Name: Kathie Kline-Penate, 46, of Absecon
Education: Attended Richard Stockton College and completed Harvard University business classes
Family: Married to Miguel Penate, with sons Michael, 18, and Marcus, 14, and daughter Gabriella, 12
Company: Kline Construction
Position: Vice president and chief financial officer
Kline Construction is a utility contractor. We work for all of the utility companies in New Jersey.
We do underground utility construction. We don't do buildings, we wire underground.
We also provide 24-hour emergency service to the utilities. We did a lot of work during the derecho storm, and a lot for Hurricane Sandy.
We do maintenance, installation and repair. The emergency response work encompasses everything, including removal of trees, sandbagging and help in snow storms.
I cover the day-to-day operations in the office and work in partnership with Bob Miller, the president of the company, and also with my cousin, Billie Kline, who is also a vice president. We are the next generation.
We've added six hybrid vehicles in the past year, and that's one of our goals. It's a way to be more cost effective and more environmentally conscious.
As Bill says, you can't do today's work with yesterday's equipment, so we're constantly striving to improve.
I feel like my position is unique because the construction business is primarily a man's world, and I've been with this company for almost 25 years. Even though it's my family's business, I started at the front desk as a receptionist. I had to learn it from the ground up.
Right now, I have more women working for me than Kline Construction has ever seen.
We're such a tight-knit family. You have to keep those relationships and also the growth and success of the business in mind. Managing both of those is the greatest challenge. The expression is it's not personal, it's business, but everything about my business is personal.
That's also the biggest reward, working with my family, being with them all the time, and seeing our third-generation company be successful. It makes me very proud. My grandfather started the business in 1945 hauling trash and now we have more than 300 employees.
About me: I'm very family oriented. My oldest son has autism and that's something that's near and dear to my heart. I love to travel and celebrate family occasions and the relationships I have with friends and family.