Meet the speakers at this year’s Continuity Insights Management Conference, then click here to learn more about the 2023 event.
When did you know you wanted this job?
My first “event” was 9-11 – like so many who joined the military at that time, I helped a client through recovery and knew I needed to do “something” – too old to join the military, I recognized I could help client’s pass through disaster events and more importantly, help them prepare ahead of time!
How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
In High School, I worked as a stock clerk for a retailer – my boss saw that I was good at organizing and would send me in to “clean up” various stockrooms and reorganized them to run more efficiently. Years later, I attended university to receive a Master’s in Library Sciences, working as a Corporate Librarian early in my career… Oh, did I mention my parents immigrated from Germany? Yes – “we must have order” – and look years later – here we are making sure everything is “in order”!
What research did you do to prepare for this role?
It is more like – what did I not do? In 1997 when I stumbled on a DR solution for a call center, I was suddenly described as the company’s “DR Expert” – far from it! Suddenly fielding many questions and speaking at conferences quickly taught me to get educated in the BC discipline – for that I leaned on DRII training, understanding the Generally Accepted Practices (now known as the Professional Practices), conference attendance and reading up on anything I was asked to opine on! My background in finding “data points” was very helpful in covering the learning curve.
How do you avoid being complacent in your role?
Being a life-long learner – I have always told my teams (and practice this myself) – learn all you can and do all you can on this job – it is preparing you for the next one!
What is the biggest risk that you’ve taken?
Starting my own consulting business years ago – it turned out to be “just what I needed” to land my first management role in Disaster Recovery.
What did you do at work yesterday?
Responsible for Client Experience at Virtual Corp, my days are filled with client meetings, helping new clients understand our capabilities, educating, doing QA on deliverables, providing leadership support wherever needed and “all other duties as assigned!”
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
There has been a lot of this – I am a big fan of John Maxwell leadership books and Patrick Lencioni “fables” for business. The lessons and stories (with a purpose) have helped mold me into the leader I am today and to remain focused on the most important thing. John Maxwell, “Be good at one thing, if you want to be good at everything, you’ll never achieve anything” and “(As a leader) Identify a few key people to pour into and then let them lead others – building a quality organization along the way” (paraphrased)
What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
Work Hard, Celebrate Success, Learn from Mistakes and Figure out how you can make a difference…
How do you, your team or company define success?
Our new tagline for Virtual is “The endless pursuit of resiliency” – we will not tire, we will not quit, we will keep our eye on the prize – growing in capabilities, helping our clients be successful and being passionate about our work!
What is the biggest challenge to achieving that success?
“The endless” part of the tagline! 😊
To learn more about Kurt’s session and to view the full conference agenda, click here.