Kolbeco RAPIDFIRE: Cara Gansner

You may not have met her in person, but if you’re a client, supplier, or friend of Kolbeco you probably know Cara! Cara is the dynamo who keeps things running around the office, from our daily accounting to making sure we have all the equipment and supplies needed to do our jobs. And she knows how to get things done. Need something? Cara will see to it that it’s taken care of. We love that level of care and persistence, but it doesn’t stop there. She’s fun. She’s funny. She can make a mean Bloody Mary. And, she’s the subject of our latest RAPIDFIRE!

Q:What attracted you to Kolbeco?

A: When I came in to interview, I could feel that this was an environment for me. First of all, I loved that it was a small business. My husband and I own a small business, Gansner Painting, so I felt that what I could do here at Kolbeco was an extension of what I was doing for our business. I personally understand the importance of certain things getting done in a timely manner. Second, when I came in for my interview, I liked that I had the opportunity to meet with everyone. It’s not like other interviews I’ve had where you only get to meet one person. I could tell what a fun, close-knit environment it would be.

Q:What are your favorite moments at Kolbeco?

A: I love all the moments of togetherness we have here. One that sticks out in my mind is the chili cookoff we had last fall. Everyone brought something unique from home, and we came together to share and enjoy what we’d all prepared. We even invited our outside team members who aren’t here in the office every day to participate, so we all had a chance to be together as a team. That interaction is priceless. I also love that we have an environment where we can be open and honest with each other, and joke around and have fun.

Q:What inspires you to work with clients, what have you learned from clients?

A: I know how important my job is here for the overall financial and operational health of the company, so I take my job very seriously no matter what I’m doing. And I appreciate those who support those efforts. I recently sent a thank you card to a client, specifically my accounting contact within the organization who helps get invoices routed. We’ve built a great relationship and appreciate each other, and we both know that we’re there and willing to help each other out. That kind of relationship is important to me.  We have another client who thanks me, sincerely, every time I send her an email. People remember when people are pleasant to each other – no matter which side they’re on.

Q:What do you do when you’re not at work?

A: I spend most of my time with my kids. We are always out doing things to help keep them active. This week alone we’ve visited Playtime Party Center in Wentzville where they had a ball in the bounce houses, and we’ve been swimming. Tomorrow we’re going to the movies.

Q:Secret skill or talent? Share with the class.

A: I’ve recently learned I can be quite the event organizer and fundraiser. A good friend was recently diagnosed with cancer, so my friends and I gathered together to host an event to raise money to help with medical bills. We did a music trivia night with 450 people in attendance! It was quite the undertaking, but we had so much support from the community.  We were able to raise $23,000 in donations, sponsorships, auction items (and we had just about everything you could possibly imagine to auction off!) After that, we organized a tent at a large local golf tournament and raised even more money. People really came together to make this all possible.

Q:The best advice you’ve ever received was:

A: Marriage – never go to bed angry.

Professionally – be yourself and strive to be the best person you can be.

Q:The secret to YOUR happiness is:

A: As long as the people I love are happy and healthy then I’m happy too.

Q:What would be your superpower?

A: Cloning myself. Have a lot going on. My friends always tell me they don’t know how I’m still standing. There are many times when I’m caring for a lot of people, like when my friend got sick, or my kids. I also have a close friend getting married, so there are many things going on there. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what we do – we help each other out when we can. We’re a big group of supportive people.

Q:What did you want to be growing up?

A: I wanted to be a lawyer because my mom always told me I was good at arguing. My mom was a hairdresser, so I went to beauty school and became a hair dresser too because I loved it. For many years, I worked at Hans Weimann working with clients in the laser department, so my clients all still had hair. I specialized in color, so I was the person responsible for doing highlighting and coloring. I worked with a lot of different people there.

Q:What song is currently on repeat in your head, car, Spotify, etc.?

A: Carrie Underwood. Cry pretty. The song is about being a mom and she talks about how you can fake a smile and walk around but when it comes to your kids your emotions are all out in the open. You can’t hide that.

Q:What’s something we don’t know about you?

A: I can be very emotional. I will cry over the dumbest thing but something I feel very strongly about – like my kids or someone I care about. I will start to cry. It’s not that I’m sad. I’ll get over it in a minute. It’s typically gone as soon as it comes.

Q:What’s your guilty pleasure (food, activity, song)?

A: Pasta and cheese are my favorite things – the most fattening things you can possibly think of. My favorite pasta is fettuccini and my favorite cheese is brie.

Q:What do you need for survival?

A: Love and support from my family and friends. I have a very close-knit group of friends. We’ve all grown up together. My friend getting married and I have been friends since we were 7. I could never live without my friends and family, and could never move away from them.

Q:What was the last TV show you binged?

A: The Keepers. This is a documentary about a priest in the 1960s who was molesting young girls. He died and no one ever did anything because the church protected him.

Q:Describe your dream vacation (and you’re not paying for it?):

A: I’d go to Fiji and stay in one of those little huts where you can see the fish and the ocean under your feet.

Q:What gets you pumped up?

A: When I get to do stuff for other people. I like to help others.

Q:Celebrity crush:

A: Jamie Dornan

Q:FIRST Celebrity crush:

A: Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block

Q:First CD you remember purchasing:

A: Michael Jackson – Dangerous

Q:Favorite quote:

A: My girlfriend was killed on a motorcycle in 2007, and when we went through her things, we found a scrap book that had a quote that will always stay with me:

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday, and celebrate just living!”

Q:Favorite color:

A: Teal

Q:You’re going on a shopping spree, where can we find you?

A: I’m an accessory person, so you’ll probably find me at places like Coach, Michael Kors, and Sunglass Hut.

Q:If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

A: A bird – so I could fly over and see everything.

Q:It’s a Saturday. Where can we find you?

A: That depends – we have the kids we’re either at a friend’s playing with a bunch of kids at a BBQ or pool party. If we don’t have the kids we’re out doing something with our friends. This past Saturday we went out with friends after a bridal shower on Main Street. We just sat outside and talked and hung out.

Q:Favorite drink?

A: Beer. Michelob Ultra

Q:Proudest accomplishment OUTSIDE of Kolbeco?

A: My kids

Q:Embarrassing moment you most definitely NEED to share?

A: When I graduated from high school, I was wearing huge cork wedges. There were extension cords across the stage, taped down, for all of the audio equipment. I kept looking at those cords thinking: “Oh man, I’d better not trip on that!” So what did I do, I tripped in front of everyone when I went up to get my diploma.

Q:You’re on a deserted island. What 3 items do you bring with you?

A: My family, my phone, water.

Q:Dogs in the office, thoughts?

A: I love it. I’ve had dogs my whole life. We had a black lab named Bear before we had kids. He was our first child. Dogs are part of the family. When we lost him, it was like losing a kid.

Her devotion to family, willingness to help others, and fun personality are what make her such an awesome human being. She celebrates happiness every day! Up next in our RAPIDFIRE series … we have the always spunky, photo-taking-social-media-genius Account Coordinator, Addi Harmon!