Julie Carter believes in fate.
Could it have led her to The ReStore?
In January we welcomed Julie as the new vice president of retail operations for Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro East. She now oversees operations for our four retail stores including sales, Donation Pickup, Business Relations, Volunteer Development, Marketing and Communications and Salvage Service. She’s got a lot on her plate, but our intrepid new leader is well-equipped to tackle the task.
EARLY ON: THE FIRST HALF
Julie was born in Connecticut, and moved to North Carolina during grade school, and she was later recruited to play women’s soccer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Julie helped her team win four NCAA National Championships. Following graduation, Julie helped develop, recruit and coach the brand new women’s soccer program at Old Dominion.
At 22, she was managing a group home for developmentally disabled women. On the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Julie assisted and guided the 6 residents through daily routines, such as creating menus, cleaning, grocery shopping and transporting them to outside jobs at a sheltered workshop. Julie credits the experience with teaching her patience and problem-solving skills.
“I was the main decision-maker at a pretty young age,” she recalls. “But you know, I had this whole thing set up where I was like Vanna White where I could offer positive reinforcement ‘prizes’ for good behavior…It was challenging and mentally exhausting sometimes, but absolutely rewarding.”
Over the next few years, Julie delved into nutrition, brokering products and learning about healthy eating. When her own health took a nosedive, she cured herself naturally by giving up all wheat, dairy, alcohol and caffeine for a full year. In between the play and the pass, Julie delivered pizza, waited tables and learned about wine from a sommelier coworker. Ultimately it was her discovered passion for nutritional healing that led her to her next pitch, Whole Foods Market.
A LEG UP: THE SECOND HALF
Julie’s leadership background and acquired wine knowledge gave her the initial leg up and a foot inside the door at Whole Foods Market where she became specialty associate team leader (assistant manager) for wine, beer and coffee.
“It’s so funny because you have the many departments that are good for you [at WFM]-which is what I wanted to do-and then there was the specialty department that we called the ‘Department of Vices,’” she laughs.
It wasn’t long before Julie was managing the whole body department, then on to recruitment at the regional level, helping to staff and open stores across the Mid-Atlantic states.
Now, here’s where fate makes an assist. Julie swears it was sunny for the full week in April the year she and wife, Corinna, visited family in Portland. Too glorious to overlook, they began considering life in the Pacific Northwest. By July Julie had accepted a job as assistant store team leader of Whole Foods Market in the Pearl District.
From there she helped open the Hollywood store and later moved on to managing that store, and then the Fremont location.
ReStore–Do you believe in fate?
Julie–I do! I absolutely believe in fate!
Maybe it was meant to be, Julie finding The ReStore. Julie and Corinna’s 3-year old son, Henry, may have added a little leverage.
“I had opened myself up to a new career because of Henry,” Julie said. “Especially in his impressionable years, I wanted to be baking cookies with him on Christmas Eve rather than helping others find ingredients to bake cookies with their kids on Christmas Eve.”
But really, it was Julie’s willingness to help a friend upgrade her job search that was the catalyst. To demonstrate how to do a thorough job search on Indeed.com, Julie entered her own extreme list of filters for the perfect Julie job. Three jobs popped up, but it was the Habitat ReStore posting that had her looking, saving, and looking again.
That takes us to today. In her VP role, Julie will use her entrepreneurial approach to build Habitat ReStore sales, profitability and customer loyalty.
“Julie is a true servant leader that will help grow our Restore program and advance Habitat’s mission of providing hardworking families the opportunity to build and buy a home of their own,” said Steve Messinetti, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro East.
Right now, Julie is developing her play book and inspiring renewed energy and enthusiasm at our ReStores in Portland, Beaverton, Gresham and Vancouver.
“If people knew we were here, what we do, what we offer, it would be a no-brainer,” Julie said. “That’s one of my big goals. When we accomplish this, ReStore can become a larger contributor to Habitat’s homebuilding initiative.”
MORE FUN WITH JULIE CARTER:
When Julie was born she was 23 ½ inches long – the longest baby born in the hospital that day. Today she stands 5’4 ½ inches.
Julie’s favorite pastime: “Reliving my youth through Henry, and spending time with my wife and Henry”
Julie’s favorite wine? Penner-Ash Pinot Noir
Julie’s favorite beer? pFriem IPA, “My good ole standby!”
Julie’s favorite strategic play: Going rogue!
Helped win 4 NCAA Championships (Did we mention that twice?)
Julie’s soccer position: wing midfield
During her college soccer career, Julie team lost only one game. That game was played against the University of Connecticut. But, her team turned around and beat U-Conn by 6-1 in the National Championship.
“That winning mentality, it’s hard to shake that,” Julie said.
We hope she never will!
PLAY “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?” WITH JULIE CARTER:
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