Husband and wife team treat management staff, tenants with grace

| August 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Thomas and Julie Hurley

Owner and president, Preferred Management Services, Inc.

Ages: 62
Parish: St. Joseph, West St. Paul
Volunteer activities (Julie): Board treasurer of the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota; member and former Minnesota Councillor of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; former board member of the Catholic Finance Corporation; ad hoc committee member for various committees for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and former finance committee member, school board chairperson and chairperson of two capital campaigns at St. Joseph
Volunteer activities (Tom): Member of the board of trustees at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and St. John Vianney College Seminary, and St. Joseph parish trustee
Education: Luther College, 1977 (Julie); College of St. Thomas, 1977 (Tom)

Q: What does leading with faith mean to you?

A: JH: I believe that the cardinal virtues provide a great template for how we should conduct ourselves in business. Prudence, justice, perseverance and balance are the standards by which we can judge our daily performance and the basis upon which we can make our future goals. Leading with faith should be demonstrated in our efforts to live those virtues.

TH: I believe we should allow the teachings of Christ to be present in the decisions we make during our everyday business lives. Everyone with whom we are in contact each day needs to be treated with basic human kindness, whether it be our employees, our vendors or our tenants.

Q: How do you concretely apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

A: JH: This is difficult, in that I don’t believe that we are unique in this area. I suspect that every Catholic man and woman in our archdiocese strives to do the same. As employers, we are constantly working to improve work conditions, offer benefits and provide a just wage. For new and existing residents, we hope to be a welcoming face and to offer a kind word. For those experiencing hardship, we listen and offer the help we are able. In all cases, it is our mission to provide affordable, safe and quality housing.

TH: Our business is to provide quality housing to low- to moderate-income families. Our standard for quality and cleanliness is the same as that which we expect in our personal lives. If we wouldn’t be comfortable with our children living in these communities, then the units are not ready for lease to the community at large.

Q: Describe a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

A: JH: There are times when you hope your faith may impact someone else, as was the case for me as it related to one of our community managers. He discovered very late in his disease that he had stage 4 lung cancer. He had no family in the Twin Cities and very few friends who knew how to deal with his anguish. I had the privilege to sit with him during a couple of his chemo treatments. He shared with me that he believed it was a vengeful God who had given him cancer as punishment for his sins. While I may never know if it made a difference, my faith made it easy for me to share with him the incredible love I knew God had for him.

TH: We recently had a couple employed by us lose their 4-month-old child to a complicated disease. Although these tragedies are never fully understood, knowing that this child is now in God’s hands allows us to continue down the path of life. Their ability to deal with this situation was an inspiration for everyone in our organization.

Q: Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

A: JH: Tom and I are graduates of the Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute inaugural class of St. Paul. These classes were pivotal in my Catholic faith. There were many “aha” moments during those two years. Not only did I gain a greater understanding of our faith, but I was given the language I needed to better articulate why my faith is so important to me. The students and professors we met during those studies inspired me to grow spiritually.

Q: What achievement at work are you most proud of?

A: JH: Each of the apartment communities that we have acquired have had some sort of challenge attached to them. One challenge stands out. We were asked by a Minnesota agency to consider an acquisition of a troubled 90-unit property in St. Paul. There was significant crime activity at this property, and the physical condition of the buildings was so poor that the residents were living in squalid conditions. Our work at this property involved physical threats to our staff and quick-to-judge press coverage labeling us as slumlords. With the help of the agency and St. Paul law enforcement, we were able to do a significant renovation of the property and offer the kind of apartment living that befits the dignity of our residents. Today we, along with the city and state agency, point to this property with great pride.

TH: We provide safe, affordable multi-family housing in the Ramsey County market. I truly believe the entry-level apartment market is better served as a result of our ownership and management of these communities.

Q: In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

A: TH: In some ways our business is much like volunteering — one always receives more from those experiences than they give. We have an extremely diverse tenant and employment base. Most of these individuals have worked very hard to be where they are at. Every interaction with them reminds me of God’s desire for us to love one another.

Tags: , ,

Category: Leading With Faith