Member Spotlight – Associate Member Kristin Liezenga, Sales Representative for Knoll, Inc.
Born the second oldest of 4 girls Kristin was born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey. “My hometown of “Colonial” Westfield was a typical northern suburb located about a 30 minute train ride from New York City. I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore and have fond memories of boardwalk games and rides, boating, water skiing, and playing in the ocean.” Two of her sisters and their families, as well as, her parents still live in New Jersey.
Kristin’s first job was proof-reading church bulletins as a freshman in high school. A job that she said “could be pretty mundane.” After high school Kristin headed off to Purdue University to study interior design. However, she quickly realized Purdue was too far from home and too big for her liking. She decided to transfer to the College of New Jersey to complete her BFA in Interior Design.
During her years at the College of New Jersey Kristin worked part time at a small family owned furniture dealership. Her roles included space planning, finish selection, and coordination. She enjoyed her job so much she decided to continue working in furniture instead of an interior design firm.
Kristin’s career in furniture started in NYC working as a sales coordinator and project manager for a furniture dealership. During the mid 90’s she took a position with a furniture dealer as a sales representative and moved to Philadelphia. In 2015 Kristin was presented an opportunity to work in business development. She decided to leave the furniture industry and accepted a new business development position with Clinical Research Organization (CRO). Kristin credits the experience and new perspective on sales she received at CRO ultimately led her back to the furniture industry and provided her the opportunity to move to Atlanta and work for Knoll in January of 2018.
Kristin is married with a son, Aidaan. Kristin and her family like to travel. “My husband is from the Netherlands, so we like to travel back there to visit his home as often as we can.” She has also had the opportunity to visit Berlin, Germany. Kristin likes to read in her free time. She recently read the book Wonder, before the movie came out. When asked what she liked about the book she said, “I loved the message behind the story about taking the time to get to know a person and not judging them by their appearance. How personal connections/friendships are so important in life and being a person that inspires versus diminishes others is a powerful way to go through life.”
To de-stress after a long day or week, Kristin loves to run. One of her greatest personal achievements was to train, run, and complete the NYC Marathon in 2008. Since running the marathon Kristin has been a part of four long distance relay teams which are part of the Ragnar Relay Series. The teams consist of 12 runners, covering 200+ miles over a 24-30 hour period.
Kristin has been in the furniture industry for 25 years. She spends her days engaging with clients and team members regarding ongoing projects or future opportunities. “I also spend time networking and developing relationships with design firms, brokers, and project management companies. When asked what her personal secret to success is she said, “Get involved; be a great team mate; challenge myself to learn and grow; LISTEN.” She attributes great team mates and mentors as an aspect to her success as well. Kristin hopes her greatest challenge is yet to come, as she would like to go back to school and get her MBA, but for now, her greatest challenge in the office is “juggling multiple urgent priorities without missing a beat.”
Being new to Atlanta Kristin says she is “thoroughly enjoying meeting new people and learning about them and their roles/companies.” As a member of IFMA Chapter in Philadelphia, Kristin is excited to be part of the Atlanta chapter. When asked about the benefits IFMA has provided her she said “my involvement in the Philadelphia chapter provided me great exposure to the challenges and needs of Facility Managers, which I believe helps me add value to my clients when addressing their furniture needs.”