Today we sat down with Konica Butler, one of our company’s most dynamic leaders to talk about faith, work, and property management. Konica is the property manager for one of our largest property in the portfolio. You don’t want to miss the insight she shares. Check it out!!

Raw Transcript:


it’s so funny that you ask me because i


watch cnn and


i look at some of the things on tv and


so i try to process what’s going on


and one of the things to me is empathy


so um usually when i throw a word out


there i have to really go look it up and


make sure i understand the full


meaning of what empathy means and it’s


the ability to understand and share


the feelings of another um and i know a


lot of


people say well i don’t understand but


you have the ability to understand




so you know we we talk a lot at stone


table about faith work


the connection between the marketplace


and the mission of god in the world and


um you know how our everyday jobs are


sacred things


we consider you know our work sacred


we’ve had this


history i think in the church of


separating sacred jobs and secular jobs


but we


we don’t think that’s what scripture


teaches we think that scripture tells us


that all


all work is sacred and so um


i guess i want to know from a property


management standpoint


you’ve been doing this for a lot of


years even before you were at


cloverleaf how do you see what you do


and what your team


does through that lens um


you know how does your faith i know


you’re you’re a woman of faith


how does your faith impact your everyday


work managing


424 units of apartments


well um the funny thing about it is you


actually have to have faith to bring the


love of god to a community


you have to lead with your faith to even


to bring the love of god so


i have my team we try everything to


leave with love


we try to leave with dignity and uh


we try to lead with respect and um i


took the moment


over the years i’ve looked at the word


faith and one of the things that stood


out to me in one of the words


because we pledge our life to god and


um when i decided to get into this


business i decided to pledge my life to


this business because


um somebody believed in me they took the


time out to have the faith in me


and i understand these residents um i


was a single mom


i had two kids by the time i was 22. i


was on section 8.


um so somebody had to have enough faith


in me


to say hey it won’t always be like this


it will turn around so that’s how we


lead this team and i always tell people


that’s on our section 8 because out of


my portfolio i have 200 some


section 8 in one area so i always tell


people this


is not a death sentence you’re not made


to live off of the government


you’re here as a stepping stone so i use


my faith and my hope and my prayers


we’re constantly pushing the residents


forward and it’s hard to say that


because you don’t want to have a great




so but at the same token you want to let


them know hey i have a tax credit side i


have a market side


um there’s homes out there that they’re


building there’s more to this life


instead of just generation from


generation looking forward to getting on


section 8


so that’s how we run this community


that’s how i use my faith


my hope and my love that they want to do


something better for themselves


and that’s how we do it i mean i think


that’s beautiful you know we talk a lot


here about


um you know that that people’s homes


that’s a sacred space right and so we’re




our work is to interact with people in


one of the most sacred


spaces uh in their lives you know and uh


we we talk a lot about washing feet




and and being high quality providers of


affordable housing


and none of that happens unless we have


the kind of heartbeat that you just you


know described there


so i think that’s beautiful can you tell


us i i


i know you you have story after story


i’ve heard some of them but i i tease


you guys a lot that


one day you’ll be able to write books


probably on some of the stories that


you’ve unpacked after


you know decades of property management


but i don’t tell us the story of how


your team has been able to


positively impact a resident’s life




through the work that you do um i’ll


just throw that out there


i’d love to hear a story one of the ones


that stand out


to me the most is um i hired


a young lady that was on section 8 and


lived on this property for 10 years


so when i became the manager here i


watched her come in and she used to go


through the paperwork she would even


correct this they let me know she was




what we were giving her so she was just


not living on section 8


but she was really trying to make it out


she just needed an opportunity


so one day um one of my workers was




to the corporate office and um i asked


her i said i would like to interview you


her name is


marina and um she said you want to


interview me


she said i’m on section 8 i said but i


see more than


your current situation i see that you


can be


i believe in surrounding myself with the


team that


want to do what i want to do i said so i


see a little more you just need an




so um i hired her i


made her she went from making 11 bucks


an hour to


you know making some more and um and i


kept pushing her to be the best


in that area to even to the point for


now she works with quad


l and she’s probably on tripled her


income so


i feel like when you work in this


position you have the opportunity


to give back so that’s me giving back to


somebody else


i’m deciding to reach back and pull


somebody forward


and so we do that all the time in this


you know


amongst my team we’re constantly


reaching back and i hired my parents to


do the cleaning


but i also asked them to reach into the


community they’ve hired some people


on um out here in the community to


clean the office to help with the


hallway so to me


that’s showing the love of christ yeah


that’s using my faith that they’re gonna


do their best


and that’s also reaching back to pull


them forward so that’s to me how we pour


love into these residents i love that


uh marina yeah she’s with quadel now


yeah she did an


incredible job for us uh for yeah that’s


that’s a great story


um well i i know one one of the


conversations i love that you and i have


been able to have and you’ve


you’ve really helped me over these last


four or five months


um it’s been a difficult season for our




um you know we’ve had a lot of


conversations a lot of


i feel honest conversations i hope you


feel the same way about


the racial tensions in our country and




and how really i i hope we can use these


moments to to understand and move


towards one another


right rather than to separate and and


run away from one another


so i i guess i would love some of your




maybe for other faith-based


organizations or just for organizations


in general


um on how we can better come alongside


our african-american leaders right now


in this season


and i know you and i have had some some


fun conversations about this some deep


conversations about this and


um and you have really helped me


through uh just processing some of these




so i just wondered what you might have


to share with other leaders or other




you know in in this season it’s so funny


that you asked me that because i watch


cnn and


i look at some of the things on tv and


so i try to process what’s going on


and one of the things to me is empathy


so um usually when i throw a word out


there i have to really go look it up


and make sure i understand the full


meaning of what empathy means


and it’s the ability to understand and




the feelings of another um and i know a


lot of


people say well i don’t understand but


you have the ability to understand


if you really search your heart you have


the ability to understand what i go




and i’m reminded and i’ll probably get a


little spiritual um about


um there’s a scripture in the bible i


want to say it’s romans 12 and 15


you rejoice when other people rejoice


and you weep when they weep


um and i’m also reminded about something




um when jesus in the bible when mary her


brother lazarus died


um i love that story he um and she came


to god weeping


and mighty who he is he could have stood


there in almightiness and say hey don’t


worry about that i’m going to raise him


from the dead


don’t fret stop crying but what he did


he showed some empathy and he began to


weep he became the weak and understand


her concerns


and that was his fellow brother so


that touched me so mightily so when


somebody of the opposite race


asked me can you weep with me can you


understand do you


actually have the ability do you have


the potential to understand what i’m


going through


you may not want to march because i’m


not marching i haven’t gotten into all


that yet


but can we have a conversation can we


have a conversation


and the first step into understanding




it’s funny to me it says it’s really


impossible i wrote something down so let


me read it


it’s really impossible to tread into the


lives of hurting people without getting


our hands dirty


yeah and i’m not mean physically getting


your hands dirty but


conversation there’s no right or wrong


answer for us to have a conversation


i may not speak about other


companies but i can speak about this one


and you have started the conversation


with me


you begin to have empathy you actually


have the ability to


understand what i’m what my people are


going through


you know you can weep with me you can


watch tv


and feel a sadness in your heart


that that shouldn’t be not judgmental


not looking back on their history but


you can actually


sit there and have some empathy


no that person didn’t need to die like


that right


so that’s what i could say


um community companies can do have some




really show and one more thing um i


think sometimes


i said why white white counter uh




um you don’t know what to say and we as


black people i’m just gonna be real with


you we know the difference


we know the difference if somebody is


really trying to show their heart


or somebody is trying to pacify the




really trying to pacify the situation


and um


as i begin to think about this i’m


reminded of another


scripture oh another parable another


story in the bible


when jesus was walking through the crowd




the woman with the issue of blood she


touched him well his disciples says what


do you mean father what do you what do


you mean there’s a lot of people that’s


touching you


but the difference between her touch she


drew strength he knew


was different so the difference between


you having a conversation with me


you’re drawing strength for me and i’m


drawing strength from you


i know there’s a difference you’re just


not somebody in the crowd


trying to make me feel good you’re not


just somebody in the crowd touching me


but you actually are letting me know


hey i’m here i’m here i


i just want to listen i want to talk i


want to learn


and that’s what it’s going to take for


all of us


to move forward in this country


that that’s beautiful in so many ways


you know i think what i’ve experienced


from you


is uh a return of that empathy


you know and i and i think the the hard




i think for some white folks like me too


is is you either don’t engage because


you don’t know how to engage or you’re


afraid to engage right


or you you turn what should be


a human interaction into some kind of


issue with checklists and checkpoints


and i think what i have enjoyed with you


and with some of the members of your


team over the last few months


is um is what i ho what i feel is


is some mutual humility and i think


that’s what moves us towards one another


when we can realize


gosh i i don’t think i have


racial bias in my heart but i know i’m a




and without god’s grace who knows what’s


hiding down in there right that i need




that i need to deal with and so i i’ve


just appreciated


our conversations and i hope we have


many more on how we can move


closer to one another even when we don’t


maybe see eye to eye or understand


things exactly


when we can humble ourselves and have


that empathy that you talked about i




uh it gives god and the gospel a chance




to renew and regenerate and do something


beautiful that we can never do


on our own so i i want to thank you um


just for for sharing with us a little


bit here today uh


you’re an inspiring leader kenika and i


i’m not just saying that i mean you


do a great job you do great work and


we’re grateful for you here and thank


you for


um honoring god and loving people


through the work of your hands


i know some days it’s easier than others


some days we probably feel like we’re


doing it better than others


um but that’s uh that’s the beauty of


god’s grace at work in our lives so i


just want to thank you


publicly uh for the beautiful asset


that you are to our company what we do




thank you so much i appreciate it i


appreciate the opportunity


i really do and um and this is something


that helps move


the community forward i mean i do have


several african-americans that are here


and that are women they get to see


there’s somebody in this role


that can love the lord they can sit


there and tell you the truth


and be honest with you so sometimes we




in the black community we need to see


more examples and we need to be our own




and if god keeps giving me the strength


i plan to be that voice


for that you are that thank you


appreciate it so much


thank you so much you