Gini Quiroz is the 2015 Summer Brand Camp Chair. A veteran of four previous brand camps, the team couldn’t be more excited to have her chair our 2015 event! Gini is the Director of Training & Development at K & N Management, operator of Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries & Shakes and Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, in Austin Texas. Follow Gini on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.
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- How long have you been at K&N Management? What is your role there?
I’ve been with K&N for a little over 15 years and I am the Director of Training & Development.
- K&N Management won the Malcolm Baldrige Award in 2010. What are the ideals that led to this accomplishment that K&N still values and have in practice today?
Continuous improvement! We are always evaluating ourselves and benchmarking best practices (internally and externally). You could say we are hard-wired to want to get better. If someone else is doing it right, we want in. AND we are obsessed with hiring the right the people and ensuring they have the tools they need to be their best successful self.
- We understand you just got back from Rwanda, tell us about that. What was your favorite part of that trip?
I swear every time I go a little piece of my heart is left behind. This particular trip did not lack in the memory and lasting impression department. I have the privilege of leading K&N mission teams to Rwanda, with our partner Africa New Life Ministries, once a year. Each trip the objectives are the same: share our faith, expose our team members to the Rwandan culture and make a sustainable impact in the lives of the men, women and children all across the country. One of the coolest things we get to do is visit with the nearly fifty children that are sponsored through K&N and by our team members. I am absolutely elated when I see how big they’re getting, how healthy they are, how much English they are learning and just how well they are flourishing in the program. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes when I think about how malnourished some of them were just a short four years ago and how a little money each month keeps their bellies full, gives them an education, provides medical insurance, a sense of purpose and so much more!
- How has being a marine made a difference in your career?
I’ve never actually thought that one through. I was in the United States Marine Corp Reserves for six years—from the ages of 18-23 in communications and security intelligence. I didn’t have a clue about anything, let alone how to protect our country. Then again, that’s why there’s basic training and military traditions. If you had asked my 23-year-old self this question, my answer may have been much different. Now, looking back, I can pinpoint some of the residual effects my time of service has had on my career, particularly when remembering the Marine Corps Core Values.
Honor: To have the highest integrity and be accountable for your actions—and hold others accountable for their responsibilities. To respect and have concern for others with no exceptions.
Courage: To have mental, moral and physical strength to always do what is right. Lead by example and role model personal conduct. To make tough decisions under high-stress situations and to take the extra step when necessary.
Commitment: To have the spirit of determination and dedication that allows for professionalism; with unrelenting stamina to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor.
So, yeah. Any of us can look at those values and identify how they’re in some way threaded throughout our career success or that of someone we know. I also learned that as a leader comes responsibility. The higher ranking you are, the more you must sacrifice. A good example is the old Marine Corps tradition of officers eating last. Anyone subordinate to you must eat first (the ones going to battle—the front line). This guarantees they have plenty to eat to gain energy to complete their next task. As officers (or leaders) the responsibility is to make sure those you lead have what they need, at all times, regardless of whatever you go without.
- We are thrilled to have you as our 2015 Summer Brand Camp Chair, what are you most looking forward to? I AM THRILLED! And so incredibly humbled to have been given this opportunity. I am most looking forward to meeting all of the new campers and reconnecting with my really smart friends.
- What makes Summer Brand Camp different from other conferences? There is a huge gigantic pool of talent all in one place. SBC gives you the opportunity and provides the space to meet the top people from the best brands out there and build lasting relationships—all while in the comfort of your favorite flip flops. Ditch the suit for this one, people!
- How would you describe Summer Brand Camp to someone who had never attended before? This is the event of the year! As a kid we all had that event we looked forward to each summer because we got to see our really cool friends, well…SBC is kind of like that. There are always some of the best speakers, you’ll meet great people, develop networks, volunteer, AND there’s room for fun. It’s a true camp experience for adults—with learning that will benefit you personally and your organization.
- What is your favorite part of Summer Brand Camp? The campers. ‘Nuff said.
- Best Summer Brand Camp memory? One time at brand camp…we had a flush mob in the women’s restroom. If you don’t know, ask somebody! Also, my very first year I learned about taking on life in 30-day challenges. #ChangedMyWorld
- What advice would you give a potential attendee needing help to convince their boss to send them to camp? They can call me. Kidding, a little. Send your team! They will bring back ideas that will not only develop them professionally but also help your organization improve. Every time I return from a Summer Brand Camp conference I feel reenergized and fired-up to take on anything.
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