Always Keep Learning. This is one of Phillips Edison’s core values and we provide our team with a variety of programs and development opportunities to support it. We believe in growing our leaders from within and we allocate significant resources toward that effort. It’s been that way for over 25 years. And it’s not just a company line. I, personally, believe in, and place great value, on lifelong learning and personal growth. My wife and I dedicate much of our charitable work around education through The Edison Foundation.
It is our hope, that as we invest in our team, giving them the tools and room to grow, that they will stay with us and have a long, successful career on the PECO team. I’m pleased to say that this is often the case. Our COO, Bob Myers, joined us over ten years ago as a Leasing Agent. Senior Vice President of our REIT business, Colleen Johnson, joined us as Director of Tenant Retention and Market Research. Senior Vice President of Portfolio Management, Joe Schlosser began as a financial analyst. Dawn Stamper, who joined us in 2007 as Assistant Director of Property Management, is now our Vice President of Property Management / Tenant Relations, charged with leading the development of one our most important new initiatives related to the customer service we provide to our tenants. The list goes on. Phillips Edison has a strong track record of providing opportunity and promoting from within. This stems from our dedication to learning and cross-functional collaboration.
PECO University, the learning and development arm of our human resources team, provides ongoing opportunities for our associates to pursue personal and professional growth through individual, group and team learning events, mentoring, coaching and more. PECO NOW (Networking Opportunity for Women) is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities to women at PECO through advocacy, support and development. Our Innovation Labs allow selected associates to work in a cross-functional team to not only develop solutions and find opportunities but also grow their leadership and problem-solving skills. We place heavy importance on cross-functional training and cross-collaboration, encouraging and providing opportunities for associates to learn all areas of the business and move across teams in-line with their interests and skills.
Our leaders are expected to develop future leaders – and it works. John Caulfield joined our team in 2014 as a Vice President and Treasurer. Since then, he has taken advantage of the many growth opportunities offered to him and learned about every aspect of our business. This August, he will move into the role of Chief Financial Officer. It was a pleasure to be able to offer him that opportunity with full confidence in the outstanding leadership and technical skills that he has continued to develop over the years.
Learning is not always linear and career paths often take unexpected paths. I recently learned that a highly respected and talented associate was leaving the team. This associate had joined us as an analyst and rapidly moved up to the role of Associate Vice President. He had a bright future with PECO. The reason for his departure? He has been accepted to the MBA program at Harvard. I’m pleased for him and proud of the path he’s taken during his time with PECO. I’d like to think that the opportunities we were able to provide and our commitment to developing our team helped him reach this pivotal moment in his career growth. He may be leaving, but he is another PECO success story, a future industry leader, and part of the PECO Family. Perhaps we will even welcome him back to PECO at some point in the future. I wish him all the best.
I am passionate about our business. But I am equally passionate about our team – the people who make it all happen. I’m proud to lead an organization dedicated to providing opportunity and growth and developing leaders. Always Keep Learning.