With over 30 years of experience in the retail industry, Athina is undoubtedly an expert in the field. She currently works as a project manager at Laura Canada and is part of a team that plays a major role in the construction of Laura and Melanie Lyne stores throughout the country.
Hello Athina, can you explain what your position is at Laura?
I’m a project manager within the construction department. Essentially, my team is the liaison between many different departments that bring projects into fruition. The projects we work on begin and end with us. We oversee major renovations, as well as full store builds that start from the ground up.
What did you do before joining our team?
My career is interesting in that I’ve been in retail my entire professional life – 37 years, to be exact. I started as a cashier and worked my way up to regional manager status. Right before starting at Laura, I was in charge of real estate, construction and maintenance at another major retail company. I’ve been involved in many different aspects of this industry over the past few decades. Retail is definitely my passion.
What aspects of your job do you like the most?
I love what I do. I work in a role that I really enjoy. Seeing a store built from scratch is immensely satisfying. My favourite part of my job is when I go on an inspection and I get to see a project come to life – a new store that is the culmination of many months of hard work and dedication. Witnessing the reaction of the entire operational team, when they get to visit their store for the first time, also brings me joy.
So far, what has been your biggest challenge and what are you most proud of?
My biggest challenge is playing “monkey in the middle” and coordinating every aspect of a project. My team is at the root of every endeavor and, if we’re not organized, then what we’re working on won’t be successful. What I find most gratifying is when I walk into a mall and see a Laura or Melanie Lyne store I played an integral part in building. This makes me feel proud.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Definitely the hustle and bustle of the department. I look forward to the challenges of new projects. Every store we build is different, so I’m eager to see what lies ahead.
1. If you were an animal: black panther.
2. If you were a location in Montreal: Old Montreal.
3. If you were an article of clothing: leather pants.
4. If you were a country: France.
5. If you were a word: energetic.
6. If you were a dish: pizza