‘Lara lives and breathes the culture we’re working so hard to instil at Gateway. She’s positive, energetic, knowledgeable and hard-working’ Kate Dodsworth
Lara began her career in Leasehold Property Management, moving onto working with service charges, and finally Development, Sales and Marketing as a Graduate Project Officer (her current role). Lara has worked in most parts of housing - from the initial concepts on paper, through to the handover of homes and day-to-day management. This has given her the invaluable opportunity to engage closely and continuously with diverse teams across the housing sector. Being in a medium sized housing association like Gateway has helped Lara develop an excellent understanding of social housing. At Gateway she is never too far removed from either the caretakers or the CEO.
Lara is a truly solution focused professional - no challenge is ever too much, she embodies the Gateway culture. She finds ways to lead colleagues and consults to work together with our team to deliver exceptional results. She cultivates brilliant working relationships at all levels across the business. She’s a firm believer in being pro-active often visiting her colleagues’ desks to discuss challenges and resolve them immediately, as opposed to sending emails! She’s a one-woman silo breaker!
Lara makes a conscious decision to lead by example. She’s the ‘go to’ person for many people across the business, a positive influencer, who is always willing to help or give advice. Recently, Lara was commended by colleagues in the Residents Services Department, for being collaborative and demonstrating great leadership skills.
Lara is passionate about making a difference! She loves to influence and help to improve processes.
Here is an example: for a long time the housing sector has managed affordable rented tenure homes. However, things are changing and outright sale and shared ownership tenure has progressed from being a ‘niche’ part of housing, to becoming a dominant tenure in the sector. Using her background and experience in Leasehold Property Management, Lara has helped to build capacity and improved knowledge on leasehold issues, across the business. She coaches different teams on dealing with leasehold queries. And, with very little support, she has arranged for capacity building training for staff. She’s also carried out resident meetings to empower leaseholders on their rights and responsibilities. She is a great advocate for both sides of the fence in navigating this path (i.e. empowering leaseholders and helping them to understand their rights and empowering colleagues to understand Landlords' responsibilities to leaseholders). Recently she was nominated by a leaseholder for a ‘WoW’ award, because of her efficiency and great customer service.
Lara is self motivated, a self starter – with a lot of potential to improve further. She has invested in developing her career in housing at a very young age! She self-enrolled onto a Real-Estate Master’s Degree alongside studying to become a qualified development surveyor, through the RICS APC Project Management pathway.
"I am entirely convinced that in the next 5 years, Lara will play a vital senior leadership role in the industry. She is committed to housing and very proud of it too." Becky Utuka, Director of Development & Sales.
Watch this space here at Gateway we know Lara deserves this award as she is proving a real young leader here at Gateway.