Mission Success: How Running a Multifamily Business Is Like a Team Endurance Race

Sport and construction have defined Helena Finley’s life. Listen to Laura Calugar’s heart-to-heart with EMBREY’s new executive vice president.

Helena Finley of EMBREY
Adventure racing is a multidisciplinary team sport that ties to everyday business as it involves navigation over an unmarked wilderness course, Finley said in this podcast episode. Image courtesy of EMBREY

Construction industry veteran Helena Finley started in the hotel business and got her first experience in multifamily 25 years ago. She has spent a lot of her career setting in place systems and processes to improve efficiency, most often on construction sites.

“I would strongly advise anybody going into this industry to get field experience because you really get to understand how things work and how things all pull together,” she told Multi-Housing News Senior Editor Laura Calugar in the June episode of our Mission Success: Women in Multifamily podcast series.

But among site visits, project budgets and everything that goes into her managing director & executive vice president role at EMBREY, she still finds time for an activity that has not only brought her lots of satisfaction, but it also helps her relax.   

READ ALSO: Where Is the Most Construction in the U.S.

Since forever, sport has allowed her to balance being a wife, a mother and now a grandmother. And it’s not just any kind of sport. Finley has competed in lots of high-profile events, including Ironman Texas, mountain bike, adventure races and a variety of marathons.

“Running a business is very similar to a team endurance event,” she believes. “You have to be tough, you have to absolutely love your team and you have to have tremendous stamina. You need to make very efficient, accurate decisions on the fly. You need to be able to support a teammate quietly when they’re going through a rough patch but, most importantly, the whole team has to finish strong, united and together.”

Here’s what else Finley told Calugar about her work and lifestyle:

  • What it’s like to be a woman in multifamily construction (1:12)
  • How onsite experience helps her understand her team’s needs (2:25)
  • Construction challenges today (4:55)
  • How the industry has changed (7:39)
  • Working with people (9:42)
  • The industry’s labor shortages (11:54)
  • DEI in the construction industry (13:59) 
  • Why women should pursue a career in construction (17:11)
  • The impact of sport on her life (17:53)
  • How sport and construction will continue to intertwine in her life (21:07)  

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