Courtney Bjorgaard Housing Initiative Lead, South Shore Chamber of Commerce
Year you entered your current field? 2016 What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months? My greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months has been taking the South Shore Chamber’s 2030 Housing report and putting it into an action plan. It’s easy to talk about what needs to be done. It’s tougher to come up with the plan to implement some of these bigger changes to help businesses and communities plan for the economic future of the region. Check out our work here: www.southshore2030.com. Who or what do you attribute to your success? Nobody can do it all on their own. You have to find people you can trust, to lean on and to go to for input and advice. We have a lot of fantastic professionals across the South Shore that I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with to make things happen. Following through, showing up, asking questions, being open to new ideas, working as a team, looking at issues from all perspectives to try and work toward a solution. What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? It’s all about relationships. Treat people with respect, be prepared and be thoughtful in the delivery of your message. Who are some leaders that you admire and why? ?I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of fantastic business leaders throughout the South Shore over these past few years – many that care deeply about their communities. I’m not from this area, but it feels like I’ve been here forever. That says something about the people in our communities and the people who are involved in the Chamber and our work. They are thoughtful, open-minded, flexible and passionate about their business and they want to see people succeed.
David Ellis Managing Partner, Ellis Realty Advisors
Year you entered your current field? 2006 Who or what do you attribute to your success? I attribute a lot of our success to participating in team sports from a young age. I think there is a lot to be learned from sports including teamwork, selflessness and perseverance. Not to mention a healthy competitive drive. What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? Be a sponge. Take everything you see and do as a learning experience. You will face countless obstacles and eventual failure but if you can learn and adapt you will persevere. If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth? I have spent the last 2 years working with a professional business coach and former real estate brokerage executive. He has helped me build perspective on a variety of situations and initiatives. We talk about everything from life to time management to detailed business initiatives and decision making. I would recommend everyone in this business have a mentor/coach of some kind, no matter how successful they are. What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months? The strategic partnership/acquisition of The Business Exchange (TBX). This expands our presence in our market and greatly augments our service lines and team.
Kevin Teller First Vice President, CRE Loan Officer, Cambridge Savings Bank
Year you entered your current field? 2010 Who or what do you attribute to your success? My parents provided a great amount of consistency and support throughout my childhood. They always encouraged me to work hard, while trying new activities and exploring new ideas. Both of my parents led by example, getting up each day and going to work, while still always finding time to be present both physically and emotionally. Consistency, as they displayed, is a trait that I try to embody, and when employed, is very well received. What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? Network with an attitude of genuine engagement – not with the mindset of “What can I get from this person?” When meeting new people, engage in thoughtful conversation and show genuine interest in what they have to say. This approach results in forming deeper, more meaningful and lasting relationships. I have learned that you never know where new business will come from, but relationships come from listening, keeping an open mind, and showing genuine interest in others. Who are some leaders that you admire and why? Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) is a shining example that a company can create a great product or service, while really prioritizing its employee base. Patagonia has been at the forefront of employee engagement tools, offering expanded maternity and paternity care, on-site daycare, access to outdoor activities, etc. In addition to offering these services, the company stresses that their employees make full use of them, resulting in a more engaged workforce. Mr. Chouinard created a culture that has out-lived his tenure at the company and has proven that a successful company can be run with a focus on employee engagement and wellness. If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth? I have worked directly with Michael Lindgren, executive vice president, chief lending officer, for the past 9 years. Michael has been extremely generous with his knowledge of commercial real estate and is a consistent mentor— always pushing me to accomplish more. Michael has taught me, both directly and by way of example, how to embody CSB’s “Always you.” philosophy of “treating every customer like they’re our only customer”, when interacting with clients, vendors, colleagues, and even in aspects of my daily life. In particular, Michael’s encouragement to take on additional responsibilities and truly “own” everything I am working on, has helped me to learn, grow, and continue to advance my career.