Tales on Tap - A new Kind of Happy Hour

Tales on Tap - A new Kind of Happy Hour
Tales on Tap – A New Kind of Happy Hour
Kowalski’s Market, 441 Highway 96 West, Shoreview
December 5, 4:00-6:00 p.m.: Register
What better place to gather in advance of the holidays than at Kowalski’s. Come meet Kris Kowalski Christiansen, chief operating officer, and Mike Oase, vice president of operations, and hear the story in person of this local family-owned business. 
Q&A with Kris Kowalski Christiansen
What is Kowalski’s most proud of in your rich history?
Besides watching my parents, Jim and Mary Kowalski, create this company, I am most proud of our identity as a civic business. We have taken on this mission to educate all employees/stakeholders to see themselves as active citizens (governing members) of not only our company but the world at large. We believe that if all of us see ourselves as policymakers generating decisions for the common good (democratic principles and standards), we will create more sustainable solutions which contribute to a world that is abundant and just.
What’s one takeaway for members who will come to Tales on Tap?
Key takeaway would be understanding that at Kowalski’s we see ourselves as educators for the next generation of leaders and not just a purveyor of high quality foods and service. 
What makes a good business leader?  
Never assume you’re either the smartest or the dumbest person in the room. If you think you’re the smartest, listen more than you speak, and, conversely, ask more questions and educate yourself. Courage is more important than brains!  
What’s your favorite recent movie?
Haven’t been to a movie in a while but love all genres. It’s the storytelling and ability to lose yourself for a couple of hours that I love the most, whether it’s fiction or true story. 
Who inspires you the most? Why?
At this point in my life, my mom inspires me the most. She has emulated pure courage and strength every day by rising above tragedy with grace, intelligence and competence. She’s a risk-taker and a challenger as well as a calming voice of reason and a steadfast leader. She is a pillar in my life as well as in many others. Her life story is truly inspirational from childhood to today and would most likely be my favorite movie if there ever was one. 
Kowalski’s has used the Minnesota Chamber’s Waste Wise and Energy Smart services extensively. Why is sustainability so important to you and your customers? Do you have any initial results to report from connecting with our services?
We have used the Chamber extensively over the past year to aid us in taking advantage of the rebates available for new kitchen equipment, HVAC equipment, refrigeration equipment and lighting. Through the Chamber’s resources we were able to recoup about $60,000 for these various pieces of equipment. They have been extremely knowledgeable with where we can find rebates and who to go through to get them. They were able to put me in touch with the appropriate people to move the process along seamlessly. They are a great asset to have on our side.