Twenty-one years after joining what would later become Dream, Sharlene still finds her job dynamic, challenging, and most importantly, enjoyable.
Now Vice President, Property Management, Sharlene first joined the company as a Property Manager with Lehndorff Property Management. In her long tenure at the company, which has grown exponentially in the two decades she has been on board, Sharlene has witnessed many changes but admits some things have not changed. “What we have learned from our experiences has allowed us to grow and adapt to changes, but all the while maintaining our small-company and entrepreneurial culture.”
“I’ve had opportunities to leave,” she says from her Calgary office, “but Dream is a community. I can honestly say that what’s kept me around for so long is primarily the people and the ability we all have to make a difference in the company and contribute to its success.”
|VP, Property Management
|Dream Office, Calgary
Despite the growth the company has seen, Sharlene still feels this holds true, particularly in times of crises such as the 2013 flood and the 2014 underground electrical fire and resulting power outage, the latter of which alone affected over 2,000 businesses and 5,000 people. Seven Dream-managed buildings lost power, but the team did not waste a moment to spring into action.
“We called our entire team, who all dropped everything and worked around the clock for several days on end to ensure everything ran as smoothly as possible,” recalls Sharlene. “It’s a prime example of still being able to put in place teams that understand and value each other, and ensure that our tenants’ needs are met no matter what. It always feels like you’re making a difference.”
Sharlene has been very involved in the company’s growth and purpose to build better communities in more ways than one. In 2013, she chose Inn from the Cold as a local charity for her team to support. The organization not only provides shelter to homeless families, but also offers education and help in their transition back to the community.
“When I first went to the organization, I needed to bring a list of volunteers to guarantee that we had enough to buy and serve lunch once a month,” she recalls. “We had so many people step up, volunteer, and want to help that next year we’ll commit to doing this twice a month.”
That is how Sharlene lives the Dream culture: by focusing on the relationships with those around her. “Our community is not only our personal family, but also our work family, our tenants, and our contractors. Our community is everything we live and breathe every day, which also means doing everything we can for our tenants, fostering relationships with our employees, and making sure they are happy and like coming to work every day.”