GREELEY — Ever hear stories about the executive who started out working in the mailroom? Sometimes they’re true. Just ask Chalice Springfield.
As a 19-year-old student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, studying to be an elementary-school teacher, Springfield needed a part-time job. A notice on a 3-by-5-inch index card posted on a UNC bulletin board advertised an opening in the mailroom at a real-estate firm then known as “Sears and Company: THE TEAM.”
Then managing broker Joe Whisenand offered Springfield the job — and 27 years later, she’s managing broker herself at Sears Real Estate, and chief executive to boot.
How a business manages its inventory can have a tremendous impact on the financial health of the company. Managed properly, inventory can be a great source of increased margins, higher revenue, or a combination of the two.
“It wasn’t a direct line from mailroom to CEO,” she said. “During my career, I have also worked in the title industry, sold real estate with Sears and worked in the mortgage industry. Thirteen years ago, the company called me and asked if I would come back to Sears and be their leader and managing broker. I accepted, and it’s where I find myself today as the line leader for about 60 people.”
Springfield also has a coaching and training company, Unstoppable Curiosity, where she works with private coaching clients and conducts training and motivational workshops. “Unlike most people in the world who would rather die than speak in public,” she said, “it’s actually something that brings me great joy and happiness because I feel like I am making a difference for others.”
Springfield was a board member at the Weld Food Bank and still sits on some of its committees and volunteers in its warehouse. She also serves on the board of North Range Behavioral Health. Her list of volunteer work includes the Immigrant and Refugee Center, Partners Mentoring Youth and the IRES Board. She also created a “Greeley’s Great Group” of leaders to be champions for the community.
“Woody Allen is attributed as saying, ‘80 percent of success in life is showing up.’ While I think this is true, it needs a little more oomph,” Springfield said. “You can’t just show up without a level of integrity and presence. Integrity — being your word and doing what you say you’re going to do — creates workability in life. Integrity is something that people value and appreciate. When others can count on you not just to show up but to really do your best at what you’ve committed to, that contributes first to relationships, which lead to success. Integrity is one of my core commitments. I feel like I show up in my career, in my community and in my life.
“I am passionate about creating a life I love that fills me up, and I am privileged to do that in Greeley because I absolutely love this community and the people in it,” she said. “I grew up in Colorado Springs and never felt a sense of community and place as I do here in Greeley.”
Springfield also is devoted to balancing success in business with meaning in life.
“My idea of success is moving away from checklists and ‘doing’ and busy-ness to presence, connection, slowing down and fulfilling experiences,” she said. “I certainly don’t have it figured out. I am still motivated to do my best — and, I also desperately want time away from email and my cell phone to take a hike with my husband in nature.”