Employee Spotlight: Erin Griffin
CAHEC has been around for over 28 years, and part of the reason we’ve been so successful is because of our great partners and residents. The other part of our success is directly attributed to the CAHEC staff, which now includes 44 people. To recognize employees for their hard work and dedication to our team, we’re kicking off a series of Employee Spotlights so our partners can get to know our team members even better.
Erin Griffin, our VP, Finance and Operations, recently celebrated her 20-year anniversary at CAHEC. She currently oversees multiple divisions, including Finance & Human Resources, Communications, Operations, and CAHEC Capital. Erin has had a front row seat to watching CAHEC grow into the syndicating powerhouse it is today. She started in January 2000 as an Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper. “I was so excited to join CAHEC it didn’t matter what my title was,” Erin explained. “There were no departments at CAHEC when I started, so one of the first projects I participated in was creating departments and revising titles to better align with a position’s functions. Soon after the Finance & Administration department was created, I was promoted to manager.” Later on, Erin was made Vice President of her department and now leads a team of nine people.
In the beginning of her career at CAHEC, Erin’s role was a lot different. “When I first started, we were a smaller company, so I oversaw Human Resources, CAHEC accounting, equity fund accounting, marketing, and operations. I was very hands-on and in the trenches.” Over time, information technology and Community Investments were also added to her department. “Performing all those functions really gave me a true understanding of CAHEC as a whole. I laugh now when I think back to when I used to produce our newsletter and I’d stay late to print them and bring copies home to fold in half for mailing the next day.”
One of the challenges of being at a small employee-sized organization is finding and communicating growth opportunities to staff. Early on, Erin realized that moving up the org chart wouldn’t be the way she expanded her career. “Dana truly helped coach me and helped me learn that growth comes from within. I realized that there were so many opportunities as CAHEC grew, and that is still true today. My biggest advice for others, in any organization, would be to not just show initiative, but to take it! Look around for areas that need improvement, create solutions, and communicate your ideas.”
When you’ve been at an organization as long as Erin has, you have the opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments and milestones along the way. When asked about the most exciting things she’s witnessed over the years, Erin broke it down into four moments. “The growth of our mission and expanding our vision through CAHEC New Markets, CAHEC Capital, and the CAHEC Foundation has to be number one. Second, the growth of our staff and seeing my teammates company-wide be successful. We have a very dedicated and passionate staff and I love seeing them grow, get recognized, and/or promoted from within. Third would the evolution of our Communications and Marketing team. We have such a fantastic mission to share and they’ve done an outstanding job enhancing our marketing goals and objectives. The team has won several marketing industry awards over the past couple of years, and I am extremely proud of them. Last, our willingness to invest in technology. We’re dedicated to staying current with trends and best practices and that excites me. It shows CAHEC is serious about our value of innovation.”
Other milestones Erin has seen over the years? Watching our footprint expand from North Carolina to now covering 11 states in the southeast and mid-Atlantic. She’s also witnessed CAHEC’s portfolio grow to over 700 properties and has been part of the formation of multiple entity affiliates. Most importantly, she’s seen the growth of our employee numbers and the success each person is having in their roles at CAHEC. “It’s easy to see why employees stay at CAHEC. We have a great mission and great people working here; it’s the perfect formula. When you have great people, they want to excel and be successful by doing work that has purpose and meaning,” Erin said. “Every employee at CAHEC adds purpose to our mission. CAHEC empowers its employees and believes in investing in them. It’s important for today’s work culture to do both.”
On a more personal note, Erin will be celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary this year with her husband David. She also has two children, a 17-year old son named Tyler and a 12-year old daughter named Sydney. And we can’t forget to mention her miniature poodle fur-baby named Zeus. In her free time, Erin loves to watch her son play football. He’s been playing since he was six years old and aspires to play football in college. She and her daughter love to decorate, go shopping, and use Pinterest as inspiration for various arts and crafts. As a family, they enjoy boating and vacationing anywhere that has palm trees and the ocean.
CAHEC is proud to have employees that are dedicated to our mission and exemplify our principles and values as an organization. “I love our mission and I love working for a company where my role has meaning and purpose, one that I can actually see in action. I may not interact with our external partners or residents on a day to day basis, however I know my role plays a part in every investor commitment, property ribbon cutting, property lease up, and resident success story.” Erin explained.
Thank you for all that you do, Erin!