INTRODUCING…MERISSA OLIVER

AT HOME:

WHAT IS YOUR HOMETOWN?

North Caldwell, NJ

WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?

University of New Hampshire

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF TKG?

I like to cook, spend time with family, read and be outside!

WHAT ARE THE VALUES THAT DRIVE YOU?

I was lucky, I had 2 parents that worked very hard, so they set the example of if you want something in life, then you have to work for it. Along with that, the concept of being given a lot means you must give a lot back and these are my motivating forces.

AT WORK:

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORKING FOR TKG?

I’ve known John Strapp, the TKG Chairman, since I was 6 years old. I ran into him at a grocery store when I was home visiting my parents in New Jersey after college. He told me that he and his business partner Sarah were starting a business, and asked me if I wanted to work for them. I said “Sure!”. After that I met Sarah and really liked her, which excited me even more. So, there was not one thing in particular that attracted me to TKG outside of ordering half-a-pound of turkey breast at the grocery with John!

WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT YOUR INTEREST IN HEALTHCARE?

Talking to people with all types of health issues and hearing about the difficulties they face with these issues. This is something that continually motivates me, and I see it as the universe saying there is still work to be done.

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES AT TKG?

In 2006, we ran an HIV program in Atlanta. We tested homeless individuals living in the Greater Atlanta Area for their HIV status. We worked with some of the churches in the area, so that anyone that tested positive with the rapid-HIV test was immediately housed within the churches so that they didn’t go back out on the streets. It was impactful not only doing this but also working with the people that were involved on this project day in and day out. It just goes to show that the people are the fabric of TKG and they are the biggest part of those memories.

HOW HAS WORKING AT TKG FOSTERED YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS?

We have two great examples in Sarah and John. One, they’ve really set up a culture of “hiring people that are smarter than you” , and they are both really smart. So, the company is looking for individuals that want to have the opportunity to step into their business acumen. This mindset pushes you as a leader to look for areas where you can help set this person up for success. It allows us to continually educate ourselves, especially for us folks that have been a part of Kinetix for a long time, from that leadership perspective. This work environment enables you to do that.

IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE THE CULTURE OF THE COMPANY IN A WORD WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Trusting

WHAT MAKES TKG DIFFERENT THAN OTHER AGENCIES?

We have a bird’s eye view of the different stakeholders, dynamics, influences, and policies and we use that information to develop something that is implementable. So, taking a broader vision and then getting into the weeds allows us to better facilitate change.

AS THE COMPANY CONTINUES TO GROW, WHERE DO YOU SEE TKG IN 5 YEARS?

We will be that boutique agency that has made a name for itself. I don’t see us a part of a big conglomerate but more as a team that has stood out amongst the noise and as an agency that has enabled change. And I think that most of our clients, if not all our clients, will mirror back the comment about trust.

Merissa Oliver, Senior Vice President
Joined 2000

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