JLL community manager embraces his true self and thrives

Chris de la Cruz's decision to be his authentic self leads to strong relationships with tenants

July 29, 2022

Chris de la Cruz made a conscious, fearless decision that he was going to be himself when he started as a Community Manager on JLL’s Experience Management (XM) team.

“At past companies, I shied away from being authentic to myself. I knew going into this role I wanted to be true to myself from the get-go – a proud gay man. What I found was JLL and my team were there to receive me just as I am. And it was a nice feeling to join a team where I was able to be myself and not feel like I had to hide who I was.”

Chris grew up outside of L.A. with his parents and three sisters. Chris’ family is proudly Filipino, but he remembers feeling shame for his heritage when he was young. Today though, Chris credits representation in the media and the modern narrative encouraging self-confidence and pride. “I embrace myself wholeheartedly. Not just the gay part or the Filipino part, but every part – which is difficult when you're used to putting your head down because people may not understand you.”

Vulnerability is another strength Chris brings to work every day, and he builds connections because of it. When the pandemic hit, the in-person events that Chris usually planned morphed into virtual events. Chris used these virtual opportunities to host an open dialogue since everyone was experiencing something new - and a bit scary - for the first time. People started attending the events consistently – something Chris never saw for on-site events. It was then that Chris knew tenants felt his support.

Join our Talent Network

Let's stay connected. Our Talent Network is the ideal place to enhance your job search, speed up the application process or simply learn more about life at JLL.

Chris lives his life with one motto in mind: you never know until you try, which has opened doors to many interesting conversations and experiences (including catering a party for Elton John!). And even though most of his experience was in catering, restaurants and nightclubs, Chris took a shot at a Community Manager role with Corporate Concierge Services (CCS), now JLL Experience Management.

“Living by these words pushes me take chances on things, like going on an 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., or attending networking events in L.A., even applying for this job. Some were great, some not so great, but I’ve never looked back or regretted trying something new. Everything's a lesson waiting to be learned and helps develop character and see the world through a different lens.” 

A lot has changed for Chris since he started with XM, from planning events on-site, to moving to virtual events, to now running multiple virtual accounts after moving to Las Vegas. He’s able to fully welcome these challenges now that he’s found the courage and confidence to be himself. “Embracing who I am has not only allowed me to grow and learn, but to thrive as I’m planning events and building relationships with the tenants and my coworkers.”

We’re lucky to have you, Chris.

Interested in learning how JLL can help you achieve your career ambitions?