Meet a Member – Jen Kunz

October 22, 2019
Written by: CREW Cincinnati
The Facts

Company & Location
Pepper Construction/Cincinnati
Business Development Manager

Number of years in the industry

1.  Where did you get your career started and what was the most valuable lesson you learned early on?
I started my career at 19 years old, during my 2nd year of college, as a Marketing Coordinator for a Cincinnati-based professional services firm ThermalTech Engineering. Being young, inexperienced and new to the design industry, the most valuable lesson I learned early on was how to listen. That may sound silly – we all know how to listen – but specifically, how to listen critically, ask questions, and take in all available information from all different perspectives before starting to work toward a strategy or solution. This skill has proven useful for me in every facet of life, from working with a team to making a relationship work with a friend or partner.

2.  What inspires, drives, or motivates you in your career?
The team of people I surround myself with, both professionally and personally, inspire and motivate me every day to do the best job I can with the talents I can offer and be the best partner I can be. Team work makes the dream work!

3.  What advice can you share for working with a challenging client or colleague?​
Be transparent. If something or someone is bothering you, don’t let it fester – that only drags down productivity, often creates hard feelings and can leave you feeling hopeless. However difficult it may be, approach the situation head-on, talking openly about the challenges you’re facing. If the challenges are related to an individual, I’ve always found it best to approach the individual one-on-one for a private conversation first to try and arrive at a resolution. Not only will you feel better to get things off your chest, you’ll likely gain a new level of respect for asserting your feelings and trying to improve the situation rather than hiding from it or perpetuating a toxic environment.

4.  What do you see taking shape in our industry in the next 5 or 10 years?​
The continued integration of technology, particularly virtual technologies like augmented reality, will continue to shape our industry over the next 5-10 years, helping us better visualize our space or project, create efficiencies in design and construction and help clients make more informed decisions…ultimately saving valuable time and money.

5.  Do you have any passions or hobbies outside of work?​
My ideal day outside of the office involves getting outdoors with my 5-year old daughter and my bulldog for some fresh air…maybe a jog or a trip to the park.

6. Who is your personal hero? 
My mother. A single mom who worked two jobs to raise two children mostly on her own taught me a strong work ethic and the value of hard work first-hand. I think she’s been my single biggest inspiration driving my professional goals and achievements. I’ve had my share of challenges, but when I think about all she went through in her career, running a household and raising two kids, my challenges often pale in comparison, helping me re-adjust my perspective on what matters most.