Kolbeco RAPIDFIRE: Kristine Krato

You have to watch out for the quiet ones in the room. Chances are, they’re among the smartest, funniest, and most fun-to-be-around people you’ll ever encounter because once they speak, their big personalities come out. That’s Kristine. When she first came to Kolbeco, she was a bit reserved, probably because we can be an overwhelming bunch of characters! But then she started talking, and it turns out, she’s not quiet at all! She fit right in with our craziness (where else can you work, other than a vet’s office, where you’re removing stitches from a dog in the middle of the day and think it’s normal), and also with our drive to do amazing things. In this week’s RapidFire, we invite you to meet Kristine!

Q: What attracted you to Kolbeco?

A: My goal was to land a job where I could begin delving into the world of web development. When Kolbeco posted the job and I met the team, I realized it was a place that would allow me to learn and continue developing my skills. I was excited to get the offer and start my career. And another great thing about the job – it was really close to home at the time! There were many days that I’d ride my bike to work. I’ve been here a year-and-a-half now, and am happy to be in a place where I am excited to come to work every day.

Q:What are your favorite moments at Kolbeco?

A: I really enjoy the time we spend together. Our group lunches are always a lot of fun, and working together as a team on projects is very energizing. I love it when we gather to share ideas for a project or campaign, and then see how it progresses. And when it comes to daily life, you just never know what’s going to happen! You could be caring for a dog, helping a client with an urgent need, or taking a walk up to the QT on the corner.

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

A: I am very inspired when clients are excited to get stuff done and move their campaigns and business forward. I like to work together with them to make that happen, and it’s motivating and satisfying to see it. I’ve learned so many things about what makes campaigns work. Every campaign is different, so you quickly learn that you can’t get stuck in one mindset about how things “should” work. You have to be ready all the time, and always have an open mind when you’re introduced to a project. The client shares the goal, and then you look into how to make it happen, leveraging your experience to put together a plan and ID the tactics. There are common elements and a process we go through to make this happen, but each business and each project is unique.

Q:What is one Kolbeco project you’re extremely proud of and would like to showcase?

A: I am very proud of the Wamhoff Accounting website, because it was one of the first sites where I was able to work directly with the client from start to finish on what was needed and develop a site that would meet their needs, then report on a regular basis what kind of progress is being made. The client was wonderful to work with, and it was so fulfilling to end up with a product they were happy with.

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

A: I knit. A lot. I bring it with me everywhere I can even if it’s awkward or people look at me funny. I always have to be doing something with my hands, so sometimes I sketch, but I mostly knit because I can be warm while doing it. I knit a lot of hats because they’re easy. And while I have knitted a couple of sweaters, they’re not my favorite because they take a really long time! So by the time they’re finished it’s not that exciting anymore.

I also play piano, and had a job doing that at one point in my life. I accompanied for a musical, and for both vocalists and instrumentalist throughout high school and college as well.

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

A: My dad always said: start with what you know, work with what you have, and have a reason for what you do. No matter what I’ve done in life, that advice has served me well.

Q:The secret to YOUR happiness is:

A: Remembering to be thankful, and that I’m not in control of everything. My faith makes a big difference in that, as well as being surrounded by all the wonderful people in my life.

Q:What would be your superpower?

A: I would like to fly – to go fast, because I don’t go fast on my own legs. Or, I’d like to have the ability to breathe underwater. Fish are some of my favorite animals, and I have a special love of stingrays because they are so graceful and majestic.

Q:What did you want to be growing up?

A: I wanted to be a biology teacher. I loved science. But I strayed from that plan because I thought biology would have more to do with animals. I realized biology was a lot more technical than petting stingrays.

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

A: I love show tunes, so I tend to gravitate to that genre. Right now, on my Pandora station, all the songs from the Greatest Showman are popping up because it’s so popular (and Hugh Jackson is a wonderful human being).

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

A: My favorite actor when I was little was Fred Astaire. I loved watching him dance and sing, which made me dream of being in musicals. When I was in middle school, a guy at my church wanted to start directing musicals and started making low budget productions, so I got to live my dream for a while. We weren’t the best but it was a lot of fun being in that community. My first one was Seussical the Musical.

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

A: I love to bake and I eat it all, especially when it’s chocolate. I will eat many cookies in one sitting if no one is looking.

Q:What do you need for survival?

A: People. I can’t be left alone too long. There is nothing better than hanging out with people.

Q:What was the last TV show you binged?

A: Brooklyn 99

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

A: I would go somewhere quiet and warm, with easy access to some sort of water – either a lake or a beach. I don’t envision myself doing much. I like to relax on vacation, but I would also be swimming, and using my secret superpower of breathing underwater and watching the fish.

Q:What gets you pumped up?

A: Other people who are pumped up. If you find someone passionate about the same things you are that’s very motivating

Q:Celebrity crush:

A: Hugh Jackman or Tom Felton. In the Harry Potter series, I was always convinced Draco had some good in him. And he had his redemption moments in the book but not the movie. I almost chucked my purse at the screen during the movie when I realized it wasn’t happening.

Q:FIRST Celebrity crush:

A: Fred Astaire, or Tom Felton.

Q:First CD you remember purchasing:

A: Steven Curtis Chapman – Dive. This was the first CD I had and I was really obsessed with it.

Q:Favorite quote:

A: GK Chesterton – poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. It tickles me every time. He has a lot of good quotes.

Q:Favorite color:

A: Pink

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

A: Amazon

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

A: A stingray.

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

A: At my parents’ house, hanging out. Saturday is always the day of the week we spend with them.

Q:Favorite drink?

A: Water. There is nothing better than a good glass of water when you are thirsty.

Q:Proudest accomplishment OUTSIDE of Kolbeco?

A: Graduating college in 3 years.

Q:Embarrassing moment you most definitely NEED to share?

A: When my husband, Jacob, took me on our first date, I didn’t talk the entire time. It obviously got better from there because we ended up getting married!

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

A: A boat, a map, and an unlimited supply of fresh water. Because it’s my favorite drink.

Q:Dogs in the office, thoughts?

A: It’s the most wonderful thing on earth. More offices should have dogs.


And all that, friends, is why we love Kristine. She’s hilarious, a joy to work with, and can belt out a show tune like nobody’s business. As you can see from what she shared above, she’s anything but quiet! Stay tuned for our next RAPIDFIRE target, our accounting guru and house mom, Cara Gansner!