilities included lease negotiations, building operations, proposals to owners, tenant relations, budgeting, long term planning and financial reporting.
In 2006, after obtaining her MBA from Drake, Michele was invited to manage a 1075-unit property which boasts 41 buildings and approximately 26 employees. In addition to property manager duties, she also handled the human resource function for this group which included but was not limited to hiring, training in customer service, training in OSHA, and performance management.
In 2010 Michele purchased & renovated a building in Earlham and opened the Chestnut Café & Bev’s Cakes with her mother. The building was sold in 2015 and is now the wonderful expansion of the West Side Bar & Grill.
Michele currently farms with her husband; they have a commercial cow-calf herd and live on their farm in rural Madison County. Michele has volunteered as a trainer for the Iowa Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program for over 15 years; her very part-time consulting business – Iowa Active Management - keeps her connected to the Property Management Industry and allows her to help people she meets in her classes around the state.