Employee Spotlight

Michael DaltonQ & A with Michael Dalton
Director of Operations
Properties at Wright Field

How did your career with the Air Force prepare you for civilian employment?

I spent 22 years in the Air Force, holding several positions in Logistics, Compliance, Safety, as First Sergeant, and Housing Manager.  The Air Force provided me many opportunities for training, education and leadership classes that test and challenge you daily.  Of these positions, my Housing Manager job was particularly satisfying because I was helping others by providing young families and individuals a safe place to be after working long hours serving their country.

This was my first experience in managing Real Estate — overseeing 1,200 apartment style rooms, several warehouses, and staff in addition to helping the Director provide support for 1,500 houses.

The Air Force trained me to push through diversity and challenges but instilled a sense of pride and esprit de corps that should be part of every team.  We are only as strong as our weakest link, so you must always be aware of the link and help them get stronger.  Team focus and integrity, plus 22 years of training and education has not only given me a foundation but a deep-rooted commitment and loyalty for not only the company I work for but the team I am part of.

What attracted you to Miller-Valentine Group?

Since I was working in “military” housing before privatized housing started, I became intrigued as this being a possible career outside of the military.  After working as a multi-site manager for a REIT company, I was contacted about a District Manager position with Miller-Valentine Group.

I did my research on Miller-Valentine, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Privatized Housing – I was hooked!  Miller-Valentine had a rich history in the Dayton area, tremendous reputation and Wright-Patterson was one of the first military housing projects to privatize.

Miller-Valentine Group is a “Military Friendly” employer…. What does that mean to you?

It is truly amazing the Miller-Valentine Group has been recognized as a “Military Friendly” employer for five consecutive years.  This hits me personally as a true commitment to those who give so much to their country.  Only about 10% of citizens serve this country, so a company that focuses on those who make our nation more secure is amazing.  The Properties at Wright Field’s motto – “Proudly Serving Those Who Serve” is special – helping military families who just want a stress-free move and working with a team that provides this service…priceless.

What satisfaction do you receive from your job on a daily basis?

I have the opportunity to sit down and welcome new families to Ohio and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  My ability to relate to military and relocation questions allows me to have an instant impact and relationship – “been there done that”.    I’ll ask where they are from and their current mission at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. My prior experience gives me a platform to establish a relationship based on my understanding of the stresses of a change in duty station.  I’ve been to Egypt, Saudi, Iraq, England, Germany, Korea, France and almost every state in the union – I can relate to a spouse who has a military member deployed for 9 months or 9 days.  I truly enjoy forming these initial relationships and being a friendly face and voice upon their arrival.

What advice would you give to a prospective Associate looking for a career in Property Management?

Property Management can be one of the most rewarding careers that you can have if you have the right perspective on what a Property Management “career” is, versus Property Management “job”.  A career means you are passionate about Property Management, its challenges, and the relationships you build with residents.  You have empathy when working with families.  If families live long enough with you, they look to you as a friend, not just a landlord.

According to David Liette, President, Miller-Valentine Property Management, “Michael’s success in directing the operations at the Properties at Wright Field is a direct result of his ability to hire, train, motivate and lead a great team.  Michael leads by example, through his positive attitude, strong listening skills, passion for changing lives, and commitment to excellence in everything he does.”

Visit our Careers page for a listing of open positions in Property Management as well as other opportunities at Miller-Valentine Group.