Katie Rhyne never knows what the day might bring in her role as community affairs coordinator for Neal Communities. Some days, she’s working with local nonprofits on ways the home builder can help support their efforts. At other times, she might be focusing on a land-use issue or talking with members of local government.
“Every day looks a little different,” she says. “My job is about maintaining Neal’s position and reputation in the community in a professional sense, in a philanthropic sense, and within our own communities.”
A career highlight for Katie in her year and a half at Neal Communities has been her work on a recent land-use entitlement project. “We had a really exciting project approved earlier this year that my efforts were instrumental in,” she says. “It’s cool to see the fruits of my labor in that approval and how it benefits the company overall.”
Katie is no stranger to giving back outside of work. She’s involved with her church in multiple capacities and is currently mentoring a high schooler through Take Stock in Children. Through her job at Neal, she’s able to expand on that personal interest in her professional life.
“A lot of the organizations that we partner with have been suggested by Neal team members who have some sort of history or connection to them,” she says. “So we support them year after year. It’s fulfilling to be able to create relationships and then continue to support those relationships.”
Katie herself is building relationships that will prove beneficial in her career development. Her goal was to work for a large local company, and taking on this role at Neal Communities is helping her develop knowledge about the local region and gain valuable skills she’ll keep using as her career progresses.
“I’m lucky with my current role that I’m being trained in different areas and learning skills that I’ll be able to apply to any job,” she says. “And I appreciate the exposure to different nonprofits, organizations, and positions that do great work in our community.”
She’s also found the kind of workplace culture she was looking for at Neal Communities. “There’s definitely an investment in the employees,” she says. “And we’re all working together very hard for a common goal.”
Katie’s just starting out in her career, and she’s encountered plenty of coworkers at Neal to look to for guidance or inspiration. That includes her supervisor, Ivory Matthews, who serves as the company’s vice president of community and governmental affairs. “She’s very good at explaining things to me and really taking the time and walking me through the steps and the processes,” says Katie. “I’ve been thankful for that.”
“I’ve also enjoyed getting to work under Pat Neal’s leadership,” she says. “There is definitely a lot to learn from him.”
When she’s not working, Katie can often be found outdoors. “I love to go to the beach for sunsets, and spend time walking on the Legacy Trail,” she says. “Our home has so much to offer. I like to try new places and enjoy the amenities of our area.”