Name: Kris Meininger
Hometown: Collingswood, NJ
Position: Career Coach Coordinator
Length of time you have been with your company: 7 years.
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way. I began working with EDSI in 2016 as a Job Developer, acting as a liaison between folks seeking employment and job opportunities in the Philadelphia area. I worked in recruitment for a year but found myself most energized by working with people 1-1 to help achieve their goals. That prompted me to pursue a Case Manager position in the same Philadelphia office, where I could support people to remediate barriers and achieve milestones to gain employment. In early 2020, I transferred to EDSI Delco office as a Case Manager for the EARN (Employment, Advancement and Retention Network) Program. In 2021, a took a year hiatus in Tennessee supporting EDSI’s WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) program in Nashville. It was a wonderful experience! However, I could not wait to return to the team at the Delco office to continue the wonderful work of supporting folks in their goals. Since returning to Delaware County in 2022, I have been able to support our EARN and Recovery programs; continuing the work that energizes me the most!
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it? My Program Director presented me with the opportunity to participate. I am a life learner and like to connect with people – seemed like the perfect opportunity!
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life? My kids! I have twin boys, who recently turned 6. Their kindness, understanding, and grit inspire me daily. My son is neurodiverse, and it has opened my eyes to a whole new world view. There are endless paths to a similar outcome.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career. The LDC, which came at the perfect time. It has helped make me a more confident and self-assured leader. I particularly have enjoyed the deep dive into EI (emotional intelligence) and identifying top values, which has had a direct impact on how I show up for myself and others professionally. Understanding my strengths and using that knowledge to be the best support I can be to others.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? Why? When I was in Philadelphia I worked closely with another case manager, Ms. Garris. Her kindness and support towards everyone was unwavering and something I inspired to be both professionally and personally. She always has a kind word to share about someone and I admire her deeply.
What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received. “power of the pause” To take that moment to respond rather than react. Carve out the time for creativity and fill your own bucket too!