Catalyst Ranch, Chicago’s most creative meeting venue, is staffed by a incredible team of quirky characters known as Ranch Hands. Creative individuals are drawn to Catalyst Ranch’s colorful workspace, diverse clientele, and co-workers of similar sensibility. Ranch Hand Spotlight is an occasional blog series that invites you to take a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Ranch. Meet the fine folks who work together to anticipate and accommodate our clients’ every need from copies to catering! See what they do here at the Ranch and the ways they use their talents in endeavors outside the Ranch!
Today’s Spotlight focuses on Kristin Dabrowski!
While she’s not busy at the Ranch coordinating weddings, mitzvahs, social events, and meetings, our Ranch Hand superstar, Krissy, is on the move! She coaches high school basketball and is the star of her Flag Football team! Kristin was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in sports at De La Salle Institute. Way to go, Krissy!
Name: Kristin Dabrowski
Previous Job Title: Evening and Weekend Shift Captain
Current Job Title: Special Events Manager & Clients Services Assistant Manager
Year at the Ranch: September 2007 – July 2009; April 2011–Present
Favorite Color: Teal
Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Bonfires at the lake
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of decor at the Ranch?
A: My favorite piece at the Ranch is the beautiful Moroccan lantern in the 4E reception area. It’s so intricate and beautiful! I just love it!
Q: What do you like most about working at the Ranch?
A: I love walking into a world of color every day! In such a bland world, I love being surrounded by vibrant and lively colors daily. And my coworkers are pretty awesome too!
Q: You were recently honored for your achievements in sports. Congratulations!
A: Yes, I was placed in the De La Salle Institute Hall of Fame on October 3rd, 2014 for achievements in Basketball and Soccer.
Q: Please tell us a little bit more about your awesome personal records.
A: I hold the rebound record for basketball, securing double digit rebounds every game ever played at De La Salle Institute. In soccer, I hold the record for the most shut-outs with 8 shut-outs in 2004, my senior year.
Q: Have you played other sports? Which ones did you like the most? Or the least?
A: I’ve played sports my entire life. In earlier years, I ran track and played basketball and soccer. I tried out softball and volleyball, but I wasn’t so great at those so I stuck with what I was great at. Now that my school athletic days are over, I have played Co-Ed Flag Football since Spring of 2011, earning 4 consecutive all-star appearances and a Defensive MVP award in the Spring of 2013.
Q: Impressive! How has your involvement in sports, as a coach and a player, influenced your professional life?
A: Being involved with sports has enabled me to work well in a diverse team atmosphere. In problem solving, sports have helped me to stay objective in tricky situations and to understand all aspects of the situation before drawing conclusions.
Q: As a high school coach, you hosted a retreat for your basketball team at Catalyst Ranch. Why did you want your team to have a retreat?
A: I felt that it would be great for the girls to get out of their comfort zone and to see and experience something they haven’t experienced before. My colleagues helped out by doing an energizer, helping with snacks and lunch, and spearheading some of the conversations. Kudos to Arin and Gabby!
Q: What were some of your objectives for the day?
One of my biggest pet peeves was the food and snack choices the girls were making, which in turn takes a toll on academic and athletic performance. The day was full of fun activities about how to make smarter food choices in the world we live in. I understand that it’s not easy, especially in high school, but I wanted to drive home the point that the choices that are made now are paramount to living a healthy life in the future. We studied fruits and vegetables that the team likes and the benefits of each. For lunch, we had a full-on sandwich bar with healthy options and a snack service that included healthy treats like crackers with peanut butter and bananas.
Q: How did your team respond to the offsite retreat?
Most of the girls responded well and were excited that someone was taking the time to focus on something so important. I immediately saw better snack and food choices by many of the girls. I knew that it wouldn’t be an overnight change, but to get the conversation started did help.
Q: How did the unique environment of Catalyst Ranch impact your meeting?
The unique environment allowed the girls to feel at ease and share their thoughts. We had a lot of honest conversations about important issues that high school girls face every day, and the unique space allowed them to open up and feel comfortable enough to speak up.
Creative Juice readers, sound off in the comments! How did your participation in sports shape the person you are today? What skills gained in athletics have you applied in your career?