Today, women in the US celebrate the 96th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day – an important milestone where women finally won the right to vote.
KB Home joins millions of women in celebrating this pivotal moment in American history by sharing success stories of the many inspiring women who are making huge strides in what has been traditionally a male-dominant industry. But that’s been changing for some time now, and it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the individual stories of inspiring women who are leading the way – we sat down with Kristine Minten, Director of Purchasing in Houston, to share with us her motivational story.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – your early life, upbringing and background.
Kristine: I grew up in the Midwest on our family farm in Green Bay, WI – which probably explains my strong work ethic (and superb heavy-lifting abilities). I am one of 8 siblings, which I think teaches you both diplomacy and assertiveness; it certainly taught me the value of working as a team… Years afterwards, I put myself through college, and in 1991 I received my BA in Business and Marketing from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin.
How about your professional career – how did you end up with KB Home?
Kristine: I actually started pursuing my passion in music, working as an Entertainment Director at a local Hotel and Casino after college. I was also playing in local bands, even sang on the Larry McCarren Show (a local TV show hosted by a former Green Bay Packers Center). I actually ended up spending a year at sea, working as a performer for Norwegian Cruise Lines – which was a pretty exciting experience. From there, I decided to move to California, which brought me to work with KB Home. This was back in 1998, I was Purchasing Agent in the North Bay and worked on multiple acquisitions of smaller homebuilders. In 2000, I came to Houston for KB Home, where I worked on another acquisition, then transitioned into Purchasing Manager in 2001. After two years in that role, I was promoted to Director of Design Studio and two years later, VP of Sales. I had over 100 direct reports and served on a strategic task force teams for Design Studio and Sales.
What about your career in music? Did you put that on pause?
Kristine: (Laughing) when was it ever on pause? During the recession in 2007, I took some time off to focus on my music, and it worked out quite nicely: opening for Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Band, The Ark Angels, at the House of Blues in Houston and Dallas, singing the national anthem at the Houston Astros Game and meeting and shaking hands with Former President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush!
But you are here with us now – how did that happen?
Kristine: I couldn’t stay away for too long! In 2008, I returned to work with KB Home and worked my way to Director of Purchasing in 2013. It’s been a rewarding experience, I have an excellent team behind me and we have rolled out more than 98 new plans to help the division acclimate to the unique Houston market.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your personal philosophy and what motivates you to succeed?
Kristine: I always say “it is the people around me that make me successful,” so my team feel empowered. I want to pay it forward, always striving to leave things better than I had found them – taking the time to mentor my team, putting my team’s needs first, staying approachable and just really lending a hand when needed. You’re always in good hands when you give more than you get!
Feeling inspired? Feel free to leave Kristine a thank you note as a comment!