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Boss Lady with Kim Hoover

Kim Hoover runs her architecture business while supporting her community

Kim Hoover is in the minority when it comes to having a woman-owned architecture firm. Yet hers, Hoover Architecture,, has been going strong for 17 years.

HVP: You started your business when you daughter was a newborn. Why? 
Kim: I was an office manager for a commercial engineering company and had always done small residential projects on the side. When I got pregnant, I assumed I'd go back to work but once my daughter was born, I wanted to stay home with her. Luckily, I had a lot of contractor and colleague connections, so I continued to do small projects. 

HVP: Few architecture firms are owned by women. Did that hold you back or intimidate you?
Kim: It's funny, to me that there aren't more, but it's a male-dominated field. Even when I go to continuing education classes, there might be ten women out of 200 attendees. I was never intimidated by it, but I am always excited to work with another woman. 

HPV: How did you determine how to establish and run a business?   
Kim: When I was an office manager, part of my job involved financial aspects of the business; it prepared me for running my own business. I try to keep it simple. Although I don't have employees, I have an extensive network of amazing consultants, contractors and other colleagues, all of whom own their own businesses. 

HVP: Where does networking fit in your business?   
Kim: The number one thing is to establish a great network. I've mentored a number of women who are at various stages of their careers. I tell them I have the best job ever. Although I new a lot of contractors, I needed to meet more people in the community, so I joined our town planning board as well as a committee who's task it was to revitalize the hamlet of Gardiner. These worked out great because they met in the evening when I was available.   

HVP: What's the best part of owning your practice? 
Kim: There are so many things. Of course, I have the best clients and meet tons of people and get to design beautiful projects. And I love the flexibility of my schedule. But the best part is showing my daughter that women can do anything they want. She just got her driver's license and has started helping me a bit. She loves it and it allows her to get out and meet people. 

HVP: What does community mean to you?  
Kim: I've always participated in events related to my daughter. Although my business is often a sponsor for New Paltz Central School District organizations, ranging from sports to the Foundation for Student Enhancement, my favorites have been activities with the high school's engineering classes. I once had a college professor who said to use our expertise in volunteering. He was right. That's when I have the most fun. 

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