Jose Maldonado has sat at six different desks since joining Dream three years ago. Over that time, he has taken on roles in various parts of the growing company, including with the debt team, Dream Global, Land & Housing and, now, Dream Unlimited.
Jose loves the opportunity to move around and learn. “You’re able to get your hands on anything,” he says. “It’s been beneficial to get to know the REITs and the different parts of the development business.”
Born in Ecuador, Jose came to Canada when he was 12 years old, grew up to study Corporate Finance at Laurier University, and interned in the corporate banking division of two Canadian banks, where he gained exposure to the mining and real estate sectors. When it was time for him to join the workforce, the few companies still issuing debt and equity were mining and real estate. “I wanted to do banking at another level, so I looked at mining and real estate companies to get industry exposure,” he says.
|Director, Development Finance & Treasury
Jose had a great opportunity with Whiterock, which was then acquired by Dream. This was a welcomed acquisition by Jose, who now works as Director of Development Finance and Treasury.
Amongst many other responsibilities, his role entails managing and overseeing the finances for Dream Unlimited, making sure the company has the capital to finance operations, and setting expectations.
One of Jose’s favourite things about the company is its entrepreneurial spirit. “I’ve never seen a company that’s so driven, so able to take risks. The riskiest thing you can do is not take risks,” he says passionately. “There are very few companies that are able to step out of their comfort zone that easily.”
Even as the company has grown immensely, Jose feels that it has gotten even more entrepreneurial. “Senior managers are empowered to make their own decisions,” he explains. “The people I work with have the tenacity to go after deals and chase them.”
But it is not only senior managers who are empowered by the company’s structure: “It’s very rare to see a company where a co-op student can go up to the CEO or CFO and tell them what they think,” says Jose, describing Dream’s corporate structure as flat and open. “It is very motivating for someone to have that kind of impact.”
The ability to have an impact is another aspect of his job that Jose truly appreciates. “We make decisions every day that affect thousands of people,” he explains. “We have discussions that will create a community for thousands. [Building better communities] is not something we say just to be nice; it’s actually what we do and we can see our direct impact.”
That purpose and impact are constants amid a sea of changes, but Jose sees that change as Dream’s best asset and biggest challenge. “Some people have a hard time adapting to change when they’ve been doing the same thing for a long time.”
But he also remembers a period of time when, during an office transition, a group of newly hired executives were sitting in a corridor “right by the bathrooms,” which to Jose said a lot about the company and the executives’ desire to be there. “We were all bumping elbows at small desks, but even then we’d all have lunch together.”