Ms. Whalen began her career with Heart of America in 1979 when she joined the company as the first accountant and has since been an integral part of the strategic direction of the company. Her ability to manage accounting processes for several restaurants and hotels, new development projects, as well as maintain strong banker and vendor relationships led her to become Heart of America’s first CFO. After the arrival of her children, Ms. Whalen stepped away for awhile to focus on family. Since 1999, she has served as the Executive Vice President. Her unique knack for thinking strategically and creatively parlayed her into a leadership role on the design team where she focuses her energy on developing attractive, unique designs for the company’s development and renovation projects. Ms. Whalen often reflects on the various opportunities she’s had to “play” through the years. Her involvement in conceptualizing and designing hotels, restaurants and retail space projects along with her focus on business strategy continue to help shape the company’s direction for the future.