Family Matters | The Kovachs

This month’s Family Matter feature is mother/daughter duo, Amy & Lauren Kovach.

How long have you been with American?

Amy: I joined ASB in August of 2008. I could tell immediately it was the best business decision I ever made. The supportive culture and freedom to chart my own path made me realize I would never leave. It’s been a wonderful almost 15 years and I only wish I had found it sooner!

Lauren: I started with ASB in a part time capacity in May of 2021. Amy had just gotten the bid for a major rebrand, so I was right into the deep end!

What was your first job and how old were you?

Amy: Well it was volunteer when I was about 8! I went door to door selling greeting cards to raise money for UNICEF. I have said I have been selling print my whole life! My first paid job was babysitting. And my first ‘real’ job was selling light bulbs and oven mitts. So I have been selling since the early 70’s!

Lauren: I would say my first “paid gig” was collating binders for my mom in our living room in 5th grade! Having a real bank account with money in it felt very important back then. My first real job was working as a grocery store cashier when I was 14. I continued to work in retail for over 20 years so I guess it stuck! Thankfully my customer service skills transfer really well to this industry and have definitely helped my career at ASB.

Have you gotten the opportunity to work together before American?

Amy: When I was working in print years ago, I had a fair amount of collating/assembly work. This was before kitting was a thing.  I would hire my young daughters to do the work. So I guess you could say we worked together before.

Lauren: We even did a huge fundraising project where my whole soccer team collated thousands of binders! Then we got to go to a soccer tournament in Hawaii, and I learned about the rewards of hard work.

What’s your favorite memory from Lauren’s childhood?

Amy: Lauren was always a big animal lover. Whenever we went on vacation or travelled, she made friends with all kinds of animals along the way. Many of our photos are her with her new animal friends. (Like below!)

Lauren: My parents would always take my sister and me to the Bronx Zoo when we were visiting our Grandparents. They had these little “fox ears” you could put your ear up to that amplified sound and showed you how a fox hears. I guess that’s when I became a good listener!

What are some of your favorite projects since working together?

Amy: We are still pretty new at this. But Lauren brings a very high level of organization/expertise with software that has made many complex projects much easier, when all the costs and info are easily accessible in spreadsheets with formulas. I still reach for pen, paper and calculator. So to have that data all at a glance makes pricing and planning so much easier! She also can pull together beautiful presentations so quickly. I am still pasting product photos into an email!

Lauren: The projects where we really get to be creative are the most fun. We did a “Wellness Award Challenge” with a healthcare client where we got to pick all the fun rewards that people would get when they hit their goals. We also did a massive jacket project (over 30,000 jackets) that was absolutely crazy but we both learned so much from it!

What’s the easiest thing about working together?

Amy: For me, it is how fast she learns and how quickly she takes the reins of projects. My goal is to gradually slow down a little bit each year, which hasn’t quite happened yet. But I am really excited about the future.

Lauren: We have always been good at communicating with each other, so (if it’s not too early in the morning!), it’s really easy to hop on a Teams call and talk through the details of a project or spitball ideas together.

What is the hardest part of working together?

Amy: I think we have to learn better to assign tasks, sometimes we are not clear on who is doing what and we both work on the same task. I really want us to be efficient, so we are still learning to communicate better.

Lauren: Piggybacking off of what Amy said, establishing a good workflow. I think we both just want to “get it done” as fast as possible without thinking about the most efficient use of our time! But we are learning and growing every day. That and not calling her “my mom” on conference calls or Zoom meetings!

What’s a fun fact about the two of you?

Amy: We went to Portugal together in 2014.  We toured the beautiful countryside and she did tastings at port distilleries and vineyards for her job. I was the designated driver!

Why do you recommend working with family?

Amy: It is exciting to see her learn/grow/progress. And it is a great peace of mind for me to know I have a retirement plan in place that I can implement in the next several years, and that my hard-won customers will have a trusted person to rely on. I’m confident she can have a future in this exciting industry.

Lauren: When you work with family you have already established trust, friendship and a good relationship with the other person. You just have to learn to weave a working relationship into one that already exists. And I know I have a built in mentor who wants me to succeed – my “Mom-tor”.

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