Building a successful community of people

Dr. Relly Nadler:
This week we are sharing our interview with Rosa Scarcelli from 2010.

Rosa was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Maine, and in the middle of her campaign when we interviewed her. She is recognized as a business and community leader in Maine. Rosa, who is 40, is a very happy, successful wife and mother of three.

While her background isn’t in politics, Rosa’s experience comes from being a business leader and a developer of people in business.

Today, Rosa will share her work and her own track record of success and reveal her vision for building a successful community of people and rebuilding companies to help Maine, like many states across the nation, recover, refresh, demonstrate and have responsible leadership for the future.

Cathy, welcome to the show.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Thank you, Relly.

I am just delighted today that Rosa has found some time in her busy campaign schedule to take a break and share with us some of her thoughts on being a top performer, being someone who is known for her leadership and will soon be known to the entire nation for her leadership, with all luck and good things for the future.

It is a privilege to know Rosa. I met Rosa last year at the Global Leadership YPO Program that was held in the Miami area last May (or March). I met Rosa at a lunch-in where I was a speaker for the women’s group that was attending, this is a very select group of women leaders across the nation. As I said, it’s an honor and privilege to know her.

Rosa, again, 40-years-old, which is amazing given her career track record. She is a recognized business and community leader in Maine. She is a wife and mother of three children, so, she has concerns from a very well-rounded vantage point.

Her background isn’t in politics, as you could guess.

Her experience comes from building a successful business, a company that has created hundreds of jobs and provides quality, affordable housing to thousands of people in the state of Maine, including the elderly, veterans, single parents and disabled individuals.

Her company does this in 14 out of 16 counties across Maine. Could you imagine what she could do for that entire state and for our nation?

Like many states, Maine is facing an estimated budget deficit of over $400 million. Rosa’s leadership, her experience, clearly indicates that she is the right candidate that is focused on the fundamental changes needed to see more of our nation’s government operate efficiently and effectively.

That’s a leadership issue for all of us.

She’s created jobs, and she has made a payroll. She is the only candidate to have a bold and specific plan to create fifty thousand jobs, alone, in the state of Maine. She certainly brings a new and fresh perspective as a business leader. She is one of those people who approaches everything emphasizing common sense solutions, accountability, and reasonable leadership.

We are so pleased to have you with us on the show today, Rosa. Welcome.

Rosa Scarcelli: Thank you, it’s great to be with you both. Appreciate it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Thank you.

Now, did we meet in May or March?

Rosa Scarcelli: You know what, as you were saying that, I was wondering. I can’t remember!

I think it was March, it’s been a year.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Now, since I met you, you now have, I just want to make sure our leaders get this, our leader listeners get this throughout the show, and that is Is that right?

Rosa Scarcelli: That’s right. I would love that people would go to my website and give me their feedback.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Excellent.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Well, Rosa, what we like to ask all our guests is; To tell us a little bit about who has influenced your leadership style, who you are today? And then, I think the next thing people are interested in, how did you become, from your background, interested in politics?

Rosa Scarcelli: They connect so it’s a great question.

As a young person, I was a Senate Page, a US Senate Page. That was because I had a relationship with, through my family and political connections, Senator George Michell, who was our majority leader, and, at the time, he had not risen to majority leader yet, in the US Senate.

I had an opportunity to work for him as his first US Senate Page, so, I had an experience with Washington and seeing from the inside how the government works. As a young, young child, I had been around Lilly and Carter and Jimmy Carter and Mondale. People that were coming through Maine that my family that was affiliated through, because they were very active in politics.

So, I had, particularly George Michell, to thank for my experience in terms of politics and seeing Washington first hand.

Really, also as a leader, he was a very quiet, thoughtful and articulate man. When I was there, it was the Iran Contra Hearings, which is a fascinating time for Washington. A fascinating time in our history and I watched him preside over those hearings. It was just an amazing experience for a young person.

That influenced my interest in politics, as did my experience with my parents, who were known as very politically active and who started the first pancake breakfast for the Democrats in Franklin County where I grew up.

So, what I understood as service was politics, and being involved in politics. As a woman, I think it’s even more important that we lend our voice to politics because that’s where our children’s future is being determined.

I think we need to weigh in, now, we are at a critical point.

But in terms of leadership style, I would say Senator Michell was a key person.

Also, my mother started her business when I was an 8-year-old. She grew her business very rapidly and very successfully.

So, when I joined the family business in 1992, she felt that she had done it so why couldn’t her daughter do it. So, I had some great opportunities to step into leadership that I’m sure many other people have not had. I’m grateful for that.

I did learn from her style as well.

I take a very collaborative approach to leadership that may come from generational changes in the way we perceive how women need to operate.

That is what has influenced me.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Rosa, tell us a little bit about the kind of business that your family operates.

Rosa Scarcelli: I own a business that is a property management business. So, I manage affordable housing in 4 states. We house thousands of people.

In Maine, we have nearly 3,000 people, as you said, in 14 counties.

It’s a property management company, so, we are for fee business, but we work in an industrial context. I have clients and lenders (that are the US government), I have third parties that I manage for, I have some family related entities that I manage for, then I’ve got thousands and thousands of tenants.

We serve people in three different ways; our tenants, our reporting agencies and our owners. It’s a highly regulated, low margin business. It’s a very difficult business.

My mother founded the business in 1978 and when I joined the business in 1992, I joined on the development side.

I did about a half a billion dollars’ worth of development from when I took on the development division in 1994 until I left, just before 1999.

In 2000, I started my own business. It’s an affordable housing business that started as a family business and now has transitioned into the second generation.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Excellent.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that then we will get into some of the things you’ll bring to the candidacy.

Rosa Scarcelli: In 2000, I started my own business. I had 3-year-old and a 6-week-old baby.

I had left the family business because I felt that it was too difficult to work within a very large corporation, a corporate setting and to have children.

I decided I would go out on my own and I took a lot of risks. I had to figure out how to provide health insurance and the things that people are still struggling with today when they want to start their own businesses.

But I did that in 2000, so, I started a property management company and I had been on the development side before, and I hadn’t done it before. So, I really started from scratch. Before I knew it, I had a year-old business, 3-year-old almost 4-year-old, almost 1-year-old and a new baby.

So, I had three children under the age of 3 and a new business.

That business grew, in 2005, I was actually asked by my family to come back into the family business because we had been running the management side through hired guns. People that were working for us and didn’t have a vested interest. The business was losing about half a million dollars a year for several years.

So, I came back in and did a turnaround. Spend a year empowered my staff and restructuring the entire organization and changing the culture. We did that very successfully. We turned a profit in the first year and I went on to buy the business.

So, Stanford Management is a business that is a second-generation business, but I own it now. I’m very proud of it, we have grown significantly and have been recognized as one of the top affordable housing providers in the country and the largest women-owned affordable housing provider.

Listen to the entire interview, above.


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