Millennial on the Move: Courtney LaLonde
37, Business Development Manager at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Virginia Beach
Contributions to the business community:
ODAF NextGen, ODU Women’s Basketball Mentoring Program
How do you define success?
Having fun while building lifelong relationships. Some of my best successes have those friends right by my side.
What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?
The experience of being a Virginia Beach Jaycee in my early 20s to my early 30s. The paper had run an article about the Jaycees and need of more support. I went to the next meeting, and from there it changed a lot about me, my personal development and my business savvy. I was given opportunities to take the lead, do good, give back and try new things. I also got to meet new, like minded, friends. As the years have passed our relationships are strong even if I don’t see them as often as I would like. It taught me early on the power of commitment and relationships that I value highly in my life today.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
In 2016 I ran for Virginia Beach City Council At Large. While I did not win I see it as one of the biggest and best accomplishments of my life. It helped me build a stronger personality, resilience, determination, a sense of humor and humility. I am very encouraged as to what the future holds for me.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?
She doesn’t march to the beat of her own drum; she has a whole band.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a dreamer, an explorer, a creator, an artist. I can remember vividly my crazy ideas and projects always keeping my mom on her toes. God bless her heart to let me be me.
Name a book that has inspired you professionally.
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.
What is your best time management hack?
My best time management trick is managing my calendar. In my calendar appointments I have all the details needed. Every Monday I review the month to check for upcoming projects or needs. I schedule time to work on projects. It keeps me organized and on top of everything. There is nothing more precious than time.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a lunch meeting in Coastal Virginia, and what do you order when you go there?
Eurasia, The Swanky Caesar with Grilled Chicken.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
No—this generation is fierce. Stay loud, stay strong, stay passionate, stay hungry.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Career growth. We need to build more economic pillars to better support our community. We need an aggressive, pro-business approach to an environment that can create careers—not just jobs—for Coastal Virginians.
How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?
Affordable housing, ease of commuting, culture, diversity and most of all opportunity.
What’s something that gives you hope for the future?
I have a passion for my community, and my hope for the future comes from not being the only one. From attending charity events, to serving on boards, volunteering or sitting in on city government briefings and planning there are so many faces that sign up, participate and help—donating their time to make our community a better place.
From her nomination:
“Courtney LaLonde is a focused, energetic young professional whose action-oriented demeanor coupled with a sincere drive to improve the environment and Virginia Beach economic climate sets her overwhelmingly apart in her field. Courtney throughout her life has challenged me as a father and taught me to be a better man. She has taught me how to listen with my mouth closed, how to support her without solving her problems and to love without measuring it in dollars. My life has been enriched by her, and I constantly seek her opinion and value her advice. I’ve never asked for her to follow me or to lead the way, but she uncannily and unassumingly has always been at my side at times when I really needed it.”
—Bruce LaLonde, proud father