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At Cardinal, our team members are the heart and soul of our culture. A team filled with men and women who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, who go to the extra mile to help change the industry and challenge the status quo. We are so grateful for those efforts and celebrate our team members who have dedicated years of service to the growth of our team.

Today we celebrate Johanna Adolfs! This month, Jo is celebrating her five-year anniversary with Cardinal Group. To celebrate, we asked her some tough and fun questions. Learn more about her journey below!

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What is your role?

I’m our Director of Marketing and Strategy!

Tell us your Cardinal Journey

My Cardinal journey started way before I even joined Cardinal. I met some Cardinal HQ Team Members when I was a Community Manager (CM) in Tucson, AZ. This was my first CM job, it was a new development downtown. Though I didn’t transition to Cardinal this year, I worked with two leasing agents you may recognize which brings my story full circle. Here we are in 2014.

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Here is another Cardinal Team Member you may recognize from our Move-In Day 2014…

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From Tucson to College Station, TX my lease up journey continued, until it took me to Fort Collins, CO.

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I transitioned into Cardinal Group as a Portfolio Sales and Marketing Manager. My first trip with Cardinal was with Courtney Richardson, we flew to Eugene, Oregon to takeover what is now known as Element Communities and I was able to be apart of the start of the Harrison Street relationship. From there our relationship with HSRE boomed, we grew to a cell of 18 communities at one point. We then turned into Cardinals first “super cell”! Here is a photo of cell 4.2 winning Cell Team of the Year at Leadership Summit!

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In 2018 I moved to Denver, and the day after moving into my first home I purchased I got a call from Will Conroy asking if I would be interested in being a Group Marketing Manager. The answer was absolutely, YES! As a Group Marketing Manager, I got the creative liberty to produce The Open Door Project, which I’m most proud of.

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In 2020 I transitioned to be the New Development Portfolio Manager and work with the Conventional team. With this role I gained experience in managing conventional, co-living, build to rent and HUD apartments.

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I joined the Cardinal team because I was looking for a company that had growth options and a great culture. My interview process solidified the change of companies was the right move for me, and I have not regretted the decision I made.

 

What do you find most exciting about your job? Most challenging? 

Living in a creative space is the most fun part of my job. Being able to brainstorm and bring to life out of the box ideas and be supported on that journey makes my job really fun. I also feel like my cup is most full when I know I’m making a positive impact on the people around me. I like to be helpful and use my strengths to help make everyone successful.

The most challenging part of any job I’ve had is people management. It’s complex, layered and multifaceted. Every person you manage requires something different of you to get their best from them.

 

Who has been influential in you professional life and how have they help guide you?

I was given a chance by a Community Manager, Kendall Jones, who hired me to be the Leasing Manger while I was still a full time student at The University of Kansas. He was extremely creative and really pulled that side of myself I had no idea existed out which launched me into my career.

When I moved companies I met a woman named Blair Hebert who showed me how a boss can have high expectations, be firm with their request but still be very kind. I learned a lot just being in her presence.

The first person to really invest in me at Cardinal was Will Conroy. Will is not only ridiculously intelligent, he has the ability to explain things in very digestible ways for everyone to understand. He showed me a lot of trust and challenged me in my role and helped me prepare to transition as a Portfolio Manager.

As a Portfolio Manager I was really lucky that Cardinal brought on Brian Hawthorne. He has been someone I know I can always count on, brought a lot of knowledge to myself and my team and was our constant support during really challenging times.

 

What’s something people may not know about you?   

I play soccer on 3 teams during the week, it is how I unwind and a preferred way of exercise. I started playing when I was 5 years old, played 2 years in college and picked it back up when I moved to Denver.

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What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Replicate what others around you do well, but make it your own. Push yourself to master your current position before striving for your next role. And always be growing the people underneath you so when you are ready for your next step there is someone ready to take your place.

 

What is your proudest moment working at Cardinal Group?

Being nominated for HQ team member of the year my first year at Cardinal.

 

What has been the most interesting change that you’ve seen in the industry, and why? 

The new build-to-rent business model is becoming more and more popular. Renting single family homes is not a new practice but building communities of homes just for rent is a newer concept. It really goes against what most housing developers have been doing for years, which is maximizing unit or bed counts and driving rates based on price per square foot.

 

What is your favorite college town in America and why?

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU! Lawrence, Kansas is hands down my favorite college town. I am a KU alumni, huge KU basketball fan and have some of my favorite memories in Lawrence, KS.

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Ready to start your Cardinal Journey? See our open opportunities

 

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