The new year is here, and Gatorworks is excited to serve our clients even better with talented new account managers in 2022. That’s why we’re happy to welcome Kristen Lalonde to the team! We look forward to meeting clients’ needs with Kristen’s keen work ethic, knack for organization, and skills as a natural problem solver! 

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the village of French Settlement, Louisiana. I met my husband, Blake, through a mutual friend and have been together since 2016. I completed my bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University in May 2019, then went on to continue my education by starting my master’s degree in business administration. I graduated with my MBA from Southeastern in May 2021. 

I have a large family! We are all very close and love to spend time together. Traveling is something my husband and I both enjoy doing together—especially anything outdoors. I love animals, especially my two fur babies! 

A fun fact about me is that I love to be creative! For fun, in my free time, I have a small business of creating custom greeting cards and invitations. Growing up, I loved making birthday cards for family members, and my dad loved how creative I got with them. So after my dad suddenly passed away in June 2021, I decided to pursue this passion a little more. And so I began to sell my greeting cards in a local gift shop near my hometown!  

Which college course would you say has been the most helpful in your career?

There were several college courses that have been extremely helpful in my career so far, from management classes to marketing classes to communication classes. If I have to just pick one, it would have to be a management class I took in graduate school at Southeastern Louisiana University called Organizational Theory and Behavior. 

This class was a ton of research on real-life management situations that had to be analyzed and theories applied for how a manager should handle specific situations. This helps me now in my career look at situations and evaluate how things could be handled to best benefit the company and the client, as well as how the project should be managed and how to plan for what all is needed to complete the project successfully. 

What is your favorite animal and why?

I love animals! The zoo is probably my favorite place to go on a nice day. My favorite animal is most likely a panda, for a few reasons. They are absolutely adorable, for starters. Also, they seem so relaxed and without a care in the world. They just hang out and eat all day, only getting more adorable the more they eat. I am jealous of their chill lifestyle with unlimited naps and being able to eat as much as they want with zero worries. 

If you were giving a talk on account management, what is the one thing you would want to include?

If I was giving a talk on account management, the most important thing I would want to include would be how important transparent communication is internally and externally. This builds trust between account managers and the company, showing them that you will be honest about the situation at hand, whether it be good or bad. That is a trait that many companies and people are scared to have, but sharing the facts of a situation is going to get and retain clients. 

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

My all-time favorite movie would be ‘National Treasure.’’ I absolutely love this movie and it is always a go-to for me. I will curl up on the couch with my two fur babies and have the best time remembering my childhood! I love the adventure, the history, and the reward for all the hard work at the end of the journey. It truly never gets old to me! I hope I am always able to watch this movie and feel like I am a kid again.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received would be “good enough never is,” meaning that just being “good enough” is not enough for yourself and you should strive to be better. This has helped me in my education as well as my personal and professional life. I push myself to always try to be the better person and try others kindly, we never know what others are going through. I pushed myself to and through my MBA, this is one of my greatest accomplishments. 

I will never forget how proud my parents were of me for doing this! My dad would tell me every time he would talk to me how proud he was of me for furthering my education and I am so grateful to have been raised to strive to be better than ‘good enough.’ Professionally I strive to continuously learn and grow in my career. We are never too old to learn something new! 

Be sure to follow Kristen on LinkedIn