“Business athletes” at Kinney Group are known as individuals with the perseverance to continuously improve their work product and overall crafts, all while achieving results. Business athlete are never satisfied; there is no hypothetical buzzer at the end of an arduous quarter. As a former track athlete, Angela Fruits knows that her work as a key player on the Sales team is a marathon, not a sprint.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#7FA9AE” class=”” size=”16″]Angela Fruits, Strategic Account Manager and dedicated teammate. [/pullquote]
Angela’s rigorous dedication to intimately understanding our customers and partners yields quite an unexpected experience. She does this by positioning herself as a trusted advisor for key customers at Kinney Group. Angela’s game plan: to present infrastructure solutions to IT organizations with a specific focus on our partnership with Splunk. With her playbook marked-up amd memorized, Angela drives incremental opportunities tied to high-impact, analytics-based engineering solutions.
Today, Angela is one of Kinney Group’s most savvy Strategic Account Managers, but in the beginning Angela found herself in a role that allowed her to “fall on her face and fail” for the sake of learning. She has missed a few shots, fumbled the ball, and has had turnovers; yet she learns from her missteps and moves forward to become stronger than before. She is passionate about taking a holistic view of a business and recognizing opportunities to improve lives with IT. She consistently applies her creativity to solve complex problems within the accounts she manages. She continuously adapts an ever-changing space of the “New IT”. She gets the chance to collaborate with exceptional teams everyday and loves it.
The Inspiration: Angela Draws Parallels Between Successful Business Teams and Sports Teams Alike
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#5B8D94″ class=”” size=”17″]“Gymnastics taught me everything – life lessons, responsibility and discipline and respect.” – Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics[/pullquote]
Angela participated in competitive gymnastics from a young age through college at Indiana University. To set the stage, gymnastics an “all body” sport that deeply develops muscle memory, flexibility, strength, depth perception, kinesthetic awareness, prioritization, internal motivations, and other skills. Gymnastics instills an utmost level of displine, a personality trait that Angela leverages to be the business athlete she is today.
Giving personal insight 2014 blog post on the Kinney Group website, Angela explained how competitive gymnastics is both a team and individual sport, and that the sport has a direct correlation to the business world. She highlights how there are a few key players in every successful team, regardless of the sports world or the business world. There is always an outstanding coach, a team captain, a manager, or team lead keeping everyone moving in the same direction with clarity and excitement. What is Angela’s unique value-add to the teams she contributes to? She keeps her eyes on achieving ROI with measurable business results for customers and partners.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#5B8D94″ class=”” size=”17″]“In the case of gymnastics, one teammate may be exceptionally skilled on two events. Meanwhile, another teammate may not stellar on any particular event but is a consistent and reliable performer all around. It takes a variety of personalities and skill sets, coupled with a superior coach, to fuel a solid team.” – Angela Fruits, Not an Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics but Really, Really Cool Person[/pullquote]
Angela’s playfully competitive nature is fueled by both her individual wins, and well-executed team victories. For example, in 2016 Angela played an instrumental part on the team responsible for Kinney Group achieving Elite Partner status with Splunk. “Angela would be the first to acknowledge that this is a team sport and that she could not have done it alone,” said Jim Kinney regarding Angela’s contributions to the recognition.
She urges that colleagues at Kinney Group embrace and focus on our strengths with conviction, all while holding each other accountable for the wins and areas of development. It is important to focus on perfecting one’s own own craft, all while knowing individual contributions affect a grander purpose: winning as a team.
The Journey: Always looking for a New Challenge in Business
Angela earned her degree in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. She participated in the China Emerging Economies Program and traveled to Shanghai and Hangzhou after familiarizing herself with Chinese economy and culture. After graduation, she began working for one of Central Indiana’s premier companies for landscaping services, interior plants, and events in a consultative sales role. After selling plants and landscaping services, she made the drastic change of pivoting to the fast-paced, exciting world of information technology and has not looked back since.
Angela has tallied up countless accolades at Kinney Group. She is a five-time winner of our Company’s Sledgehammer Award, which is given to the individual with the highest overall achievement beyond goal while making sure customers are delighted with their Kinney Group products, services, ROI, and overall engagement. Angela is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Chopper Man Award, which is presented to colleagues quarterly who have persevered through a particularly tough goal or roadblock and came out on top. These awards are an integral part of Kinney culture and it’s imperative for team members like Angela to set the bar.
The Future: Looking Ahead
If Angela had a crystal ball, she would see Kinney Group’s future maintaining healthy growth while keeping sight of the fundamental company characteristics and culture that continues to attract great colleagues.
First-Person Interview Questions
- Where is your favorite place to visit in Indianapolis? I enjoy the downtown canal area because of great skyline views. Lots of great niches are popping up in Indianapolis and tech hubs are also emerging. It should be an exciting future for Indy.
- What is your spirit animal and why? Oh, wow. One of our engineers says a unicorn. I would have to think about what the real answer would be…
- Describe Kinney Group’s culture in three words. The Unexpected Experience.
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