River City Six – Kim Larsen
Meet Kim Larsen, vice president of managed IT services at Scantron Technology Solutions (www.scantron.com/technology-solutions).
Tell us a little about your business.
Scantron Technology Solutions is a full-service IT support provider headquartered in Omaha. We do everything related to IT infrastructure, network design, managed services and implementation. We respond rapidly to technology advancements and position our customers at the forefront of that wave. It is my philosophy and my experience that our customers thrive when they can focus on running their core business, not their technology.
How did you get started in the business?
After high school, I graduated with a degree from the Institute of Computer Science with emphasis on programming. Immediately thereafter, David Ward (founder and president of WRK Systems, Inc.) approached me with a business proposition. Together, we grew a successful IT business from only two individuals to a team of over 40 employees.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Joining a new company for the first time in my career. When Scantron acquired WRK Systems, it took time and patience to evaluate the overall values and habits and determine the best way to merge two cultures. I had to relinquish some things, open up new feedback channels, and work hard to integrate and lead. I practice empowering people to have a voice and I make an extra effort to stay in the loop with all departments. The trick is to remember that no changes happen overnight.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Playing a vital role in the growth and success of WRK Systems. I look back now and clearly recall beginning with only two individuals, David Ward and me. I attribute the success of any business to the quality of its human relationships. Supportive colleagues and customers, combined with a deep knowledge of your business, infuses you with hope and inspiration.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Tom and I have three children, Kassie (21), Jackson (13), and Brooke (11). We are a busy household, to say the least.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Family time. We enjoy traveling. So whether we are sitting in a snowy cabin, boating on the lake, or somewhere tropical, I am happy!
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
The first thing I do when I get home from work…throw my hair in a ponytail and put on my cozy clothes!
Who inspires you?
My parents. I was raised with excellent core values, which I now instill in my children: Family, faith, and hard work.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never give up and work hard each and every day.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
MICAH House. I believe in their mission of providing a safe environment for families, especially those with small children, who are experiencing homelessness in our community.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?