kellieShe’s been there, God knows, she’s been there
She has seen and done it all
She’s a woman, she know how to
Dish it out or take it all
Her heart’s as soft as feathers
Still she weathers stormy skies
And she’s a sparrow when she’s broken
But she’s an eagle when she flies

Dolly Parton

It takes one to know one and there is none that can write a beautiful song about a woman than another woman as is the case with the above from Dolly.

I have just finished reading an article on a very smart and gifted lady in the Business Mind magazine. I have decided to do a follow up article on this blog especially after having my curiosity assuaged and after the many new discoveries I have made that frankly would have been a long time coming if I was to do the research on my own and a little bit difficult to come by seeing as the lady I am talking about is my ‘boss lady’.

The first time I saw her, was at the lounge area at the Mvuli house, where she was seated busy working on her laptop next to my Guest Relations desk. I had no idea who she was and thought her one of our patrons. I was barely a week old at Mvuli so you can imagine my stupefaction later on after she had left when one of my colleagues told me that they young lady who had just left was the Mvuli CEO. I was of course not about to take my colleague’s word for what it was until I  double checked this bit of information with another person lest I became subject of a prank. So upon my second confirmation I was in awe that such a young person could be the head of such a great establishment. When I got over my sense of awe, another feeling hit me instantaneously, curiosity and today I’m happy to say that that was greatly if not totally assuaged ,thanks to a fabulous feature on her in the Business Mind magazine| Issue 004|2013 Titled Beauty, Brains & Money.

Kellie the Child

Her star began shining at an early age. At the tender age of 5, she was already running a recycling enterprise with the Aid of her father as she sort to eliminate the current bottle shortage problem that faced their local dispensary. She would collect, clean and disinfect the medicine bottles and later resell them at the local dispensary, quite an impressive feat for a five year old, wouldn’t you say?

She had her eyes set on Medicine, probably because of the recycling enterprise? Well I don’t know if it may have been a contributing factor to her interest in medicine but her father did what any loving parent would do and helped her along the way on this too. Her father would let her to participate in Biology discussions with his High School students and this she did at the tender age of ten, as for me It’s no secret that at ten years of age I had very different forms of discussions that fell more in the line of ‘who watched yesterday’s episode of…’ they did wisely say after all, to each their own, right?

Kellie the visionary youth

Upon graduating from High School her dreams of becoming a doctor did not quite pan out and she thus had to reconsider her options and with the advice from a close uncle she ventured into Finance, undertaking Accounts as her Undergraduate course.

Self driven as usual, she combined school work with work and as thus helped pay for her studies while simultaneously sitting her Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exams.

While still in school, her friends sought her assistance in running a sausage factory in Githurai, Nairobi and this she did on no pay because the owner was struggling to keep the business afloat.

Kellie the Professional

Upon graduation in 2006 with a 2nd Class Upper Division and armed with her CPA finalist certificate, she set out to join the Kenyan work pool.

She would later end her job hunting venture by joining ACP, then a start up real estate development and syndication Company, as a trainee accountant. She confesses that joining a start up gave her great grounding as she was mentored by the directors and took on more responsibilities than her peers in big companies and the experience she gained acted a prepping ground for her future goal, that of being an entrepreneur .

She would later on work at Cellulant, an Organization she credits for toughening her up as she had to defend any decisions and suggestions she had. Six months later she was reunited with her former employer as head the Mavuno Syndicate, managing business strategy and investor relations department.

The ‘reluctant hotelier’ as she dubs herself (she was determined to keep away from direct hotel management) now manages the operations of 2 hotels, with others in the pipeline. She is a firm believer in everyone being in charge and if something needs doing, then it has to be done. She has led by example as she has served as both General Manager, accountant, room service personnel and as a receptionist within the hotels she oversees. In case you didn’t know this, Kellie is keen on developing 15 hotels in the next 5-7 years with over 1,500 staff, talk about being a visionary.

Kellie the Mother

She has a soft spot for orphaned babies and prior to adapting her daughter earlier on this year, she had tried adopting a child at the age of 25! but her mother advised her to wait a little longer before she took this big step. Kellie has been quoted as saying that her baby gives her a lot of balance, perspective and teaches her patience daily

Kellie the Marathoner

She runs marathons for fun but in December 2010 this was almost stolen from her after she was injured in the grenade attack at the Kampala Coach bus stop in River Road and almost lost her life as a result.

With the doctor telling her that she would be lucky if she could walk again let alone run, hers is like the inspirational stories that we read about  on a person’s determination and will to rise up against the odd because even with all the evidence pointing to the fact that she wouldn’t walk again, in 6 months she was trying to walk and in less than 2 years after the accident Kellie ran the 2012 Standard Chartered half-marathon in 3 hours and 6 minutes.

Running has now become an obsession of Kellie’s and she hopes to run a half marathon in every continent before turning 35.

When not dreaming or thinking about the next marathon, Kellie runs a personal finance blog (www.rookie-manager.com ) and for those of you that don’t already know this, she is an avid twitter who tweets about technology, finance, parenting and everything in between

You can read and find out more about Kellie by reading the magazine that I just summarized this blog article from (Business Mind magazine| Issue 004|2013 Titled Beauty, Brains & Money) or you could also click the link below and read another feature on her and find out what drives her and basically get a good understanding of what makes her tick. http://biz4africa.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/femme-fridays-interview-kellie-murungi-ceo-mvuli-hotels/

Until next time, take care and be sure to visit the hotels Kellie heads and enjoy a truly Mvuli Experience

Written by Maureen Mwangi, a Mvuli Hotels staff member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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