One-on-One with EPIC COO Blake Nybakken : Part 2
December 1, 2022
Our Communications team sat down with COO Blake Nybakken to discuss his dual roles in business operations and development. Read on to learn how he juggles these two demanding duties.
1) You’ve been part of the development team for quite some time now, previously being VP of Development. How does that experience help you in your current role as COO? How do you balance the development side and COO side?
Having that experience and understanding who is involved during the different stages helps me identify who can help, if needed, with a particular task or step in the process. I always have to prioritize. Some projects have hard deadlines associated with them, others don’t…some items need to be addressed immediately, and some need to wait. It’s usually pretty straight forward identifying what is the priority. After that, communicating with others is critical so they know what is to be expected.
2) EPIC’s team has grown tremendously in the last few years. Share how the departments have evolved over the years and how that evolution has benefited the company as a whole.
Yes, we have grown substantially, but always with purpose. Departments have expanded or, in some cases, have been created based on the direction we’re going as a company. For instance, our property management side has grown with the additional buildings and number of units we bring online. A maintenance technician or leasing agent can only handle so many units. Same on the commercial side of things…we want to provide the best service we can to our tenants, and fill up all of our available spaces, so we’ve expanded appropriately in those areas to support our growth.
The growth has benefited our organization overall because we have been fortunate to hire some really great people. Those quality individuals bring skills and insights that help us elevate our standards and the product or service that we deliver from each department.
3) COOs typically help provide leadership and strategic vision to the organization. How have you implemented this within EPIC Companies so far?
In the development world, we’re always looking to the future, so I guess the strategic side of me is always firing. With our group, it’s pretty easy – we’re moving in the same direction and constantly striving to improve our processes for the betterment of everyone involved.
4) What helps you stay grounded in your personal and professional lives, and what keeps you growing and learning each day?
I’ve got four wonderful kids at home, so supper, laundry, or running to an activity usually keeps me busy on the personal front. Professionally, we’ve got great leaders here who keep us headed in the right direction. So anything from their insight, and articles they share, to how everyone is willing to lend a hand wherever needed….we have a pretty humble group that’s great to work with.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned in the upcoming months to learn more about our leaders’ evolving roles.