A Conversation with our New GM, Ceasar Larrach

I wanted to work at Sun City Shadow Hills for two reasons. First, I was born and raised in southern California (in Arcadia, near Pasadena) and, like my wife (who is also a
southern Californian), after spending years in the Las Vegas area and in Sacramento, we wanted to “come back home.” Second, I welcomed the opportunity to work at a Sun City because it’s the “top brand” in active lifestyle communities, the best that’s out there.

Soon, I hope that my family – I have four children still at home ranging in age from a daughter who just began first grade to another daughter who just started her freshman year in college – will be able to join me from northern California. I’ve been so busy with my new job, though, that I haven’t had the chance to start looking for a home for us yet.

As you can imagine, it’s sometimes difficult to balance the priorities of a demanding job against family life. At work, I’m 110 percent focused on the needs of our
community; but when I’m home, I’m 110 percent a Dad. I’m very involved in helping the kids with their homework while my wife, who also works, is getting dinner on the table. Last season, for instance, I was an assistant soccer coach for my son’s team.
But technology helps me keep up: throughout the evening, I make time to check email on my phone and tablet and respond to any issue that needs immediate attention.

Everyone on my staff also has my cell phone number, and they don’t hesitate to call! I respond to nearly all emails from residents within 24 hours, immediately if it’s an emergency.

For me, the most important skill that I bring to my work here is effective communication. I try to be a strong listener and, by focusing on communicating well with our residents, I hope to head off the rumors and misinformation that can circulate in communities like ours.

My main goal is to better our community. I want to make sure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently, to assist the Board with what it needs to get its important work done. I’m not here to dictate – I’m here to facilitate. Working together with the Board, its committees, and our residents, I want to make life easier for our residents. I began by getting to know each department within our HOA, sitting down with them for
a half-day or so, including spending time at our guard shacks. I’ve enjoyed walking through the clubhouses and meeting our residents.

I hope that some of my past experiences will be helpful in suggesting better solutions and ways of doing things.

Until you mentioned it, I didn’t realize that I was the community’s first male General Manager. I come, though, from a pretty much all-female household. My father passed away when I was very young, and my mother worked and took on the role of supporting our family while my grandmother ran the home. So I’ve learned to appreciate the strengths of both female and male perspectives.

Most of all, I want our residents to know that I am here for them. My door is always open. Often, residents have great ideas – they just don’t know where to go with them. I hope they’ll let me, and my staff, know.