Who makes up the team behind Heritage Properties? Next up in our recurring blog series, “The People of Heritage Properties,” is our Senior Accountant, Katie Donahue.
An integral member of our team, Katie joined Heritage Properties almost six years ago as a Staff Accountant with the goal of finding a supportive environment where she could grow and invest in her career.
“Before I came to Heritage, I was working in public accounting and felt like a cog in the machine. When I began my job search, I knew that I was looking for a smaller, private company that could allow me to make an impact,” Katie explains. Although she didn’t have prior experience working for a property management company, Katie was interested in Heritage Properties for its collaborative environment and emphasis on teamwork. This feeling was reaffirmed during the interview process, where Katie recalls how easygoing her conversations were. When she interviewed with our Vice President, Chris Petersen, she could tell that his priority was the “success of the many, not just the few.”
After officially joining the team, Katie says she immediately felt welcomed and encouraged to succeed. “Most of the staff that I worked with daily were tenured, so their passion for Heritage Properties showed. I always speak of the Heritage Properties family, which sounds so cliché, but in my experience, it really is a family,” says Katie. “In both my personal and professional life, I have had wins that have been celebrated by my co-workers, as well as losses that have been comforted. Before Heritage Properties, I had never worked in an environment that was so welcoming and strived to help you reach your potential,” says Katie.
For Katie, this potential at Heritage Properties feels “limitless.” As a member of a small local team, Katie finds that her day-to-day role is dynamic – allowing her to learn new skills and grow. Katie began her career at Heritage Properties as a Staff Accountant in 2016, and since then has been promoted to Senior Accountant, which has not only strengthened her management skills, but also given her a major role in developing and improving company-wide accounting processes. “My future growth at Heritage is limitless, as it’s based on the opportunity of new projects that I can be added on and learn new skills from.”
As Senior Accountant, Katie explains that her role follows a cyclical pattern from month-to-month, finalizing financials in the first two weeks, and closing activity during the last week. This monthly organization allows Katie to spend the third week of the month working on additional projects or researching ways to improve or expand upon company processes and procedures. It also enables Katie to develop her relationships and management style with other members of the accounting team – which are who Katie thinks of when she reflects on Heritage Properties’ mission statement of “putting people first.”
“As I don’t work with tenants on a regular basis, ‘putting people first’ inspires the way that I interact with staff on a daily basis, specifically the accounts payable specialists that I supervise,” says Katie. Prior to joining Heritage, Katie had not been in a managerial role. Over the last six years, Katie remarks that she has been dedicated to fostering her own management and training style to best prioritize her team, exceed expectations, and continually put them first.
Receptive and resourceful, Katie explains that she has evolved her management style to ensure she is acknowledging a variety of learning styles. “I recognize the way that I process information is not always the best way for someone else to learn a new process, so I always try to explain things in multiple ways,” explains Katie. This line of communication and extra level of consideration is incredibly important, as Katie finds that not only does it encourage others to reach their goals, but it fosters the same community of support that she was searching for prior to joining Heritage Properties. “I think it’s important to consider the specific ways that the people we interact with on a daily basis process information, so that the message is supportive, clear, and they always feel respected and acknowledged.”
Outside of work, Katie loves to spend time in nature and stay active. With her husband and 5-year-old golden retriever, Katie enjoys a daily walk or run, trying out local spots, and searching for new items at her town’s candle making shop and street market. When she’s not off exploring, Katie enjoys settling in at home with a favorite show. “Downtime usually includes watching Only Murders in the Building and Workaholics or reading the latest book in my book club!”
Thank you, Katie, for all your incredible work and for the support and encouragement you always bring to our team!