Karine Gignac: A caring community spirit
A few months ago, Karine Gignac became General Manager of the Margo residence in Lévis. The young professional arrived equipped with prior experience managing two other Le Groupe Maurice residences.
Karine Gignac, what’s your professional background?
Karine Gignac: Before being recruited by Le Groupe Maurice, I worked for five years in manager roles at Provigo. When I arrived at my first residence in Candiac about four years ago, I immediately fell in love! I thrive on human contact, and that was a revelation for me. My work is extremely rewarding and I feel like I’m able to contribute to something that’s bigger than me. The job is also really varied: with 400 residents, no two days are the same and something’s always happening!
How do you see your role as General Manager of Margo?
Karine Gignac: My role is to create joy for residents and make their daily lives easier. To achieve this, we strive to create special occasions for them like shows or themed dinners, but we also do simple things like sit down with them in the lounge and talk to them. In fact, I believe that building relationships with residents is a key part of my job. Feeling like I can help people motivates me and makes my work meaningful.
To help me complete my tasks, I have a solid and fully dedicated team behind me. There’s no hierarchy and there are no silos. We work in synergy with the sole aim of making our residents happy and creating a welcoming environment that feels good to live in. I see myself as a sort of conductor responsible for the overall harmony: there might be a few false notes here and there, but at the end of the day, the audience doesn't notice them when everything else comes together.
What surprised you when you arrived at the Margo residence?
Karine Gignac: I immediately noticed that the residents had a very strong sense of community. The majority of them had lived in Lévis and already knew each other. It’s great watching this community in action—it’s a bit like living in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Sometimes people who hadn’t seen each other in years reunite at the residence. It’s amazing to watch those reunions.
What challenges do you have to deal with as General Manager?
Karine Gignac: The residence opened in June 2019. Less than one year later, the pandemic struck and health measures were put in place. That meant that residents didn’t have the time to see and enjoy all the benefits of living in our residence, like celebrating Easter and Mother’s Day. But the whole Margo team and I decided to do something about it! With the end of lockdowns, it feels a bit like restarting from zero. We’re going to relaunch activities and show the residents who have chosen us all the great things about living at a Le Groupe Maurice residence.
If you could deliver a message to the residents, what would you tell them?
Karine Gignac: My door is always open, so come by and meet me! I’m here to talk and listen. We are building a genuine community here in collaboration with residents and employees. We’re like a miniature society that we’re all going to develop together. You know it’s a wonderful project because you can sense the caring spirit here.
Thank you for sharing your vision with us and we wish you success with the relaunch of activities!