In late 1979, Elizabeth Kate (Katie) Barker embarked on a second career. After becoming fully accredited and educating herself in the ways of Homeowner Association Management, she convinced good friend Jacqueline (Jackie) Calkins to join her in this endeavor. Thus, Barker & Calkins, Inc. was born.
It was not long after this union and formation that Mt. St. Helens erupted, sending ash all over the northwest and, more specifically, the few flat roof condominiums then freshly under the management umbrella of Barker & Calkins. This became a challenge for most everyone, as removal was tedious. While this unique phenomenon was being digested and addressed, David Weislogel, having just completed a dubiously successful freshman year of college and through a past connection with Katie’s husband from back in high school, was hired for the summer. With time the ash was gone, other jobs ensued, full time college at PSU and part time work at Barker & Calkins turned into full time work and part time college for David. At that point in the early 80’s, Katie smartly determined that it would be a good idea to add single family management services to the growing portfolio of HOA’s already under management.
So, David added another hat, obtaining his real estate license in 1984 and then his broker’s license in 1987, becoming the principle broker that year. Other properties were added, including more individual units to be leased and managed. More employees were added to make it all work and life was good, to a point. Managing HOA’s is a relatively thankless job. Many rewards and many neat people but maintaining the highest level of care and service for each individual HOA proved difficult within the budgetary confines of so many associations. The stresses of meeting and exceeding the unique demands and needs of so many residents took a toll. Jackie retired in the early 80’s and Katie eventually retired in 1990 with grace and aplomb after more than a decade making it all work. Katie’s vision, knowledge, trust, wisdom and the foundation of what she so selflessly built has lasted to this day. Without Katie there is no Barker & Calkins and without Katie and Mt. St. Helens who knows where David might be.
Thirty some years later the company moniker is the same because it needs to be. Switching tense, I try to honor the past and the Katie Barker name the best I can by treating my owners, tenants, contractors and others as fairly, considerately and professionally as possible. This is an interesting challenge in an industry and area where not all is black and white and much is quite often in flux. But what is life without the occasional challenge. Having said that, it is certainly unfortunate that the City of Portland has created so many unnecessary challenges that defy logic, common sense and are counter to housing goals.