Since joining Nor’wood Development Group in 2007, 31-year-old Eva Pearce has made marketing her own. The North Carolina native came to Colorado for the scenery, received a degree in visual and performing arts from UCCS, and stayed to cultivate a talent she never knew she had. Pearce, now the company’s marketing director, took some time to tell the Business Journal about her role at Nor’wood and its role in the community.
What brought you to Colorado Springs?
I love mountains, I love four seasons, I love camping and hiking and everything. I had spent some great times out here skiing, so when it came time to move I thought, “Why not Colorado!”
How did you end up working at Nor’wood Development Group?
Nor’wood actually hired me as a property management assistant — they were looking for someone who could do multiple tasks and things. It started progressing and they started giving me more and more marketing things to do, and then they came to me in 2010 and asked if I’d like to do it full-time. I said, “That’s great!” So I switched from half-time property management and half-time marketing to full-on marketing. At the end of 2012, I became the director of marketing and hired my first marketing coordinator.
Could you tell me a bit about the internship program here and its benefits?
Here at Nor’wood, we like to not just show people things or provide a service, but to help enrich their lives — whether it’s with the properties and events we offer or the tenants that we bring to those properties. So when I was looking to bring on some part-time staff, I didn’t just want somebody that would be here for just a few months and then be on their way. I wanted to share some of the actual real-life experiences in the marketing world, because it is vastly different than what they teach you in school. I wanted to actually get their hands dirty.
With a degree in the arts, how did you get into marketing?
I have no background in marketing at all. I never took a class in it; I never did anything with it. Nor’wood recognized within me a talent that I didn’t even know I had, so they started encouraging me to do small things. I started off with helping run one of their booths at a concert series at First and Main Town Center and they thought I was really good at that. Then I started owning the booth and I took charge of it.
That turned into me asking, “What if we did this and that,” and Nor’wood said, “That’s great, Eva, go for it.” They recognized that I had certain skill and potential in that area and gave me the flexibility and freedom to just go do it — and they still do that to this day.
Do you think your background in theatre plays a role in your work?
Every day, from public speaking to knowing how to represent yourself to others in the community. Theatre is also very involved with community relationships, so what I do in the marketing world is all community-driven.
Colorado Springs is all about community, and so those two run in parallel: Marketing helps me with theatre and theatre helps me with marketing.
How would you characterize Nor’wood’s, and your own, role in the community?
Nor’wood wants the best of their community for every citizen — they live, breathe and eat that. Everything that we do is to enrich the community, because that makes it a good place for us to live and work and raise families.
It’s a completely symbiotic thing. We really try to bring heart and soul into whatever we do, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar building, a community activity or committee that one of us may be on. And I follow a very similar philosophy: I want the place where I live and work and hang out and have fun, to be dynamic, exciting and not just for one demographic. I want it to be vibrant for young professionals, vibrant for seniors, vibrant for young children — vibrant for everyone.
You talked about Colorado Springs being a vibrant community for young professionals. Do you feel like that is the case and why?
I think it’s wonderful, and I think the dialogue is great. I’m part of pretty much every young professional group I can be in town and it’s great to see how they’re working.
And they get involved with the nonprofit sector — I’ve never seen that in another community. They’re really big on getting involved with local boards, and their church groups and things like that. We might be slightly disconnected right now, but the passion is there, the excitement is there, the want is there and the drive is there. That’s what I love, and I like to help out as much as humanly possible.
What are your goals and aspirations, both personally and professionally?
I want to have our properties known not just as buildings, but as members of our community. I want them to have distinct personalities, and I want them to contribute back to Colorado Springs. This is where we live and work, and I want people to feel that personal connection to these things. My goal is also to have people cross Academy and not know they’ve crossed Academy — to have people think of Colorado Springs as one entity, not as a divided city.