This week’s ‘Five Minutes With’ features Stacy Bliagos, Executive Director of HANAC, whose project – HANAC Corona Senior Residence – is a 2020 Awards Finalist for Excellence in Affordable Housing Development.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you? Both my parents, they taught me the value of hard work and determination. They also taught me how important it is to be ethical. I am blessed and have had many mentors throughout my career that have guided me, but it started with my parents. The best advice that I have ever received is to focus on my actions and to be mindful of my intentions. People can always tell if you are coming from a good/honest place. And another important advice, if people give you a chance, make them proud, work around the clock if you have to but make them proud.
What qualities do you think are essential to be an effective leader? There are so many qualities to list.I believe it is essential to be transparent and have people trust you. It is important to empower your staff to make decisions and grow, professional development is super essential. Empathy and accountability are also crucial to leading a team. Expecting excellence from people is a given but acknowledging that everyone is human and deserves respect and a level of understanding isn’t even about professionalism, that’s more about being human.
As a ULI NY Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project? I am proud to lead an organization that is life changing for individuals and HANAC Corona is improving the lives of older adults, children and generating a positive impact on the environment. New York City is home to more than one million adults over the age of 60, in Queens we provide significant services for our aging population, where there are over a quarter million older adults. The need for affordable housing, and related services, is a critical issue the entire country is facing. The demand in New York City for sustainable, affordable housing continues to grow and unfortunately supply is extremely limited. HANAC Corona Senior Gardens includes a ground floor pre-kindergarten program and will be one of the first Passive House certified buildings in New York for seniors.