Interview with Alizée Spahn, General Manager of L’Initial


Just a few weeks ago, Alizée Spahn took on the role of General Manager at L’Initial Residence in Gatineau. She agreed to sit down with us to chat about her journey, values and plans with Le Groupe Maurice. Check out her profile!

 Alizée, could you share a bit about yourself and what brought you to work in the senior living field?

I’m originally from France and come from a family of merchants. I’ve been immersed in the service industry since a young age, so it’s natural that I gravitated towards real estate and wealth management. After managing portfolios of residential complexes, I transitioned into finance.

Over the years, the desire to settle in Canada grew stronger. I finally made the move in 2018 and joined the Desjardins Cooperative Financial Group in Hull-Aylmer, Gatineau, where I held the position of Market Development Manager.

More recently, as I reflected on my career, I realized I wanted to venture into a new field. When the opportunity to work at Le Groupe Maurice arose, I did some research and found that the company truly resonated with me.

What drew you to Le Groupe Maurice?

I’m someone who follows my heart. When I saw the General Manager opening at L’Initial, I was immediately intrigued. The fact that Le Groupe Maurice offered a position in this region was a big selling point for me, as I wanted to remain in the Outaouais.

Then, I stumbled upon the Manifesto on the company’s website, and it truly struck a chord with me. Every interaction I’ve had with Le Groupe Maurice employees has shown me that the human values, mindset, and openness conveyed there are genuinely reflected in the behaviours of all team members. If I had any questions before, after that, I had none!

How do you see your role as General Manager?

I feel like this role is a perfect blend of all my professional experiences, and that I was destined to work at Le Groupe Maurice. Being a General Manager is a multidisciplinary job. It’s also a role that involves a lot of interaction, and my priority is to be there for the residents and their families. I want to get to know them, listen to their needs and ensure that they’re happy in their living environment. After all, we’re working in their homes, and it’s important to offer them the best service while respecting community life. So, it involves coordinating, organizing, and ensuring that the residents’ experience is as wonderful as possible.

When it comes to management, it’s genuinely important for me to prioritize the development of our employees and to be there to support them. Since our positions are very much hands-on, I aim to serve as a liaison between them and senior management.

What challenges do you anticipate facing in the residence?

I want my team members to feel fulfilled in their roles because I believe it’s crucial for seniors residing in a Le Groupe Maurice residence to have dependable individuals who know them and are happy to be there.

Moreover, I aim to enhance community living while respecting residents’ privacy. This can be challenging for those accustomed to living independently. Therefore, it’s vital to balance various requests while considering the collective well-being.

Finally, my personal objective is to avoid being overwhelmed by the administrative and financial aspects of my job and to regularly engage with residents. Taking the time to converse with them is essential, as is fostering open communication within the team!

Do you have any plans already in mind for L’Initial?

Absolutely! Team cohesion is paramount to me, so I intend to establish individual development plans with each employee. This will enable me to better understand them and determine how I can support them on an individual level. It’s a foundational work that can help me tailor assignments based on each person’s personality and skills.

When employees are happy in their roles, they approach their work with greater joy and dedication, which naturally benefits the residents. The elderly have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, and it’s crucial to safeguard this!

Would you like to share a message with the residents of L’Initial?

We’re here to provide you with a living environment that meets your expectations and feels like home. Make the most of it, do the things you want, and love what you do!

On a slightly more personal note, can you tell us about your hidden talent?

Well, I love interior decorating. My apartment isn’t big enough to fully satisfy my taste for design and layout! I love discovering new finds at antique dealers and restoring old furniture.

What really makes you smile in life?

I’m optimistic by nature, so I regularly smile at life… especially when it comes to eating well! As a good Frenchwoman, I love fine food – especially pasta. I also really like seafood, wine and of course cheese!

Do you play a particular sport?

With a busy professional life, it’s sometimes a little difficult, but I enjoy walking and skiing. I would also like to learn to skate, because right now, I’m not very steady on the ice (laughs). I have energy to spare, so I have to go out at least once a day; otherwise, I can’t keep still.

Do you have a favourite quote that resonates with you?

Yes, and I say it to my team all the time: I wish you endless dreams and the intense desire to fulfil some of them. Personally, I would like to become a mother in the coming years, start a family and buy a house by a lake. It’s a fairly simple dream, but for me, that’s happiness.

 Thank you for this lovely interview, Alizée. We wish you all the best in your new role as General Manager, and above all, much happiness!