Congratulations to Souphak Kienitz on being selected as the American Staffing Association (ASA) 2022 National Staffing Employee of the Year AND the 2022 National Staffing Employee All-Star for the Office-Clerical and Administrative category. Our team at Advent is overjoyed with this richly deserved recognition of Souphak Kienitz!
Advent nominated Souphak for the ASA National Staffing Employee of the Year because of her incredible strength, creativity, and resilience. With her permission, we wanted to share her inspiring story with others. Owner of Advent Talent Group, Mary Younggren, said:
“Connecting Souphak with an opportunity that supported her unique needs during a pivotal time in her life is “the why” behind what we do at Advent. Souphak is an amazing and inspiring person and we are honored to have played a small part in her journey. She has a bright and exciting future ahead and our whole team is cheering for her continued success! Congratulations, Souphak!!
Please read on to learn more about Souphak and her story below.
In 2018, Souphak Kienitz quit her steady corporate job and started working at Starbucks. An entrepreneurial risk-taker, Souphak chose to take a step back so that she could move forward. The decision to quit her job also came at a time in her life when she was working on self-reflection and healing after trauma. She was “doing her homework,” to rebuild her identity as a more accurate reflection of her true self.
The result? A choice to be authentic and to make decisions based on her personal goals, leading in turn to the founding of her clothing brand, Jay Victoria. Inspired by stories of real people struggling to feel comfortable and confident in traditional clothing, Jay Victoria is — as their website puts it — a “lifestyle apparel brand that makes clothing for plus-sized women and nonbinary humans.”
While Souphak did make some important, serendipitous connections in that Starbucks drive-through — a few customers even became early backers of Jay Victoria — working as a barista did not provide the financial stability she needed. Then, in December of 2018, Souphak’s sister referred her to Advent Talent Group.
Working with Advent
Souphak found that working with a staffing agency provided unique perks: for one, her ability to be honest about her need for flexibility when she interviewed with Advent recruiter Michelle O’Kelley was a refreshing change from the standard job search practice of keeping “personal projects” under wraps. Most job seekers need to consider that potential employers may perceive side projects as an unwelcome distraction from the role at hand. However, when Souphak met with Michelle, she discovered that she could openly communicate her goals and share what would work best for her current situation, enabling Michelle to seek out opportunities that aligned with these objectives and played to Souphak’s strengths.
As a result, Souphak was offered and accepted a role as a part-time, temporary front-desk receptionist at the Minneapolis Foundation, a well-respected, local non-profit that facilitates positive change in social, civic, and economic issues through grants, advocacy, and partnerships. This role allowed her the flexibility to pursue her goals as an entrepreneur, with a better schedule and pay than most retail environments offer.
In addition to the flexibility of her part-time assignment, Souphak was able to leverage this temporary assignment as a bridge to an exciting, new role as a podcast producer and sound engineer for the large non-profit in April of 2021. Souphak speaks of her choice to change her career as an inflection point that awakened her creativity, putting her on a path that allowed her to build connections and excel in her pursuits. Through her hard work and persistence, she was able to demonstrate her potential for a larger scope of responsibilities and a broader range of creative capabilities for the organization.
In fact, Souphak’s opportunity as a podcast producer with The Minneapolis Foundation came about largely thanks to her significant contributions to the success of the renowned and nationally recognized “Conversations with Chanda” podcast hosted by Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer Chanda Smith Baker. This podcast tackles a variety of topics including power structures, racism, and criminal justice reform. As described on their website, it’s “what happens when people get together and dive into intimate conversation about our community’s grittiest, most vexing problems.”
As for her clothing line, Souphak plans to officially launch Jay Victoria this coming fall in addition to continuing her work for the Minneapolis Foundation.
Her advice? Be true to yourself – and be bold.
More about Souphak Kienitz
Souphak Kienitz is an LGBTQIA Asian American businesswoman navigating a path in breaking through barriers and pushing boundaries. She has overcome significant obstacles including trauma and addiction and is relentless in her pursuit of authenticity and an intentional approach to life.
Souphak is an entrepreneur, a podcast producer, a video editor, a blog writer and so much more. She has a beautiful and unique story where her choice to live more authentically allowed her to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and become a podcast producer for a nationally recognized podcast with the Minneapolis Foundation.
Interested in Working with Advent too? Contact us below.
About Advent Talent Group
Our award-winning team puts people at the center of everything we do. Every year, we give back more than 10% of our profits through our giving program, Advent Cares. We are committed to partnering with organizations that share a dedication to service, collaboration, and equity. Our core values are Be You, Make a Difference, Save the Day, Have Fun, and Always be Growing.