“Life transformation is real, and it’s beautiful, and it’s what God has called us to do.”
- Ethan Fernhaber, President
An understated man with a quiet, gentle voice, Ethan Fernhaber is not the stereotypical corporation president. Renewing Management - his employees and the residents of his apartment communities - is clearly his passion. “We purchase, renovate and operate apartment communities across Indiana,” he says, describing the nature of his company. “But that’s not really what we do.”
What Ethan and his 100+ employees really do is what separates Renewing Management from the competition in a myriad of ways. The mission of Renewing Management is to restore hope by transforming communities across Indiana. With 17 communities currently from South Bend to Evansville, the mission is being accomplished one life at a time.
Partnering with the Community Care Network, Renewing Management designates Community Builders onsite in each apartment community to welcome new residents, plan four events each month, and serve and connect to their neighbors.
“We see people gathering together through this program,” says Ethan. “Whether it’s to offer free tutoring for students, or gather together for a bike ride, or even something simple like a pizza night or snow cone truck, we want to spread joy in the lives we touch.”
Gardens & Green Space
When Renewing Management purchased Eastway Court in 2016, there was an aging outdoor swing set. In addition to a new clubhouse, Renewing Management constructed a new top-of-the-line playground area, dog park, outdoor fire pit and Community Garden. “It’s become the centerpiece of the community,” said longtime Eastway employee Wanda Horn. “It really brings people together.”
Renewing Management plans to construct Community Gardens in all its communities. For a modest fee, residents plant a portion of the raised beds with vegetables, herbs or flowers. Many comment on how therapeutic it is to care for a garden even while living in an apartment. The Gardens allow for residents who might not ordinarily interact to help each another, watch plants grow and mentor one another, across racial, economic or cultural lines.
Real impact happens with transformed lives. John Gammon, a resident of Chapel Hill Apartment Community, is one such life. Formerly incarcerated, John’s life was changed by his faith in Jesus while in prison. Now, he is Renewing Management’s Director of Re-entry, helping former offenders re-engage life outside prison, with their heads, hands and hearts. The Asset Team members receive a job, housing in a Renewing Management community, job skills and mentoring in a loving, forgiving environment. The Asset Team is a community to love those who need restored hope. Through this program, many have broken generational cycles of poverty, addiction and incarceration.
Renewing Management focuses not only on physical, vocational and social well-being, but also on emotional and spiritual health for the residents and employees who choose to participate in monthly events, including Bible studies, prayer, and worship. “If the heart ain’t changed, nothing changes,” says John Gammon. While help with practical needs and a social network certainly helps eradicate loneliness and bring joy, true transformation starts within.
“At Renewing Management we acknowledge hardships and victories together every single day,” says Renewing Management’s Vice President and co-owner, Amanda Warren. “We want to give the best, most efficient service because the housing we provide is a sacred space for our residents.” Since 1997 Amanda has worked in nearly every facet of the apartment industry, and holds three professional designations. Although she works tirelessly to provide top-notch, innovative operations, her focus is still all about relationships and making sure that residents and employees are supported and successful. “We are so grateful for the people we serve, both internally and externally,” she says. “Every employee is helping create and shape our impact by living out our core values and mission.”
Employees participate in monthly Wellness Challenges to promote healing and growth. Focusing on both personal and professional development, points are awarded for participation. The company book club, online learning or physical fitness initiatives, flex learning muscles and promote unity. The Happiness Committee meets quarterly to discuss employee engagement, company culture and innovative ways to correct inefficiencies. By creatively showing employee appreciation and promoting Joy as a core value, Renewing Management employees enjoy real relationships and growth opportunities.
In 2019, desiring to do more to help residents and employees of Renewing Management to thrive, the non-profit foundation Renewing Communities was formed. Now the foundation partners with schools, churches, and community organizations to leverage creative, grass-roots ideas for community betterment. “We want to empower people to engage in something worthwhile,” says Renewing Management’s Melissa Spells.
Employee Support & Engagement
Renewing Management’s team of people are dedicated to what Renewing Management really does. “We have the best employees in the state of Indiana,” Ethan says simply. “It’s all about helping people see their full potential - what God created them to do.” His employees, like Melissa Spells, agree.
“For the first time in my life I truly love my job, and I really love the company. When we say Renewing Management is transforming communities across Indiana, that is truly what we’re doing.”