Meet the 1998 Communicator of the Year

  • Education: I attended William Rainey Harper college. I studied marketing and communications.
  • First job: It was with Culligan International in Chicago. It was a sales promotion type position.
  • Why I chose this career: I kind of fell into it. I had planned to go into special education. I went and got a job ⊃ and decided that I was going to attend school. I ended up going into marketing and advertising. It was one of those right place, right time scenarios.
  • Greatest achievement: Learning the meaning of determination, perseverance and survival. It has earned me an 18-year marriage, a wonderful son, a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, some professional awards and achievements and a successful business.
  • Best business decision: Offer employees stock ownership in the business. Greencrest Marketing was my dream, but it belongs to the employees who make it the company it is today. What fun is success if you can’t share it with other people? In addition, get the best professional advice you can afford to establish good company policies. Then stick to those policies.
  • Worst business decision: Going against my better judgment and trusting someone else’s opinion ⊃ and it happened more than once. You often hear people talk about an entrepreneurial hunch or following your gut reaction. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t the right choice. It seems like every time I don’t follow my own instinct, I end up in trouble.
  • Biggest professional challenge: To keep the business growing and keep it exciting. That is a full-time job in itself. It’s being a good planner. It’s being able to recognize things, to be able to walk away from business that doesn’t feel good, to keep Greencrest Marketing growing and keep employees challenged, to exceed customers’ expectations, to be innovative in our approach to resolving marketing, advertising and public relations problems, to understand and utilize the latest technology in every area of our business.
  • Most important professional lesson: You do have a choice of with whom you choose to do business. Don’t do business with people that don’t appreciate your efforts. It’s a lose-lose situation. If someone doesn’t recognize your need to make a profit, walk away from the business and replace it with someone who wants you to be successful at what you do.
  • Advice to aspiring leaders: The principle I live by is if I can look in the mirror and like the person looking back at me, I’ve done something right. Honesty and integrity are still the most valuable company cornerstones. Never allow anyone or anything-employee, client, prospect, vendor, shareholder, spouse, opportunity or money-to alter your values. If you remain true to your founding principles, work hard and genuinely care about other people’s success, you will succeed.
  • Unfulfilled dream: I don’t think I will be in this business forever. I guess that my dreams are to travel the world [and] write books. [The book] would probably be things that were important to me in my life, maybe more of a business how-to book or how to run a business. I also have a real desire to help people and mentor people. I think I would like to do more of that in emerging countries or Third World countries.

About her company
Greencrest Marketing Inc.
120 Northwoods Blvd., Columbus
Founded: 1990
Employees: 7
Annual revenue: Would not disclose
Line of business: Marketing, advertising and public relations