Resident service technicians crowded around a bright yellow racetrack, cheering for Pinewood Derby cars crafted with electrical terminals as exhaust pipes, doorstops as steering wheels and adorned with Lego Batman, National CORE’s logo – and one even done up as The Obliterator.

Welcome to CORE Wars.

The annual competition drew more than 200 RSTs and Capital Improvement team members, the first event held since COVID-19. What started as a small observance has become an extravaganza of games, prizes and good food. RSTs from all over Southern California and Texas met at the Jesse Turner Community Center in Fontana in August to celebrate their profession.

Tom Kulinski, director of maintenance operations, said he wanted to ensure that the first CORE Wars under his leadership was memorable.

“I wanted to make sure that each RST felt appreciated and had a fun day away from their properties,” Tom said. “I am very familiar with the day-to-day tasks that the RSTs go through so this event was put together to recognize all their hard work. I look forward to creating the next one!”

Maintenance staff members crowded around game tables for a chance to hastily put together vinyl flooring, assemble and disassemble water pipes as well as meticulously wire light fixtures. The winners of each game were handed VISA gift cards.

Also at the celebration, employees who had reached their 10-, 15- and 20-year marks were honored with special T-shirts customized with their names. Each resident services manager also recognized their hard-working technicians with a certificate.

Resident services Managers and CapEX team members also raced their own cars – Aaron Armstrong, director of Capital Improvements, took home the title as winner among his competitors: Robert Noeth, Tom Kulinski, Bill Miller, Mike Minser, Joe Fabela, James Vale, Jesus Caseras, Beau Hendrix, Carlos Diaz and William Marlar.

Angel Agudo, a Capital Improvements technician, won the Pinewood Derby, edging out finalists Francisco Garcia, Jose Moreno and Donald Robinson.

Angel said the event gave employees the chance to just have fun and experience a new setting outside of the properties they tend to.

“Something like CORE shows us that the company does care about their maintenance staff,” Angel said. “To see everyone out of their element and competing like this and enjoying themselves is a good thing. The enthusiasm in the room was so cool to see and really uplifting.”

With the help of these sponsors, we gave our maintenance staff a memorable day:

  • Serve U Property Solution
  • Matrix Construction Services
  • EmpireWorks
  • Lincoln Jacob Construction
  • Advanced Environmental Landscape
  • Fire-N-Ice
  • Sherwin Williams
  • CS Investigative Services, Inc.
  • Dynamic Environmental Services
  • Interior Logic Group Property Services