Introducing the people behind the scenes at DPS, the company bringing you the Disability Support Guide and Talking Disability, to help you get to know us a little better and give insight into what we do. Next up in our Q&A series is our Executive Assistant to the CEO, Steve Krockenberger.
How long have you been with DPS?
I’ve been with DPS for a little over three years now. I started off consulting for the business and now I’m the executive assistant to the CEO.
What does your day-to-day look like?
It changes depending on what the needs of the business are. At the moment I’m working between sales, distribution and marketing – all of which slightly overlap. On the marketing side of things, there is the social and google strategies, online and print promotional materials including collateral for expos and networking events, electronic direct mail campaigns and much more. I also presently look after much of the new design concepts for the look and feel of the printed guides.
With distribution, I’m often attending the expos and looking at ways we can improve how people see or access the guides both via our online site and the printed version. This includes finding opportunities to grow or improve the website, along with how we might present the information inside the guides.
In terms of the assistance put forward for Michelle (our CEO), it’s often around company strategy, long-term focus and identifying growth opportunities and efficiencies for the business.
What is something you’ve learnt in your role at DPS?
Prior to working with DPS I worked with larger companies, I’ve also worked with smaller companies. DPS is a smaller company but essentially works as a giant team, and this is something I had to learn to work with. It was new in terms of working with a CEO, a board of directors and then having little or no separation between these management levels and the teams in each department. It is challenging at times, but it’s been fun to getting to know everyone in all the different departments and the way everyone plays an important part for the business to be successful.
What’s your favourite thing about working at DPS?
My favourite thing is probably being able to work together with a group on different projects and then due to the agility of the group, collaboratively achieve great results quickly and efficiently. It’s really satisfying to see a project come out at the other end, get some feedback around how it’s worked and then go back and put the finishing touches on it. This brings me to another really good thing about working with a company of this size, that is there’s a lot more opportunity to affect change, help the business pivot and shift directions when it is needed.
What’s an achievement or project you’re most proud of?
I’m happy with all of the new guides and the way they look. They match up and have a theme that flows together really well with the promotional materials. I was lucky enough to be a part of helping create this new look and I am super happy with how everything turned out – you notice this package now at the expos we attend.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role?
My biggest challenge is working with teams that are oscillating between different pressing tasks, but it’s also been quite rewarding. We’ve had to navigate how best to move from the office to working remotely several times. I think this is one of the biggest challenges I’ve had - not being able to see people face-to-face, understand the nuances of online communication as opposed to being able to read someone’s body language in-person. Those kinds of challenges I find are the hardest, it’s difficult to get alignment and get everyone moving when you’re not in the same room so to speak.
To help readers get a bit more of an understanding of you outside DPS, we’ve also got some more lighthearted questions. So what movie title best describes your life?
It all starts with the attitude that everyone deserves a fair go, and that everyone should be given the same opportunities. Put everything you have into what you do, then give people the opportunity to align with you and really understand where you are coming from. It’s a great way to approach life. It’s been said a lot before but it’s so true – life is like a box of chocolates.
You’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit as well, what’s your favourite place you’ve visited?
Bormeo in Italy. It’s a town with a population of just over 4,000 and it’s located in northern Italy in the province of Sondrio, of the Lombardy region in the alps. It’s popular in wintertime for skiing and in the summertime it’s one of the biggest hubs for cycling.
I was actually able to do some cycling when I went over there, which was great. Some of the most famous climbs in that area are directly within 20 to 30 kilometres of Bormeo. There’s three epic climbs around that region and I've done all three when I was there - Stelvio, Gavia, and Mortirolo. It’s definitely one of the most exciting places I’ve been.
So you’re an avid cyclist as well?
Yeah, I used to be more into it, but 12 months ago I had a few back issues resurface. Those have set me back a bit. I’m doing some other things now like bouldering, surfing and I have a good gym routine to stay fit.
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a gold medal for?
Flying small aircraft on windy days while singing Pearl Jam songs. It’s the only answer I could come up with. It would be an unusual sport but hey at least I would have a medal chance.