Category Archives: woman-owned business

The Value of Mentors, Pt. 2



In our previous episode, Merry Korn and Sheryl Marrero talked about their journey as a mentor and a mentee.

Merry is the owner of Pearl Interactive Network, Inc., and Sheryl is the President of SavKon Construction.

Sheryl, as the mentee, was in really, really bad shape as a business owner and reached out and said, I need a mentor. And she met Merry Korn, who’s a very successful businesswoman. She has used common sense practices, good advisors, all that kind of stuff. But Merry was not in Sheryl’s industry. Merry was a little intimidated by it, but she became a great mentor because business is business.

The key thing about their relationship that made it successful from the beginning, there was a connection. They had a great connection to the point that Sheryl, who didn’t know Merry, could be transparent, be open, and then she could actually listen and as she says, “be obedient” to and accountable to what Merry was telling her. Those were key elements of a good mentor relationship.

They also didn’t put a timetable on the relationship. They are still going strong. It’s not just about getting together. It’s not just getting coffee together. It’s just not talking. It’s about developing success. And in the case of Sheryl and Merry, Sheryl really became a completely different person as a business owner and a person. And Merry really loved the mentor role and was energized by being there with her. And there will probably be, I would say, business friends and lifetime friends.

This is why Sheryl thinks the mentoring was so impactful.

It was impactful because it actually pushed me to believe in myself. It was like it unleashed my potential that I didn’t even recognize.

We find out what Sheryl was hoping in the beginning that the mentoring would accomplish.

In the beginning, I was just hoping to break even because I was in a different mindset at the time. So initially I was thinking, if I can just break even, I’ll walk away and be done with business. But after being in the program, that changed it. I mean, it just changed everything and it just ended up being so much more.

And what did Merry want the mentoring relationship to accomplish?

One of the things I always said to Sheryl is, Sheryl, whatever happens between us, I know you’re going to be successful. And my big ask is to pay it forward. Her success as a minority woman business owner is she’s literally one in a million. It’s that rare. So my big ask of Sheryl is to pass it forward.

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social, and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Sadaya “Daisy” Lewis and Modern Southern Table



Modern Southern Table owner, Sadaya “Daisy” Lewis, started her restaurant and catering business seven years ago, combining her experience cooking southern-style cuisine and an MBA in marketing and finance from Capital University, Lewis has built an incredible southern comfort food concept offering fried chicken, gumbo, macaroni and cheese, and other southern classics. I like to call her the “comeback kid.”

First off, Daisy talks about working with restauranteur Cameron Mitchell…

Cameron has been just like the Big Brother (to me), being there to support. Always there to have advice (on pricing and branding) if needed.

Catering took a bit hit in 2020. And her business was no exception.

So when the governor DeWine said no events and he shut down the city of Columbus, you know, we thought it was going to be two weeks, three weeks. We thought it was going to be a little bit. But when he said no large gatherings, no weddings, my calendar cleared almost instantly. People started immediately calling, asking for refunds, asking to reschedule, asking to cancel.

But all business owners hit a point where they go, what the heck just happened? Daisy talks about the comeback.

I left Corporate America a few years earlier, so I really didn’t want to go back to that. And so I knew like I can’t cater, but there has to be something else you can do that will allow you to bring income in because you have a family to feed. And I started paying attention to what was happening around me on social media. Everybody had fallen into this situational depression. And one thing that was making us feel better was to eat or get some sweets. And I hate to say I took advantage of that horrible stress eating. But I did notice it with my peers and other businesses that the dessert industry had all of a sudden skyrocketed due to people were eating through their depression.​

So she relaunched.

So the hardest part for me with Little Daisy Cakes was starting a business all over again and trying to find new clientele and basically just start all over again. This was a whole new business. People weren’t familiar with my desserts. And so the hardest role was just relaunching and starting an all new venture, starting from zero.

Modern Southern Table

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social, and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Angel Investors



I have an amazing guest who is a top female investor. She offers a way to get started in angel investing, and diversify your portfolio. This is a smart way you can also help women. Startups and entrepreneurs struggle. Because they lack capital a lot of the times. They may have a lack of sense of how to run a business. But they have this passionate idea that they really want to get out there. And so capital is a huge issue. An angel investor is someone who provides funding for small startups or entrepreneurs. The funding can be any amount, really, and sometimes the angels will get an ownership stake in the company for their investment, while other times there will be an agreement drawn up for getting your money back — plus profits — once the company gets off the ground. You may sometimes hear angel investors referred to as “private investors,” “seed investors,” or “angel funders,” but one thing is clear — no matter what you call them, angels can make a huge difference in the life of an entrepreneur, and they can also make some serious money in the process. With me on this episode is Brianna McDonald. She is the President of the Northwest Region of the Keiretsu Forum angel investment community, the largest and most active venture investor globally, comprising over 50 chapters with over 3,000 active members investing over $450 million annually into over 600 companies. She’s an active leader and angel investor with Keiretsu Forum and has been a part of the organization since it launched in Seattle in 2005 and supporting its growth to become the largest and most active group globally. She’s proven over time to be adept at screening companies for angel investment, coaching companies on presentation and investor relations, sales strategy execution, relationship management, and leading due diligence teams. Listen in as Brianna McDonald gives us all a crash course in what angel investing really is, and breaks down how angel investing differs from crowdfunding and venture capital. Brianna talks about how angel investors can find successful rates of return, and why now is a great time for women to consider becoming angel investors. Brianna also walks us through how she got started investing, how to find angel investing groups around the country and the importance of doing your research. She offers up 7 tips.
  1. Is this something you want to do?
  2. Find female support
  3. Sit in on meetings (a great question to ask – rather than “how are things going?”, ask “what challenges are they going through?”)
  4. Pick the brains of the experts
  5. Find something that is interesting to you
  6. Stay active with the investment
  7. Reach your financial goals
This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home. For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company. Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.

Developing Resilience



I speak with Farideh R. Bagne, Ph.D.,JD. She’s one of the most brilliant, successful and hardworking people that I’ve ever met. She has an amazing story, with some great insight on resilience. And she’s built this really cool bridge at Magnolia by the Lakes, the gold standard of senior living, a luxury Independent and Assisted Senior Village on the shores of Cass Lake, overlooking Sylvan Lakes in Oakland County Michigan. I think you’re going to want to hear about the story about this for sure.

As Dr. Bagne states…

You know that thing when you look challenge in the eye and you don’t blink and you even have a smile on your face. That’s what we’re going to talk about. So don’t miss out. My advice to you again is, number one, belief in yourself and do not have a defeatist attitude. Always remember that race, national origin, gender had nothing to do with business, science, medicine or whatever endeavor you are planning to do. It is not what others think of you. It is what you think of yourself. And with that attitude, believe that you should have that axiom of your life that truly everything happens for the best. And at the moment that disaster happens. You don’t know what the best is, but believe that somehow it will be and will become one of the best events of your life unless you follow these three acts and you’ll really become successful throughout your life.

 

Coming up on July 30th is the 7th annual Brady Ware Women’s Leadership Conference.  Each year, 100% of the proceeds go to support women initiatives through non profit organizations within Ohio. This year our supporting non profits are the Better Business Bureau and the Women’s Small Business Accelerator.

Many months ago when we began planning for this year’s conference, we felt it best to err on the side of safety, so this year’s conference will be held virtually. While this may not be the most ideal situation, it does allow for us to offer participants speakers that are nationally recognized as well as locally recognized women leaders.
 
We’re excited to be able to present keynote speaker, Peggy Klaus, author of ‘Brag! How to toot your own horn without blowing it’. We’ll start the morning with a lively discussion with a panel of women business owners and leaders.
And to add to the excitement of the day, you’ll be able to network, visit exhibitor tables and win wonderful prizes throughout the day!
 
I would like to personally invite you to join us on July 30th. Just go to Columbus Women’s Leadership dot com and complete a simple form. We’ll do all the rest!
 
Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge! Register now!  ColumbusWomen’s Leadership dot com
Hope to see you there!

 

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


The Value of Forward Thinking



You’ve got to be a forward thinker.

You’ve got to be proactive if you want to move forward and get through the “what ifs” when they come. Forward thinking is not always easy. It might not be your personality. So you’ve got to at least have somebody on your team who’s a forward thinker, who can push you to do more, think bigger.

In this episode, I speak with Jill Frey, President / CEO at Cummins Facility Services. I consider her the definitive forward thinker.

Cummins Facility Services (CFS) is a national multi-faceted facility management company servicing Fortune 500 companies across the US. CFS is a 100% women owned enterprise.

Cummins provides services including janitorial, landscaping, snow removal, HVAC, security, floor care, and light maintenance to manufacturing plants, retail stores, medical facilities, schools, corporate offices as well as the hospitality industry. Jill took over leadership of the family business, which began in 1972, after graduating from the University of Toledo in 1994.

About being a female in a male-dominated business category…

So in my opinion, it’s all about respect. You’ve got to stand your guard and you’ve got to really stick up for who you are. I’ve been in this industry literally my whole life. And people can try to say that they can bully me around. But I started in this industry rolling up my sleeves and working with my employees. I know how to do it. I know how to strip and waxer. I know how to do all of that. And that’s gotten me so far ahead. I get so excited about my industry and my employees and my people and what’s going on. And I think if they don’t take me seriously, it’s going to come back on them.

Jill talks about how have she navigated through this COVID-19 time, and what she thinks that this industry will look like in the future…

It has changed our life. And the quote that I like to use for this is what 9/11 did to buildings, COVID-19 is doing to disinfection and facilities. And I truly believe that. Nobody’s had a guidebook. No one’s had a book of “this is what you do here.” It’s never existed before. And so we had to reinvent that.

And her clients are appreciating her outlook, her forward thinking and quick action…

Our clients were telling us that the information that we were sending out is the best information that they are getting from any of their sources. It was amazing. We’ve had so many clients sending us letters of thank you, presidents of companies. Thank you so much for cleaning our facility.

And she ends our interview with three great quotes, and here is one of them…

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Haley Boehning – Storyforge



“When you have a story — the right story — everything changes. Customers become evangelists. Employees fully engage. Decision-making simplifies. Innovation accelerates. And marketing costs go down.” That’s what you find when you go to Storyforge’s website. I had the honor of interviewing Haley Boehning, Co-Founder and Principal of Storyforge.

“We call it a meaningful story.” And that’s what she does best.  Help businesses find their story, their higher purpose.  And when their clients discover it, it’s, as she puts it, “knock over the table” time and run out to tell the world.

I talk to Haley about:

  • The Storyforge story
  • Her story
  • The Storyforge concept and what their clients do with their story to make a difference
  • Why women can’t wait around
  • What she has learned from being a business owner
  • What would today’s Haley tell a younger Haley if she had the chance
  • Conscious Capitalism and its four tenets

 

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Darla King – King Business Interiors



With a successful 10-year career with an established furniture company under her belt, Darla King left her position with an offer to partner in a new start up company. One year later, the partnership had yet to materialize and Darla knew a decision needed to be made. Seeing opportunity in her circumstance, Darla and her husband formed King Business Interiors in November 1998. I was fortunate to have Darla in studio to get her story about growing the business, as a family-owned business, and for our purposes, a woman-owned business.  In this episode we cover a lot ground, including:

  • What Darla has learned from being a family-owned business
  • What the biggest challenges are as being a family-owned business
  • What the biggest challenges (and dare we say, advantages) are as a woman-owned business
  • The importance of registering as a woman-owned business
  • Why women need to help women
  • What challenges and mistakes she made along the way
  • Why giving back is so important, and how King Business Interiors does it right
  • And King Business Interiors unique giving back program, Connecting The Dots

 

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.