Colliers International’s Paul Powderly says his 32 years with the company – making him the organisation’s current longest serving employee in the country – have flown by.
“It’s all about the quality of the people you surround yourself with,” he says.
“You don’t really notice the time go by when you’re having fun and you’ve got great people around you.”
Powderly is Colliers’ ACT State Chief Executive, having started with the company in his early twenties.
He says he’s grown alongside the organisation, which helped change the scene of commercial property in Canberra – from limited development to a “dynamic market”.
“I met my wife here,” he says, “we were the first Colliers marriage, the first Colliers baby”.
“Canberra’s growing up and so Colliers has grown with it, and that’s why I’ve enjoyed staying here.”
Powderly puts his devotion to Colliers down to the staff culture that is embedded in respect and community. Under his leadership, the Colliers International ACT office has one of the longest average employment times, with many staff members having clocked up 15 or 16 years with the firm.
“We don’t employ people, we employ families,” Powderly says.
“If you really look after [employees] and give them growth paths, they should stay here, and that’s what Colliers has done for me.”
After a tumultuous year for many an industry, Powderly says his focus for now is guiding the office and his team through the COVID-19 crisis, before eventually handing over the reins to the next generation.
“My goal is to transition the business, like it was transitioned to me,” he says.
“My job is now to put the next lot of custodians in control of this business.”
Powderly says he is immensely proud of the work Colliers has done in the community, supporting community, charities and sporting groups, and hopes it’s a legacy that will continue long into the future.
“The thing I drum into the people who work here most is that we are part of the Canberra community,” he says.
“You’re only really as good as the communities you support and hopefully beyond my time there’ll be more of it, because everyone has grown up [here] knowing that’s what we do.”