Often, you learn as much from your clients as you teach. Littlestar Plastics in Machesney Park, Illinois, is a world-class polymer company that has grown to nearly 50 employees in 25 years because its founder and owner, Phil Preston, follows a simple hiring plan. When talent becomes available, hire that person and figure out where he or she fits later.
Thinker Ventures met Nikki Jarvis of Evanston this past November at Startup Weekend, an event for entrepreneurs where she pitched an idea to hook up education technology startups with schools in third-world or emerging countries.
That idea could be a world changer, and Thinker is excited to help her further that idea. We’re equally excited though to have Jarvis help Thinker in business development. Jarvis will use her energy and passion for helping others to help Thinker identify and help companies across the Midwest.
Jarvis is an infinitely interesting person. Here are few things you should know about her:
What do you do for fun?
On a warm day you will find me seeking hills to do a workout on. I’m a big runner and workout enthusiast. I believe every day should be filled with one new experience, so after a workout, I am often exploring a new area, museum, or restaurant in Chicago.
What’s your favorite place in Illinois?
Evanston. It’s a city right outside of Chicago that still has the fast paced feel of a big city, but the community feel of everyone helping each other out.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
On the south island of New Zealand, a little out of Queenstown you will find a path called Sunshine Bay that takes you through the winding depths of this serene landscape. Think mountains meet crystal blue water with the freshest air you’ve ever breathed, this is my favorite spot in the world.
What is something people are surprised to learn about you?
Traveling is a priority in my life. I’ve traveled to 41 countries in the last five years.
What is the best advice you have received?
From a mentor: Have you ever felt real fire inside? Go make that your career.
If you could take two weeks off from all your responsibilities, where would you go and what would you do?
Finland. The Finnish are known for a remarkable education system. I would go there for two weeks to watch and learn from one of the best about their education processes.
What distinguishes you from everyone else?
I’m a life coach that specializes in career path and life purpose. Helping others recognize their purpose and navigate the path to get there is very fulfilling work.
Your biggest challenge:
Staying present. There is so much to do in each day but without staying present in the moment, time is not maximized.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
President. It’s still a possibility.