Member Spotlight - Q&A with Hilary Lenzen

November 22, 2021
Written by: CREW-St. Louis

Member Spotlight - Q&A with Hilary Lenzen

Hilary Lenzen
 Account Manager
 Shaw Contract

Member Spotlight – Q&A 
Hilary Lenzen is an account manager for Shaw Contract, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world. Shaw Contract is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway with more than $6 billion in annual sales and 20,000 associates worldwide.

Hilary has been active in the commercial design industry since she graduated from the interior design program at the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2007. She began her career as a commercial interior designer at Oculus and then transitioned to sales over the past 8 years. At Shaw Contract, Hilary works directly with commercial interior designers/architects, contractors and end users assisting them with all their flooring needs. She utilizes her foundation in interior design to offer complete flooring solutions for her clients.

Q:    When did you decide to get into the commercial real estate industry? Was it always your focus?

A:    I have always had a passion for design, but also a passion for people. When I was an interior designer, I was fulfilling that passion on the design side, but missed that face-to-face interaction with my clients. Moving to sales enabled me to fulfill both needs, meeting directly with clients and developing solutions for their projects. 

Q:    What are some of the things you love about your job?

A:    I built my business both in design and sales through establishing relationships with my clients. I am a firm believer that if you build trust with your customers, the sale will follow.

Q:    What is your CREW-St. Louis origin? When did you join? Why did you become a member?

A:    I joined CREW-St. Louis back in spring 2019. Coincidently, this is also the time when a global pandemic shut down businesses, schools and pretty much our entire economy. It forced me to get creative with the way we do business and think outside of the box. CREW-St. Louis helped me to build those relationships and diversify my network of clients during a challenging time.

Q:    What was the first CREW event you attended and what were your impressions?

A:    Most of my first CREW-St. Louis events were virtual Dine-Arounds. The first event that I attended in person was the 2021 CREW Leadership Summit held in downtown St. Louis. This highlighted how this organization stands unlike any other. Members of CREW genuinely wanted to get to know you and your business so they could help you grow professionally.

Q:    Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area of which you are proud. 

A:    Before joining Shaw Contract, I participated in several large-scale stadium projects like the Atlanta Braves and local renovations at both Busch Stadium and the Enterprise Center. While at Shaw Contract, I have been fortunate to work on the new soccer stadium for St. Louis CITY SC. Although I am not an avid sports spectator, I guess you could say I am a bit of a fair-weather fan, especially when they install my product throughout a stadium. 

Q:     What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with?

A:    I have been actively involved in the International Interior Design Association or IIDA Gateway chapter for the past several years. I am also on the board of Angels in the Outfield, which is a local charity benefitting Special Olympics Missouri.

Q:    How has COVID-19 impacted you and your organization?

A:    Building relationships during a pandemic has been extremely difficult. Luckily, I came from a previous sales position, so I continued to work with many of the same clients in the design industry. CREW-St. Louis opened new opportunities in other fields and really expanded my network.

Q:    What else would you like your fellow CREW-St. Louis members to know about you?

A:    I am the mother of two young children, my son Hayden, 6, and daughter Reese, 4, I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Cory. My days are hectic. There’s a constant balancing act between work and our personal life, but I would not have it any other way. My grandfather was 93 when he retired and instilled that hard work in me. I hope to also instill that same work ethic in my children.