Yolanda Lowe has a habit of taking opportunities and running with them. It’s a trait that served her well about 15 years ago, when a career she’d worked hard to build came to an end.
Lowe moved to the U.S. from Italy at age 14; at 16, she began work doing data-entry as a keypunch operator at Aetna. She moved up into assistant roles for executives and eventually went to night school, getting her degree as an interior designer.
Lowe spent years helping design commercial spaces and manage projects, including construction of Aetna’s Middletown development and changes to Hartford’s CityPlace. But a post-9/11 retraction in the industry left her laid off and looking for a new path.
Her solution? Become a Realtor – a great one.
Now with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Lowe has been recognized for sales achievements and serves as vice president of the board of directors for the New Haven Middlesex Association of Realtors, according to Bernadette Blaze, the association’s director of marketing.
She’s also consistently learning and improving in her personal and professional life, Blaze said, adding that Lowe’s commercial design experience comes in handy.
“Her real estate clients benefit from the many talents she honed in that position, such as her keen eye, attention to detail and skills in balancing the many aspects of a transaction,” Blaze said.
Lowe’s background comes to the fore in her community contributions, too. She’s a board member for the Essex Housing Authority and Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, where she recently oversaw the design for the common areas of Essex Place, an affordable senior housing development. Lowe acknowledges that it was a complex task with a tight budget, but her knowledge and experience helped make the effort a success.
As chairperson of the Realtor Association’s Community Relations Committee, she rallied members to donate to food drives for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. She oversees fundraising galas for the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, and she also participates in the Terri Brouder Breast Cancer Foundation’s annual marathon – an activity that has special meaning, as Lowe herself is a breast cancer survivor.
Lowe firmly believes in connections with people allow you to overcome setbacks and make powerful contributions to your community.
“This is where I live, this is where I work, and I want to contribute as much as I can,” she said.