Malvernite Elizabeth Krull was among 36 small-business owners to be honored at this year’s Nassau County Council of Chambers of Commerce Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast on Oct. 18. Krull and her husband, Christopher, own and operate Charles Krull & Son Plumbing & Heating.
“It’s nice for people to step back and notice what you’re contributing, and it also validates that what I’m doing is having an impact and making a difference,” Elizabeth, 46, said. “Everyone deserves to feel that way.”
Before she partnered with Chris in 2014 to be the operating officer of their family business, Elizabeth specialized in human resources for nearly 20 years. A 1995 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, she was a performance consultant for Citibank in San Antonio from 1995 to 1999, a manager at Lockheed Martin IMS in New Jersey from 1999 to 2001, senior director of recruiting and human resource development at Control Point Solutions in New Jersey from 2002 to 2006 and a senior human capital business partner at Alliance Bernstein in Manhattan from 2007 to 2014.
Over the years, Krull has developed expertise in talent development, organizational effectiveness, employee relations, performance management, mergers and acquisitions and internal communications. She traded the corporate world for a small business, she said, to be closer to her four children.
“Transitioning to a small business was my opportunity to implement all of the things that I would coach people how to do,” Krull said. “The day-to-day experience of working in large corporations and helping people achieve their own goals really prepared me for this.”
“She wears so many hats that it’s hard to describe what her title is,” her husband said. “We work so well together, and she brings so many things to the table because of her background of dealing with people and motivating others.”
Since joining the family business, Elizabeth has conducted training programs for employees and designed a new website and marketing strategy. The challenge for small-business owners, she said, is staying “on top of their game.” “Every day you come in,” she said, “if you’re not budgeting correctly or planning correctly, and you’re not doing right by your clients, you could be out of business the next day.”
Krull has served on the Malverne Chamber of Commerce board of directors for the past three years, and is its corresponding secretary. Chamber President Kathi Monroe said that Krull has helped keep the community informed about the events the chamber hosts throughout the year.
“Whether it’s the Easter Egg Hunt or the Play in the Park, we need community support for events to survive,” Monroe said. “She’s among our diverse group of board members that have helped the chamber get the recognition for what we’ve accomplished.”
Krull was recently appointed to a three-year term on Our Lady of Lourdes School’s board. She will lead the New Families Committee, which welcomes newcomers to the school community. “It brings me back to my heart and soul,” she said. “Bringing someone into an organization and communicat[ing] effectively, hav[ing] touch points and really engag[ing] them early on so they become a part of our school community.”
Balancing her daily tasks is a challenge, she said, but she does so by keeping a checklist that prioritizes what needs to be done each day. “It’s not perfect every day, but I just think you have to be uber-organized because it’s really all about time management,” Krull said. “It also helps to know that someone is always counting on you. Whether it’s my kids, the business and now the school board, you have just have to balance it.”
She added that none of this could be accomplished without her husband, whom she described as her “teammate.” “His credibility as a licensed master plumber, and his reputation as an honest and authentic businessman, keep us in business every single day,” Elizabeth said. “We are absolutely a team in every sense of the word, at home with the kids and at work.”
Chris said that his wife’s desire to be involved in numerous activities is what makes her successful. “She’s always looking for the next thing to accomplish,” he said.