Katy McShane, Director of Human Resources, joined CREA full-time in June of 2016, but has served CREA since 2003 as part of the former holding company. Being a part of CREA’s history since nearly the beginning, Katy has seen how CREA has changed and grown over the years.
“When I was introduced to CREA, or what was then called ‘The Real Estate Department,’ and Jeff Whiting in 2003, the department had just 2.5 employees, including Jeff,” said Katy. “Today, we are almost 100 employees strong with an office presence in seven states throughout the country and are continuing to expand, grow and participate in providing affordable housing for so many people. It has been, and continues to be, such an incredible experience to grow and change with CREA.”
Learn more about Katy, her take on CREA and her role within the company in the Q&A below.
Q & A with Katy McShane
How would you describe CREA’s culture?
CREA’s leadership and our people continue to shape and reflect our culture. CREA is a complex and interesting company. We are a nimble, employee-friendly group of people, working in a flexible, fun, exciting and fulfilling business environment, helping to provide opportunity in the area of affordable housing. Our CEO, Jeff Whiting, sums it up perfectly when he tells employees: You belong at CREA.
What do you think makes CREA special?
Easy question! Of course, our people. The expertise, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility and kindness of our people help to create a sense of belonging that is unique at CREA.
What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
In my position, I am lucky to be exposed to and participate in so many different initiatives and projects, most of them involving my favorite part: people! The most satisfying part of my job is the opportunity to help shape the future of our human resources at CREA.
What made you decide on an HR profession?
Funny story…I was fairly certain I wanted to major in accounting. Well, at least until half way through Accounting 202. A friend recommended a professor who was teaching an intro to Human Resources; I enrolled, loved it and that was it.
How would you describe your role in three words?
Developing people potential.
What’s an interview question that tends to stump people?
“Would you like to share anything else about yourself that I haven’t asked you about?” That question is an open door and opportunity to share and highlight skills, enthusiasm, knowledge, or anything else that lets me know why the candidate wants to be part of CREA. It sometimes surprises me when a candidate doesn’t take this opportunity.
You’ve done a lot of employee interviews – but if you could interview anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
My grandmothers Kaethe and Louise were amazing, strong women, who both lived in difficult times. I am grateful to have grown up around both of them; they helped shape who I am today. Both were incredible story-tellers and although I remember quite a few of them, I wish I could ask them to tell a few more stories.
Other than Indianapolis, what’s been your favorite place to live and why?
I have been lucky to live in some beautiful places; it’s a close call between Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii and the small town of Petaluma in the Bay Area, California. Ocean, beaches, pineapple fields, wine country. Need I say more?
Where’s your favorite place to travel and why?
Any place with a beach and an ocean to swim in.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like small adventures, anything fast and/or exciting. In the past year I have done some zip-lining (cave and outside), backpacking, riding ALL the roller coasters with my niece and nephew at Kings Island and skydiving. Although I am not a native Hoosier and not a huge race fan, I’d like to take a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track next year in an Indy Car.