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  • Writer's pictureMAREJ

LWE recognizes Caroline Shelly as a 2017 Top 25 Leading Woman Entrepreneur

Caroline Shelly Principal HF Planners, LLC Years with company/firm: 18 Years in field: 30 Real estate affiliations: NJ IFMA, LEED AP+BD-C, NCIDQ

What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017? Being recognized as a 2017 Top 25 Leading Woman Entrepreneur by the Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Network. ( To be identified with the other esteem leaders is an amazing recognition and honor. What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2017? Being awarded the design project for North American headquarters in the Philadelphia Naval Yard for an international company is a feather in our cap. How do you manage the work/life balance? Managing the work/life balance is a daily challenge. Before my daughter left for college, it was a constant challenge to give her and my husband enough time, work and myself. Now that she’s away at school, I’m able to introduce other priorities into my schedule. I get up early to exercise and meditate, which helps to energize my day. Staying focused at work and ensuring that all responsibilities are addressed while dealing with daily issues continues to be a challenge. We’ve just moved into new office space and I’m hopeful to start fresh with a clean desk policy to help me stay organized. Who or what has been the strongest influence on your career? Aside from my family, the strongest influence on my career has been my business coach, Aldonna Ambler from The Growth Strategist. She has shown me how to be more structured in my day to day and long term planning which has been instrumental in our growth path. Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today? I feel that I am one of the rare people who is in the profession that they studied in college! I attribute my passion for the field to my high school art teacher, Mr. Ryder Martin. He developed my interest in architectural drafting and the love of art. As the owner of HF Planners, I learned from previous positions at other firms and love the fact that no 2 days are ever the same. The work is fascinating, clients come to us with challenges ranging from creating a new boardroom in the space to handling a 400 person move into new offices. What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? I have been told numerous times this year that I am very calm. Every time I hear the comment, I laugh to myself. I don’t feel calm but I am told that my calmness brings composure to the busy world of office design and construction. I believe this has helped bring focus to a project and makes the variety in the projects successful. Tell us a little about your family. I am the 5th out of 6 children. Growing up, this gave us all an automatic support system. We are all still close even though we live away from each other. Each of us are educated and trained in unique fields. Our parents encouraged us to follow our hearts when it came to work. I am married for 29 years to Peter Shelly. Time has flown and it seems outrageous that it’s been that long. We have 1 daughter who is away at college studying Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA.

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