Monday, June 29, 2009

Staff Profile - Tracy

Update! Since writing this profile last year, I actually ran my first marathon! My friend, Sonia, and I trained starting in July so we thought we were well prepared once November 15th arrived. What I was not prepared for was the weather that and VERY humid after a night of terrible thunderstorms. Add in some sun and gusty wind starting at mile 18 and I feel lucky that I finished. That said, my time was not too bad at 4 hours 27 minutes! My family came out to cheer us on at 4 stops which helped a lot. You can see my dad and daughter in the photo from the finish - my husband was the photographer (and chauffeur that day.) Please excuse the bad hair...i had been pouring water on my myself for the last 2 hours of the race! I don't plan to run another full marathon but do have a couple of half marathons on tap for this fall. The best part is that my daughter told me she wants to run the kids race as soon as she is old enough :)

Staff Profile - Tracy (with CWDkids since 1997)

I really have no idea why I remember the date, but I do know that my first day of work at CWDkids was July 15, 1997 which means that I have been with the company for 11 years now. I will turn 35 this year and most of my friends have had at least 2 or 3 different jobs in that same timeframe. When people ask how I have been one place for so long, it is a simple answer … “because I really love working here.”

Because we have such a small office, there is really no “working your way up the ladder” I have simply been allowed to grow as the company grows. When I first started, my job was primarily our catalog circulation. Over the years, I have added many other responsibilities to the list, the biggest of which is overseeing our website, I am currently the VP – Marketing & Operations which allows me to be involved in many different projects on a regular basis.

Having a master’s degree in Art History, who would have guessed that I would end up working in e-commerce? I was living in Washington, DC and in addition to having realized that the museum world was not for me, I had decided that the traffic and commuting was too much (and that was 11 years ago!). The question was where to move?

Richmond seemed to be the perfect middle ground between the small city that I had grown up in and DC. But what would I do? I started networking and had a couple of job interviews in the art field when I was introduced to the Klaus family and CWDkids. I set up what I thought was just an informational interview with our President, Jim Klaus. At the end of our discussion, he informed me that they wanted to hire someone to help with marketing (at that point, he had been doing it all himself). After some serious consideration, I decided to give it a shot and discovered that it was a great fit for me.

I really enjoy all aspects of my job from working with our printer and paper contacts to learning more than I ever thought that I would know about websites, servers, and e-commerce technology. However, as many others on our staff have already mentioned, the best part is the office itself. Having had my first child in 2007 (pictured with me above on our annual beach trip), I appreciate the fact that our small family-run business is so flexible even more than I did prior to her birth. It is nice to know that your employer cares not only about you, but about your work-life balance. I plan on sticking around for many more years to come and hope that you will continue to shop with CWDkids too!

Tracy’s Tidbits:
  • I ran my first marathon this November!

  • I enjoy golf. After several years at it, I realize that I am not Tiger Woods (shocking, huh?) Once in a while I may break 100, but finally realize that the point is to have fun!

  • I have no desire to move north of Virginia… the winters here are plenty cold for me!

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