Jessica Hardin’s career path has been an unexpected one. She graduated with her degree in social work from the University of Louisville and began her career with a position in administration at ID&A. Little did she know at the time that the “temporary” position would afford her countless opportunities to explore the world of workplace design while moving up the company ranks. Ten years later, the self-proclaimed “doer of all things” is the A&D representative for ID&A, and loving the challenge.
True to her interest in the field of social work, Jessica says she is motivated by the feeling of helping people, both inside and outside of her organization. She is passionate about the services that ID&A provides, and over the years has significantly contributed to the success of the dealership. As the Director of Marketing, she played a key role in building the infrastructure of the company, initiating and supporting change and better processes. She has also been heavily involved in a variety of projects, with one of her favorites being the Kings Daughters Replacement Hospital in Madison, KY. “It was the first time I had been part of a Replacement Hospital. From the beginning, I was involved from the marketing side and assisting our Account Executive, Carol Bennett Brown. It’s an innovative facility that was designed FOR the patient, with fantastic patient care rooms and family areas. It’s just beautiful,” she explains. As Jessica has taken on more of ID&A’s leadership responsibilities, she’s gained a better understanding of the direction of the company. The transition to her current role is an effort to maximize her impact on their success.
Her advice to anyone just entering the industry is to take advantage of learning opportunities and ways to be involved in different facets of design. She emphasizes the importance of staying current and connected- a big reason why she is involved with IIDA. “It has really helped me to develop relationships that I wouldn’t otherwise have. I’ve made connections that go deeper than just business and support me both personally and professionally.”
Consistent with her advice to others is the theme song to her life, “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson. “Not only does it make me smile, but it speaks about always striving to learn and grow. Everyone should continue to try new things and not be discouraged or settle. Continue to be curious, take on a new challenge, try something new and seek things that others just can’t find.”
If Jessica hit the lottery, she would build a dream home and take her family on a journey around the world. She loves the idea of exposing her children to different cultures and places. However, once returned from her trip, she says she would return to business as usual in a career that she loves-a statement that speaks volumes about her passion for her profession!