Published On Jul 23, 2019 in
Leadership & Development and PECO Culture
Our Woman Leader of PECO for July is Dawn Stamper, Vice President of Property Management / Tenant Relations. Dawn joined Phillips Edison in 2007 as the Assistant Director of Property Management. She was promoted to Director of Property Management in 2008, to Senior Director in 2014 and to Regional Vice President of Property Management in 2017.
In 2018, Dawn was charged with leading one of PECO’s newest and biggest initiatives focused on enhancing the company’s customer service. At that time, she took on the role of Vice President of Property Management / Tenant Relations and now leads the company’s efforts around providing a superior customer experience to our tenants.
Dawn is active in Phillips Edison’s PECO NOW program and serves as a mentor to associates throughout the company through Phillips Edison’s PECO University Mentoring Program. Outside of work, she is active in the community providing financial mentoring and guidance to single mothers. We asked Dawn about her career, how she overcame challenges and what helped her most along the way. She also shared some tips for success.
What led you to a career in commercial real estate and in the property management field?
Right out of college, I “fell” into commercial real estate with a real estate investment banking firm. Shortly after starting with them, it became clear that investment banking wasn’t for me, but I also managed a shopping center for the principals of the company - and I loved it! My degree in psychology really helped me connect with tenants and coworkers and meet them where they were so that we could collaborate effectively.
What helped you achieve success in your career?
Being flexible and open to change has been key. Change can be challenging, but it can bring opportunities that will pass us by if we aren’t open to them. In addition, key mentoring relationships that helped me see areas where change was necessary for personal and professional growth were incredibly important. If you don’t have a mentor, get one (regardless of what “position” you hold now, these relationships will be paramount to ongoing success). These don’t have to be a formal arrangement. Just look for someone who is interested in holding up a mirror for you to see what others see. You need to see your strengths and weaknesses so you can continuously improve and take steps toward your long-term goals. These relationships can also help open doors because they will be able to match your strengths to new opportunities when they become available.
What has been your biggest career challenge and how did you overcome it?
When I started in commercial real estate, there weren’t many females working for owner/operators that had reached higher positions. I had big goals and not many role models to follow. Finding people who were champions of women in commercial real estate was well worth the time and effort. The PECO NOW group at PECO has been great, but prior to that, finding a supervisor who wanted to add females to his team and was willing to support me during that transition period was imperative to my success.
What advice would you give to other women hoping to grow into leadership roles?
- At the risk of being repetitive, find your “friends.” It’s easier now than it’s ever been before to find women in real estate. Reach out to them and talk with them (even if your only access point is on social media platforms like LinkedIn).
- Build bridges and never stop networking.
- You don’t have to have a leadership “position” to lead. If you have new ideas, make sure they are well thought out and then make them heard. Write blog posts or just share your ideas by posting on LinkedIn.
- Become an expert in your field and be willing to mentor those who are newer to your field.
- Be well rounded. Leadership skills aren’t just developed in your career. Sometimes your volunteer opportunities outside the office will develop the skills that will set you up for success later.