Employee Spotlight: Jill Kibler, Goldfish Swim School- Birmingham, General Manager
At Goldfish Swim School, we LOVE to celebrate whenever we can! We’d like to spotlight one of our employees, who does amazing things with her staff and who our members LOVE!
From Retail to…Fish Tail
It may seem like a strange leap to go from working in retail to leading a Goldfish Swim School, but for Jill Kibler, it all makes perfect sense. She was in retail management for nearly 13 years before becoming the general manager at Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Mich. Now, Jill LOVES Goldfish Swim School and has what she calls her dream job!
“I think the best thing I got out of retail that translates heavily into Goldfish is my love for customer service,” Jill said. “At Goldfish Swim School, what speaks to me the most is not only the connection with my team, but connections I make with the families.”
So how did she get here? Well, Jill had managed a retail chain store – which had under $1 million in sales when she started and grew to $4 million when she left – but the business eventually evolved in a direction she didn’t feel super passionate about, so she decided to do something else. But what?
With degrees in English and history, Jill didn’t know what her next adventure would be. She took nearly four months off from working and spent some time on herself: Reading a lot, hanging out with her family more, and devoting energy to personal development. Then, someone found a resume she had posted online and reached out to her about joining the Goldfish Swim School team. The rest, as they say, is history.
Why Goldfish Swim School?
Before being approached with this job possibility, Jill didn’t know much about the company – so she talked to friends whose kids attended Goldfish Swim School to find out what they LOVED about it, and the environment itself. They talked about the extraordinary results, and the GOLDEN experience they have here.
“There’s definitely a resounding theme that it’s really fun for the kids,” Jill said. “All my girlfriends and their husbands were like, ‘They’re learning how to be safe and how to swim!’”
And Jill talked to those kids, too, who all said they had fun and really enjoyed swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School.
“Typically, that’s not something you hear from kids, that it’s fun,” Jill said. “That really sparked my interest, because above and beyond I love kids.”
Then Jill met Chris McCuiston, CEO and Co-Founder, Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC, and said she knew she had to be part of the company.
“Goldfish (Swim School) is such an amazing company,” Jill said. “Their core values are not just words, but the secret of success. And I believe in those values not only professionally but personally.”
Core values like integrity, compassion and trust are what Jill brings to the table every day at Goldfish Swim School. Since Jill learned a lot about herself in the retail industry, and knew that she’s the kind of person who always has to be doing something – she knew an employer wouldn’t get the best out of her from being behind a desk in an office all day. That’s part of why she LOVES being at Goldfish: Every day is different. There are challenges – which is perfect since she enjoys problem solving – and lots of conversations and celebrations!
“I learned a lot about building a business and fostering relationships with clients,” Jill said. “That really translates to Goldfish (Swim School) because (one of the) most important parts of my job on a daily basis is to take care of my staff. They are great, and I never take them for granted. If you have a happy staff and foster a healthy work environment, everything else falls into place!”
And then there are the kids. Jill comes from a big family and there have always been lots of kids in her life. Everyone is motivated by different reasons, and for Jill part of her reason for joining the Goldfish Swim School team was to be able to help kids.
“To see children learning something that isn’t just a sport but a lifelong skill that they need…for me that was yes, this is what I was born to do,” Jill said. “I can also teach my staff lifelong lessons. I feel like it’s part of my responsibility, that any staff member who leaves my school, to have someone ask them, ‘How did you learn to have such a great worth ethic?’ I think what we do is so important.”
Sign up for swimming lessons!
Head over to your nearest Goldfish Swim School location and sign up for swimming lessons today! When you pop in, you’ll notice all the cool benefits Goldfish Swim School offers, plus our WOW! customer service.