Vice President, Legal, The Rose Corporation
Sector: Private Sector
Magic Moment: Finding times and moments to self-advocate for what you know you can do. When you can sit at a table and say ‘I think I am capable of this; Give me the chance to show you.’ Those moments are terrifying but have led to some of the best forks in the road of my career and my life. I usually just repeat to myself that the worst thing that can happen is they can say ‘No’ and I’ll be in the same position I would have been had I never asked at all.
Katherine Latimer: Katherine encouraged me to just keep asking questions. She saw questions as doing two things (1) giving me a chance to really learn and make sure I understood so that I could turn out really strong work product that met the goals of the team, and (2) as a way to understand what someone else might want and why they might want it – this was often powerful in negotiations; if instead of saying ‘we won’t agree to x’, she taught me to say ‘can you tell me why x is so important to you’; this led to learning about the other person, sometimes they realized it wasn’t important to them, or that what was important to them we could achieve in a different way.
Jessica Sisk Roehle: Jess gave me the freedom to pursue what I thought was right. She often said ‘Don’t come to me with problems; come to me with ideas and solutions and a plan on how you will implement them. She helped me begin to think about problems as things I was empowered to solve, instead of things I need to present to her to solve. She gave me a lot of leeway to put ideas into action. She gave me room to both succeed and fail. In doing so she let me hone my leadership skills and let me understand the consequences of taking risks in trying to make changes and achieve goals.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Affordable housing is a major crises. But understanding how complex and multilayered it is will be critical to tackling it successfully. It’s not just ‘set rent control’ or ‘stop building condos’. It’s everything from financing requirements for new developments, construction costs, labour costs, insurance costs, planning process bottlenecks, navigating incentive programs at multiple levels of government without any coordination between those different levels. There’s mental health issues, there’s the definition of what affordable, there’s cost of living issues. Working together for holistic approaches instead of short sighted quick fixes is necessary.
On Championing Others…: Working collaboratively instead of combatively to achieve goals. The industry is both big and tiny. Over the years we will work together over and over. Treating each other with respect, with compassion and with honesty should be a baseline for all interactions.
Secret Talent: I’m amazing with cranky babies. Hand me one, and it will be cooing or sleeping soon after.
One word that captures you: Enthusiastic. I am generally excited about life, about learning new things, about making things happen.