Holiday Parties. Are They Worth the Investment?

In its annual survey on holiday parties, global outplacement and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that 64 percent of companies are planning holiday parties this year, up slightly from 62 percent a year ago. About 4 percent of those holding parties this year are doing so after one or more years with no party due to the recession. With the economy still fragile, what is inspiring companies to take on the extra expense of a holiday party?

The most frequently cited motivation is to reward and thank employees for a successful year. Boosting morale, networking, and building camaraderie amongst co-workers were also forerunners. Ultimately, holiday parties are a strategic tool to increase employee engagement and boost your bottom line. Companies with a highly engaged workforce experience a 19.2% growth in operating income over a 12 month period and grows profits as much as 3x faster than their competitors. Having high levels of employee engagement also lowers attrition rates by 87%.

All of these statistics are strong incentives for companies to consider reinstating the annual holiday party; but if your HR department needs a bit more convincing, encourage them to think of the cost of disengagement. McLean & Company found that disengaged employees cost an organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary totaling a $350 billion loss per year in the American economy.

Leland Management has chosen to invest in their employees and host an offsite, catered luncheon annually. Through team building events mid and end year, we enjoy low attrition rates and productive employees. We have seen tremendous growth this year and look forward to another successful year.

Leland Management Announces Greg Ashworth Director of Management Development

Leland Management is pleased to announce that Greg Ashworth has been promoted to Director of Management Development. Greg AGreg has worked at Leland for over 7 years and has a degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. As a Senior Community Association Manager Greg gained experience managing large portfolio’s consisting of communities ranging from singly family home and master associations to condominium associations. In his new role, Greg will supervise both on-site and portfolio managers as well as assisting with the marketing initiatives for the company. Please join us in congratulating Greg on his new position within the Leland Management team.

Leland Management Announces Angel Alfonso Superstar

angel superstar2Leland Management was pleased to announce Angel Alfonso as a Superstar for the month of December. Angel has been with Leland for a 1 ½ years as a community association manager in our Orlando division. Prior to his employment with Leland, Angel worked for 5 years with Pulte Homes in customer relations. This customer based experience allowed Angel to thrive in his interactions with co-workers and board members. When he is not at the office, he enjoys playing golf and watching professional sports. Senior management cited his positive attitude, quick learning ability, and goal to go above and beyond as factors in his being named a superstar. Angel says the human interaction associated with being a community association manager is his favorite part of working at Leland and states “having a great attitude no matter what the circumstances are” is his definition of a Superstar.

Leland Management Announces Saria Gomez Superstar

DSC_0162Leland Management is pleased to announce Saria Gomez as a Superstar for the month of December. Saria has been with Leland for nearly 2 years as a customer service specialist. Saria has previous experience in the field having worked as a homeowner liaison with Larson & Associates, PA for 2 years. She enjoys baking, going to church and interior design when she is not here at the office. Senior management cited her positive attitude, incredible work ethic, and professional representation as key factors in her being named a superstar. Saria says the team environment is her favorite part of working for Leland and being recognized as a superstar really made her feel that her hard work and dedication to the Leland team is appreciated.

Community Shows Heart

By: Mary Chartier

This article first appeared on November 18, 2013 in The Villages Daily Sun

Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club

What an evening!

Once again, the Horizon ballroom was filled to capacity with residents, visitors from surrounding communities, many volunteers, special guests, local dignitaries and entertainers, all to raise money for the non-profit organization USA Cares, the nonprofit group that provides financial and advocacy support to members of the U.S. armed forces, veterans and their families.

As I entered the ballroom, I spotted many of the people I had spoken to at last year’s event and decided I would walk around and ask what motivates them to work so hard and volunteer so many hours for this cause.

What I learned over the course of the evening is that the reasons, while stated differently, all come from the same place – the heart.

I spoke to Bob Carter of the Veterans Association planning committee, and asked, “What drives you to be so passionate about this event?”

“What drives me is the fact that 100 percent that is raised from the event goes to the veterans and their families,” Bob answered.

I chatted with Dennis Demshar, president of HoneyBaked Ham in Lady Lake, and asked if this fundraiser would become an annual event.

“Yes, it is going to be an annual event,” Dennis said with emotion.  “This is my passion.  I am committed to USA Cares.  Every year we are going to continue and get stronger and stronger”.

“Are you going to provide the food again this year?” I asked.

“This year we are going to have our own honey-baked ham, turkey, baked potatoes, steamed green beans, we have a great dessert, salad and all the trimmings,” Dennis said.

The evening began with welcoming remarks by Carter followed by the presentation of colors, Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the national anthem, and a wonderful invocation.

During dinner, I spotted entertainer Norman Lee and asked, “What is it that motivates you?”

“I bleed red, white and blue.  Anything I can ever do for our young men and women who serve this country, man I’m there”.

“I sing a song, and I preach the gospel, but these people are laying down their life on the line.  They are willing to give everything to keep this country safe,” he continued.

Norman gazed around the room with admiration in his eyes and said, “Look at all these people.  Every one of these people, every single one of these people donated their time, every one of these people paid for a ticket”.

“Hey, this is America; we all stick together, and when one is down, by God, we’re there to help,” he said with emotion.

Once dinner was finished, Richard Sobieray, USA Cares representative for Central Florida, spent a few moments welcoming visiting dignitaries, thanking all the residents and volunteers who contributed to the event’s success.

“We can’t thank the residents of Del Webb enough.” Richard said.  “You guys have been absolutely wonderful to us and we appreciate it”.

Richard went on to say that it was an honor to work with USA Cares for what they do.

“The September figures, for example, for the state of Florida alone, they have granted over $522,000 to Florida clients.  There are approximately 2500 clients here in Florida and (they have) saved 553 homes”.

Time arrived for Bryan Anderson, guest speaker and spokesman for USA Cares, to come to the stage.  As he did, the audience came to its feet and gave him a heartfelt welcome.

Bryan survived an improvised explosive device attack, losing both lets and left hand while serving in the Iraq War.

“Thank you for the unbelievably warm welcome,” he said as he looked out into the audience.  “First off, I just gotta say, thank you all for coming.  I look at this right now, every year, as a tradition – something that I have to go to.  You guys are my family now, and I just appreciate it,” Bryan said.

“You can be sure that there are soldiers in Florida that got to keep their houses, got to keep their lights on and, got to feed their kids at night,” Bryan said.  “I just have to say, it is all because of you.  It is touching to me”.

The rest of the evening was filled with Norman electrifying the audience with his boundless energy, beautiful voice, leading everyone in rousing renditions of patriotic songs and conducting an auction that both mesmerized and entertained everyone in the room.

Thanks to all these wonderful volunteers donating their time, talents and goods, the event raised $20,000.


USA Cares representative Richard Sobieray; Dennis Demshar president HoneyBaked Ham of Lady Lake; Jennifer Simpson USA Cares Kentucky; and Bryan Anderson, USA Cares spokesman, take a moment before the third-annual HoneyBaked Ham charity event.  The event, sponsored by the Del Webb Veterans Association, was a big success.

Leland Management Helps Spread Holiday Cheer

wordpress collageDECK THE HALLS (and cubicles)

Leland Management is getting into the Christmas spirit. Our team is transforming the Orlando office into Santa’s Workshop and giving back to our community. This week, Leland has collected two boxes full of toys to donate to Nathaniel’s Hope Toy Shop.  This program provides free toys at Christmas to special needs children whose families are in financial need.

From the Leland Team: We Wish You A Holly Jolly Holiday Season.

For more information on Nathaniel’s Hope Toy Shop please visit:

Help Your Neighbors Out, Organize a Community Tool Library

Clip Art Graphic of a Hammer Tool Cartoon CharacterHow often do you need a pressure washer? Or a leaf blower? And how often do you use that electric cake mixer? Tool libraries answer this dilemma by creating a space where neighbors can donate rarely used appliances to share. Times are hard and home ownership can be expensive. Sharing with your neighbors can help alleviate some of those financial burdens and help curb delinquencies in assessments or ongoing covenant violations.  Check with your board of directors or clubhouse manager about a space that can house your tool library.