Q&A: Hillary Taatjes Woznick
Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Hillary Taatjes Woznick specializes in office and retail real estate at NAI Wisinski of West Michigan.
However, not many people know that she started her career with a music and business degree from Wheaton College Conservatory with a concentration in voice.
Her first job out of college was in fundraising and development for Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Biggest career break?
After working for NAI for the past 11 years, I have realized that my biggest career break was when I teamed up with my father, Doug Taatjes, who has been a leader in the commercial real estate industry for more than 30 years.
What gives me joy in my career is when I help clients find the right solutions for their real estate needs. I really enjoy the strategic planning process, because I am a creative thinker.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
“Be faithful to the opportunities, and let God provide the results.”
How did you make your first dollar?
I think I earned my first paycheck working for my father’s company, Taatjes and Tol Realty and Construction, by answering phones, filing MLS cards and stuffing direct mail envelopes in my teen years.
I’m learning to hold things loosely, because I really don’t “own” anything.
I thought I wanted to be an opera singer, but little did I know I would love commercial real estate so much. There is never a dull moment, and it is never boring.
Last book you’ve read?
I am really looking forward to reading Susan Packard’s new book, “New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace.” She recently spoke at Inforum’s 10th-anniversary dinner on Nov. 10. She was inspirational in furthering the vision of Inforum to “help women lead and succeed in business.”
Last thing you Googled?
Your worst habit?
Since I get so much energy from people, I often get inspired by a conversation and jump in and finish their sentences. Oops!
To unwind, I like to . . . ?
I like to walk my Coton de Tulear, Bentley.
Visit Australia and New Zealand with my husband and hold a koala bear
Sushi, Thai, Indian. I love unique flavors!
Person you most admire?
My husband, Tim, who is a special ed teacher at Rockford Freshman Center and High School. I learn from him every day how to serve others and have more patience.