TESSA VALENZUELA

Tessa Valenzuela ensures operations are running smooth on site at communities she’s responsible for as Regional Manager. With a natural ability to work well under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude, she is committed to successfully leading, supporting, and motivating a diverse team to achieve performance goals.

Tessa’s 12-year background as a property management professional specializing in customer service, marketing, and financial reporting is a tremendous asset to a company dedicated to serving residents well. Her joy for meeting new people and learning something new every day helps to provide residents with a quality lifestyle at every level, which is reflected in awards received over her career — Manager of the Year, Property of the Year, Leasing Professional of the Year and Rising Star, Highest Closing Ratio for the Year, and more.

Inspired by the challenges her 5-year-old autistic daughter has overcome, Tessa strongly believes people can achieve anything no matter how hard it might be. She adores spending time with her family — her daughter and 3-year-old son — is passionate about Autism Speaks, and loves a good spa day.

Favorite quote:

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you ever imagined.” — Dr. Seuss

NOELLE BUI

Noelle Bui is inspired by the simple notion that bringing happiness to others in authentic ways makes all the difference. As a Regional Manager, this extends to every interaction she has with residents and co-workers, whether it’s creating lifestyle enhancement opportunities at her communities that generate a greater sense of purpose or sharing ideas with teammates to help them surpass goals.

Noelle’s 20-year-plus record of achievement and success in property management throughout Texas and beyond has garnered significant recognitions, including being awarded Property Manager of the Year and several Best of the Best Awards, as well as being honored Community Volunteer Chairperson. In addition, she also is a certified apartment manager through the Texas Apartment Association and serves as an outreach volunteer for JDRF.

When not inspiring others to be their best, Noelle savors time with her family and friends, and likes to travel, attend her children’s sporting events, and spends time outdoors.

Favorite quote:

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it does not change you!” — Fred DeVito

JOSH ADAMS

As Regional Manager, Josh Adams provides oversight for a team of community managers, ensures support for the overall property team, maintains physical assets and financial performance of properties under his responsibility, and acts as a liaison between operations and asset management/ownership.
With 14 years of property management experience in multiple markets, Josh has cultivated an appreciation for thoughtful, strategic thinking and collaboration with teammates and residents. Valuing exceptional customer service, active listening, and serving as a solid support system for his communities, Josh strives to end each day better than it started for himself and residents.
An outdoor enthusiast, Josh enjoys spending time on his motorcycle or snowboard, or fitting in a good workout or travel adventure.
Favorite quote:
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

CARIE GROUT

Carie leverages more than a decade of onsite property management experience to her role as Regional Manager for Birchstone. She believes in authenticity and loves to find ways to empower her onsite teams where they shine the most. Carie strives to provide residents with highest level of customer service, thrives on creating strong personal connections and is known to get right into the mix to help her teams succeed.

DAVID GINGRAS

David Gingras serves as Regional Maintenance Director, where he oversees a strong, reliable service department that consistently follows best practices and procedures. Establishing preventative maintenance and asset preservation programs, empowering service teams to provide the very best customer service to residents, and training and developing service team members to grow within the industry are just a handful of responsibilities under David’s leadership.

David has been in the property management industry for 30 years. Starting out as a part-time porter, he cross-trained in a number of areas over his career, such as leasing and management, but discovered his passion was on the maintenance side of the business, where he appreciates opportunities to be creative and implement ideas for efficient operations.

During the Gulf War era, David served in the U.S. Army. Family is his inspiration, and he enjoys spending time with them whenever possible, especially for some fun by the water.

Favorite quote:

“The distance between dreams and reality is action.” — Unknown

MARIA STARTSEV

Maria Startsev is a certified public accountant who serves as the Controller for Birchstone, where she is responsible for ensuring the accurate presentation of financial information. Managing the month-end process for the multifamily portfolio includes reviewing and approving payments, overseeing accounts receivable, collections, budgeting, and financial reporting. In addition, she works extensively with property management and leadership to conduct, research, and explain budget-to-actual variance analyses.

A sincere passion for people, real estate, and excellence paired with diverse experience led Maria to join the Birchstone team. Her knack for creating order and process out of complicated data extends from her serving as a corporate assistant controller and audit manager in other relevant industries.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is driven by opportunities that contribute to her growth professionally and personally. Before crunching numbers, being a mom is her No. 1 joy, as well as living life to the fullest with an appreciation for exercise, travel, and exploring new adventures.

Favorite quote:

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt

CHRIS WILLIAMS

As a highly skilled technical manager with more than 10 years of experience in troubleshooting and repair on electronic systems, Chris Williams brings a quality level of knowledge and expertise to his role as IT Manager for Birchstone. His responsibilities include designing, developing, and implementing an IT infrastructure that ensures key business strategies and processes enable enterprise growth and flexibility. In addition, Chris provides tech support and services corporate- and portfolio-wide, as well as creates and monitors data management and storage, dashboard management, and more.

Coming from a student housing background, Chris gleaned from the importance of a quick and accurate turnaround on projects, along with an understanding that support is key to success — a mindset and ability that strongly benefits Birchstone’s multifamily communities. Over the course of his career, he has programmed and managed more than 900 devices, including Dell, Apple, HP, Synology, and Ubiquiti products, and completed over 500 preventive and corrective maintenance procedures for the U.S. Navy.

Chris received CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ certifications, and also is certified in computer networking and circuitry. He is inspired by being part of a career-driven company, brings a stand-out energy to his team, enjoys spending time with his family, and is proud he’s mastered how to grill a great steak.

Favorite quote:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein

ALYSSA ANDERSON

In her role as Executive Assistant and Office Manager, Alyssa Anderson provides support to the President and executive team, and manages projects and the day-to-day operations of the corporate office. Being a natural problem-solver and having an appreciation for details ensures everything comes together seamlessly, such as supporting ongoing tasks of office management and helping the team stay on target with their goals.

Inspired by seeing people pursue their purpose in life with passion, Alyssa is motivated to be part of a fast-growing company that places emphasis on people and their development. She finds great satisfaction in serving her team well and making an impact with her administration skills in any area that betters Birchstone.

Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Louisiana State University. For fun, she likes to travel to new local and out-of-state places with her husband, discover new brunch spots, and hike with her goldendoodle, Daphne.

Favorite quote:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

NICOLE ZDEB

Nicole Zdeb comes to Birchstone as a dedicated, creative, and adaptable human resources leader with core strengths in employee relations management and development, strategic planning, recruiting, and more. In her role as Director of People Support Services, Nicole focuses on opportunities to enrich and support her valued associates; listens for creative opportunities to blend their needs and business demands; and aligns policies, practices, and procedures that support company values.

After serving nearly 25 years in the human resources field within various sectors of hospitality, retail, in-home healthcare, and property/casualty insurance, Nicole brings a plethora of expertise and award-winning success to Birchstone, including the Manager of the Year award for the Marriott Bridges to Work Foundation. She graduated from Roosevelt University with a bachelor’s in business administration and received an associate degree in hotel management from Triton College.

Nicole is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Dallas SHRM, as well as a volunteer for KaBoom! — a nonprofit that creates play spaces for children. In her free time, she loves to read, cook, play softball, and find a good adventure, whether that’s kayaking into sea caves, jumping off a cliff into the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean, or visiting Pompeii.

Favorite quote:

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan

KATIE STORK

As Director of Leasing and Special Projects, Katie Stork oversees the rollout of various services and software to ensure the Birchstone leasing team is equipped with the best tools for achieving successful velocity goals and the best skills for creating positive residential experiences. Known for her agility within the industry, Katie easily adapts between different departments and asset types, allowing for genuine teambuilding and project collaboration — an aspect of her job she thoroughly enjoys.

Katie brings a strong leasing and marketing background to Birchstone, most recently serving as Regional Marketing Director, where she oversaw a portfolio of 25 properties in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. She began her career as a leasing professional eight years ago and was quickly promoted after a successful lease-up for a 712-unit property undergoing renovations.

Katie graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor’s in commerce (major in marketing), and regularly participates in Apartment Association of Greater Dallas events to stay connected with industry peers. For fun, you can find the Notre Dame football fan cheering on her team, exploring nature, or hanging out on a patio with friends.

Favorite quote:

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” — Lou Holtz