Valérie Gagné, General Manager of Le Gibraltar
One year ago, Valérie Gagné became General Manager of Le Gibraltar residence in Quebec City. A caring soul and enthusiastic communicator, she sat down with us for a quick chat.
Valérie Gagné, this is your first professional experience at a retirement residence, correct?
Valérie Gagné: Correct! I had previously worked 20 years for Fairmont Hotels, including Château Frontenac in Quebec City. I occupied several different roles and gradually climbed the professional ladder. Three years ago, I was approached by one of my former bosses at Château Frontenac, who wanted me to join the Le Groupe Maurice team. However, the time wasn’t right for me yet. My kids were really young and I was hesitant about changing jobs. Then in early 2020, I was approached once again when the position of General Manager opened up at Le Gibraltar. This time I seized the opportunity and submitted by application. But shortly after, the pandemic struck Quebec. I finally entered into the role in June 2020.
What do you like about working at the residence?
Valérie Gagné: The thing that inspires me the most is human contact and feeling like I can make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to offering them a pleasant living environment. Authenticity and human values are very important for me, and I’m able to put these principles into practice in my job. And since Le Gibraltar is a high-end residence, there’s continuity with what I used to do in the luxury hotel industry. The big difference is that at hotels, you deal with clients on a one-time basis, whereas here the residents are here to stay. That proximity allows you to build strong connections.
What challenges do you have to deal with as General Manager?
Valérie Gagné: During the pandemic and lockdown, my team and I strove to be even more present for residents who weren’t able to see their loved ones. But with the end of lockdowns, things are finally getting back to normal and we can start offering a new calendar of activities again. We’ll be there to bring joy to our residents and help them rediscover the things they love. This year, we celebrated Father’s Day at the residence. I was able to bring my daughters with me and we went to offer our greetings to the residents!
How do you see your mission as General Manager of Le Gibraltar?
Valérie Gagné: Some residents tell me I’m like a mom to them! It’s true that I’m very protective and caring by nature. My goal is to make the people around me happy. But the whole team works toward the same goal as me. They are highly dedicated and engaged individuals who are passionate about their work. We’re a bit like a big family, and we’re committed to the well-being of the residents.
In your opinion, what’s special and unique about Le Gibraltar?
Valérie Gagné: Le Gibraltar is smaller in scale than the majority of Le Groupe Maurice’s other residential complexes, located in the Saint-Sacrement neighbourhood of Quebec City. From your very first visit, you’ll be amazed by the warm and friendly atmosphere. It is also located close to all the shops and services you need, and there’s a park just across the street and a gorgeous rooftop deck. In other words, residents have access to all the perks of city life while also getting to enjoy green spaces. We’ve also launched a revitalization program to freshen up some of our common areas, including the dining room. To sum up, we have lots of great projects lined up!
Thank you for this inspiring interview and we wish you continued success with your projects. It sounds like you’ve already had a great start