Welcome to our NetView ECO TeamView series, where we will highlight award-winning employees that make up HBS System’s team members to learn more about them and their work and to pick their brains on a variety of topics.
Our featured guest is Scot Kirkegaard, Director of Training & Education at HBS Systems.
In this HBS Systems exclusive, we sat down with the customer-centric man to learn about his background, life in New York, how he came to HBS Systems his love of people, and his passion for sharing his knowledge, teaching short-cuts he’s learned in life to increase efficiency and profitability for our customers.
HBS: Tell us about where you grew up and how that experience set you on a path to set you apart from others setting you on a path of excellence! No pressure.
SK: I grew up in the Midwest and lived in small rural communities, son of a Lutheran Pastor. Started college as a Music Education major at a small college in Nebraska where my parents both went to school. My first “big” job was in the corporate office of Prudential Insurance in NJ. I joined the Personnel dept as a trainer and found that I was a good fit in that role. I found I loved working with people and enlightening them with skills to help them do their jobs better. Much time there was spent in classroom teaching and later in computer-based training. I took on a unique challenge at Pru to help the many employees read and retain the masses of numbers they worked with daily. I got certified as a Number Skills instructor and took hundreds of employees through 3-4 days of memory-enhancing exercises that improved their number recognition sometimes 400% – very fulfilling and rewarding! I migrated next to a training manager role for a major bank in NYC with an office in the World Trade Center Tower 2. After several years in NYC, I began the next 30+ years working with dealership staff when joined the team at the Dealers Association based in upstate NY. I managed the support and sales teams there for the dealer business system area and was relocated to St Louis when we reorganized. There I had roles of Support Manager with 40 team members across 4 offices in the US and Canada and then Training Director to round out nearly 12 years before joining HBS Systems in 1997. In 25 years at HBS Systems, I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of HBS Systems users in new installation training and user seminars. For a couple of years, I also stepped in as Customer Support Manager. I was blessed with the opportunity to move to upstate NY during Covid to be closer to my son and grandchildren. I now live 15 minutes away from them instead of a 3 ½ hour flight away – so wonderful!
HBS: You joined HBS Systems in 1997. Why is the future of this company more exciting than it’s been in years?
SK: I joined HBS Systems because it was innovative and always had the lead on products and features in the market. Today, HBS Systems continues to bring the best technology in the industry for equipment dealers as we have so many exciting features coming on the horizon!
HBS: Walk us through a typical day in the life of Scot Kirkegaard.
SK: My days are filled with interaction with our trainers, onboarding team members, managers, and fellow HBS Systems co-workers. I field questions from staff they may have from customers they are working with plus help in deciphering info for incoming dealers to HBS Systems. Throw into that contact with dealership personnel and work on a host of training projects and course material and you have my day. I try hard to take a walk around my quiet neighborhood each day, weather permitting, or a ride on my recumbent exercise bike in my office. The best days include time with my 2 grandchildren, watching them in school activities, or just hanging out.
HBS: What’s the best part about working at HBS?
SK: The people are the best part of HBS Systems. We have an amazingly talented team and I am so lucky to work with so many of them each day. In my time here, I have to honestly say I have been able to work with the best – Bob, Dee, Max, and Carole – I learned so much from them while they were at HBS Systems. And there is today’s team of talent, what more can I say?
HBS: What‘s next on your list of personal and professional goals?
SK: We are steadily working on a Learning Management System for HBS Systems employees first and then for dealership personnel. I’m thrilled to be able to see our customers in person again and looking forward to hosting in-person training for early 2023. On the personal side, I’d love to take more long weekends and trips to explore the new area I have returned to live in and, of course, spend more time with the grandkids.
HBS: Both those goals sound awesome. Let’s shift gears for a second. Give us your five favorite movies.
SK: Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, 9-5, Footloose, Moana
HBS: 5 favorite musical artists.
SK: Josh Groban, Nancy Wilson, Bette Midler, Cher, Loretta Lynn
HBS: We hear you like to have a good time and laugh a lot!
SK: A lot of situations are easier handled with some laughter. I tend to see the bright side of things and that often involves some fun and laughter. My staff will say I always have something fun/funny to add.
HBS: What inspired your passion for training others with humor and what do you do to sustain it?
SK: I love working with people and sharing knowledge, insight, and wisdom. My approach to training has always been to keep it light and fun, if at all possible. I often share interesting stories about past training and circumstances that help keep it light. In the end, we laugh along the way but assuredly learn a lot too!
HBS: What is one item you always have in your refrigerator at all times?
SK: Sweet Tea
HBS: Beach or mountains for vacation and why?
SK: Maybe mountains. We like to sightsee and explore local landmarks, history, and people-watch!
HBS: Anything else you want to share we’ve yet to ask about you?
SK: Enjoy life. Smile and laugh when you can.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Scot Kirkregaard a little more in our NetView ECO TeamView series. If you’d like to become part of the team or learn more about how HBS Systems can Advance Your Dealership, give our team a call at 800-376-6376 or send an email to email@example.com.