A message from our Vice President and Controller, Lori Morris:
Boss lady isn’t just a catchy phrase. There are approximately 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Per Franchise Business Review, 41% of new franchises that have launched in the last 24 months are women-owned. During Women’s History Month, we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our SpeedPro studio women owners and employees. Hats off to you, ladies!
A note from Vice President of Marketing, Danielle Yuthas:
In franchising, we stand for supporting the individual entrepreneurs who make up our network of independently owned and operated small businesses. Around 40% of businesses in the U.S. are women owned. This is an increase of 114% over the last 20 years. According to the International Franchise Association, there has been a 24% increase in women-owned franchise businesses in the last 10 years and as a franchisor, we are happy to be a part of this trend. In the printing industry at large, women are also in the minority, similarly at around 40% of total employees. It is a privilege to work beside these successful business leaders every day and we would like to recognize them during women’s history month.
Karen Brown, SpeedPro Marietta Owner
Women's History Month means that we have evolved enough in this country, and worldwide, to recognize the positive impact that women play at home, in the workplace and in our society. While I believe that women do not seek this recognition, I do believe that it shows a level of respect and acknowledgement whenever we choose a special time to show people that we appreciate them. We see them.
I empower women by being a girl scout leader in my community. I want to impact young girls in a positive way before they become women. I speak to my scouts a lot about current events and show them that they have a voice. They are not too young to understand their environment and their country. It's up to them to be the change that they want to see. I never let them speak about what’s wrong without also requiring them to offer solutions — because that’s what being a leader is all about.
I very much admire Michelle Obama and women like her — regular women with dreams that they didn’t give up on. I don’t admire her because she was the first black First Lady in this country. I admire her because she was a girl from the South side of Chicago, who had a teacher tell her that she could not go to Princeton. She had a roommate in college who requested a room change when they found out that she was black. She became a lawyer in a prestigious firm only to realize that it did not give her the fulfillment in life, so she changed to a job that did. There are so many girls just like her who see themselves in her story. Like me, I very much see myself in her story because I have had all of these things to happen to me in some form. The difference between success and failure is not giving up.
Kathy De Noble, SpeedPro Magnolia Owner
Beginning with SpeedPro in March of 2017, I have done many things that I am proud of. Because of all the challenges everyone faced, I am most proud of our studio winning the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year for 2020. Being able to keep the business going and continue our volunteering efforts helped our community and meant a lot to our whole team.
The female icons I have recently been inspired by are all of the women at SpeedPro, from the women at our corporate office, to the women owners, production managers and sales associates. They all, each and every day, inspire me with the questions they ask, the helpful knowledge they freely give and their willingness to share their experiences. It is incredible and empowering to us all.
When it comes to empowering other women, I remember hearing somewhere that it doesn't matter what our position is, or how quickly we got there. We all run into obstacles along the way put in place by ourselves, or someone else. By sharing our stories with other women, our mistakes, and our successes, that make a difference. When we share stories, others can relate to us — maybe seeing themselves in our shoes. Possibly avoiding some of the pitfalls of those who came before them, and are inspired to do more. I look forward to sharing my story where I can and continuing to learn more to hopefully inspire the next generation of strong women.
Rebecca Considine, SpeedPro Chicago Loop Owner
I’m a passionate, enthusiastic, problem solver who loves to communicate and construct creative marketing solutions. In print, there are so many variables to consider on the operations and sales side, while simultaneously giving clients an extraordinary customer experience. Being able to handle it all lightning-fast, with a smile, while juggling when things go wrong, AND still loving it is a strength.
I empower other women like I empower any person! I listen first and foremost. I give them the space they deserve. I agree and affirm their opinions when we are in groups. I lift them up, and I find ways to help them build their careers, businesses and lives. I’m always thinking of how I can connect them to others who will bring value to them.
The City of Chicago is an amazing place to do business with so many women willing to share to time and mentorship. Some of my favorite groups in the city that focus on women are: Fem City, Women Tech Founders, and the SBAC ( Small Business Advocacy Council) Women’s Group.
Connie Robey, SpeedPro Silver Spring Owner
For me, my biggest accomplishment is being a strong part of the community. I represent our business and strengthen the community through our local chambers, BNI, a women's business owners group and more. I participate in both the Silver Spring and the Bethesda Chamber of Commerce's. I have been on the board of the Bethesda Chamber for about 6 years, serving as Membership Co-Chair among other positions. I have also been in a BNI and served as VP, President, Mentor Coordinator and other roles.
One of the ways in which I work to empower other women is through having interns. We have had a number of interns over the years. In the past year with the pandemic, we have had four remote interns, three of whom are women. It is a true joy to work with these college students. These interns work with me on the marketing and business development side of the business. So they work on adding blogs and photos to the website, writing emails, updating our YouTube account, doing market analysis on the prices our competitors charge, improving the landing pages for our PPC campaign, researching potential clients, creating presentations for us to use. My goal is to give them a rounded view of the types of things a small business would do when marketing their businesses. I stay in touch with all my interns as well, which is a real delight.
Three words that describe me — a woman in the printing and franchising industry:
Littie Brown, SpeedPro Marietta Owner
Women's History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the great accomplishments women have made in this country. Being a woman of color carries a special motivation for me. When women are minimized and marginalized, it is wonderful to see those who push through the noise and create their own path in spite of the obstacles.
There are many that I feel are icons today: Oprah, Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and most important to me is Vice President Kamala Harris. She was called everything you can imagine when she ran for office and continues to be diminished even today, but her intelligence, sense of commitment to people and drive keeps her in the forefront of todays politics.
Three words that describes me — a woman in the printing and franchising industry:
- Creative and Dynamic Communicator
Some of my accomplishments include:
- I am the Vice Chair of the Printing and Imaging Association of GA
- The President of NAWBO/Atlanta – National Association of Women Business Owners, Atlanta Chapter
- Author, “Leadership Lessons from the HART” Keys, Tips and Insight on successfully leading in business and life, released in 2016 and coming out in a few months, “An Issue of the HART” Learning to be a great giver in business and in life.
- I am a officer of the Rho Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Cobb County.
Lorna Scherff, SpeedPro North OC Owner
My thoughts on owning a business:
- Running a business is tough! There seems so many elements you can’t control (or so it seems).
- Running a business is humbling! When something doesn’t go as planned, it’s best to be honest and then make things right.
- Running a business is not for the faint-in-heart! As much as you would like to throw-in-the-towel on a given day, you just chalk it up to experience and know that tomorrow may be a better day.
- I have never met so many wonderful people since owning our business! We have made some great friendships with our clients and vendors. Many are small business owners themselves and we do all we can to support each other.
A female icon I look up to is Eleanor Roosevelt. She did not set out to be great. In fact, she was very shy, and preferred to stay out of the lime light. But as First Lady of the United States, she was placed into many important positions that forced her to not only over-come her shyness, but to make her thoughts and ideas heard. In initially supporting her husband, she went on to become someone of importance and influence in her own right.
A strength that has helped me overcome challenge in business: never give up! Life in general can be messy. And that goes for running a business. As much as we would love to have smooth sailing at all times, unexpected challenges have become the norm, and it is our job to figure out how to keep moving forward within those circumstances. As trite as this sounds, it is a matter of not ever giving up!
Ann Siburg, SpeedPro Scottsdale Owner and Regional Developer
I am not by nature an entrepreneur. So, I always find it a bit amusing when I get asked the question, "how does it feel to own a business?" Although it was Borg that always wanted to run a business, I have found that I love being an owner, rather than an employee. I suppose you could call it ego but being part of the leadership of this company is of enormous intrinsic satisfaction to me and fulfills something I didn’t know that I was looking for.
The concept of leadership was instilled in me during my time as a young army officer, just out of college. Leadership to me means that I lead by example. It means that I show a willingness to keep trying, to keep working at a challenge until it is solved. A leader accomplishes the mission but also cares about the staff. Sometimes that means that I jump in and help an employee that is struggling to complete a task. Sometimes it means that I only give direction to that employee to enable him or her to gain confidence in solving the problem. There is a constant balance of priorities in leadership; of balancing the needs of the client, the business and the staff. Leadership means making hard choices sometimes when only one or two of those priorities can be met in a particular situation. At the end of the day, a leader makes the best decision possible with the known facts and then stands by the decision.
Three words that describes me — a woman in the printing and franchising industry:
Strengths of mine: I call myself quietly determined. I tend to be quiet in a large group, however one-on-one I am bulldog stubborn in pursuing a client. Early in the business when I decided that I wanted to bring a certain prospect into a client relationship I would keep trying over many months, sometimes over a year. I didn’t always succeed but because I was persistent, I often did.
Some challenges in business: I am an introvert by nature which some would say is a weakness when growing a business. I would counter that by saying that we introverts can be just as effective sales people as extroverts because we intuitively read prospect’s body language and thus can react quickly in a fluid sales discussion. Because we listen well to our clients, we also end up developing strong client relationships. The downside is that cold calling prospects is harder; it takes more out of me than someone who is naturally outgoing. I have had to learn to work with who I am when pursuing new sales.