In our 2020 issue, we’re shining the light on some outstanding leading ladies for all their accomplishments and contributions to society.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER
Laurice was born and raised in southern California where she met her husband, Sam Hachem. In 1989, the couple relocated to Florida, and built a real estate investment company. After Sam’s passing in March 2016, Laurice began to invest in more commercial real estate. She loves Florida, but with so many memories of Sam she felt a change would be good. Surprisingly, both her brother-in-law and son-in-law mentioned Northwest Arkansas. After her first visit in June 2017, Laurice was all in. She even sees herself retiring here.
Have you stayed on a straight path to your career goal?
My path was anything but straight. I studied accounting in college, took management courses and obtained real estate licenses in California and Arizona. I’m analytical and love to figure things out, so I always thought I would work for the FBI, CIA or maybe become an attorney!
What do you do for fun?
I work! Work is a large part of my life. I feel that the only way to be truly satisfied is to do excellent work and the only way to do excellent work is to love what you do. I do plan on taking golf lessons though.
Thing you’re most proud of:
Definitely my family. I have an amazing daughter, Mechelle. It is a blessing to have such a dedicated and beautiful daughter. She is a Godly woman and a prayer warrior.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mother. She’s 95 and still draws people in. She came to this country in 1951, and when she and my father arrived here from Lebanon with two small children, they only spoke Arabic and French. My mother learned to sew, cook, speak both English and Spanish before passing her U.S. Citizenship class, and raised six children with my father who started a business and was successful in both his work and family. My mother’s confidence and positivity are infectious.
What nonprofits are you involved with, and why?
I love to support organizations that help at-risk youth and families. After dealing with Sam’s medical issues in the last few years of his life, I now support several hospital foundations too. Any organization that I’m connected with is always for a personal reason. Some of the local nonprofits include: Arkansas Athletes Outreach (AAO); Arkansas Children’s Northwest; CASA of NWA; Equestrian Bridges; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA); Hope Cancer Resources; Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas; Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter; Susan G. Komen; and the U.S. Marshals Museum.
Do you still seek out mentors or mentees?
I don’t actively seek out either mentors or mentees. I’m constantly learning from everyone around me, from a colleague to an employee to the random person I bumped into. It is something I find increasingly valuable. I sometimes find myself drawn to people who have had similar experiences. Meeting Johnelle Hunt has been a godsend. She has exhibited so much strength and grace after losing J.B. and still manages to run the business while managing her grief.
Quality you admire most in women:
Strength and confidence because they’re rooted in a positive attitude and a growth mindset. Women who embrace their confidence are more fun to be around.
Best part of your job:
It’s never the same day twice. No investment, no negotiation, no tenant is the same and that keeps it interesting. I also love that my hard work has put me in a position to be able to support some very worthy causes.
One thing you’d like to master in business:
In all the years that I’ve been in real estate, I have never built from the ground up. Now, here in Arkansas, I am doing it. It is daunting and exciting, and I am learning so much. I keep myself open to the advice of others and ultimately follow my instincts. With some more projects in development, I look to this time in my life as my “Master’s Class.”
Advice you’d give to other working women/moms:
Strive to be the best you can be and keeping learning and growing. Don’t be satisfied with your achievements and not try to do anything else, because if you’re not pushing yourself, who will? Also, embrace change. Many people fear it, but it’s a beautiful thing. With big risks come greater rewards and the chance to make a difference. Lastly, be present in the moment. If you are with family, try to turn off that nagging voice in your head that is reminding you of all the paperwork on your desk at the office.