Leadership Spotlight featuring Rachel Willis
Michele Ignacio, A.O. Reed & Co.
Rachel Willis of Pacific Rim Mechanical is our featured BOMA Leader! Rachel has volunteered with BOMA San Diego for years and currently leads our Communications Committee.
Rachel Willis was born in San Diego and raised in Mira Mesa. She attended college at California State University Long Beach, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. In 2013, Rachel started working part time for Brad Stoner Painting as their Social Media Marketing Manager. Just a few months later, she was promoted to the role of Commercial Business Development Manager. In 2021, she left Brad Stoner Painting and joined the Pacific Rim Mechanical team, where she works as their Client Experience Representative. Her primary responsibility is to connect with clients and gather their feedback on the company’s overall services.
Brad Stoner introduced Rachel to BOMA San Diego! She initially volunteered with him to support the chapter’s community service efforts. In 2016, Rachel joined the chapter and has served as a chairperson for the Education Committee and is the current chairperson for the Communications Committee. She also participates on the Awards & Scholarships Committee.
We asked Rachel a few questions about being a leader. Here’s what she had to say:
BOMA San Diego: How would you describe your leadership style?
Rachel: I am organized and try my best to lead by example and encourage the ideas of others.
BOMA San Diego: What motivated you to volunteer for a leadership position in BOMA San Diego?
Rachel: I think it’s a combination of loving to be a part of things “behind the scenes” and being able to play a bigger role in supporting our membership. Plus, I’m power hungry (just kidding).
BOMA San Diego: How has your experience in BOMA helped your professional development and how do you express your achievements/skills learned to your leadership at your company?
Rachel: My experience in BOMA has been wonderful! I think there can be some level of intimidation when you first join and getting involved with committees has been such a great way to help break the ice, develop friendships, and grow in professional development. One way I’ve been able to express my “skills” to the company leaders I’ve worked with is by having them attend events and see for themselves that I’ve become connected with those in the chapter. “Oh, you work with Rachel, right?” is one of the things my old boss (and owner of the company) would joke about.
BOMA San Diego: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a BOMA leader and how did you overcome it?
Rachel: Losing committee members. It can be difficult to revive a committee, especially when there are more “glamorous” ones out there. Those still on the committee rallied together and we all just kept inviting new members and promoting our efforts to the chapter until eventually, we grew! (Also, a happy hour or two never hurts!)
BOMA San Diego: What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
Rachel: Winning BOMA San Diego’s “Champion of Education” award! If you’re a property manager and haven’t checked out our educational offerings yet, find them here!
BOMA San Diego: Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach work?
Rachel: Probably my mom! She works in an entirely different field as a nurse, but she always manages to persevere through the hard stuff, the changes, the boring stuff, and everything that comes with a job while still demonstrating compassion. That’s the kind of worker I’d like to be.
BOMA San Diego: What personality trait helps you as a leader and why?
Rachel: Perseverance! Once you get all your ducks in a row, things are bound to change, and you need to be able to adapt and continue moving forward.
BOMA San Diego: What do you think is most important in creating a positive culture?
Rachel: Laughter! When your committee members like each other and can joke/laugh together, they are way more likely to keep showing up and stepping up.
BOMA San Diego: You are the Communications Chairperson. Give us your elevator pitch – why should our members join your committee? (i.e., how will it help them in their professional development?)
Rachel: Whether you like to write (or not), desire to meet other chapter members, or simply enjoy being involved “behind the scenes” … this is the committee for you! We have such a great crew and because we’re not an overly large committee, you can actively participate and share ideas. Plus, we’d love to have you.