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I Landed My Dream Job at 17

What does it take to land the perfect job? Experts will tell you it’s all about networking, the right experience, a standout resume and the perfect LinkedIn profile, among other things. But sometimes all you need is random luck and the likability factor.

Before becoming the owner of Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance Center, Kyle Mirka was a Sears’ employee selling vacuums and electronics. Until one day, he hit it off with a customer and his career path changed for good.

“He told me that if I ever was looking for a job to let him know,” Mirka said. “Needless to say, I was looking for a job. He introduced me to the man who became my boss and mentor, Leon Barbachano.”

Barbachano was the general manager of Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance Center. Despite Mirka’s young age and inexperience, Barbachano took a chance on him. “I was only 17 years old when I started at Allen & Petersen. But I always acted older than my age so I fit in with the crew right off the bat,” Mirka said.

Mirka grew with Allen & Petersen. Over the years he took advantage of every opportunity to learn about the company. “From delivery, to warehouse, to contract sales and managing stores, I worked my tail off to make it the best place a person could work and do business with,” Mirka said.

He attended college while he worked, graduating from the University of Alaska, Anchorage with a bachelor’s in business administration. In 2012, Mirka became a partner. And in 2019, Mirka along with Kenny Petersen, bought out Barbachano so he could move out of state to take care of family.

Mirka is coming up on nearly two decades with the company. And he’s not the only member of the company who’s been around awhile. “Of the 36 employees we have 16 of them have been with us for more than five years and eight of those have been with us more than 10 years,” Mirka said.

Mirka lends his expertise to the homebuilding industry. He’s been a member of the Anchorage Home Builders Association for 18 years including serving as the past president of AHBA’s board of directors. “It was a blast to represent a group of some of the finest, most charitable, visionaries our city has to offer and be bestowed the great honor of doing so as an associate member,” Mirka said.

Mirka has been married to his wife Megan for 12 years. The pair has three boys, Maxwell 7, Oliver, 4 and Winston 1. From helping families outfit their homes with the latest kitchen innovations to helping AHBA strengthen Anchorage, Mirka is a strong advocate for the community.

“AHBA and its members help improve their community every day,” Mirka said. “With a focus on housing, we are blessing the lives of families, and families are the backbone of community. If the family prospers, the community prospers.”

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