Graycor Business Development Manager Jennifer Delaporte says clients aren’t much different than orchids — and if anyone would know, she would. Delaporte’s love affair with orchids started almost 20 years ago in college, but her passion was fueled during her two-year stint in Hawaii, where she lived with her husband on an orchid farm on Kauai.
“I was hooked almost immediately,” Delaporte says. “Working with orchids can be very rewarding and I love that there’s an orchid variety for every climate on earth.”
When Delaporte returned to the mainland in 2013, she felt the loss of her orchids almost immediately.
“I was only back in Arizona for a few months when my amazing ohana (family) gave me an unbelievable gift,” Delaporte says, “My dad, brother and husband built me my very first greenhouse — right in the backyard.”
Now, Delaporte’s happy place takes the form of a 100-square-foot structure filled with hundreds of orchids. She grows more than five different varieties of orchids, specializing in scented-species varieties. The greenhouse serves as a retreat for Delaporte, who spends the majority of her day working at Graycor Construction Company, where she is responsible for strategic planning, coaching and overall business development efforts for the company’s Phoenix-based Southwest Regional Headquarters.
“We have a 95-year-strong national presence and tremendous local talent,” Delaporte says. “I am so blessed to be part of this team and we’re dedicated to leveraging our services to their highest and best value for our clients.”
One of the best aspects of her job, Delaporte says, is being a member of the Graycor leadership team.
“With some firms, business development and marketing are a sidecar to operations,” Delaporte says, “but here, we understand that they are an integral part of the whole client experience. It’s exciting to help set the vision for how we serve our clients.”
Delaporte likes that her role will continue to evolve as the company does, and she’s ready to grow her real estate roots along with her orchids.
“In my career, I’ve been part of the residential and commercial development industries, and I’ve loved them both. Knowing that our projects are creating jobs, tax revenue and diversified communities is a great way to make a living,” she says.
Back in her greenhouse, Delaporte sometimes finds life surreal.
“Sitting in the middle of a desert, in the middle of a city, in the middle of an orchid garden is pretty unique,” Delaporte says. “This hobby teaches me something new every day. For example, you have to be patient. There is no plant in the world that is always in bloom. Orchids, like commercial real estate, operate in a cycle. And, like clients, every species of orchid thrives under a different set of conditions. It takes attention and commitment, but when you get these formulas right, really beautiful things happen.”