Dave Krier Is a Leader at Heart

The Krier family enjoys hiking together. Pictured are: Dave, his wife, Jen, and daughters Grace, Lydia and Elise.

In his role as vice president of Operations, Dave Krier is truly at the heart of what makes Cincinnati Children’s run. He oversees a wide array of departments critical to the hospital, including Food Services, Family Relations, Pastoral Care, School Services and Supply Chain Management. It’s hard work. It’s also “heart” work. Krier is a perfect match.

After a few minutes speaking with him, you can easily tell that it’s Krier’s heart for Cincinnati Children’s that inspires him two decades into his career here.

“I moved here from Cleveland,” he explains. “I thought I’d work here for 2 or 3 years and then find something different to do. That was 21 years ago.”

When asked what keeps him here, he says, “It’s the richness of humanity that is on full display here every day. It’s the intense feeling of optimism, when you see the kids you know are ailing and yet they skip down our concourse, and it just roots you in this deep appreciation for the blessings of your own life, coupled with the sense that we are part of something really important.”

For Krier, encounters with patients and patient families are personal and nothing he ever takes for granted. “There’s this element of being invited into the most vulnerable, most challenging time in a family’s life,” he says. “We are invited into that space and asked to walk a journey with them. There’s just nothing more important than to walk the journey with someone—at work here or in life.”

Faith and family are also what inspires Krier. “My faith is the foundational grounding force of my life,” he says. “It’s the source of why I pursue what I pursue, how I spend my time and the relationships I make.”

Married to Jen, his wife of 25 years, Krier describes her as his “moral and spiritual compass.” Their daughters Grace and Lydia are both studying at Ohio State University. Their youngest daughter, Elise, now in high school, was adopted from China.

On why they made the decision to adopt, Krier says, “We had love to give, we knew there were children in the world who needed that love, and we set out to seek that match. As a result, we have received far more than we have given. Elise was about 10 months old at the time. Now, 17 years later, we can say it’s been a wonderful experience.”

In his household growing up, Krier was the youngest of his siblings and admittedly the rule follower. “One of the values our parents raised us with was independence,” he recalls. “They were adamant that we needed to know how to care for ourselves, cook, and do laundry and everything in between. It was all about being self-sufficient.

“Oddly enough, life has taught me to appreciate that depending on others, my family, my friends, and my faith is not a sign of weakness. It is, rather, a sign of strength. Those connections we forge from depending on one another are extremely valuable.”

Also valuable to Krier are connections with his work family. In many ways it’s how he hopes to inspire others.

“I try to model the values and attributes we hope for from of all our employees, and it speaks to vulnerability, establishing trust and collaboration—not just working together, collaboration rooted in holding someone else’s goals as my own,” he says. “Their success is my success. I have been the recipient, which is probably why 2 years turned into 21.”

Dave Krier (top, left) with his Cincinnati Children's colleagues at a CLIMB (Cincinnati Lifts Inclusion and Minority Businesses) Award celebration in 2019.

When he's not working, Krier enjoys:

  • Hiking with his family
  • Working with kids in his church's youth group
  • Cooking. The request he gets most often is for a dish called Chicken tikka masala.

Secret Career Goal

If he wasn't working at Cincinnati Children's, Krier says he would love to be a tour guide.

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