After graduating from college with a degree in sociology, Paula Feeney, a Connecticut native, wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, so she entered a business program at the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston. Barbara Pearce, owner of Pearce Real Estate, was looking for a smart, business-savvy employee, so someone at the school introduced the two. After more than 30 years, Feeney is still working for the firm that snatched her up straight from college.
Pearce said Feeney’s collaborative, friendly personality and goal-driven work ethic has brought her up through the ranks. Feeney is currently vice president and director of business development of Pearce Plus, a relocation and senior services subsidiary of Pearce Real Estate.
“She’s been with me since college,” Pearce said. “I put her right into public relations. Then when her kids were small, she worked as an agent.”
Feeney said Pearce was generous and flexible with her while Feeney’s children were very young.
Feeney managed agents in the distinctive and luxury homes division for a few years before transitioning over to the relocation division in 1990. Since then, Pearce said helping people through the complexities of relocating to Connecticut has been her passion.
“It’s been great,” Feeney said. “The job I’m in now has been my favorite. The relocation business is changing and every day there are new challenges. There’s always something new to learn.”
Pearce called Feeney “the consummate employee” with a “calm, refined and yet approachable style. Throughout her long career she has held a number of positions, shown an unparalleled enthusiasm and extraordinary talent for each, and contributed positively to our efforts,” Pearce said. “She has a breadth of knowledge that makes her much more valuable than someone who only knows how to do one job.”
Feeney volunteers with a nonprofit she helped create in 2010 called The Sisters Project.
“We started as a Relay for Life team and decided that we wanted to do more of a grassroots effort in greater New Haven,” Feeney said. “We’re a group of women committed to raising funds for cancer patients and their families. We’ve raised over $250,000 and given it right out to families.”
The group gives scholarships to Wallingford students whose siblings or parents have been cancer patients, gives money directly to families in need, and even renovated the family room and created an outdoor pavilion at the Masonic Hospital in Wallingford.