Chicago native takes teamwork mentality from the workplace to the community

Assistant General Manager Jose Bahena says JLL culture is key to his career success

“Being at JLL really makes you feel part of a family,” says Jose Bahena, an Assistant General Manager for JLL in Chicago. “Having the resources, the leadership and the team that I do has been so important. No one is in it alone.”

Jose joined JLL through a connection he had made at a previous job as a cleaner at Chicago’s Millennium Park. It was one of his first jobs while he was still a student, and several years later, his former manager flagged an opening at JLL and encouraged him to apply.

“I gave it a shot, not really knowing what to expect. I advanced my way through the interview process and eventually met with multiple Operations Managers and Regional Managers. The way they represented JLL and their obvious commitment to their team and the business really stood out to me. Right then, I wanted to be part of it and luckily, I got that opportunity.”

For just over two years, Jose has been the Assistant General Manager at 1 North Franklin in downtown Chicago. He describes this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic as “surreal.”

“There wasn’t really a playbook for many situations that have come up this year. What made the difference is the team. Whether it was providing guidance to address a tenant’s question, the paramount work of the operations and engineering teams who stay onsite through it all or sharing knowledge to implement defensive measures against civil disturbance, everyone went above and beyond.”

Jose also takes that teamwork mentality to his community. In addition to dedicating time at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, he helps support New Life Centers, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring, education, sports and street outreach for at-risk youths and young adults living on the west side of Chicago.

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For the past three years, Jose has supported the organization and their mission to serve under-resourced communities. Through mentorship, sports leagues, fundraising efforts, tutoring and the food pantry, New Life Centers embodies the characteristics that Jose values as a leader in the community and within JLL.

“As a young person growing up in a low-income minority neighborhood, you go through a lot of struggles and sometimes you just need someone to talk to and a safe place to play. I’ve had the privilege to meet some great young people through this organization. They are resilient and I am so inspired by their stories, as well as the amazing program leaders who invest their life to this work. This cause and organization are near and dear to my heart. I often feel like I gain so much more from serving than the youth receive, they teach me so much about myself.”

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