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Mar 7th, 2024

Employee Spotlight: Meet Michelle

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Throughout the month of March, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we will feature some women who work at OCH. This year’s theme is inspiring inclusion – and we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements.

Meet Michelle Parisien, Director of Tenant Experience Operations. Michelle is a great advocate for her team. She’s always asking what “mountains need to be moved out of the way” to help them be successful.

When she started at OCH 15 years ago, it was for a three-month temporary position.
Before coming to OCH, one of her early jobs was as a receptionist at a carpet and upholstery cleaning company. The owner sold the business and then came to work for OCH. Once a position opened, she followed suit.

How did she get her start?

Michelle’s first job at OCH was in operations administration. She’s steadily risen the ranks since, working in the maintenance department supporting Property Managers, moving to Digital Solutions and working on the NEC implementation, and using her leadership skills and experience to move to the management team in 2017. Aside from being dedicated to her job, she’s friendly and always willing to lend a hand.

What has changed since 2009?

“Back then, each area office had its own phone number, and callers could pick the person they wanted to talk to from a call tree or press 0. My job was to answer the 0-line calls and redirect callers to the right person,” Michelle said. “I also typed up the notes that Maintenance Workers put on work orders, and I did some filing to help Housing Administrators.”

Michelle added that all those notes would go into the tenant files.
“There was a lot of paper back then,” she said.

What does a typical day look like now for Michelle?

“A typical day for me now involves keeping a pulse on my team – how are they doing, what do they need to achieve their goals,” Michelle said. Clearing obstacles for her team is a key part of her job.

She spends a lot of my time planning for what’s next so the team can be agile, ready and able to handle whatever is thrown at them. This agility helps with problem-solving and often helps staff serve tenants more effectively.

We asked Michelle what some of the things she likes most about her role.

Michelle expressed enjoyment in actively participating in the evolution of the Tenant Experience through innovation, highlighting that the tools used to perform the work and the processes followed to complete tasks have changed dramatically.

While technology has played a pivotal role in these changes, Michelle emphasized that the motivation to enhance tenant service and take a leading role has generated valuable opportunities. “We continually ask ourselves, ‘What can we do next to be the best?'” she explained, adding that having the chance to be creative is one of her favorite aspects of the work.

What are some of the challenges?

No two situations are the same, so just because something worked once does not mean it will work again. ” I spend a lot of time working through scenarios to see what might work and might not,” Michelle said. “Even though it’s a challenge, I still enjoy it because you can’t solve problems all alone, and I really enjoy working with my team and learning from them.”

What is something about you that only a few people know?

After a recent trip to Disney World, Michelle has a new dream. She wants to visit different theme parks and plan epic roller coaster road trips – all thanks to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride. “It turns out I really love roller coasters,” she said.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

“I love that women get a day to honour our accomplishments, and how far women have come to earn the position of equality we deserve,” she said. “When I think of International Women’s Day, I also reflect on how lucky we are to be Canadian women – not all women have the same protections and rights as we do.”

Keep an eye on the OCH News Room throughout March to read more stories like Michelle’s. Together, we can celebrate women’s achievements and do our part to take action to drive gender parity.