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COVER STORY
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Laura Khouri

President of Irvine-based Western National Property Management

20 Women to Watch, continued ...Published: March 01, 2011

Hometown: Tustin

Family:
13-year-old twins (a son and a daughter)

First job:
General office clerk at Western National

Secret to your success:
Three words – care, compassion and accountability

Advice to other women in business:
It’s difficult to climb the corporate ladder when you’re wearing 4-inch heels, and you’ll need patience and perseverance at every rung! It’s also important to find a mentor who can help you maneuver your career. And finally, caring and connecting with your colleagues, supervisors and those reporting to you can help you move mountains.

Khouri started in an entry-level job at Western National 25 years ago and last year was promoted to president of the property management company that oversees 23,700 apartment units throughout California, Utah and Nevada. In her last post, she took over a division that had an annual revenue of $200,000 and turned it into an operation with an annual revenue of more than $3 million. To stay connected to her employees, Khouri writes a daily blog post each morning called “Luminosity,” which is posted on an internal website. She also launched a Care & Connect program to foster better relationships with tenants.
   
“We teach our associates that ... by showing compassion to our residents, we connect with them, and they want to continue to work and live in our properties.”
   
Khouri has been responsible for raising more than $2.5 million for Laura’s House, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of family and domestic violence in Orange County. In addition, she is president and chairwoman of the board of directors for the Prentice School and has raised $1.1 million for the nonprofit academy dedicated to the education of dyslexic children.




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