Women’s History Month is a powerful time to celebrate significant women throughout history. This March, we want to specifically highlight the women leaving a lasting impact on historic preservation and sustainability.
Meet Heather Buethe, our Director of Project Management. With more than a decade of experience in the tax credit industry, Heather oversees a range of projects, from small main street building rehabilitations to large metropolitan plans.
We spoke with Heather to learn more about her career, passion, and life.
What did you want to be (when you grew up) when you were a kid?
A grocery bagger! Shoot for the stars, right!? I think there was something appealing about the challenge of getting all the groceries in the fewest amount of bags, in an orderly fashion, and before the customer was done paying. And meeting new people and seeing their different tastes and ideas for meals. Hearing my daughter’s aspirations of a dual career – teaching elementary school and owning a bakery – puts my dream job to shame and makes me proud!
What famous women have been inspiring to you?
Brene Brown continues to inspire me. Her openness and vulnerability have encouraged me to show up as myself – even though that means exposing that I am not perfect. Being imperfect doesn’t mean that you cannot be effective and even awesome at what you do!
What’s the best career advice you’ve received over the years?
“Ask for what you want.” Different things motivate different people and no one is going to know what you need and what fulfills you if you keep it to yourself. So, take the time to understand what is important to you and be courageous enough to speak up. There have been several times in my career where I have been at a crossroads whether because I was a new mom trying to find personal and professional balance or because I had opportunities to explore new career paths. In some instances what I was looking for was unconventional but the only way to get what I was looking for was to ask for it.
What drew you to this industry?
I love that the work that we do through the NMTC and HTC programs helps revitalize communities in need. That is the “something extra” that this industry provides. Working with investors who many times are providing the missing piece in a project’s capital stack makes the work that we do more meaningful and that is important to me. Other career paths without the community impact component just have not felt as worthwhile for me.
How do you achieve work/life balance? What do you like to do outside of work?
It has been a journey. I have spent the last 15 + years living without any boundaries between my personal and professional life. I would check email at all hours and worry that someone needed something from me when I wasn’t checking email. Just in the last six months, I have learned to put my phone away and give myself space to enjoy the moments that I am in. It is okay not to be connected at all times and rest is necessary. This has allowed me to spend more time doing the things I love outside of work – reading, hiking, and supporting my family in doing the things they love.
Stay tuned as we release more interviews with NTCIC’s team during Women’s History Month.