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Does Your Company Have A Great COO?


Rebecca Louie, COO at Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation shares the secret of her success and time management strategies exclusively with Legend.

Legend Magazine: How important is time management and how do you prioritize what's most important?

Rebecca Louie:

I have two kids, and a full-time job so time management is pretty much the key to my sanity. Prior to having kids I probably wasn’t always as efficient as I could be during the day because I knew I could stay late to get things done if needed. Now, every minute counts. I think this is true for most working mothers – they tend to be some of the most productive people I know.

And, it’s very important to be able to prioritize. Wakeland has a strong reputation as being a responsive and reliable development partner. That is a value that is very important to us. We put a very high priority on making sure our lenders, investors, local jurisdictions, and other partners are responded to in a clear, timely fashion. I also check in frequently with our CEO to make sure I am prioritizing the areas that are the most important to him and his vision of where the organization should be.

Legend Magazine: What is your position and what does it involve? Rebecca Louie

I am Wakeland’s Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. This position involves overseeing the organization’s day-to-day operations so that our CEO is free to address longer-term and bigger picture issues.

Describing my position is difficult because it literally involves something different every day. I am fortunate in that I get to be involved in every aspect of developing affordable housing, from looking for new development opportunities to managing the services programs we offer residents when they move in. But, that means I never know what I will be working on from one day to the next – it’s definitely never boring! Legend Magazine: How important is time management and how do you prioritize what's most important?

Rebecca Louie: And, it’s very important to be able to prioritize. Wakeland has a strong reputation as being a responsive and reliable development partner. That is a value that is very important to us. We put a very high priority on making sure our lenders, investors, local jurisdictions, and other partners are responded to in a clear, timely fashion. I also check in frequently with our CEO to make sure I am prioritizing the areas that are the most important to him and his vision of where the organization should be. Legend Magazine: What tips would you give to someone who wants to truly be successful in their role as COO?

Rebecca Louie: Be a Jack of All Trades: To be a good COO you really need to have a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of what is going on in your organization. But, you also have to learn what to get involved in and at what level, otherwise you will get bogged down in details. Put together a great team: I’m fortunate to supervise a lot of incredibly bright people who are experts in their fields and I see my role as COO as making sure the have the resources they need to do their jobs well. And, I’m always looking for ways to increase our level of talent, either by bringing in new hires or providing opportunities for our existing staff to grow their skills. Don’t get too hung up on your job description: COO’s need to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to do whatever is needed to make the company work well. Support your CEO: The COO is there to help make the CEO’s vision a reality, by taking care of the details so the CEO is free to concentrate on the 30,000-foot view of the organization and the visionary work that they do.

#LegendMagazin #COO #WakelandHousingandDevelopment #JosephB #JosephBonner

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