I wanted to take this opportunity to spotlight my teammate and the HOA General Manager for Harvest, Tim Mills. I know that HOAs can be a “bad” word. I mean they have to enforce the rules and make decisions that are sometimes not popular. I would bet though, most people don’t really know what it’s like to manage a HOA. It’s my pleasure to give you a glimpse of the kind of person we have at Harvest.
Tim has been the General Manger for Harvest for more than six years. Tim has set the bar very high for the other community managers on our team. He does his job with excellence and plays a critical part in building strong business relationships with the association board, homeowners, local community, and business partners. Angie Mastrocola, Senior Vice President at Hillwood Communities and association board president says, “Tim goes over and beyond for us. His passion shows every day which is what makes Harvest great.”
Tim takes great pride in his job and cares about the people and community he manages. He goes over and beyond for homeowners—removing a dead mouse from an elderly resident’s home, putting air in a neighbor’s bicycle tire, changing porch light bulbs for an elderly neighbor, playing kickball with the neighborhood kids, going to the local school pep rally, attending a little league soccer game—just to name a few. This is one of the many things that sets Tim apart from other managers—he invests in his community so that it flourishes.
From violations, homeowner disputes, landscaping issues to developer demands, fines and collections, Tim’s role is not for the faint at heart. He must be the person that says no and that’s not always well received. Despite the challenges that come with the job, Tim does it with grace and excellence. Harvest homeowner Melody said it best, “Tim, we are so grateful for all you do at Harvest. We are proud to have you as our manager. I know each week you take a beating. Some people will never be happy so let it be like water on a duck’s back, let it roll off. You do an amazing job.” Most of the time, managers only hear from people when something is wrong, but encouragement like this makes it easier for him to continue his great work at Harvest.
In addition to the traditional responsibilities, there are always things that the onsite manager must do that’s not in the job description. For example, Harvest has a working farm, an onsite farmer, gardening plots for residents, orchard, demonstration garden, and a charitable tie to the North Texas Food Bank. Tim, with no background in gardening or farming, guides and directs our young farmer and manages all aspects of our onsite greenhouse and farming operations. He partners with our residents to help them give back to our philanthropy. Because of his leadership and partnership with residents, last year our garden plots provided the food bank with more than 1,900 pounds of fresh produce. That equates to more than 2,200 meals.
Speaking of leadership, Tim is a great leader and he leads his onsite staff well. He is self-effacing and appreciative, and he recognizes that he can’t do it alone—and he would never want to. He leads by doing and empowers his team to take initiative and achieve their goals. Tim is innovative and motivates his team. He is always open to new ideas to improve the community and homeowners experience. The best leadership quality Tim possess is his self-confidence. He has a sense of self-assurance and self-esteem, and most importantly, he believes that he can make a difference. The reason why this is so important is that it allows him to take risks, make immediate decisions, and solve problems and conflicts. Tim also takes full responsibility, which is also another example of a good leader. This is why Tim is such a valuable asset to FirstService Residential, Harvest by Hillwood, and to his association board. Tim’s leadership and management has led Harvest to being named Community of the Year multiple times by the Dallas Builders’ Association.
No one is perfect, but it’s how you deal with your imperfections that make a difference. I would encourage everyone to get to know the people behind their HOA and to not believe everything you read on social media.