My name is Judith Centanaro, and I am a proud daughter of immigrants. I grew up in property management. My parents managed a 150 unit apartment complex in Los Angeles, CA. My dad was the maintenance man, and my mom helped rent apartments with her broken English. My mom would say "this job is golden! We have a place to live, work and raise our family" They always reminded me to be grateful to call this my homeland because I had opportunities they did not have back home.
When I was offered to work for Liberty on Camp Pendleton, I did not only see it as a professional opportunity but an opportunity to give back and show gratitude for all that my parents had told me to be grateful for growing up.
I started my journey with Liberty in February of 2019. I came with a background in conventional property management, Car Auction Sales, and the Veterinary field. I started at San Onofre as the Assistant District Manager, was promoted to District Manager of San Onofre II,/III, and in December of 2021, was promoted to District Manager of Mesa.
Jill Dorflinger gave me my first task.
An active service member residing in our community had escalated many complaints regarding the cleanliness of his street and neighbor issues. I was tasked to drive through his street once a week and address anything needing attention. I would follow up with a weekly call to check in with the resident and ask if there was anything he needed. He seemed never to be satisfied, but I continued on my weekly rounds as I had been tasked. One day as I was on my weekly routine, I had to get out of the car to pick up a piece of trash that was blowing across the street; a woman approached me and asked if I was the one that followed up with her husband weekly. I said yes and introduced myself. She said to me, "that piece of trash you are picking up means so much to me" She shared with me that her husband suffered from severe PTSD and should be retired, yet he remained in the service because serving his country was his passion. She said his PTSD started years back when he was in Afghanistan; he and his unit were driving down a road where an insignificant piece of trash was seen blowing across the road. This was tethered to an explosive, and the results of driving through it were catastrophic. This spouse told me this story with pain in her voice and tears in her eyes. She thanked me for my weekly rounds because they were much more than picking up trash. I was removing a trigger to his PTSD. This was a pivotal moment for me. I now was finally giving back, I was now serving in a more impactful way than I ever imagined. That service member had made a sacrifice, and so had his spouse. I had been privileged with this task to serve a family that was suffering. I now was going to show my gratitude to my nation and our service members from this day forward. This is what the Mission statement means to me. "To provide our military families with exemplary service in a quality home environment" The entire mission statement embodies our purpose here but much more than that!
We are all in the position to directly impact our military families, serve those that serve us and be a part of the fabric of this great nation. I encourage you all today to find the moment that made you proud to be a part of Liberty, serve our families and be grateful.
Thank you for allowing me to share my Liberty story.