Christine Jabaut is entering her 15th year with The Development Corporation (now TDC) in March of 2020. Starting with The Development Corporation as Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant in 2006, Christine has since taken over as Comptroller and Office Manager. During her tenure, the organization saw some pretty significant change and growth. Christine played a vital role in securing funding for the construction of three new buildings, navigating the purchase of three pre-existing buildings, and the sale of four TDC owned buildings. She also has helped the organization host a variety of events including the annual golf outing and the company’s fiftieth anniversary luncheon. During that time, TDC has moved office locations twice and has had three different Presidents at the head of the organization.
Aside from being the go-to person for questions regarding the recent history of the organization, Christine manages all of the organization’s finance, HR, and IT needs. Together with TDC’s administrative staff, Christine pays the bills, manages payroll, and invoices our tenants each month.
Christine’s dedication extends outside of work as well. She and her husband are raising a family of five children and two sibling Sheltie dogs, Nita and Koda. When she isn’t leading a girl scout troop meeting, volunteering at church, or attending her kid’s sporting events, band concerts, or award ceremonies, she can be found tending to her large garden of plants and vegetables or cooking baked goods for her family (and sometimes the office) to enjoy.
Christine’s professional career actually started in a TDC business park. She worked in the finance department of Temoinsa Inc. for five years until the company closed in 2005. Christine wasn’t necessarily looking to work for TDC, but landed the job after submitting her resume and out performing all other candidates in an written skills evaluation. She took on the role of Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant for The Development Corporation in March of 2006, becoming one of the then five full time employees for the organization.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Vermont, then moved to Michigan for two years, and ultimately grew up with one brother and two sisters in Star Lake NY where my parents still reside today.
Where did you go to school?
I attended Jefferson Community College for two years, then transferred to Clarkson University, graduating in 2000 with a degree in accounting.
How long have you been with TDC?
March 2020 marks the start of my fifteenth year with TDC.
What has been your favorite project that TDC has been a part of?
It’s hard to pick a single favorite project that we’ve been a part of – but the work that TDC’s Education Committee supports in the community is a big part of what I love about this organization. TDC’s mission is not to just build buildings – but to find ways to help build a strong workforce for our community. Our fiscal sponsorship of programs such as Champlain Valley Regional Science Fair, ShineOn!, Plattsburgh Robotics and Beekmantown Central School STEM program helps us to meet that goal. You can see the enthusiasm of the students as they are learning and participating in these events. I’m thankful that my children are able to be some of those participants.
What is your favorite memory with the TDC Staff?
There are too many staff memories to recount! I work with a great team who bring a lot of expertise and FUN to the daily atmosphere at TDC. Some of my most recent fond memories include exploiting our former boss’s fondness for Heidi Klum by gifting him with a life-size cut out for his birthday, covering our current boss’s entire office in wrapping paper, and sharing in our annual potluck and gift exchange at Christmas time.
Tell us about your family
My kids are 15, 13,10, 7, and 5 years old, 1 son and 4 daughters. They all attend school in the Beekmantown district. They all are in scouts, volunteer at North Country Alliance Church, and play various sports throughout the year. My husband works with his family at Jabaut Insurance Agency. Our favorite activities to do as a family are visit the beach, go hiking – especially the Point au Roche trail, have bonfires and roast marshmallows in our backyard, and spend time with our large extended family.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Working with different committees to make strategic decisions for the organization using data and spreadsheets. I am a numbers person after all!
Share a fun fact about the Plattsburgh region:
We have great apple orchards in the area. My family loves to go apple picking in the fall.
What is your favorite sports team?
I don’t follow any professional sports, but any team my kids play on is my favorite!
What is something we don’t know about you?
I can play the clarinet and was on the Worship Team (music group) at my church for many years. I also love to cook spicy foods, especially Michigan sauce!
“While You Were Sleeping” – I could quote the whole movie!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in your field?
Be ready (and willing!) to learn on the job. There is so much to be learned by doing and from asking questions of your peers.
What advice would you give someone starting their career?
Explore your opportunities to fit the career path you are most interested in. Don’t discount on-the-job training or the potential to have your employer pay for your schooling. If you’re not sure what you want to do, take some of your core classes at a community college before joining a larger institution for your degree.
What advice would you have given your younger self?
Take advantage of the opportunities and classes that are available to you while in high school or college, especially internships or talking to people doing the jobs that interest you. It’s important to find the right career path that makes you happy and something that you enjoy.
What are your personal goals for the future?
Continue my education in finance. There are some courses that I’m interested in pursuing to expand my knowledge and increase my skills set.
What are you looking forward to the most in the next 15 years?
I am excited to see what the next 15 years brings at TDC. I am looking forward to settling into our new permanent office space and celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary. Outside of work, I’m looking forward to watching my kids continue to grow and graduate high school.
While the scope of her work has changed over the last 15 years, Christine’s friendly face and commitment to the organization has been a constant. TDC would not be the same place without her relentless work ethic and her positive attitude. Thank you, Christine, for all you bring to this organization.