Kristen Hadeed: A Polished Path to Leadership

“What did one toilet say to the other toilet?”

“You look so flushed!”

This is just one of the jokes behind the scenes at Student Maid. Student Maid began in Gainesville with a small crew and three vacuum cleaners. Today, the company has more than 75 employees during the year and plans to expand to other college towns.

Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, said she believes its popularity is due to the fact that they are not just a cleaning company; they are a company that serves people. Hadeed, a motivational speaker, travels around the country to talk to college students about leadership, a quality that she had to learn through trial and error.

Hadeed said that she once thought to lead was to be a boss, and to be a boss was a privilege. After 45 of her 60 employees quit on a single day, Hadeed got her wake up call. This experience helped her learn that there is opportunity in every failure, and this event helped change everything. The culture of Student Maid is now open and collaborative with 10 core values, which include "take your moral fiber," “jump through flaming hoops,” “unleash the creative dragon,” “raise the roof” and “be classy, not sassy.”

The new culture has helped Student Maid obtain committed employees. Employees stay with the company for an average of two and a half years. In May 2013, Student Maid expanded into Pensacola and expects to expand to a third Florida college town in the next year. Hadeed also has hopes to franchise in the future to former employees. Student Maid now offers concierge services including walking dogs, watching pets, running errands, housesitting and holiday decorating.

 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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