Michael E. Jones, RPA, LEED GA, was born and raised in Prince George's County, Maryland. His mother was a elementary school teacher in Prince George's County Public Schools for close to 30 years before she was diagnosed with ALS and passed away in 1997. His father was a graphical engineer at NBC News for over 30 years, before succumbing to diabetes and congestive heart failure in 2009.
Before his junior year at Bishop McNamara High School, located in Forestville, MD, Michael had his first 'life-changing' experience, when he won a scholarship from Reader's Digest to become an international exchange student with Youth For Understanding (YFU). Michael chose Denmark as the destination that he wanted to seek out. Living in a foreign country, with different customs, language and culture can be a terrifying experience. Mr. Jones took it as a challenge and he became a stronger, more confident person as a result of this experience. It also helped him to start 'thinking outside of the box'.
The following year, Michael was selected as an intern for Maryland Lt. Governor, Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend, eldest daughter of the late senator, Robert Kennedy. This was a fascinating experience for him. His second-cousin, Hazel O'Leray, was the US Secretary of Energy during this same time period, so Michael really became impressed with the duties associated with 'serving the people'.
Mr. Jones graduated from high school in 1997 and decided to attend the University of Virginia in the fall of that year. After transferring schools and taking off from school for a few years, Michael graduated, with Cum Laude Honors, from Old Dominion University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), with a concentration in Commercial Real Estate Investment & Finance.
Fortunately for Michael, he was blessed to receive a job offer, with a major commercial real estate services firm, a few weeks before college graduation. He started off as a Lease Administrator with the now defunct GVA Advantis. He had been promoted to Property Manager, to manage an 11 building portfolio that sprawled across the entire Hampton Roads, Virginia region, before the company went bankrupt and out of business in the summer of 2009.
When Mike's only living parent passed away in October 2009, he decided it was time for a change of scenery. The commercial real estate market in Virginia was very challenged as a result of the Great Recession. Therefore, he choose to relocate to the Bay Area, in order to restart his real estate career and to live closer to his only sibling, who had already been living in San Francisco for several years. Every time that Mike visited the Bay Area, before moving there permanently, he always told people, "It's hard to explain... The Bay Area just feels like home to me, as if this was my home in another life. I can just be myself here."
In high school, Michael used to volunteer at summer youth camps that were operated by the Maryland National Capitol Parks & Planning Commission (MNCPPC). In college, he participated in the Big Brother program. Because of the responsibilities that come with obtaining a job after college, including paying back student loans, Michael took a short break from volunteer work for the first few years out of school, in order to focus on his career.
Michael's first job in California was as a Special Projects Coordinator & Facilities Safety Coach for Sutter Health. He worked closely with the CEO of Sutter's East & West Bay regions. While working there, he obtained his CA real estate license and CA Notary Public commission.
While getting acclimated to the new job and area, Mike decided to start volunteer coaching youth basketball at the Stonestown YMCA's in San Francisco, CA. This was a fun way for him to become engaged with the community and 'give back' to the community again.
Thankfully, several people that he met after moving to the Bay Area were instrumental in guiding Mike to several opportunities where volunteer service in the community was truly appreciated and needed. Therefore, he became more involved with the Bayview YMCA, which is located in a very disadvantaged part of San Francisco. He mostly coached girls and boys basketball, from the ages of 6 to 17. As well, he became a mentor for a couple of students, per their parents request. This was the most satisfying, proud experience that Michael had participated in since his volunteer days in college.
In June 2014, Michael accepted an offer as Assistant Property Manager, to assist in managing the Clorox Building, a 24 story, Class-A high-rise office building, located in downtown Oakland, CA. While there he obtained his LEED Green Associate credential. The education for this program is overseen by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). When the theories from this education are applied properly in practice, green building technology and techniques not only save energy and significant amounts of money, but it also allows for creating a much cleaner, natural environment, in many ways.
After the Clorox Building was successfully converted from a single-tenant building to multi-tenant building, in addition to re-obtaining a LEED Platinum certification and completing activities to prepare for the sale of the property, Michael started to explore opportunities to move up the ladder, as he learned over time that this field came naturally to him.
In July 2015, he accepted a position as Assistant General Manager at Bayfair Center, a nearly 1 million square foot shopping mall in San Leandro, CA. This was his first opportunity to use his position of influence to show corporate social awareness to the community where the property was located. "Corporate social awareness is paramount to the continued stability and success of our economy, in the long-term." says Jones in a recent press release.
During his tenure at Bayfair Center, Mike was able to secure several 'free community events', including the Alameda County Food & Toy Drive, quarterly fashion shows hosted by local radio stations, Easter Egg Hunts, sensory-friendly events for children, children's concerts and several other events. All of the parents and children were able to participate for free and many won free prizes.
Michael was also able to introduce a high school internship program to the property and create volunteer opportunities for local high school students as well. He successfully worked with San Lorenzo Unified School District to create office internships for 4 upcoming seniors, where they were able to get experience in everything from marketing to managing an office, over 6 weeks, during the summer of 2016. He also worked closely with students from San Leandro High School, including hosting car wash fundraisers, offering free space for indoor fundraisers, giving career day speeches, providing volunteer work that counts towards school credits and providing informal college/career counseling.
Although Michael loved managing Bayfair Center, due to its various challenges, he was contacted by Legacy Development, through his San Diego based headhunter, in December of 2016, and was presented with an opportunity to do what he loves, commercial real estate asset management, only 5 minutes from home, at The Streets of Brentwood. This was a dream come true for him, because that is not a luxury that many people in his industry ever gets to experience.
After agreeing on terms with Legacy, Michael took over as General Manager of The Streets of Brentwood in January 2017. During his first 15 months there, he was able to bring multiple free electronic vehicle car charging stations to the property, became a Girl Scout Cookie Sponsor, threw a Trunk-or-Treat event that brought in over 2,500 people to celebrate Halloween and participate in a Brentwood PD public safety fair, acquired one of the largest seasonal ice skating arenas in northern California, held a Christmas Tree Decorating Concert for local elementary schools, included schools from all grade levels in the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, gave free space to and accommodated an independent jazz band made up Heritage High School and Adams Middle School students and held the Bay Area's largest Easter Egg Hunt (12,000 Easter Eggs) & Games event, in which over 1,200 kids we able to participate completely for free.
As soon as Michael started working only 5 minutes from where he lives in Brentwood, he reached out to locals in Brentwood to find out opportunities for additional community service, outside of work. He was fortunate to be invited to the Rotary Club of Brentwood and after several visits, became a member in March 2017.
In Rotary, Michael has found an avenue to continually discover new opportunities to 'serve', on a regular basis. He has been a science fair judge for Brentwood Unified Schools, volunteered for charity events like the Turkey Trot for Schools, co-directed the Kohl's Back-to-School Charity event and participated in handing out free dictionaries to local elementary school 3rd graders.
Although be became a member of Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in 2014, he took on leadership roles in 2018, where he is currently Chair of the Membership Committee and on the Board Nominating Committee for the East Bay - California chapter.
The Streets of Brentwood was sold to Fairbourne Properties in June 2018. As part of the transaction, they asked Mr. Jones to stay on with the property and promoted him to Senior General Manager. In July 2018, Mike earned his Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation, which less than 10% of his professional property manager colleagues ever obtain, nationwide. In their August 2018 issue, 110 Magazine listed him as one of the top male entrepreneurs in the area. He was appointed as a Director in the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce in August 2018. As well, he is currently in the process of being voted in to the Board of Directors for the Brentwood Police Activities League (PAL).
Michael has always been known as an individual that gets along with most people and tries to make situations 'win-win' for everybody involved. He believes in producing results, not excuses. One of the most impactful moments of Mike's adult life was when he was summoned as a juror for a 5 felony count trial, which ended up taking 5 weeks to complete. Michael was selected jury foreman and was charged with bringing 11 other fellow citizens to a consensus vote on each felony charge.
The first couple of votes would have left them with no verdicts found on any charges. Mike's tough leadership, including following the law and judges instructions, lead to verdicts being found in 4 of the 5 charges. This experience had a profound effect on Mr. Jones, as he realized that he not only had great leadership potential in his career field, but he had leadership potential in life.
Deciding the fate of another persons life and liberty is humbling. Bringing 12 people together from different income levels, different political backgrounds, different social statuses, etc., to successfully agree on something so important in life, is a sign of leadership qualities that promote crossing the isles and working with people that don't share all of the same beliefs as you.
Mr. Jones believes that, as a politician, you should never only listen to ideas from the people that voted you in office. They elected you, but you still represent ALL of the constituents in your community. Never take for granted to power of the people, especially when massed together for a common cause. No one man or woman, no matter how powerful at any given point in history, can ever overcome the true will of 'the people', when they become motivated for good reasons.
Mike Jones wants to be the person that leads this new generation of Brentwood residents into the future, intelligently and powerfully. We respect the traditional Brentwood culture and actually embrace it as a core quality of our city. The agricultural community needs to be made into a centerpiece of promoting Brentwood.
However, our elderly community needs convenient medical facilities. Our millennials need high-paying office, white collar jobs, in order to afford buying their first home. The urban limit line needs to be slightly adjusted in order to correct for past mistakes, like the daily traffic debacle near Heritage High School. We deserve our own dedicated fire department, especially considering the percentage of taxes we pay into East Contra Costa Fire District compared to all other areas in the district.
None of this is realistically possible until we build up density in a couple of key areas around the city. Why do we not have a Cheesecake Factory or Apple Store? Because we lack any 'dense' population areas in the city that create 'daytime traffic', necessary to support a business's profitably and sustainability.
Please contact our office and let Mike Jones know your thoughts on Smart Growth for Brentwood. We still have time to get it right the first time.
Let's do it together!
We've all heard the terms, "actions are greater than words" and "a picture is worth a thousand words". Click below to see pictures of Mike and some of the activities that he participates in.
Participate in the process. Local politics matter because they directly impact your community. Click below to go to the Contra Costa County voter registration site.