January Face of Ensemble – Kathleen DeVolld
The January Face of Ensemble is our Assistant Controller (Phoenix), Kathleen DeVolld.
When did you join Ensemble and what do you do?
I joined Ensemble in March 2017 as the Assistant Controller. I’ve since had the opportunity to interact with most of the different business units, starting on the investment side of the house and most recently transitioning over to 3rd party management. I’ve been spearheading the 3rd party budget process over the last couple of months and prior to that was handling monthly financial statements for some of the hotels and other special projects.
What do you like most about working at Ensemble?
This has been a common theme, so at the risk of sounding unoriginal, I would have to say my favorite part of working at Ensemble is that it’s comprised of a great group of people. It’s rare to see an organization that’s so cohesive across functional work groups; which I attribute to a culture that does a great job at recognizing and communicating the value of each department’s role to the success of the organization.
Why or how did you get into your current line of work?
I had initially planned to get into financial or stock analysis; but I graduated shortly after the Enron debacle and financial analysts as a group were seen as having grossly missed the boat. The positions were being replaced by accountants. I had done multifamily leasing in college so I ended up in property accounting. Fun fact – I started college as a fine arts major with plans to do graphic design.
Where did you grow up and what was your first job?
I lived in three different states by the time I was 4, including 2 years in Hawaii, since both my parents were in the Army. We moved to Wisconsin when I was 5 and I lived there until I graduated from high school. My first job was a cashier on a produce trailer for a local farm. Every morning, they loaded the trailer with various fruits and vegetables, and towed me out to a location off one of the main roads at 8 a.m. They would return to pick me up at 6 p.m. I was 14, and manned the trailer 7 days a week for the entire summer by myself with no breaks – even for lunch, because agriculture follows different labor laws. They were supposed to come pick me up if there was a thunderstorm, but they never did. I’d have to climb into the trailer and wait out the storm under the awning – all this for $4.25/hour. I was one of the few teenagers that couldn’t wait for school to start!
What do you do for fun after work?
I like to stay active and just completed my first triathlon last September and a 15k earlier this month; so you can often find me swimming, biking (both road and mountain) or running. My husband I are avid rock climbers (outdoor preferably) and actually converted our spare bedroom into an indoor climbing room. I love to cook, which is fortunate because I have three children with healthy appetites and very refined palates for their ages (my oldest is 11 and I have 8 year-old twins).
What is your favorite or most memorable vacation spot?
Lake Tahoe is my happy place. My husband grew up in the area so we’re typically up there at least once a year and it still never gets old.