Villages of Urbana general manager Aimee Winegar is a master problem solver. Every day, she finds solutions to a wide range of local residents’ problems. Winegar’s job is to manage the Villages of Urbana properties, which includes two recreation centers and more than 2,700 homes.
Winegar said on an average day she receives about 100 phone calls and more than 120 emails. They range from residents reporting missing children — or cats — to neighborhood issues involving sidewalks, fences, traffic lights, storm drains, ponds, streets and even trees.
“There are very few jobs in the world that at the end of the day you can say, ‘I helped somebody today,’ but this is one of them,” said Winegar. “I love every minute of it.”
Winegar said the best training [for the job of general manager] was being a mother of four kids. As a mother, she learned about multi-tasking, budgeting, and prioritizing, she said, adding that working as a general manager uses the same skills but on a bigger scale.
Before working at the Villages of Urbana, Winegar was employed as a full-time manager for 10 years for a community in Montgomery County, which gives her 30 years of experience working in the community management industry.
Winegar said that one of her most memorable calls was when a resident called at 10 p.m. from England. He had just arrived in the country and had suddenly realized that he had not closed his garage door before leaving home to travel overseas. She felt glad the staff could secure his home before he was robbed, she said.
She and her staff of five have also had to retrieve skateboards, wedding rings and small pets that had fallen into storm drains. “We are a great team,” she said.
Winegar spends her mornings going through requests for attention, and in the afternoon she tracks down what caused the problem and figures out how to solve the issue.
Another duty for the management company involves organizing festivals throughout the year, including the Spring Fling, the Fall Festival and the Urbana Music Festival, which is slated for this month. (Flip to page 20 for more information on the Urbana Music Festival.)
“Events are an essential part in managing a large-scale community,” she said.
Those extend to pool parties, tennis camps, infant massage classes, crafts and swimming lessons for children and Zumba and yoga classes for adults.
In addition to managing activities, her team will supervise the installation of 300 new plants, including 100 new street trees, in the community by the end of June. “We have a very busy summer season,” Winegar said.
Winegar, who lives near Gaithersburg, also volunteers her time by serving on the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities. As a Montgomery County Commissioner, Winegar helps to resolve conflicts within community associations by trying to understand both sides of an issue and finding common ground.
“Listening is a big part of that,” she said. She also uses her skills in conflict resolution in her job as general manager of the Villages of Urbana.
Winegar grew up in New Mexico and attended Bringham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she studied English and communications. She moved to the East Coast about 30 years ago.
In her spare time, Winegar enjoys reading and spending time with family, including her two grandchildren. “I absolutely adore being a grandma,” she said.
Winegar’s personal philosophy for community management is to conserve resources, preserve values and serve the residents. “Those are the values that I bring to the table,” she said.
And she said she looks forward to her job as general manager every day. “I feel very blessed to be here,” she said, and added, “It’s never boring.”