Building a Tight-knit Community Is This Community Manager’s Superpower

Steph Holm is a people magnet—and she uses that power to connect others in ways they never expected

by Amber Scorah

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Welcome to Community Corner, a series highlighting the work, passions, and impact of our community teams around the world.

When Steph Holm moved to New York from her small town in Kansas seven years ago, she knew only two people in her new city. Seven years later, rarely a day goes by in which she doesn’t run into an acquaintance in this city of millions.

“I can be almost anywhere,” says Holm, 29. “I run into people so often that I started keeping track each day: a friend on the subway yesterday, two people on the street the day before.”

This ability to turn a metropolis of 8 million into her own small town serves her well in her work as a community manager at WeWork 200 Broadway. Holm’s authentic nature and innate interest in people pairs beautifully with the needs of those around her.

Consider a recent event Holm helped organize: She booked a conference room for the STEM workshop that Manjari Kumar, a member who runs her own tech company, Best Class, was hosting for an organization that teaches girls in underserved communities.

“My biggest quest is to make the location so buzzing with positive energy that everyone wants to be here,” says community manager Steph Holm.

But her involvement didn’t stop there. When Kumar needed to find someone in STEM who would be open to chatting with the girls, Holm didn’t have to look far to find the perfect person: She suggested a member, Dani Kim, who sat right across from Kumar. A co-founder of Stairs Media, a UX-design company, Kim has a graduate degree in STEM and knows a wide network of women in the field.

Holm’s intuition and deep interest in those she works with helped her facilitate an introduction right when it was needed. Her WeWork “small-town” in the big city is truly a community.

WeWork spoke with Holm about her interests, future plans, and more.

Core values: “Authenticity.” At work, Holm tries to understand people on a deeper level. Of introducing Kim and Kumar, she says, “The fact that I had taken time to know my members made it possible for me to remember the details I did, and action it when the time was right.”

Favorite place in the world: “I just love my old college town of Lawrence, Kansas,” says Holm, who recently bought a Homesick Candle (candles that smell like a place) in the “Lawrence” scent. “It smells like sunflowers.”

The WeWork member who has had the greatest impact on her: Not long after a sobriety school called Tempest moved in from another location, Holm decided to stop drinking for a while, to see what it would be like. “After some thoughtful conversations with the members of the company, I came to realize how often it’s a given that people drink socially in the working world,” she says. “The question you’re always asked is ‘What are you drinking?’ not ‘Are you drinking?’ For Holm, not drinking has become a way of taking back her power. “I have more time on the weekends because I’m not hungover, I have more money because I’m not spending it on booze. I come to work on Monday morning ready to inspire and lead my team.”

Most distinctive ability: “I have an almost creepy good memory,” says Holm. “This helps with my job—I am like a human Rolodex.”

Next work challenge: Holm is looking at how her local WeWork community can activate and elevate the neighborhood in which it is located. “My biggest quest is to make the location so buzzing with positive energy that everyone wants to be here,” she says.

Photos by Katelyn Perry

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