How Jackiw Got to the Top
In our sixth installment of “Profiles in Success,” a series where NAA talks to successful apartment professionals to learn how they got to where they are, who inspired them and what their biggest challenge was, we visit with a legendary industry contributor.
Name: Alexandra (Alex) Jackiw, CAPS, CPM®
Company: Hayes Gibson Property Services
Current Title: Chief Operating Officer
Years in the Industry: 40+
First apartment job?
Manager of a public housing project in Terre Haute, IN
Describe your job now.
Management and oversight of all corporate and property operations and participation on the leadership team responsible for the long-term growth and strategic direction of the company.
Who was your greatest influence in the industry (how did they influence you)?
A man named Patrick FitzPatrick, CFO at Oxford Realty. He saw potential in me before I saw it in myself. He pushed me out of my comfort zone. He coached me to “find power vacuums and fill them.”
What was your biggest challenge? How did you overcome that challenge?
Being a female in a male-dominated industry. I overcame that challenge by pushing myself outside my comfort zone.
What is your ultimate goal in the apartment industry?
I’ve reached it. Building a profitable management company, giving back to the industry, developing people and watching them grow and succeed in their careers
What has the apartment industry given you, personally and professionally?
Personally, it has given me fulfillment and confidence in my abilities, priceless friendships, and the courage to try new things. Professionally, it has given me career growth, meaningful jobs that impact people’s lives (both residents and employees), and the ability to help other people grow in their professions.
What’s your favorite or funniest apartment industry story?
Being asked to take care of a resident’s pet while he was on vacation. It was an alligator he kept in the bathtub. Also, walking a new construction property that was a muddy mess and getting physically stuck in the mud in my rubber boots and unable to move.
What’s one thing you or your company does that sets you apart?
I’ve made it a goal to reach out to diverse people who are under-represented in our industry. That’s why I’m so proud of the NAAEI Alexandra Jackiw Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship – earmarked to assist diverse candidates attain NAAEI designations. I’m especially excited when I get a chance to meet the recipients of these scholarships and learn how attaining an NAAEI designation has helped propel their careers.
Success is best when shared. How do you or your company find ways to give back?
I give back through teaching. I enjoy the opportunity to deliver seminars all over the US and to teach NAAEI designation programs nationally. My company is gracious and generous enough to afford me the time to be able to continue to do this.
What volunteer roles do you currently hold?
In addition to my continued involvement with NAA (Former Chair of the CSR Committee, teaching courses for NAAEI), I also serve on the property management advisory boards at Virginia Tech, Ball State, and Valencia College. I am also a member of the Maintenance Fund Committee of the United Way of Central Indiana.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped in your career?
Working as a volunteer has helped me fine-tune my leadership skills and understand how to work within the constraints of organizational goals and agendas.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Travel and read; I’m also a crossword puzzle fanatic.
What did you want to be growing up?
A research chemist.
What do you want to be doing 5 years from now?
Teaching, consulting, and writing.
If you could talk to yourself 10/15/20 years ago, what would you say?
Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Have confidence in your abilities and forge ahead.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
What’s your favorite song/musician?
“Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes” by Paul Simon
What’s the biggest difference you see between our industry today and when you started?
Technology, social media and digital marketing.
NAA hosted a webinar with Alex Jackiw, CAPS, CPM featuring trends affecting rental housing, economic threats and a real estate outlook for 2025. Whether you are new to the industry, or a seasoned veteran, this webinar is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the rental housing industry. This webinar recording can be purchased on Visto.