Minding My Business: Twins Exec VP, Chief Administrative Officer & CFO Kip Elliott
Name: Kip Elliott
Position: Twins Exec VP, Chief Administrative Officer & CFO
Where I’m from: Fredericksburg, Iowa
Where I call home: Hudson, Wis.
Focusing on right now: Certainly postseason preparation is in full swing. We’ve got a pretty veteran group, so most people have been through it several times. In the previous decade we went a lot. We’ve got some pretty significant capital projects that are going to occur at Target Field again. Ownership has been really good about always trying to do some new things. So, we got that going on and then that translates into some short-term and long-term cash planning that we have to do to pay for those products.
Best advice: I’m an Iowa farm kid, so my parents were always saying “work hard and try to be the hardest worker in the room,” but also “be good to people and try to stay humble.” They followed the mantra of not needing to be the loudest voice in the room, but try to be the most thoughtful voice in the room.
A must for a new hire: The most important skill or quality to have is always communication. Most successful people tend to always be very good communicators. You’ve got to be able to speak, you’ve got to be able to write, you’ve got to be able to listen.
Exec I admire most: Former U.S. Bank CEO RICHARD DAVIS. It’s kind of a cool life story. He started as a teller when he was 18, 19 years old, I think, and worked his way up through the banking industry. But the qualities that I admire the most in Richard was he was an excellent communicator. Real engaging guy and just a sincere, humble person. He is one of those guys that if you’re in a room with him he just makes people feel good about themselves.
Best book I’ve read this year: I’m more of a periodical guy, I just kind of keep up on current events. But I just started reading MICHAEL USEEM’s “THE LEADERSHIP MOMENT.” It’s a collection of true stories about some unique leadership moments. I’m a self-help or nonfiction guy. I don’t really read fiction.
Talking tech: In baseball, there’s a focus on virtual reality right now. You can see that’s going to be a big thing in the coming years. It probably gets fans closer to the game, right? It’s a way to feel like you’re more part of the game. I’m sure 5-10 years from now, we’ll be amazed what is happening with virtual reality. You’re just seeing it getting started now.
Must-have music: I’m an old rock & roll fan -- SPRINGSTEEN, SEGER, MELLENCAMP -- those kinds of artists. And then also country, I’m a pretty big country fan. KENNY CHESNEY, ERIC CHURCH, JASON ALDEAN, ZAC BROWN BAND.
Food for thought: The Twin Cities’ food scene is pretty good for the size of the city that it is. There’s a lot of good choices, but I tend to be a little more traditional. I’m usually a steak and cabernet guy.
First thing in the morning: I live far away from the ballpark. So to beat traffic, I usually try to get out the door pretty early. I go down to the ballpark, I work out in the morning and that gets my day kicked off. Then I shower up and hit the office.
Day in the life: It is relatively unpredictable. A lot of meetings where you’re trying to implement the various plans you have or dealing with the latest financial issues. A lot of things as it relates to budgets and protractions, etc. tend to tie into my day. Sports teams, we’re really pretty small companies. So, we don’t really have that much staff. Everybody tends to wear a variety of hats. That’s what makes it fun.
How I unwind: I have three kids, the two oldest are boys who are both in college. My daughter is a sophomore in high school. So, most of my life -- and my wife’s life -- has been spent going to their activities, and that really has been our social life for quite a long time. The oldest boy still plays baseball in college, so we spend some time going down there and our daughter swims year-round. If it’s not kids activities, it's hanging out with friends on the deck or outside having a beer or wine.