Chris Kray has spent 24 years working for SCHEELS in Fargo, Minot, Sioux City and now as Store Leader in Sioux Falls. He is married to Stacie and they have three children: Alec and Carlie, both students at Augustana University, and Jack, who attends Washington High School.
Kray is active in the community, volunteering his time with Junior Achievement, Forward Sioux Falls, the CVB Advisory Council and Sioux Empire United Way. As the current Campaign Chair for United Way, Kray shares that years of volunteering on community impact teams have given him confidence that the dollars donated to United Way are used wisely by programs that make a difference in our community.
Q: Why does your company choose to invest in a Chamber membership?
A: SCHEELS has a long history of giving back to the communities that we are in. We are grateful for the business that this community gives us and thus are able to support the Chamber financially to help make Sioux Falls a better place.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received?
A: Your success or failure as a leader will depend on those you hire and train. You cannot fail with a strong supporting cast.
Q: What is one of Sioux Falls best-kept secrets?
A: The way the Sioux Falls community can get behind things and support an issue both with manpower and financially. I have lived in other good communities, but I have never seen the coming together of people, groups and agencies as I've seen in Sioux Falls. There have been many before us that laid the groundwork for this and it is now up to us to continue momentum and find the next generation to keep this culture growing.
Q: What is your favorite cold-weather activity?
A: I grew up in Central Minnesota and spent many days on the lake ice fishing. I never get tired of the anticipation when the bobber starts its slow descent down the ice hole and wondering if this is the big walleye.
Q: How do you approach challenges?
A: I try to gather what I can on the issue and make a decision as soon as I have the needed information to make the call. I've learned over the years that you rarely get all the information that you would like to have to make a decision and, in most cases, you don't have the time to wait. While you will never make the right call all the time, the fact that you are making a decision on a challenging topic is moving you closer to finding a solution to the issue. By waiting to get all the information, you are probably going to make the issue in front of you worse before it will get better.