Hanging out with Niagara’s Jenni Steele

The VP of Marketing shares her most cherished office possession, her daily grind, the most critical binge-watching shows on TV right now and what singer she cannot take off her playlist.
What’s the most cherished item in your office?
It definitely is the pictures of my kids, followed closely by the WaterSense awards that Niagara has won over the years for saving water.

What’s your favorite time to get things done?
I am an early bird, so I love working my hardest on projects first thing in the morning.

What’s the soundtrack that plays in the background of your office?
I usually have the “Chill” playlist from Spotify playing. It’s a great mix of new and old favorites. It keeps me creative and is a great mood booster.

Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.
Rod Stewart

What does a typical workday look like?
With the launch of our new wholesale program, every day is different. We regularly work with contractors, architects and engineers to educate them on how high performance, low-waste toilets save water and money. In April, we launched over 150 new SKUs with four new toilet product suites all designed with these pros in mind. We wanted to make it easy and fast for them to install our toilets and get to the next job.

This product development has taken two years of listening closely to the building pros who install, repair and specify toilets to learn what details are important to them when installing toilets, working on designs and working with our wholesale partners to deliver quality products to the market.

What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a job site?
Every job site is different and each one throws you curveballs. I have to say, it’s best to come in with an open mind so that whatever happens, you can quickly pivot and work toward a solution.

What are you binge watching right now?
“Handmaids Tale,” “Arrested Development” and Ozark.

What’s the coolest thing you have done since the pandemic hit?
By far giving birth to my daughter, Harlow. That was such a bright, memorable moment in a crazy year. My husband and two children have brought me such comfort and joy in a year of uncertainty.

What has this experience taught you?
There are so many lessons I’m taking away from last year. I think this past year has allowed me to refocus on my personal, family and career priorities, as well as focus on Niagara’s overall product and marketing strategy.

As a company, we were able to use the time to learn what users, installers and wholesalers want in the market and drive that through for our new products. In 2020, people spent so much more time at home due to the pandemic and focused on home improvements. This caused huge growth in new housing and remodeling and, as a result, the vitreous China market grew.

And as you’ve noted, more multifamily and commercial building construction is including more energy and water saving designs and products. There is a lot more demand for toilets that are water efficient, which in turn reduce utility bills.

Favorite comfort food.
Any kind of soup—especially Pozole or Ramen.

What trait do you most admire?
I most admire people who are personally invested in their team and values their opinions, feelings and considers them when making decisions.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Live in the moment and travel more.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you can get back to some sense of normalcy?
Travel.

 

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