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Kristin Gardner
Kristin Gardner

You’re the General Manager, but you don’t have an office?
I literally sit smack in the middle of everything, so I don’t have an office. And I don’t want an office. I prefer to be on the floor with the team. Most of us started here around the same time, and we grew up here together. They’re like family.

What’s one challenge you face being a woman in the male-dominated home improvement industry?
Sometimes, I get asked, ‘Can I talk to your boss?’ from customers. People are a little surprised when a co-worker will pass them along to me and I’m a woman. But I know it’s not personal. It is a bit uncommon to find a woman in my position in this business.

Your affiliate just won Renewal by Andersen’s ‘Best of the Best’ award for the fifth time at their annual summit. What does the award mean to you personally?

I feel the ‘Best of the Best’ award says we were the ultimate team. We succeeded in terms of treating the homeowners right, taking care of our employees and growing the business. It’s not just one department that wins the award, it’s everyone—the call center, sales, back office operations, installers and service.

 Your company’s mantra, “With Love,” encourages employees to use words and take actions from a place of love. What does “With Love” mean to you?

For me, it comes down to making connections with our customers and putting a little more heart behind how we treat them.

We had a service call recently and the customer mentioned he was starting chemotherapy treatments. Our team went out and bought him a blanket, tea, crackers, throat lozenges, lip balm and all this other stuff he may need. They put it in a basket and mailed it to the gentleman. He could not have been more appreciative.

Often, we’re nameless, faceless people to our customers. But we want to change that and take the time to deliver a unique experience. I think that’s what “With Love” means. It’s doing the right thing. You don’t do something for recognition, a thank you or anything else. You do it because you know it will make the customer feel good.

Your company has a charitable program called Window of Giving. What’s one charity your group has supported?
Every year since 2010, we’ve done a walk to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Each year, we raise more money than the previous year. Since Window of Giving began, we’ve supported several charities, including Covenant House and Adopt a Pig, which provides coping bags to kids hospitalized with cancer and their families.

What’s been your proudest moment since you started at RbA?
Winning this most recent ‘Best of the Best’ award was special. I had three kids in three years, so I wasn’t present for a lot of company events. This was the first time we’ve won that I was in attendance at the ceremony. I was able to accept it on behalf of my team and recognize them in front of the entire network. That was pretty awesome. I actually got a little choked up.

Renewal by Andersen of Greater Philadelphia, (610) 563-2190, ChooseBetterWindows.com 

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 18, Issue 11 (May 2018). 
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