DK Security is blessed with incredible officers in our vast family of over 2,300 employees. The DK Employee Spotlight series aims to highlight some of these talented individuals. They are our shining examples of hospitality security and the reason DK Security continues to grow and thrive. For our very first employee spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Lieutenant Kristin Stimpson.
After hearing from her director about the exemplary employee that she is, we wanted to learn more about this officer from Jackson, Michigan. Ms. Stimpson joined the DK Security team in October of 2017 as an incumbent when DK Security began their contract with Consumers Energy. She is currently the Lieutenant at the Consumers Energy Command Center. Recently, the marketing team was able to sit down with Ms. Kristin Stimpson to hear her story.
Thank you, Kristin, for sitting down with us. We are excited to share your story with others and give a little insight into your life and your current position at DK. To start can you tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan, and I have been here my whole life. I did have the opportunity to live in Germany for 2 years in 2007. At that point in my life, I had never been on a plane, that was my first flight from Michigan to Germany.
The experience of living in Germany, making new friends, and the culture of Germany was so great. Everyone was so relaxed there; it was not driven by commercialization like it is in the United States. The sights and history were just amazing.
Where did you live in Germany?
I lived in Baumholder, which is about an hour from Ramstein Air Force Base in southern Germany, near France.
What was your biggest take away from living in a foreign country?
There is more than just your neighborhood, just your county, just your state, there is a bigger world out there and people have to be more open-minded and open to new experiences. I was still living with my parents before Germany, then I moved over there and I was essentially responsible for everything. It was definitely a growing up experience. It made me more sure of myself, it improved my confidence, and it taught me to stand up for myself. It was just so different from what I had experienced before. It was definitely awesome. I would recommend to anyone to try something new, it is amazing what it can do for you.
What brought you back to the Jackson area?
I probably would have stayed longer but I came back to Michigan for my family. My sister was pregnant with the first grandchild and my father was sick. So I came back to be there for my family and I have been in Jackson ever since.
When I came back, I worked for the local paper in accounts receivable in the advertising department until the company was restructured with MLive. I was then hired into Consumers Energy security and I have been here since 2011.
Is your family still in the area?
Yes! Funny enough, my brother works for Consumers in Corporate Security. He has been here for almost 20 years. My father retired from Consumers, my sister works right down the street, and my mom retired from the school system here in Jackson.
That is quite the family history with Consumers Energy! How has it been working at Consumers?
Consumers is a great company. Since I have been here, it has consistently grown towards the future and it is making great steps. It has always been a company that adjusts and adapts to the ever-growing climate around it. What was your role when you joined Consumers Energy and how has it evolved? My ultimate goal, if I can be frank, is to work for Consumers myself, as an employee and not just as a contractor. I know that working as a contractor you can make connections, so when I joined the Consumers security team it was a good opportunity. It is my goal to follow in the example of my father and brother and work at a company where my family has roots; hopefully someday my dream will be realized.
I started as a Cadet in the Command Center working full-time on third shift. It was not the best shift to work if you are trying to learn all you can about the tasks that the command center is responsible for. I had the opportunity to move to first shift to cover a temporary leave. Once I was on first shift, I attached myself to the supervisor and literally sat next to him and asked many questions to learn as much as I could. You can only absorb so much on third shift by reading reports and emails. I pretty much became a barnacle to the Supervisor. The Supervisor was going to teach me everything she knew and I was going to soak it all in.
Working different shifts benefited me quite well. It increased my responsibility for things and it showed that I was reliable. I had an open schedule at the time so I was able to pick up many shifts. I moved into a fill-in supervisor role and then to a full-time supervisor. I was able to increase my knowledge and responsibility as time went by. I started as a Cadet, and then a Command Center Operator. I was promoted to Supervisor and then 8 months ago I was promoted to Lieutenant, which is my current position.
What does your job entail?
It is not just security. Whenever people ask me to describe my job, I tell them I am a jack-of-all-trades, wearing many hats. We assist corporate security, we assist fraud, we assist theft, and the call center calls us with questions. We are kind of a communication hub for the whole company.
The Command Center receives calls for everything. In one instance, we were called because there was a chipmunk in the service center. We referred the caller to facilities. (lol). It is more than what people think when they hear security. We are responsible for so many things.
Do you enjoy being a jack-of-all-trades?
Yes, I do, I thrive under chaos, high-pressure situations, and having to multi-task.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like spending time with my family, and socializing with my friends. I enjoy hanging out at the house and playing board games. I occasionally like to go on ride adventures where you just get in your car and start driving, tunes playing, and going where the road takes you.
I like to binge-watch TV when I have nothing else to do. I like horseback riding and I like to read a lot. I have more books than one person probably should. I do not like e-readers, I like the feel and smell of books.
I do get the itch to travel. The last big trip I did was Chicago for Saint Patrick’ s Day weekend with friends. That was very cold, very windy, but very fun. It was fun to see the diversity and different restaurants.
Any favorite Michigan destinations?
Going to Warren Dunes and just sitting there looking at the scenery was amazing. Also, driving M-23 along the coastline last summer for a Consumers event through Tawas City and just seeing that coastline, OMG it’s gorgeous. Michigan is probably one of the prettiest states. I have not been past the bridge yet, so traveling to the U.P. is on my list. I’ll try to avoid getting eaten by a bear.
You have been with DK now for over a year and a half; tell us what you think of DK?
I have been in the security division at Consumers Energy going on eight years. One of the things I tend to say as we interview people for the command center is that DK has been one of the better security companies that I have worked for since I have been here and I have worked for about five different companies. I think DK has better communication than other security companies do. I get email responses right away when I have questions. I like the fact that DK is a Michigan based company. Other security companies that I have worked for are nationwide and they do not care about their employees. DK is local and they have opportunities for employees within the company. They are more family-based then the other companies I have worked for and the corporate staff is accessible. There have been more opportunities to do things within the company, as well. I’ve been able to work a couple of concerts including Pink, it was so awesome. Other companies have been more about the bottom line and they do not care about their people, that is different with DK.