December 2019

JEMM welcomes new Principal, Lesleigh Russell, P.Eng

It’s exciting to be part of a team with such a great balance of skills

So Lesleigh, where are you from?

I’m originally from Newfoundland, but I’ve lived in downtown Calgary long enough to call it home.

Does it bother you when people call you a Newfie?

No, I think it’s a term of affection.

When did you join JEMM Properties?

My first day on the job was in late August 2019, but I’ve known the other JEMMs – Joe, Edan, Martin and Michael – for a while.

Now that you’re a JEMM Principal, are they going to add an “L” to the name?

Hmmm…maybe Le JEMM?

What motivated you to become part of the team?

I’d say it was a shared appreciation of bourbon, but honestly it’s just good professional chemistry.  It’s exciting to be part of a team with such a great balance of skills and a willingness to challenge each other in very productive ways.

What exactly is your role?

As Principal, Projects and Construction my role is to take our real estate development projects successfully through the construction process. It’s as much a project leadership position as a people leadership position, which keeps it challenging. There is also a lot of strategy, communication and collaboration involved as well, because JEMM looks for construction insights right from the earliest stages of contemplating a project.

Do you think you’ll draw on your background as a professional engineer?

I’m a Civil Engineer by training, and of course, technical insights always help during land development projects. But I was drawn to study engineering as a way to learn problem-solving. I think that’s the biggest legacy of an engineering background and one that I definitely make good use of every day.

Did you know many female engineers growing up?

No, I didn’t know many engineers at all. My dad is an economist and a painter and my mother is a teacher. Engineering was suggested to me later in life as a way to get a meaningful education and to see development issues from several different angles. My hope is that young people are open to studying engineering as a way to become problem-solvers for the world around us.

Looking ahead, what do you think are the biggest challenges for you and JEMM?

Seeing the future! We are always trying to anticipate what’s next for the development industry in Calgary and working hard to be ready to meet the opportunities ahead.

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