McKinstry’s Fawn Staerkel on Celebrating Mother’s Day

What is your role at McKinstry?

My role is director of strategic vertical markets within Energy & Technical Services (E&TS). In my role, my focus is on supporting our sales organization in growth strategies and in leading initiatives that enable our sellers to sell more and sell faster across the E&TS portfolio of offices and offerings.

I definitely get the most joy from watching our teams and individual sellers achieve success. I love a good win story! When you’ve had the opportunity to mentor and support someone as they develop, and then they get to ring that bell of success, it’s a truly gratifying experience. I get the most energy and am most passionate about creating strategies for growth. I love envisioning what’s possible and figuring out how we go get it done.

Tell us about your family.

My husband, Don, and I have been married for 20 years and we live in Phoenix, AZ. We have five children (ages 37, 34, 29, 28 and 17), eight grandchildren, two dogs, two cats and five grand-dogs. We’re also blessed to have both mine and Don’s parents alive and thriving, giving us a new perspective on “middle age” and balancing the needs of aging parents with all the other stuff in life. We love getting our family together to enjoy the outdoors, travel, have game nights or just enjoy a pool day. As you can imagine, with such a big family, every get-together is a chaotic, loud, zoo-type atmosphere.  My family often hears me muttering “This is my circus, these are my monkeys” but I love every minute of the family chaos!

What is the meaning of Mother’s Day to you?

Mother’s Day is a time to express my appreciation, respect and love for my mom and to recognize her for all she invested, sacrificed and continues to do for me. As a mom myself, I now recognize the sacrifices my mom made and how hard it is to be a parent. I try to make each Mother’s Day significant by telling my mom about a special memory I have of a moment with her, something she did and how that impacted me. It’s always fun to try to stump her with something that she doesn’t remember but that I vividly remember.

Mother’s Day is also a time to recognize all the surrogate moms I’ve had in my life. I love taking the time to give them a special recognition and telling them how much they mean and how they have impacted my life.

Who is a motherly figure in your life that has helped shape you?

My mom has always been a defining force and example for me. In a time period when most of my childhood friends had stay-at-home moms, my mom always worked outside the home. Somehow, she built a successful company while prioritizing family and keeping all the moving pieces of life together. Sometimes it was messy, but she made it work and we always knew we were her most important priority. She was a great example in always identifying “the” most important thing we needed to accomplish each week and ensuring that we prioritized accordingly. She taught me how to say “no” and to set clear expectations and boundaries. She taught me to accept that not everything has to be perfect and that progress towards the goal is what’s important. She taught me to never give up on what’s right or on your dreams. And finally, she instilled in me the importance of communicating well and in building strong relationships. When people tell me I’m a lot like my mom, they pay me the hugest compliment because my mom has always been my hero.

What do you hope to pass on to the next generation through your example and work?

It feels like there are so many BIG problems in the world right now, that sometimes it’s overwhelming and can make you feel helpless. The thing I’d like most to pass on to the next generation is that what each of us does individually really does matter. We can’t control the world, but we can control our individual actions and help to influence and improve the lives of those around us.

Here are a few key tenets that I reinforce with those I get the honor of mentoring:

  • Know what’s most important to you and keep that prioritized. You can successfully achieve personal, family and career goals while being true to your values and your purpose in life. It takes work, flexibility, creativity and purposeful prioritization.
  • People matter. Take the time to truly listen and invest in helping others to succeed. Relationships have been the best investments I’ve ever made.
  • You can achieve great things, but great things don’t come without an investment. Have goals, short term and long term, and do something every day that moves you toward achieving those goals. Don’t let perfect get in the way of progress.
  • Life is messy and sometimes the best laid plans don’t turn out the way we envision them. Failing is critical in the path to growth and true success. If you’re not failing, you’re not truly learning or growing. Learn to fail well; be transparent, be accountable and grow out of the lessons that are learned.
  • Nothing stays the same. Avoid the ruts in life. Be curious and willing to explore alternative thoughts/methods and learn from others. Remaining relevant requires being open to new technologies, process, concepts and ways of working together.
  • ASK FOR HELP. I don’t know why so many of us (me) find this hard to do. It’s never a bad idea to ask for someone’s guidance, experiences or support. Asking for help isn’t admitting defeat or failure. Asking earlier rather than later can propel better results. You don’t have to take every piece of advice given but many times talking through it helps give you clarity and new insights.

Explore Other Insights

A McKinstry Veteran Commemorates Memorial Day

John Livingston is a functional training program manager for our Service team. John served in the Navy for 21 years a…

McKinstry’s Paulo Candiani on Advancing Energy Generation…

“It feels like I’m watching a movie as my life unfolds around me, and it’s a dream come true. I’ve been thinking abou…

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day serves as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those shaping lives and communities through motherho…