Upon graduating from Brown University, I chose to enter one of the most competitive work environments I have encountered-- professional sports. After moving to Germany and earning a contract with a mid-level soccer team, I acquired many skills that have transferred over to my corporate roles. Personal accountability, effective communication, perseverance and the ability to compete within a team while also working together are traits I value.
As a sales supervisor for a kitesurfing manufacturer, I employed these skills to help support and drive my sales team to make our brand one of the most recognized in the industry. Utilizing my coursework in Econometrics as well as my ability to think critically, I targeted opportunities within our markets and created solid relationships with our accounts. My teamgeist (German for team spirit) enabled me to manage projects that ranged from restructuring product packaging to developing our company’s first American-made products brought to market.
What was your most challenging task in your current role?
Bringing an American made product to Market in the kitesurfing industry.
During my first year with Best Kiteboarding, I realized we had not released a surfboard line to market in over 3 years whereas our competitors had annual releases and were seizing market share. We had attempted to produce with an Asian-based factory but were unable to finalize due to labor and financial problems, so I proposed an American source with higher production cost. This was initially challenged by the CEO; however, by surveying accounts and determining consumer willingness to pay more for locally produced boards made from better materials, I convinced him to approve a sample production. From visiting the factory (the largest on the East Coast), to designing samples, to testing them personally and creating the graphic, I derived immense personal and professional fulfillment seeing this project to its end. We have now approved an initial production run of 2 shapes to be released in the 2014 product year.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy being active when the weather is conducive, from playing soccer to surfing, kitesurfing and snowboarding. I love anything that gets my heart rate up, especially if there is some adrenalin involved! At nights and when the weather is less cooperative, I enjoy reading, making music on my computer and learning new skills through the many open source tutorial sites available.