Q&A with Justin Deknatel, VP of Real Estate Management

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Hungerford Properties Interview with HP's Nutrition Ambassador, Justin Deknatel

Q: Justin, in your life you are managing a lot of responsibilities, pressures, and a successful career. What is your biggest lesson so far in terms of managing your career and your health & wellness?

A: By actively focusing on all of it; by scheduling time for each part of this and being proactive in my approach. As well, by being aware of how leading an active and healthy lifestyle positively affects my career; when I’m active, eat well, and pay attention to my body it helps my mental wellbeing and my ability to focus on my work and achieve my goals.


Q: Tell us about your wellness habits.

A: I take daily long walks with our dog – she’s big and forces us to be active! One of my biggest habits and pieces of advice is to find something you like doing and enjoy, and incorporate that into your life (for me, that’s skiing, hiking, running, triathlon, and paddle boarding); it depends where I am and the mood I’m in but I like to have lots of options.


Q: At Hungerford Properties, what you like to do to support the wellness of your teams?

A: Providing flexibility for my team members to take time for themselves and for their families when they need to; being mindful of what creates anxiety and stress for people at work and communicating about it helps. Creating an open, supportive and trusting environment with ongoing dialogue about how they’re doing and what I can do to support them and make their lives a bit easier.


Q: What is your favourite part of HP's culture that you think is unique in supporting people's wellness?

A: My favourite part, is the fact that as a company, we are having these conversations and making changes. The willingness to improve and knowing that striving to be the best we can be isn’t only about delivering corporate results, but also about providing a platform to be the best people we can be.


Q:The Covid-19 pandemic has been especially hard for some people; what is your best advice to manage through what can be a difficult time in the Covid environment?

A: Focus on what you can control; limit your exposure to news and negative media. Focus on your immediate family and friends; be kind, and help out where you can as it has a great impact on your own mental health. Try to improve yourself and others around you a little bit every day. Take the time to focus on your own mental health and that of those around you. If you find yourself struggling, we have resources available such as the Employee Assistance Program that provides resources and support for dealing with any mental health issues.


Q: Do you have any favourite books or resources on the topic of health and wellbeing?

A: I encourage others to stay up to date with health information and do what makes you happy and lifts you up. There’s not a one size fits all approach, and things changes throughout your life. I just like being informed and up to date on current health and wellness practices and incorporating what fits into my own life.

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