ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success

Women's Spotlight

This Q&A series is brought to you by the ELFA Women’s Council

Kirsten Hawkins

Director of Marketing
SCJ Commercial Financial Services

Women's Spotlight - Kirsten Hawkins

What different roles have you held throughout your career?

I’ve held many different roles prior to landing my current position as Director of Marketing for SCJ Commercial Financial Services. In college, I worked as a Marketing Assistant for Chick-Fil-A and a Behavioral Health Specialist at a local hospital. I have a degree in Speech Language Pathology and prior to working in the industry, I provided therapy to stroke patients and helped 3-year-old children say their first words. I decided I wanted a career change in 2019 so I applied for an administrative position at SCJ and have worked my way up from there!

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Don't be so hard on yourself! College and the years immediately following were tough as I felt the need to do everything perfectly. I struggled to say "no" at work and in my social life, I would often compare my own accomplishments to those of my peers. It wasn’t until the later half of my twenties that I realized success looks different for everyone and even "small" successes are worth celebrating.  

What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you throughout your career?

Pay very close attention to who you spend your time with. As an adult, the majority of your week is spent at work. Who you work with will end up having the biggest influence on the type of person you will become. You should have peers that inspire you and push you to be better and you should be inspiring peers and pushing them to be better as well. I remember being told that it is important to have role models/ mentors/ people that I look up to in my circle but it’s just as important to remember that I might be that person to someone else. How I carry myself and how I handle stressful and frustrating situations is very important because you never know who is looking at you as a leader.

What extracurricular activities do you take part in?

I love to cook! My husband and I enjoy trying new restaurants and when we eat something good, I enjoy recreating the dish at home with my own twist. In the summer, I enjoy fish surfing at the beach and longboarding in the park.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

I met my husband in 2012 at a coffee shop in downtown Dover. We quickly became friends after bonding over similar music interests but left for out-of-state college shortly thereafter. Upon graduation, we both moved back to Delaware and went on our first date at Dogfish Brew Pub. We got married on October 10, 2020, and welcomed our daughter Amelia on August 31, 2022. We love being parents!

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Before having my daughter, I was a volunteer for a non-profit called Pursuit for Peace. With this non-profit, a group of women, including myself, would dress as princesses and visit local children’s hospitals or events that were organized for children with illnesses. Some princesses would sing and others would read stories or do a short skit. We tried to make the moment as magical as possible for the kids!

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would love to learn how to surf! I used to skim board, a popular sport in Delaware, but surfing is a dream.

Do you have any pets?

Yes! I have two dogs and a cat. I rescued my cat Boulder while in college and he would often go on road trips with me and loved eating Chick-Fil-A. I rescued my sweet dog LANY while I was in graduate school. She was very well loved by my college roommates and spent a lot of time walking around campus. My husband and I adopted our dog Theo after we got engaged. He is our beach dog and enjoys surf fishing with us and playing in the water.

What do you do to relax / unwind?

My husband used to encourage me to put on a good song and have a 5 min. dance party after a long or stressful day. Now, we have dance parties with our daughter. She loves it and just giggles the whole time while we dance around the kitchen!

Interview and editing by: Lexie Dressman, Legal Counsel at DLL.
Visit the Women’s Leadership page for additional resources from the ELFA Women’s Council.