Kristin Gossett headshot.jpg

kristin gossett
President

What brought you to Austin?
I moved to Austin when I was 17 to go to UT.

Local entrepreneur you admire?
Leslie Wingo,  Mike Aviles,  Shawn Cirkiel.

Who inspired you? 
Coach Harry Miesel taught me the value of hard work. I was an average swimmer on an elite team. Coach Meisel taught me the value of methodical, hard work that results in incremental change. I’m a vision, strategy thinker and Coach Meisel taught me that the world is changed by clocking and tackling every single day with high standards.

Favorite Austin Business?
I have so many. I love that Austin is made up of disruptors. Even our big, major employers were visionary disruptors - Dell, Whole Foods, HomeAway, Kendra Scott. If established players think it’s too risky, too big, doesn’t make sense, that’s where Austin thrives. What starts here changes the world.

Why Junior Achievement? 
Values and Market Opportunity. JA’s values are my values: entrepreneurial, egalitarian. JA is an underutilized asset in Central Texas proven effective in addressing our regions most critical issues. The economy inequality in Austin doesn’t reflect our values as a city. We are rapidly becoming a city of have and have nots.  Low income students don’t have the same opportunities my children do - I don’t want to live in a place where the lottery of your birth determines your future.

nicole.jpg

Nicole Tomaszewski
Senior Program Manager - Corporate Partnerships

Whenever I see a problem that needs fixing or a challenge to solve, I am usually the first to jump in and try to help.  I love meeting new people and helping people develop new skills,  My job with JA is a perfect fit for my skills and passions - my role is to develop relationships with local businesses and schools and to facilitate the implementation of JA programs in elementary, middle and high schools in the Austin area.  

What brought you to Austin? 
 I received my undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and have always loved the city.  Following graduation I lived in Houston and Belgium, and later Chicago, where I started my family. After 16 years in Chicago, we were ready to move to a warmer climate and to get closer to family.  An opportunity arose to bring us here in 2015, and we jumped on it!

Favorite local restaurant?
El Arroyo and Hopdoddy

Local entrepreneur you admire?
Being new to Austin, this is a tough one.  I most admire those who started with little, took risks, overcame adversity and built something from nothing in order to follow their passion.

Why Junior Achievement? 
Throughout my life and my career, I have always had a passion for helping others to succeed.  JA provides students a view into the various paths their life can take and gives them the basic skills to help set them on the right path.  I've had so many blessings in my own life, and I hope through JA I can pay it forward just a bit.

If I weren't doing this job, I’d like to be a...
This is my dream job!

All-time favorite book?
Too many!  My favorite genre is Historical Fiction.  I love the Outlander series, the Kite Runner, Killing Jesus...  I'm also enjoying reading the Harry Potter series at the moment along with my 9 year old daughter.

Piece of financial advice you rely on or wish you had learned earlier?
My parents struggled financially for much of my adolescent years. From this, I have learned to be live below my means and always plan for the future.  I save, I spend little, donate what I'm able and splurge only occasionally (mostly on my kids). 

Advice you'd give your High School self?
 Don't worry so much what others might think of you!  Be true to who you are and the rest will follow.

Where did you attend college?
The University of Texas at Austin for my BBA and University of Georgia for my MBA

Favorite Shark Tank Judge and why?
Barbara Corcoran - she's smart and tough and she doesn't let the others get under her skin.  She exemplifies  what I admire most.  She started with little and built a wildly successful business.

Suzannh 2016.JPG

Suzannah Gravatt
Program Manager

What brought you to Austin?  
My husband and I moved to Austin in the summer of 2000 via Birmingham, AL, originally from Florida.  He was accepting a new position with the Texas Education Agency.  I was continuing my work with American Cancer Society.  We were on a "5 year plan" but have fallen in love with Austin, all things Texas, are rising Texans and can't imagine why anyone would live any where else.

Favorite local restaurant?
This is tough because we love food and Austin is a great restaurant city!  Olive & June is our regular favorite.  But we also enjoy Uchi and Clark's Oyster Bar.  And it is hard to pick a favorite BBQ so we just keep making the rounds to Franklin, La Barbecue, Coopers, Salt Lick....

Local entrepreneur you admire?
Amy Simmons from Amy's Ice Cream.  My dream job as a kid was to work in an ice cream store.  Amy took that up a notch with her quality product, fun atmosphere and multiple locations.

Who inspired you? 
Everyone who loves what they do inspires me.  We live in such a great time where interests, hobbies and passions can become profitable businesses.

Why Junior Achievement?
For me it is a great way to make connections between passionate adults and kids who want to do great things.

If I weren't doing this job, I’d like to be...
An astronaut

All-time favorite book?
Gone with the Wind

Piece of financial advice you rely on or wish you had learned earlier?
High interest credit card spending is bad!

Advice you'd give your High School self?
Don't be afraid to be creative.

Where did you attend college?
University of Florida

Favorite Shark Tank Judge and why?
I don't really like any of the Judges, but Marc Cuban and I often pick the same products to support.

Biggest setback I've overcome:
Losing my mom to cancer in 1991 changed the course of my life, my education and my career.  I miss her everyday but know the things she taught me are deep in my heart.

I’m told I look like...
Kathleen Turner circa "Romancing the Stone"