CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
For the past 17 years, Jacquie Seymour has worn a number of hats at Hendricks Commercial Properties and held several critical roles in building HCP into what it is today. While her path within HCP has changed, her goal to work hard, grow the company and impact communities has never changed. Since being hired as HCP’s director of finance in 2005, she’s spearheaded the creation of new departments and now serves as the company’s chief operating officer. But she’s not stopping there. Jacquie hopes to continue being a leader and pass down her knowledge to all HCP employees to keep the momentum going for years to come.
What in the world were you doing before you came to work with HCP? What was your first job?
Most recently, I was working for Blackhawk Bank in the HSA department. The bank wanted to be the pioneer in the industry by housing all Health Savings Accounts in-house and I helped spearhead the initiative. I have years of banking and finance experience, so when the opportunity to join the Hendricks team as director of finance came up, I jumped at the opportunity to grow in my career.
So far, how has HCP been different from your previous work experience(s)?
Hendricks is similar my previous employer in the sense they are very supportive of people’s growth opportunities and understand they have a personal life, too. The difference, however, is the level of collaboration between departments and divisions at HCP. We work to get a task accomplished no matter what. We may all run around at deadline time to get things done but that’s just it, we work together to make the deadline and get sh** done!
What is your HCP Legacy? Where did you start, and how did you get to where you are today?
II started out in 2005 as the finance director. My job was to obtain financing for new purchases and refinance at any time to help support additional cash flow for the company. In the past 17 years I have worked to grow our documentation and closing department from the one-person finance director to a team of individuals that reviews contracts and is the internal closing department on purchases, sales and refinances. I stepped in and worked with accounting during the company’s search for a CFO and I shifted again to establish a Risk Management department as we began to take over our insurance program in house. I ultimately, over the past two years, took on the role of overseeing operations – getting things to mesh between departments.
How did I get to where I am today? NEVER SAYING NO TO AN OPPORTUNITY. I was never the one to say, “That’s not my job”. I may have thought in my mind, ‘how in the heck am I supposed to do this?’ but I worked hard to try and accomplish the requests that came my way. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed but I never let those failures stop me. If anything, I grew more from those experiences.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love watching football and enjoy any time I get to be with my family. We love seeing how HCP and GHG have impacted our communities and honestly enjoy going to the Geronimo establishments in all the locations.
We say to “embrace the freedom to do amazing things”. What is the most amazing thing you’ve accomplished in your time here?
I think the most amazing thing I have accomplished here is starting a new department from the ground up. We had very little experience in managing our own insurance. We started by simply reading insurance contracts to get a better understanding of what we contracted for. We pushed back and asked questions our third-party insurance providers, admitting we were asking because we simply did not know anything. My team and I soaked in all knowledge.
I have been told by some insurance brokers that our company knows more about insurance than their other clients and even more than some of the insurance brokers themselves. I think this is amazing because I remember when Rob Gerbitz said, “hey we are going to take this on in house—it’s just a contract and you love to read contracts.” I thought he was nuts but, in the end, it is so exciting to see where we took the department.
What is your favorite saying from the HCP Manifesto, and why? How do you apply it to your everyday?
We Make an Impact is my favorite.. I feel it is a direct link not only to our communities but also to me personally. I am so proud when I go into our businesses or properties and see how we have changed the lifestyle of an area for the better. I personally will be forever be grateful for the Impact this company has had on my life. I have been able to raise a family while also achieving my career goals. The company and our employees have been there for me during good and bad times and have helped me grow as a person. I don’t know where I would be today had I not accepted the position way back in 2005.
In your career, what is next for you?
My next journey for my career is simple. I want to teach people what I know so that my past 17 years of work here can be shared. I want people to see my successes and failures so that they can keep building on those long after I retire. (Hey, I am not that old so hopefully this is a long-time teaching !!!!)
If you had to pick a favorite property/project in our portfolio which one would it be and why?
I love all of our projects but most recently my favorite is probably Bottleworks District. I remember thinking this project was nuts. I am more conservative than most and it scared me. Looking back now I can’t believe the work it took from all departments to get to where we are today. The project is a great example of our Ultimate Objective - honoring history and making an impact to our communities. It stimulated growth in not only our company but other tenants and vendors and stimulated growth in our employees as we ventured into things like tax credits that we had never done in the past.
Give us your best “elevator speech” for anyone thinking about joining HCP.
You will grow so much as an individual once you work for HCP. The energy you feel as you walk in the door permeates throughout our buildings and our employees. Wherever your path takes you don’t say no, try anything.
What are some words of wisdom for anyone on their journey to create their own HCP Legacy?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Being afraid of the unknown can also be exciting as you see what an impact it can have not only on the company but also your life.
If HCP were a celebrity, who would it be and why?
Good question and not 100% sure --- obviously marketing is not my strong point.
List one HCP employee benefit/perk that’s made an impact on your life and why.
The ability to have a flexible work life has made a huge impact on me. I remember having to punch out of lunch to pick up my son at 3-4pm to turn around and come back to work for one hour because I did not have transportation from his kindergarten to his daycare. Having the ability to not only finish my last hour at home to get the work done but to also then go to baseball and football games (I mean when will schools realize just because their day ends at 3 others are usually 5) was a huge impact on my family. I felt like I could be there more for the little things in life that matter and still have a career. I knew time with my kids would go fast as they grew and being able to be a part of their important functions is something I will always be thankful for.