For Managing Director of Retail Operations Kelly Strossner, it’s all about the books. Her love for literature goes way back to her first job in a bookstore when she was 15 and her school days when she became fascinated with fiction (and nonfiction).
A little foreshadowing: When she first moved to Elgin, Strossner inquired about any openings in the bookstore at Elgin Community College. The manager at the time indicated that she was planning to retire. In the meantime, Strossner accepted a position at a neighboring community college bookstore and was there for about a year and a half when she received a call that there was an opening at ECC.
“I responded that I appreciated the call, but I was happy where I was,” said Strossner. “Thankfully the gentleman who called me was persistent and encouraged me to at least come in and visit the campus. I dropped my resume off with Human Resources after that visit and the rest is history.”
Story resolution: Strossner has been at ECC since 2003. In her current role, she provides support for Retail Operations which includes ECC’s bookstore, facilities rental and food service.
“I am proudest of the team that we have in place today in Retail Operations. I work with an amazing group of talented people. They are the reason I love doing what I do.”
After all, “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life,” she says, nodding to the quote by writer Mark Twain.
We caught up with Strossner to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
The great thing about this question is that it’s only for one day. I would get a large Diet Coke®, a suspense novel, and kick back in my office for the day. If any issues come up, I would just suggest we deal with them tomorrow. Sorry, Dr. Sam.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
Retail Operations is owned and operated by ECC for the benefit of our campus. Proceeds from the purchases you make support the college and our students. We appreciate your support.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to read. I like to spend time outside hiking, camping and boating. I treasure time spent with family, friends and pets (who I treat like people).
Where was the best place you’ve traveled to?
My best or favorite travels are based on who I go with, not necessarily where we go. Though I prefer someplace with sun, sand and the ocean.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
What’s on your “bucket list?”
I want to see my children find what they are passionate about; what brings them fulfillment and purpose.
What’s one fact we should know about you?
I like to have fun and not take things too seriously. (Editor’s note: Life is best lived surrounded by books—not by the book.)
What would be your “theme song?”
“Old Church Choir” by Zach Williams. My favorite line is “there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy.”
I enjoy working at ECC because…
…of the people—ECC employees are a great group of people to work with.