If you ask Tina Kabus what she does for a living, her answer is deceptively simple.
“Providing hope,” said Kabus, former market leader at Manpower and now regional staffing manager at ABR.
Her passion, as well as her skills in working with both clients (companies) and candidates (job-seekers), helps keep Kabus poised on the cutting edge of workforce development, recruitment and the ever-growing human resources field.
“You’re helping somebody provide for their family,” she said. “That’s huge for me. That, to me, is just amazing.”
Her profession asks a lot of her: Helping supplement existing human resource departments with staffing, working out staffing agreements, and fully realizing the needs of the region’s business communities. She sees it as providing individuals with pathways that extend outward: To a better job, a stronger sense of identity, and ultimately to better and stronger jobs.
For Kabus, it’s a matter of personally reaching out, not resting on her laurels.
“I am always striving to improve and reach the next goal in front of me,” she said. “Seeing others succeed, and hearing their accomplishments, motivates me to do the same. There is something to be said for a true mentor and the impact they can have in your life.”
It was her own mother who served as a role model and mentor for Kabus, who sees each new tomorrow as a new challenge and a new goal.
Janice Lemminger and Kristy Bronk, both of whom worked with Kabus at Manpower, and nominated her for Rising Stars Under 40, noted Kabus’ commitment to the Coulee Region.
For example, Kabus serves on the Onalaska Area Business Association board, the Tornado Youth Hockey Association, as well as being a member of LASHRM, as part of its workforce readiness initiative, and is equally active in Junior Achievement. She’s also an active member of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals group. Kabus served as executive director of Oktoberfest from 2010 to 2013, and with Manpower, she’s spearheaded the Collaborative Forum, which brings together professionals, educators and community leaders to help build a stronger workforce and community.
“She has high expectations of herself,” Lemminger said, “and, by example, motivates and encourages others to strive to stretch their goals and succeed. Nothing is impossible, and nothing is too difficult, when you couple Tina’s brilliance with her drive.”
If she has advice for those entering the workforce again, for the first time or transitioning to a new skill set, it’s not to lose hope, not to give up, and try anything and everything possible.
“So that you’ll realize when you find your passion,” she said, “because you’ll feel it.”
Kabus is herself poised to make just such a transition. Proud of her work with Manpower, Kabus is now taking her skills to ABR, a like-minded employment services company, where she’ll oversee three regional branch offices. She brings with her a lifetime of experience and commitment to those she serves, which she’s both proud of and passionate about.
But, if you ask her what she’s most proud of, Kabus’ answer in unequivocal.
“I am most proud of my children,” she said, “and their ability to keep me committed to my personal goal of achieving work-life balance. While the goal is a daily struggle, the rewards are priceless.”