Kelly Brown, 29
Director of Marketing & Operations
Green Giftz
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Getting Started
Brown left a previous job in eCommerce looking for a more creative atmosphere. She joined Green Giftz in 2016, initially taking on the role of assistant project manager, and eventually used her previous work experience to help grow the company’s eCommerce offerings.

Earning The Honor
Nominator Caleb Dillon says Brown is a creative thinker who isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions. Upon joining the company, she was a vital part of creating and growing Green Giftz’ social media accounts, email campaigns and eStores. In her third year with Green Giftz, she suggested the company implement a new internal operating system, advice that was not only heeded but also led to Browns’ role of “integrator” to the system.

What Inspires You?
“I would say that critical feedback inspires me to do my best work because it highlights my weaknesses, which I can learn to embrace by finding others who may be strong in those areas to help me.”

Your Most Difficult Challenge?
“Juggling all my roles. Green Giftz is a small business, and my role means I manage a book of business, all our marketing, communication and public relations efforts, lead our sales team, execute the business plan, align our process and procedures (always looking for new ways to improve) and implement and manage all of our eCommerce business. Sitting down on Monday, I often feel like my head is spinning. Writing down a to-do list with a cup of coffee helps me feel like I have my arms wrapped around my workload.”

Proudest Moment?
“The fact that Green Giftz was able to come out of the pandemic with one of our best years and now trending to have an even better, record-breaking year is very cool. On top of that, I’m proudest of the team I get to work with every day because we truly accomplish some crazy projects, and we do it all together.”'

How Do You Achieve Work/Life Balance?
“I try to transition from work to ‘life’ with working out at the gym or teaching a fitness class. In the winter months, I coach a high school sports team. When I’m coaching, I can’t focus on anything other than the athletes in front of me and keeping them safe. Both of these access a different part of my brain and allow me to let go of the workday.”

Prefer Working From Home Or In-Office?
“Both. I split my time between the office and home. I don’t like 100% either way. I enjoy the companionship of being the office, but I do notice my productivity is better at home.”