Kelson employee Val Wouters is enthusiastic about 50 years in business!
Posted On Jan 23, 2024
(Photo: Building Manager Val Wouters and Kamloops Maintenance Team Member Tyrrell Lewis)
As Kelson Group celebrates its 50th anniversary in business this year, the company’s leadership team extends their gratitude to the many residents who have chosen to make Kelson Group home. After all, it is the trust of thousands of families over five decades that has helped the company thrive. Another key component of the company’s longevity in business is its staff members, and one employee keenly remembers the late 1970s when Kelson Group founder Ron Fawcett got his start in the property management business.
“This July, I will have been working with Ron and the Kelson Group team for 46 years,” noted Val Wouters, sitting in the lobby of one of the Kelson Group buildings she manages on Kamloops’ North Shore. “I remember the day when Ron asked me to work for him. He had a few apartment buildings and was looking to grow the company. My husband and I often talked about how Ron was one of the hardest working people we knew. At the time, Ron worked as an accountant for a tire shop, caring for his two young boys, Jason and Kelly, and cleaned and maintained his apartment buildings. You could just see that his good business sense and strong work ethic were going to take him places, and they have!”
Val and her husband have both worked for Kelson Group for decades. As a building manager, Val has managed dozens of properties for Kelson Group, showing apartments to prospective residents, hiring cleaning crews, working with the maintenance team to organize repairs and renovations, and ensuring the rent cheques from residents are paid on time. For years, you could, and still can, find Val walking up and down the sidewalks on Kamloops’ North Shore back and forth between the apartment buildings she manages. With all that walking, it is no wonder Val is so fit.
“I get thousands of steps in every day,” remarked Val. “This job has certainly kept me moving all these years, which has been a big benefit. Not only do I keep active, but I also get to connect with our residents. One of my goals as a building manager is to build a strong sense of community in our apartment buildings. Our residents of course still have their privacy when they rent with us, but they also have the peace of mind knowing they’re surrounded by good neighbours. As a resident with Kelson Group myself, I know firsthand how important that is.”
Kelson Group’s philosophy around building management has always been about finding good managers who care for the buildings like they were their own. It is a level of responsibility Val appreciates.
“Ron and his sons Jason (Kelson Group’s President) and Kelly (Kelson Group’s Vice President) have always put their trust in their employees,” Val shared. “I really respect how they run their business, which is why I’ve chosen to work for them for this long.”
When thinking about what’s next for herself, Val anticipates continuing to work for the family-owned and operated company.
“Times have certainly changed since Ron first started the company, and I’m very proud to see the growth, especially when Jason and Kelly joined the company to where it is now,” Val said. “It is a reminder that hard work, the right values, giving back to the community, and providing a good quality product people need and want are what helps companies like Kelson Group have the success they do. On behalf of my family and I, we want to congratulate Kelson Group on their 50th anniversary. We, too, are proud to be a part of its story!”