When I was little, whenever my sisters and I would start to talk about what we wanted to do when we grew up, my dad would say to us kids, “I don't care what you do as long as you make a positive impact on society”. I didn't know what the heck he was talking about, but over time that resonated a lot more with me and has become a core pillar for me personally as I think about my own work and also now raising my own two boys. If you can do something that has a positive impact on society, you’re doing good work. For me personally, if you can BOTH have a positive impact on the world while also being part of a world class team and business, that continues to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
My journey in real estate started at 20 years old when I got my real estate license in Boston. I inched along learning, reading, trying, failing, succeeding sort of all at once. I graduated in 2003 with a finance degree and moved to New York City thinking I’d be there for a year and then move home to the Pacific Northwest where I grew up.
But I actually got deeper and deeper into real estate learning about transactions, how real estate owners make money, pay for their projects, get investors, work with banks, hire teams and I ended up working in commercial real estate in NYC for about 8 years really mastering the craft. I had roles doing acquisitions (buying properties), asset management (growing the value of those properties once they have been purchased), and sustainability (making those properties more energy efficient and valuable over the long term).
After learning the real estate industry for 10 years, I felt that technology could have a profound impact on making the world a better place. It could enable construction, real estate, and the entire built world to be more efficient, more sustainable, and more productive.
Mastery, autonomy, and purpose
So, in 2012, I launched Honest Buildings with a mission to bring the construction industry online to accelerate progress in the built world. My co-founders and I committed to building technology that put the customer first.
It was a staggering amount of work but all towards a bigger mission of really having a positive impact on the built world together. Alongside an amazing team, we spent the next eight years growing it to be the leading purpose built project management platform specifically built for real estate owners and actually also funded by some of the largest owners and developers in the world as well.
And then, in 2019, we were acquired by Procore. I don’t say this lightly. Selling your company is no easy decision, and there isn’t a playbook out there for founders to learn from. But from the first meetings to today, it has truly felt like Tooey and the entire leadership team at Procore valued the long-term impact of myself and the team at Honest Buildings. They created a clear onboarding path for our team to truly be a part of Procore. Within just a few months it genuinely felt like we were one team chasing one big dream of connecting everyone in construction.
Because of this, myself and a huge percentage of our team are not only still at Procore, but have continued to grow our careers with bigger and bigger challenges and responsibilities. For the last two years since the acquisition, my role at Procore has been primarily focused on creating and scaling the Owner stakeholder group globally. Much like growing Honest, this has been really about working hard to support the absolute rockstar team at Procore that is dedicated to having Procore be the ultimate platform for Owners globally in addition to GCs and Specialty Contractors.
Though it’s been a HUGE amount of work, we have grown the Owner business leaps and bounds from where we started! Today, the Owners organization at Procore has an incredible leadership team with members from almost every department at Procore. I feel humbled and proud to have helped get it going, but thinking back to my dad’s advice to always have a positive impact, it is time for my role to change.
My new role as entrepreneur in residence
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve taken on a new role as Entrepreneur In Residence at Procore where I get to help entrepreneurs and CEOs of companies in the proptech ecosystem scale their businesses with the help of Procore. Over my career, I’ve grown to love the process of entrepreneurship; the process of taking ideas, scaling them, funding them, growing amazing teams to execute against them, working with advisors, investors, and the public to achieve great outcomes. It’s something I have now spent the better part of a decade doing (after a decade in the real estate industry). Today I feel that I have a unique opportunity to help Procore by giving back lessons learned from that experience to those in the Procore ecosystem.
By lending our knowledge, experience, and networks to these up and coming founders and companies we have a chance to truly enhance the global Procore community in a unique and differentiated way. My Entrepreneur In Residence role is dedicated to working with our partnership teams, strategy teams, product teams, revenue teams, and finance teams to identify founders and entrepreneurs that we could help scale their businesses and in turn continue to grow the Procore ecosystem.
This is a part of the Procore platform that today is not well known, but in the future could be transformational for us as we continue to build out a true community across the globe and have a way to help founders and their teams achieve their dreams faster and bigger than they ever believed possible. The Procore platform is not just technology but instead a formula comprising technology, culture, and entrepreneurship. The combination of these parts can help so many of the founders and CEOs of the next up and coming companies accelerate their entrepreneurial journeys to scale.
I’m really excited about where Procore is today and how much impact that we can all have on the built world of tomorrow. It’s also incredibly gratifying to be able to leverage my experiences to have a continued impact at Procore, in the companies I’ll be helping scale, and through this accelerating our collective impact on the built world. I think my Dad will approve.