2014 Women of Influence honoree: Kim Augspurger
Friday, August 01, 2014 6:00 AM
Position: Owner, Saxton Inc.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Iowa
Family: Husband, Pat Mescher; son, Bill, 25; daughter, Dani, 19
Hobbies: Being active in Des Moines, watching Iowa Hawkeye football games
Kim Augspurger and the employees at her company, Saxton Inc., live by those words.
Saxton is a commercial interiors company, which means, essentially, that it exists to help other businesses make their space an asset for accomplishing the tasks at hand. Saxton works primarily with corporate offices, health care facilities, senior living centers and higher education institutions to help them figure out how to most effectively set up their workspaces.
“I am personally fascinated in how space shapes our behaviors, attitudes, performance,” Augspurger said. “Its an interesting field because we create and shape space that people work in for decades.”
She calls the “space matters” tagline the “why” of the company, and discovering that “why” has been one of the biggest learning moments since she purchased the company in 2007 from founder Tom Saxton.
“You can never overcommunicate the ‘why.’ It’s more important than the ‘how,’ ” she said. “I’ve really seen that in the last few years. What we do is messy.”
Augspurger’s passion for the company and the “space matters” tagline is deeply rooted. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1979 and took her first job with Saxton. It wasn’t the best time to find a job, she says, but she took the opportunity to jump on as one of the first five employees with the company.
She discovered that with such a small team, her role had a high level of importance, and she enjoyed trying new design concepts and thinking about designs in different ways.
Not much has changed. Today, the trends are different, but the impact of space is no less important. Augspurger and her company are focused on helping employers use new technology, on adapting workspaces to appeal to the four generations in today’s workforce, and on setting up environments that encourage innovation.
“I get to do what I love to do,” she said.
Outside work, Augspurger serves on the Iowa Association of Business and Industry board and a number of boards related to her industry. But she says her top priority is her family. Family time now includes trips to Marquette University in Milwaukee, where her daughter is a cheerleader, and to Creighton University in Omaha, where her son is attending law school.
Three areas of influence
Saxton was the interior design consultant and furniture supplier for Mercy Medical Center – West Lakes, a project for which it received the International Interior Design Association Great Plains Chapter Design Award.
Augspurger serves or has served on a number of boards, including the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, the Metro Arts Alliance, the Iowa Architectural Foundation and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.
Augspurger has been asked to speak on best practices in her business for the National Independent Contract Dealer Council.
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