An Interview With Kristen Williams

Recently I was asked to interview Kristen Williams. As a writer, such a request did not seem unusual, and, as such, I began preparations as I would for any other assignment. It was during my initial research that I gained the first hint that this was something different, that she was someone unique. Still I approached our interview as I would any other, entered into it with no grand expectations; to say that she surprised would be a great understatement. Our conversation touched on many subjects, and in each I found elements that astounded me. I look forward to writing of it all, and I will, but I felt it necessary to begin at the end, so to speak; I felt I needed to convey the feeling I left the interview with in order to make clear that this is no longer simply work for me. As a writer one occasionally finds a story that demands to be told. This is just such a story.

Kristen Williams is a remarkable person. Such descriptions are so often overused in our society that they have become near meaningless, placeholders for acceptable mediocrity, but in this instance, with this person, the word remarkable is, at best, a stand in for a remarkable life, for remarkable traits, that, when taken together, exceed simple description, that add up to something astounding.

She was a student at Notre Dame, when, for simply doing the things to help her fellow human beings that she, by her nature, felt needed to be done, she was awarded the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award for “outstanding volunteer service beyond the University community.”

Some would call this charity but that does not reflect the empathy Kristen feels and the interconnectedness and commonality she believes to be inherent to all individuals regardless of who they are, where they came from, or where they have found themselves in need.

Kristen dealt with adversity early in her adult life, but instead of shrinking before it she accepted it, adjusted to it, and continued to build a life of happiness. She braved the banking world, full of cold, detached calculations, and found a way to inject her compassion and love into it, found a way to use large profit obsessed corporations to do the good to which she has always felt called, all the while mastering the calculations, the logic, that drive banking, investment and business.

Kristen has surrounded herself with a team as caring and motivated as she, and she does not take that for granted, always pushing them to pursue their dreams, and inviting each to join her in her life long quest to help any and all that may need helping. This team is invaluable, each indispensable in their own way, and they have become like family to Kristen. There is nothing that exceeds the passion and drive Kristen has for the homes she creates and the people she helps, nothing, that is, except the love and dedication she has for her family. Her husband and children cause her to glow when she speaks of them, and their love has provide the foundation from which she has built her dreams, dreams that have, in turn, brought to life the dreams, and dream homes, of so many.

Stay tuned for more articles in our series.