Pop Quiz, Monday with Kari Whaley

Kari Whaley

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kari Whaley

Kari Whaley
Photo credit: Kari Whaley

What is your job role?
President & CEO of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce

Tell us about your company?
The Chamber of Commerce builds partnerships, strong businesses and commitment to the community by serving as a business advocate in Central Florida to 600 businesses. In this capacity, we offer business resources, networking opportunities, and learning experiences for businesses to grow.

What do you love most about your job?
I love connecting with business owners and community members. I have the great opportunity to celebrate business grand openings, ribbon cuttings, and successes as business become stronger.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am motivated to get up and go to work each day because I see my work as helping to create a stronger community.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My team works tirelessly to support our business members and the community. They work evenings and some holidays to ensure we provide the best service and experiences.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We do team building activities, attend conferences together, and do staff lunches throughout the year. We recently did a vision boarding day, where an expert came in, guided through the process, and we got to spend time sharing what our personal and professional goals were for the year.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Some of the biggest challenges are the demanding nature of the role – a lot of extra hours, evenings and weekends for community events, and working hard to stay in connect with 600 businesses.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
“Perfection is the enemy of done.” We’ve all heard the saying. What I have learned through my work is to embrace this idea. As I have moved through live events and organizational projects, perfect isn’t usually an option. Plan, get organized, work hard. Sometimes mistakes will be made, or afterward, you will see a better way. Good. Learn from that and use it on the next project.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Networking is the key. Take time, face to face, to build your professional network. When you meet people at events or mixers, follow up with a quick note or message and then keep in touch. Building a strong network can help you expand your small business, land that promotion, or make a big jump to your dream job. Your network can help open the door to new opportunities.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
instagram: @kariwhaley
facebook: @drkariwhaley

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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