Kimberly Khoury is the Chief Commercial Officer at TruServe/Clintar Franchise. While the industry is primarily male-dominated, Kimberly excels, overseeing customer service, operations, sales, marketing, and human resources — and sometimes, even plowing snow in -30 degree temperatures. With a Master’s degree from Penn State University and over 23 years of international work experience, Kimberly’s passion is working alongside others and leveraging her extensive business background to empower women and help them grow and achieve their own version of personal success.
My first job ever was… A part-time job at the age of 15, working at a retirement home serving lunches and dinners and cleaning retiree’s rooms. This job was very important because it was the first time I learned how important Health and Safety is in a person’s life.
I chose my career path because… I do not feel as though I chose my career path. I believe that it chose me. Originally, my dream career was to be a model and I had the opportunity to fulfill that dream when I was living in the Middle East, however, I did not feel that I wanted to model forever. I took a position as an executive assistant for a large courier company where I gained tremendous business knowledge and decided to change my career to business and education, focusing on a path that would lead me to make a difference.
My proudest accomplishment is… My degree. When I was younger, I did not believe in education, which caused me to struggle in school. I took a while to decide what I actually wanted to study. As I got older and had children, I wanted to show them that their mother had a dream to finish her degree and I accomplished that goal.
My boldest move to date was… Besides going back to school, was when I was 19 years-old I got on my first international plane ride to the Middle East. This was an experience that I will never forget. At such a young age, this was the first time I traveled a long distance. A funny thing happened when I was heading from Los Angeles to the UK — I actually got on the wrong plane and was headed to Switzerland. It was a great learning experience and a pretty humorous story.
I surprise people when I tell them… That I lived and worked in the Middle East in a high-ranking position as a female.
My best advice to people starting their career is… Keep an open mind to every opportunity because you never know what lies ahead.
My best advice from a mentor was… Whatever you decide to do or be in this world, make sure you do it well and to the best of your abilities.
I would tell my 20-year-old self… Keep moving forward no matter what people tell you. Think outside the box and strive to accomplish whatever your heart desires.
My biggest setback was… I cannot remember a significant setback but I had to persevere through a tough, long learning curve on the path to my current career.
I overcame it by… Earning my degree and continuing to educate myself by learning at least one new thing each week that will help me grow as a person.
“Plowing snow for our customers in -30°C temperatures and late at night is not your typical nine to five job, and it takes a strong individual to complete these tasks and more and more females are taking on snow removal and everything that goes with it.”
Work/life balance is… Today, my family would say that I have a good work/life balance because I am happy with my accomplishments within the company and with my team. I am also personally proud to have raised my children to reach their goals and attend college. I strive to accomplish my goals through a balance of creating, leading, educating and learning.
Being a woman in a male–dominated industry is… Inspiring! I have always lived and worked in a male-dominated society. As the new CCO of a large, national snow and landscaping company, which focuses on commercial outdoor services, it is amazing to see more women in this industry, which has historically been male-dominated. Plowing snow for our customers in -30°C temperatures and late at night is not your typical nine to five job and it takes a strong individual to complete these tasks and more and more females are taking on snow removal and everything that goes with it.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I am passionate about other people and their accomplishments.
I stay inspired by… My family as well as my mentors. Throughout my life, I have always had the backing of my family, friends and extremely inspirational work coach rather than a boss in my workplace. I thank them for that inspiration!
The future excites me because… It is the unknown and you never know where life can take you.
My next step is… To promote women in the work force and to celebrate the accomplishments they have set and achieved in their own industries.