Veda Florance-Hawkes is one of two Regional Portfolio Directors at the Better Housing Coalition, overseeing 20 property management and maintenance staff who work across 10 senior and multi-family rental communities totaling 791 units. Being a portfolio director requires the ability to think strategically in managing the performance of both staff and properties, while having an eye for detail. It also requires quick thinking and flexibility as different situations require. As Veda says, “There is never a dull day in the life of a Portfolio Director, which makes it enjoyable for me.”
Veda was hired in 2006 in BHC’s accounting department, and has seen myriad changes in her job and the organization as a whole in her 15+ years at BHC. We sat down with Veda to learn what keeps her coming back to work every day:
Q. Veda, why did you choose BHC as your employer?
A. I had worked at several nonprofit and for-profit organizations before coming to BHC, but I can truly say BHC cares and that makes all the difference in the world. When I was hired in accounting in October of 2006, I told Audrey (my boss at the time) that I wanted to be at an organization that made a difference in people’s lives, a place where I could grow, and remain until I retired. It has been 15 years and 3+ months, and BHC has allowed me to grow continuously. From accounting I moved to property management. In property management I was promoted from Assistant Property Manager to Property Manager, then Senior Property Manager and Portfolio Director. The sky is the limit if you open up to opportunities that are presented to you.
Q. What motivates you in your work?
A. Better Housing Coalition continues to make differences in people’s lives each and every day – from the youngest to the oldest which fills my heart and my personal mission of helping. You never know how much where you live can change your life until you approve that rental application and then see that person and their family grow, or a senior resident able to age in place. Changing lives doesn’t stop with our residents alone – it also flows to the employees. I have worked with so many people over the years and have seen them grow in their positions and get promoted to new positions at BHC. Sometimes, they move on to other employment opportunities – but BHC laid the ground work.
Q. What do you like to do in your free time?
A. Over the past two years COVID limited the types of activities we could do, but my family is my pride and joy. Spending as much time as I can with them brings me so much happiness. I also like being out in my yard, dabbling with my flowers and gardening or just relaxing with a glass of wine. In 2021 my life changed a lot due to my husband’s stroke in March. Eventually he was permanently placed in a rehabilitation center, but my family members and adopted families (BHC & Church) have been there for me with help and prayers. I am thankful for another day and a good place to work.
We’re thankful for Veda’s passion and dedication to our mission, staff and residents!