ADVANTAGE BUILDER: TRICIA PARRY
Born on the island of Dominica and raised on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tricia Parry experienced her first hurricane at age 13. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 storm, thrashed the island with 140-mile-an-hour winds, damaging 90 percent of the buildings and other structures. The landscape was littered with uprooted trees, shattered homes and boats blown in from the sea. It took months before electricity was restored.
What does Parry remember most? “Coming home from school, I would have to do my homework as quickly as I could before the sun went down,” she said. “Then I would read in the dark with a flashlight. I was really into reading back then and loved every bit of it. We had no tv and couldn’t go outside after the sun went down so we read and talked.”
“I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done,” she said. “If there’s a problem, I want to find the solution.”
It’s a classic response from Parry, Senior Human Resources Manager for CBRE GWS Division in Washington, DC, who is calm, focused and pragmatic. “I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done,” she said. “If there’s a problem, I want to find the solution.”
Hurricanes aside, growing up in the Caribbean “was definitely paradise,” said Parry, who has three sisters. Her dad worked in accounting for an oil refinery, and her mom worked at a bank. “There was lots to do on the island. We were always outside playing, going to the beach and spending time with family. It was a fun upbringing and I would categorize it as easy living back then. There was no social media and not much connecting to the outside world. During my childhood years, we traveled to the US mainland once for a trip to Disney World in Orlando and to visit family. Aside from that, we were enamored with island life activities.
A diligent student, Parry also took part in the debate team and played softball and basketball during her primary school years. After graduating from high school on St. Croix, Parry completed her undergraduate education and earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, USVI. After college, she took a job at Kaplan Test Prep in Washington, D.C. She lived in DC with her sister, who was attending law school. A year later, she took a position in the legal field herself, working as a Deputy Trial Clerk for the U.S. Tax Court. “I traveled two to three weeks out of the month all over the U.S.,” she recalled. “I’d never traveled so much and met so many people as I’d lived on the islands so long. It was a good way to get a feel for the way the legal arena works and see the beauty of the U.S. mainland. After 3 years of working with the Tax Court and traveling with federal judges, she wanted to transition to the next step in her career.
As a people person who enjoys both law and business, Parry naturally gravitated to Human Resources. Her love for the field of HR has led her to great experiences and working with great people. “HR is definitely about people but it’s also engaging with leaders to develop strategy and programs to enable your teams to build and grow. ” In 2008, Parry earned a Master’s of Arts degree in Human Resource Management from The Catholic University of America, and after several other HR roles, joined CBRE in 2014. She was quickly promoted to Senior Human Resources Manager.
Parry works with the Global Workplace Solutions Division, supporting three main accounts. “My clients are every single employee on my account, from the Facility Coordinator to Alliance Director,” she said. “It’s important to build relationships and also to be knowledgeable about employment law. Knowing that people are relying on you for information, I try to provide the answers quickly so they can get back to their day-to-day work. I want to make sure they have everything they need to be successful.”
“I love my job,” she added. “And my boss is the most supportive person. She has been very genuine about helping me grow in my career.”
Outside of the office, Parry and her husband of 3 years enjoy playing with their dog Sweet Pea, cooking, traveling and entertaining friends and her two sisters who live nearby. “I love being with my entire family and enjoy the friendships I’ve developed over the years. My parents still live on the islands while my sisters live in the States. We had the opportunity to see each other when my younger sister got married recently, and it was such a blessing to have all of us together,” she said.
“People who come here to work know they are going to be treated with respect, and work with people who share the same values. I really appreciate that about CBRE.”
And having survived a hurricane herself, Parry was proud to see CBRE reach out to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria—finding housing and transportation for people displaced by flooding, and raising money for the Red Cross. “CBRE is a socially responsible company,” she said. “People who come here to work know they are going to be treated with respect, and work with people who share the same values. I really appreciate that about CBRE.”