Unleashing Potential: LaCole Gadson's Journey To Career Growth
HHHunt promises to be an employee-centered company. This commitment means committing to the well-being of each employee, empowering employees, investing in benefits, education and recognition and creating a positive work experience. Our track record is filled with stories of success as our team members advance within our organization, and our preference is to promote from within whenever the opportunity arises. We recently had the chance to connect with LaCole Gadson, Director of Operations at HHHunt Apartment Living, to hear about her inspiring journey of success.
You started with HHHunt as a Community Manager in 2010 at Abberly Village. What drew you to property management, and why did you choose HHHunt for that chosen career path?
LaCole Gadson: I stumbled into property management quite unexpectedly. A close friend, deeply involved in the field, praised it highly. When my daughter arrived, I sought a career path with room to grow. My journey with HHHunt commenced through a recommendation from another friend in the industry, and when the Regional Manager reached out, I saw it as a chance to explore something new. Given their phase of expansion and my own aspirations for growth, it appeared to be a promising opportunity worth delving into.
Abberly Village was a brand-new community when you started. Can you describe the experience of being part of a community from its inception, and how did it shape your approach to property and people management?
LG: Being involved in a community from the start wasn't new for me; having done it before at my previous job, but it was still incredibly exciting. Abberly Village feels like it's a part of me, even now. I spent five years there, learning so much about it. Building the team and molding the future of that property stands out as a major achievement. I can still see the impact I had on it firsthand. I leveraged my strong people management background to drive the property's success and applied principles such as leading by example, engagement and motivation to accomplish goals. I also led with passion, which is contagious.
You won Community Manager of the Year while at Abberly Village. This is a remarkable accomplishment. How did this recognition impact your career, and what advice would you give to someone starting in property management aiming for similar recognition?
LG: Receiving the Community Manager of the Year award was an exciting acknowledgment of my dedication. It arrived after a challenging year, complete with overcoming obstacles and managing a property that excelled in a stagnant market. My advice to those seeking recognition is simple: commit wholeheartedly to your role, and the accolades will come.
Let's switch gears and discuss your career progression with HHHunt. From Community Manager, you progressed to Regional Manager and Senior Regional Manager. Now, you are the Director of Operations. Can you share some pivotal moments or challenges that played a role in your career progression?
LG: My unwavering work ethic drove me consistently ahead from the start. I aimed to ascend to the role of Regional Manager, sustaining exceptional performance and meeting goals while effectively overseeing my community and team. Engaging with various departments, I utilized my strong work ethic and these partnerships to accumulate vital experience for the Director of Operations role. These accomplishments underscore my commitment and calculated strategy toward advancing in my career.
As the Director of Operations for HHHunt Apartment Living, what aspects of your previous roles are most valuable in your current role?
LG: As a Regional Manager, I consistently excelled in motivating and engaging team members. However, as the Director of Operations, I've needed to fine-tune my attention to details, a challenge given my inclination to think more broadly. However, I've developed strategies to overcome this through improved focus and analysis and successfully introduced policies and procedures, significantly enhancing HHHunt Apartment Living.
Managing teams is a significant part of your role. How do you approach leadership, and what strategies do you employ for team development within HHHunt?
LG: My approach to leadership revolves around fostering collaboration, open communication, and continuous growth. At HHHunt, I prioritize cultivating an environment where every team member receives support and feels valued, appreciated and empowered.
For individuals considering a career in property management or with HHHunt, what advice would you offer based on your own journey and experiences?
LG: At HHHunt, we strive for excellence and encourage our employees to share that commitment. Those who share this dedication and possess a strong work ethic will find success not just at HHHunt but also in the field of property management as a whole.
What are some of the most memorable moments or projects that have impacted you throughout your career?
LG: Several moments stand out as particularly memorable in my career journey:
- Witnessing the progression of a Leasing Consultant I hired, watching her advance over the years and ultimately promoting her to a Regional Manager position. It's immensely gratifying to witness internal growth and promotions.
- Building the dynamic office team at Abberly Solaire from the ground up to kickstart their lease-up, fostering a cohesive and capable team.
- Overseeing the lease-up phase of Abberly Village was a significant accomplishment in my career.
- Navigating the complexities of acquisitions and successfully overcoming the associated challenges.
- Evolving in my capacity as the Director of Operations, continually growing and honing my leadership skills, striving to become a more effective leader daily.
You're actively engaged in multi-family organizations, and we recently featured an article highlighting the conclusion of your term as the president of The Apartment Association of Greater Columbia, where you received the esteemed 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award—congratulations! How does your active involvement in such organizations influence and contribute to your career?
LG: Active participation in local, state, and national apartment associations has provided me with invaluable knowledge and resources that wouldn't have been accessible otherwise. Through these engagements, I've acquired training, forged meaningful relationships, and gathered insights crucial to my career. Moreover, involvement in these associations has offered me additional leadership exposure and introduced me to great role models.
LaCole, your dynamic career has been truly inspiring. We appreciate your time in sharing your insights and answering our questions.
In conclusion, LaCole Gadson's journey at HHHunt Apartment Living exemplifies our commitment to being an employee-centered company. Her story underscores our organization's dedication to employee well-being, empowerment, and career advancement. LaCole's trajectory from Community Manager at Abberly Village to her current role as the Director of Operations speaks to the opportunities for growth and success at HHHunt. LaCole's leadership approach, dedication to team development, and active involvement in multi-family organizations further demonstrate the positive work experience we aim to provide at HHHunt. As we continue celebrating success stories like LaCole's, we reinforce our desire to foster a thriving and fulfilling workplace for all our team members. We invite you to learn more about careers at HHHunt.
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