Meet Gretchen Antoinette Piontkowski Kornutik (whew… say that in one breath). Gretchen is Southern Impressions Homes very own New Construction Director. To say that Gretchen does a fantastic job is putting it mildly. Our New Home Construction business runs as smoothly as it does because Gretchen is at the helm of each and every project we have.
Gretchen was born in a very small town in Connecticut, moved to Boston for school then Atlanta for school and then Jacksonville. We asked Gretchen a series of questions so you could get to know the woman behind the curtain … so to speak.
Gretchen is inspired by her Dad, her Children, her Husband and God. She tells us that her Dad is THE NUMBER ONE most patient and loyal person that she has ever met. His work ethic is amazing and compassion is even more so. She exclaims that he was a Submariner, as they call in in the Navy, and then was a superintendent of a Nuclear Power Plant until he retired. He loved Mother Nature, Manners, Kindness and all the little things that no one notices anymore. Her Children have brought her to a whole new level of inspiration as she has seen them grow into responsible amazing individuals who are “CRAZY smart”! Her husband, Mark, had a WILD childhood to say the least. Gretchen jokingly spoke about him saying that he should have been someone that needed therapy (LOL!!). Instead he has the work ethic of no one she knows. She lovingly explains that he is strong and loves like crazy. He teaches and inspires her to not be so serious and live life every day. For Gretchen, God needs no explanation- he IS her inner strength.
We asked Gretchen what she enjoyed doing on the weekends and she couldn’t find one thing that she explicitly loved to do on her time off, but she did say that on a rainy weekend she loved just beating around at home -- since she rarely gets a chance to. When the sun is out – she and her family are constantly together. Sometimes it is a random trip to a friend’s home, going to the lake house, beach or kayaking in some jetty in search of a shark.
Gretchen is most passionate about (and I quote) “Growing! Growing in all areas and ever changing for the better of the world around me. It may be my downfall as well because I don't understand why everyone doesn't do that. It is so exciting to see something or someone grow.”
One of the craziest time in Gretchen’s life was when she and her husband moved to Atlanta. She worked for Ted Turner and his family. Both Gretchen and Mark had the most amazing opportunities. They traveled on private planes and met people that you just don't meet every day. They were offered the opportunity to see and go places that were beyond comprehension. It was a 6 year period of her life that changed her and she said she will never forget it.
Gretchen recalls traveling the world when she was younger as she grew up with a mother that is “Granola Crunchy”, as she puts it. Her mother believed in the experience rather than the items. Because of that, Gretchen has seen an amazing amount of the world. One place she hasn’t visited though is Thailand. She thinks the food and the culture there would be amazing. She is sure that she would love the climate there but wouldn’t want to visit, she believes that she would like to stay there a while.
From what I know about Gretchen, she is such a social person, but during our interview, she revealed to me that she really does love to be by herself. It really important to her to swim at least once a day, otherwise she might let her “crazy” side show too much. She describes herself as a true “water baby”.
I asked her if she were a crayon, what color would she be and why… She said she would be periwinkle or white. She said the reason for choosing those color is an “element thing”. She loves water and sunshine but she really just loves those mild colors.
Gretchen truly is very good at her job. I have personally learned so much from her, so I wanted to know what she loved most about her job and she said because it’s ever-changing and creative. She isn’t the type of person that can be in the same walls day after day and doing repetitive tasks over and over. I admit … I totally understand that. Most people committed to a career in Real Estate do.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Gretchen a little bit. And if you ever get the chance to meet her in person, I am sure that you’ll be as impressed with her as we are here at Southern Impression Homes.