Interview with Christine Harkins, Director of Accounting and Human Resources, Harkins
To succeed in building a log home, you need the right materials and the right team. Some players play a more discrete role, but their work is just as important. Since the company’s foundation in 2000, Christine Harkins has played a key role in the success of the family business. With an excellent sense of organization, Christine has been involved from the very start, taking care of all the “paperwork.” Accounting, compliance documents with the government and various authorities, and employee payroll: she has overseen the administrative structure of Harkins from the beginning.
“Thanks to my strengths and organizational capacity, I’ve been able to allow David and André to focus on what they do best: grow the company and build log homes,” explains Christine.
Pragmatic by nature, Christine admits she was somewhat skeptical about starting a business at the beginning. After some doubt and hesitation, she rallied to the cause in order to put her skills to good use. Thanks to her autodidactic nature and a few online trainings, Christine quickly sharpened her skills in accounting, bookkeeping, human resources, information technology, workplace health and safety, and more. The launch of the company came at just the right time, as her career as at-home teacher had come to an end with David and Amélie having finished their studies. It was a natural transition to keep working together as a family.
When asked about the greatest challenge in running a family business, Christine hesitates, which is a pretty good sign. “The level of trust between us makes a big difference,” she explains. “We know each other, we trust each other and we have to believe it’s worked for us for the last 20 years.”
Christine has not only been lucky enough to see the evolution of her family’s business, but she’s played a starring role in its success. “It makes me so proud to see everything my children have succeeded in doing and to see their evolution,” she says. “I’ve given everything I could to them as a mother and as a homeschool teacher and they took that and built something extraordinary.”
HER FAVOURITE LOG HOME
She’s seen many log homes throughout her 20 years with the company. From the most modest to the most extravagant projects, each day she witnesses the vision and talent of Harkins’ architecture and construction teams. These devoted workers work together to transform their clients’ dreams and their constraints into a durable, robust, welcoming and natural work of art. Each year, nearly 20 homes leave our worksite. It’s this team’s talent that spreads happiness each year, to all four corners of Quebec, Ontario, and these days, even in Morocco.
Her favourite of their log homes? The Lac Sauvage house. Built in 2019, Christine appreciates this home for its interior design, which features cathedral ceilings in the kitchen, living room and dining room, which provide a large, open space with plenty of lighting because of its orientation towards the south. She has a soft spot for the main entry, situated on the ground level with no stairs to access it, while the basement is laid out at garden level leading out to a spacious courtyard, ideal for a beautiful garden!