Jennifer Arenson - The Hot 25

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It seemed like an odd leap to say the least, moving from graphic designer to bookkeeper. But if her employee was game, so was Jennifer Arenson, owner and CEO of Global Sourcing Connection (asi/208403), a distributor based in Riverwoods, IL. In fact, it was sort of Arenson’s idea.

“We have a lot of people who have roles that are unrelated to the job we originally hired them to do,” Arenson says. That may seem unorthodox, but Arenson insists it keeps ideas fresh and prevents employees from being “pigeonholed” into one job or another. More to the point, it helps team members better understand the company’s various functions and spurs ideas for growth. To help one designer understand how the company’s products fit into a real-world setting, for example, Arenson suggested he get involved with sales. Seeing how the product was being used by way of sales meetings with clients in the field shifted his focus and improved his skills as a designer. Says Arenson, “Really, I want to be a positive agent of change for the people in my company.”

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