In the world of leadership, there are those who lead from the front and set the bar higher with each step. One such visionary at the heart of Roots Management Group is Tauvaga Ili, affectionately known as Tau, our Chief Operating Officer (COO). His journey from humble beginnings to our organization's pinnacle is inspiring and a testament to Roots Management Group.
What sets Tau apart, especially in the eyes of our employees, is his relatability. He started at the very bottom of the company, hired to be part of the construction team. His early responsibilities included ensuring contractors met deadlines and scheduled follow-up work—a crucial part of the punch list process. Tau's journey from these beginnings to a leadership role is remarkable.
"Many times, when there is an issue, or Tau is seeking to understand the root cause of something, he will dive in and do the job," says Tom Stapley, the founder of Treehouse (now known as Roots Management Group). "Tau also holds people accountable professionally; he expects a lot from his team but always carries the largest burden—an excellent quality in a leader."
Tau's journey with Roots Management Group began when the company developed and oversaw 1,000 manufactured home sites spanning 18 communities. Many of these communities struggled with low occupancy rates, mismanagement, and theft. Tau saw the challenges and dived in headfirst.
He started by analyzing what was working and what was not, uncovering inconsistencies, financial discrepancies, and the lack of policies and procedures. "We had to let people go and re-evaluate what we were doing out in the field, which helped build a solid foundation, and ultimately better serve the residents."
From Pigs to Property:
Before his journey with Roots, Tau had worked in his family's pig farming operation. A bad back injury led him to seek a job with less "heavy lifting," pointing him toward the path he was destined to tread.
Stapley recalls Tau standing out immediately. "He is a great leader, very pleasant to be around, a people person, always seeking to understand and get to know a person or issue, without ego, and truly acting in the best interest of making the right decision for the business or person,.”
Tau started as a call representative but quickly evolved into an operational role. His exceptional communication skills and innate problem-solving abilities earned him additional responsibilities.
Tau graciously climbed the corporate ladder, eventually becoming a regional manager. He displayed exemplary leadership skills in this role, managing a diverse portfolio of properties and teams and championing operational excellence across multiple locations.
Today, as the Chief Operating Officer, Tau plays a pivotal role as the bridge between Roots Management Group and our esteemed capital partners. He upholds the highest standards of quality and efficiency across all our communities, ensuring they run seamlessly and provide residents with an exceptional living experience.
One of Tau's standout qualities is his emphasis on the importance of a well-trained and motivated workforce. He has been instrumental in ensuring that our Community Managers are treated as the heart of Roots Management Group.
Tau places great value on employee training and development, ensuring that our Roots Management Group Communities team stays at the forefront of industry trends. This dedication ensures that we consistently deliver exceptional service to our residents.
Hence creating the Learning and Development Department led by Annie Robertson, who says, "Tau doesn't put himself above any level of work or any person; he spends time getting to know each person in the office as well as the field," adding that “Tau has been a huge advocate for people spending time in the field and getting to see and understand the field experience first hand, he feels strongly about his experience at Roots giving empowering and developing him." And as someone she reports to, "Tau has an incredible ability to instill trust and confidence in his team. He fosters an environment where his team members know he has their back," says Robertson.
Perhaps one of Tau's most remarkable achievements lies in his ability to instill unwavering confidence in our capital partners and investors through his exceptional leadership and commitment to excellence. His relentless focus on operational efficiency maximizes returns on investment and fosters strong relationships with our key stakeholders.
Under Tau's operational guidance, Roots Management Group has witnessed tremendous growth and expansion, solidifying our position as a trusted and innovative player in the real estate development sector. Roots Management Group has 241 communities in 24 states with over 39,000 sites.
Tau’s keen attention to detail, ability to inspire teams, and unwavering commitment to exceeding expectations continue to propel the company forward, consistently delivering exceptional results.
Tau resides in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and three children. His legacy at Roots Management Group is transformation, empowerment, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Tau's journey inspires us all, serving as a shining example of what dedication, resilience, and visionary leadership can achieve.