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Kristin Balistreri, Class of 2003

IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Kristin Balistreri, director of client and business development, Poehling Capital Management.

What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?

Since 2016, I’ve been fortunate to serve as the director of client and business development for Poehling Capital Management. We are fiduciaries; this is an important distinction that I wasn’t aware of until I joined the firm. Our firm is growing, and we are grateful for our clients!

Depending on needs, we provide financial planning, investment management, and estate planning services to individuals and families. We are value investors with a proficiency in security analysis and a commitment to making sure our clients have a strong legal foundation underneath them. Integrity, transparency, and objectivity drive our decisions.

In terms of other professional accomplishments, in 2007 while working at M&I Bank/BMO, I was promoted to vice president of business and community development. I worked at the bank for 9 years. My role was focused on helping to grow and strengthen the bank, along with the full team. Part of my job was to be active in the community. I was fortunate to serve on many for-profit and nonprofit boards.

What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?

At the top on my list of personal accomplishments since 2003 is having our two daughters, who are now 14 and 12. My awesome husband, Tony Balistreri (CPA/partner at BKD LLP), has been there every step of the way. We’re getting ready to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary!

If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?

I have learned so much in my 25-year career since graduate school and I’m grateful for the journey. Overall, I would try to be more patient with myself and trust my gut more often.

How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?

Being selected to be on the 40 Under 40 list in 2003 was a pleasant surprise. The events that In Business hosts are another great opportunity to make connections. It takes time and effort to build your professional network but it’s worth it!

What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?

I have become increasingly passionate about the importance of financial literacy and helping people feel comfortable making financial decisions and plans for their lives. Money can bring up a lot of anxiety for people, but I don’t think it needs to be this way.

I will always be passionate about people and relationships. I love connecting people.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?

First, treat your volunteer roles as seriously as you do your job. Be sure to follow through and honor your commitments.

Second, I’d strongly suggest seeking out a mentor or two. It doesn’t need to be formal. We can learn so much from listening and watching people!

Lastly, try new things. No one likes to fail but getting outside of our comfort zone is the best way to grow — and sometimes the only way! We are going to make mistakes and that’s OK. Trying new things can really help us figure out where we want to focus our careers and lives.

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