Family Ties: Inspiring Stories from the Multifamily Industry


The multifamily and rental housing industry has long been more than just a sector for employment; it’s a thriving community where careers flourish and family legacies are built. This industry doesn’t just provide jobs but creates pathways for lifelong careers, enabling families to put food on the table, send kids to college, and plan for retirement. With such incredible opportunities, it’s no wonder we’re seeing second and even third-generation professionals making their mark in multifamily careers.

At the heart of this industry are the families who work side by side, learning, growing, and building their futures together. These families exemplify the relational side of work in the multifamily sector, showing how close-knit and supportive the community can be. Below, we highlight several families whose stories illustrate the powerful connections and enduring legacies being created in the multifamily industry.

Debbie and Emily: A Mother-daughter Duo

Debbie Wiatrek’s story is a perfect example of a generational career legacy in the rental housing industry. With over 30 years of experience, Debbie has built a successful career and inspired her daughter, Emily, to join the multifamily and rental housing industry. Emily, having grown up immersed in the world of multifamily housing, followed in her mother’s footsteps and now works at Ferguson, a company that feels like home. Reflecting on her daughter’s journey, Debbie shares her excitement and pride, stating, “I cannot wait to see all she can do in our industry and help motivate the minds of the younger generation! We are both where we belong!” This mother-daughter duo exemplifies the deep-rooted connections and opportunities that the rental housing sector offers, showcasing how the industry fosters robust career paths and financial stability for families.

Traci and Tanner: A Legacy in the Making

Traci Hall has significantly shaped the multifamily industry as the West Region President at AMLI Residential, and is deeply involved in apartment associations across various levels. Her son, Tanner Hall, inspired by her career and the vibrant community she nurtured, chose to enter the same field. Tanner, now a sales representative at Mahan’s Flooring, Inc. (MFI), credits his mother for his enthusiasm with the industry, stating, “My mom’s success and the satisfaction she found in her work motivated me to pursue a career where I could also make a meaningful impact.”

Together, Traci and Tanner reflect on the generational continuity they have both had within the multifamily sector, while also having an influence on each other. Traci’s presence in the industry established a foundation for Tanner, creating a family legacy and bringing fresh perspectives. Tanner’s role has allowed him to build on this legacy by fostering relationships and forging new ones, demonstrating the blend of tradition and innovation that drives the multifamily industry forward.

Dwain & Valerie: Houston’s Father-Daughter Team

Dwain Capodice has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in the multifamily industry. Recently, his daughter Valerie Radla has followed in his footsteps. Now retired, Dwain reflects on this journey with pride, “It’s very rewarding seeing my daughter’s involvement in the same industry that I grew my career with while being involved in the association and most importantly building relationships that last a lifetime. In my final tradeshow, I got to have my booth right next to my daughter’s, and I felt so proud to see her be so professional and understanding of the industry.”

Valerie, inspired by her father, adds, “My dad has been the BEST role model who has spent almost his entire career growing and legislating in the apartment industry. Helping put For Rent magazines in grocery stores as a child, I never really grasped the importance of what my dad did or the career opportunities (with or without a degree!) that are available in the industry. I am excited to follow in his footsteps and so thankful for the career growth, relationships, and ability to make a change in a person’s life. There isn’t another industry like this one!”

Lisa-Marie & Devin: A Mother-Son Dream Team in Killeen

Lisa-Marie McGaughey always dreamed of opening her own Real Estate Brokerage/Property Management Company and working alongside her children. That dream became a reality with her son Devin Kelly, who now works as her Maintenance Coordinator/Inspector at MCG Homestead Rentals and Sales. Lisa-Marie proudly shares, “It is amazing to work side by side with him, and he has one heck of a sense of humor (which he gets from his mom, of course). There’s never a dull moment! The residents absolutely love him, and he always gets 5-stars on his surveys. Not only has he made me a proud boss, he has made me a super proud Mama.”

Devin echoes this sentiment, saying, “Working alongside my mom is very helpful and fun because the communication is easy, which is extremely important in this business. I make a difference in the reliability of our company. Helping her accomplish her goals has always been very important to me, and I’m motivated to do my best in the position. Seeing the progress that I’m making has made me really proud, and I can’t wait to continue growing.”

Diane, Reiney & Spencer: A Multifamily Legacy

Diane Gilbert-Guthrie’s journey in property management has spanned four decades, a career witnessed and now joined by her children, Reiney and Spencer. Spencer reflects on this legacy, saying, “Being practically raised within the multifamily industry, it has always felt like home. I grew up seeing the amazing opportunities and relationships this industry has given my mom, now my sister, and the many others whom I consider family. After watching my mom grow and succeed within her career, it was hard to not want to be a part of it!”

Reiney, who never imagined she would enter property management, shares, “Having the apartment knowledge as a secondhand language has been so beneficial in my career. Having my mom to ‘talk shop’ when needed is just so much fun now that I understand it.”

Diane, now in her 40th year, proudly states, “I have leased, collected rent, been a marketing director, managed and spent the last 27 years overseeing on-site teams and support staff. My girls have seen it all. I always encouraged them to consider property management as ‘everyone will always need a place to live.’ They have both continued to amaze me at their root knowledge of our business. I guess attending chili cook-offs, Washington lobby days, fun runs, career days, take your child to a Board Meeting and so many other events… they were watching and listening. Proud mother times two!”

The multifamily and rental housing industry is a testament to the power of connections and the opportunities for career development across generations. These stories are just a glimpse into the many families that find not just jobs, but fulfilling, lifelong careers in our industry. At TAA, we celebrate these legacies and look forward to seeing more families join and thrive within our community. Learn more at TAA Education Foundation and Room to Grow.