Business Consultant

Girls in Enterprise 2022: Staying true to passions drives success

No matter whether or not they’re speaking about banking, accounting, advertising and marketing or proudly owning a brewing firm, staying keen about what they do stays a continuing. It’s what retains them going. And it’s what they advise others to observe.

Every one among them has stayed true to their goals, and that has led them to every kind {of professional} and private successes. As you learn the next 10 profiles, we hope that their tales assist ignite a ardour inside you.

Banking on Her Ardour 

Gerri Moll could have labored for Financial institution of America for 38 years—and been in her present position there because the financial institution’s president for Southwest Florida for 25 years—however day-after-day nonetheless appears recent for her. 

“Nicely, it’s felt like a couple of profession as a result of I labored in a number of jobs and a number of traces of enterprise. It’s a terrific place to develop your profession,” Moll says. Raised by her grandparents in Lakeland from the age of 10, she credit them for the character traits which have stood her in good stead for greater than three many years. “My grandparents instilled in me a piece ethic, the significance of training and caring about folks. In case you love economics and enterprise, and you’re keen on serving to folks, it’s simply the proper profession.” 

Now dwelling in Naples, Moll stated she all the time has cherished the world. “It’s humorous; I used to return down right here fishing with my grandfather, and I all the time thought it was essentially the most lovely place on this planet,” she remembers. After learning finance and economics first on the College of Florida after which at McMaster College in Ontario, Canada, she entered a financial institution coaching program. Having labored as a server all through her faculty days, she stated it was good coaching for a few of the jobs she would later maintain in banking.

“I joined the coaching program straight out of school, and you bought to spend time in several jobs,” she says. “I cherished being a teller. You bought to see lots of people. Our tellers see extra folks day-after-day than I see in a month. I cherished the tempo of it.”

She could have held most of the jobs banking has to supply, however when she ascended to her present place in 1997, there weren’t loads of position fashions. “It’s important to think about 25 years in the past, first there weren’t many ladies in banking in that place, and I used to be very younger. I used to be 36,” Moll says. “However that is essentially the most welcoming place I’ve ever lived. I feel it’s nonetheless that means. All people’s come right here from some place else, so they’re very welcoming to newcomers.”

And Moll offers again to the neighborhood that welcomed her as a lot as she will. She served two phrases on the Management Florida Board of Regents and the Florida Board of Governors and at present serves on the boards of Artis—Naples and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. She’s additionally gained a slew of awards, each regionally and nationally, for her skilled and private contributions.I spotted early on we are able to’t achieve success if the neighborhood we serve isn’t profitable. We encourage our workers to observe their private passions and pursuits in the neighborhood,” Moll says. “Dwelling in Southwest Florida for 25 years, you simply come to know that this can be a actually particular place.”

The Empire Builder

It’s secure to say that, alongside along with her chef husband, Fabrizio, Ingrid Aielli has constructed a restaurant empire in Southwest Florida. With him within the kitchen and her within the workplace, the Aiellis have created 4 of the perfect—and hottest— eating places in Naples: Sea Salt Naples (with a department in St. Petersburg), Barbatella, Dorona Trendy Italian Steakhouse and Grappino. And whereas Fabrizio handles the menus, Ingrid handles the whole lot else, together with the entrance of the home, public relations, advertising and marketing and neighborhood engagement. It will be a mistake to low cost how a lot her savvy enterprise sense has contributed to the couple’s success.

“What began off as a coincidence grew to become my calling. Once I married chef Fabrizio Aielli it made sense to workforce up with my husband and complement his skillset. Whereas he was accountable for the culinary idea, I managed our service employees and took accountability for our PR and advertising and marketing efforts,” Aielli says. “I used to be blessed that I by accident was pushed in an business the place I used to be capable of make the most of my strengths and evolve, not solely as knowledgeable, but additionally as an individual. I actually by no means considered doing anything. The hospitality (enterprise) allowed me to observe my two passions: connecting with folks and permitting me to be concerned in philanthropy.”

And Aielli is definitely concerned in philanthropy. She and Fabrizio are closely related with the Naples Youngsters & Schooling Basis and the Naples Winter Wine Competition, in addition to many different native causes, such because the Youth Haven Shelter in Naples. Yearly, the couple hosts a Christmas lunch for Youth Haven’s fees at Barbatella, with Santa and presents for the children.

“Our household not solely takes satisfaction in being part of the Naples neighborhood, however we additionally consider that it’s our accountability to take motion and provides again to the individuals who have been supporting us for thus a few years,” Aielli says. “They encourage and inspire us to be our greatest model.”

In fact, working so carefully together with your husband may be difficult, however the Aiellis have their numerous obligations down pat. “At occasions it may be difficult however we all the time had a really clear understanding of our obligations and experience,” she says. “As you develop as a pair, you additionally be taught from one another and know fill the gaps. Fixed communication and the give attention to a typical purpose is essential.”

However for Ingrid, her work is an actual labor of affection—in additional methods than one. 

“It doesn’t matter what you do, if you wish to obtain nice leads to your profession, you want to put in loads of work, be open minded and relentless,” she says. “This requires loads of vitality, which you’ll solely put into one thing you might be keen about, one thing you actually love.”

A Good Head on Her Shoulders

Jennifer Whyte doesn’t thoughts taking dangers.

When her husband, Rob, had the thought of turning his homebrewing interest right into a enterprise, Jen had the entrepreneurial know-how and pioneering spirit to create a marketing strategy and launch a brand new firm. And in 2013, the Fort Myers Brewing Co., Lee County’s first craft brewery and taproom, was born.

“I really like our enterprise. I really like the folks we get to be surrounded by day-after-day. We’ve nice workers. We’ve made some actually good mates. And we have now nice prospects,” the 44-year-old Jennifer Whyte says. “And the folks of Lee County have actually embraced Fort Myers Brewing Firm.”

It began off slowly however gained steam rapidly. After they began, that they had a comfortable 1,500-square-foot house. As of late, they’ve graduated to 22,000 sq. toes, yearly producing 16,000 to 17,000 barrels of brews reminiscent of Gateway Gold, Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, FML (Fort Myers Gentle) and Tamiami Tan.

“We had been very scrappy. And we hobbled one thing collectively. The regulars which were with us some time wish to know the way far we’ve come,” Whyte says. Then she provides a bit of recommendation for budding entrepreneurs. 

“I wouldn’t fear about beginning small. It retains you nimble and helps you get your thought off the bottom,” she says. “There’s alternative all over the place. I go searching now and I see alternative all over the place. In case you have one thing that you’re keen about, in case you have one thing that may convey pleasure and assist folks, simply go do it.”

Her personal enterprise acumen confirmed via throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whyte rapidly tailored to proceed operations and maintain her workforce intact. Revolutionary methods throughout COVID grew packaging by 81.5%, reaching general development, albeit small, compared with 2019-2020 distribution. A sampling of her efforts contains shifting operations to to-go and increasing packaged merchandise; diversifying with the launch of the world’s first line of regionally crafted spiked seltzer drinks; promoting merchandise and providing odd tasks to spice up employees revenue; and stopping her and her husband’s salaries to make sure employees continued to obtain well being advantages.

They even stored up a brewing firm custom: an annual go to from Santa. This time, nevertheless, Santa was in a life-size snow globe. Clients cherished it.

“I can’t overstate how proud a second that was, to see children and adults beginning to act regular once more,” Whyte says. “To me, that’s what Fort Myers Brewing is about. It’s about bringing folks collectively and bringing pleasure to the neighborhood. That was my proudest skilled second.”

Of Ardour … and Purple Porsches 

You would say that Karen Mosteller, managing accomplice on the accounting and consulting agency of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Firm, owes her profession to a purple Porsche.

Again when Mosteller was in highschool in Cape Coral and a member of Future Enterprise Leaders of America, Gail Markham, the agency’s founding accomplice, got here to talk to college students about IRAs. When the younger Mosteller accompanied Markham to her automotive, she was hit with inspiration. “I walked her out to her automotive, and I noticed that she had a purple Porsche,” Mosteller remembers. “I stated, ‘Whoa, mama! I need to do what she does.’”

On a go to to the agency shortly thereafter, Markham employed Mosteller on the spot as an intern/file clerk. That was in 1986, and Mosteller has been there ever since. It appears she all the time had her sights on her future position. “At 18, I advised Gail I needed to be accomplice,” Mosteller remembers saying to her mentor. “You recognize what? I suppose I used to be so naïve. I’m that kind of one who in the event you inform me I can’t do one thing, then I am going out and do it. The second I opened my mouth and stated that is what I needed to do, Gail made a path for me in order that I may do that. Gail actually gave me route and recommendation.”

The truth is, it’s what Mosteller describes because the household ambiance on the agency—one of many largest in Southwest Florida, with places of work in Fort Myers and Naples—that has stored her there for 36 years, she says. “I began when there have been 13 of us, and now we have now greater than 50 folks. We watch one another’s backs. We’re actually like a household. We permit folks to outline their path to do what they need to do,” she says. “It’s by no means been a job. It’s all the time been enjoyable. It all the time was a spot that I appeared ahead to on Mondays. It’s all the time been residence.”

 Did she ever get that Porsche?

“I don’t drive a Porsche. I drive Mustangs,” says Mosteller, who’s an authorized well being care enterprise advisor, in addition to an authorized public accountant. “Mine is blue. I’ve had 4 of them.”

When she desires to chill out and get away from all of it, she goes RVing along with her husband of 29 years, Chip. Most days, although, she’s all the time on the go, typically visiting with purchasers. “I’m a kind of CPAs who can’t sit within the workplace,” she says.

Mosteller has stayed keen about her occupation, and she or he advises future generations of ladies in enterprise to observe her lead. “Really do what you might be keen about. Observe your ardour and, on the finish of the day, in the event you like it, you’ll find yourself the place you need to be and on high,” she says. “I’ve cherished it and I’ve been passionate. I may by no means think about doing anything.”

The Internationalist 

Though her father was an accountant, Marie Grasmeier by no means dreamed of turning into an authorized public accountant as a child. Nor an authorized administration accountant. Nor a chartered world administration accountant. Now she’s all three (and trusts and estates practitioner, too).

“I all the time thought I used to be going to be pre-med, after which I did an internship in a hospital, and I didn’t prefer it,” says Grasmeier, the founding father of Grasmeier Enterprise Consulting. “I simply switched to the faculty of enterprise.” 

Now, Grasmeier makes a speciality of aiding international buyers with their U.S. tax and compliance wants and enjoys working with entrepreneurs via your entire lifecycle of a enterprise, from startup to succession planning. Whereas she offers tax planning, compliance and conventional accounting providers, Grasmeier gives actual property funding providers by specializing within the tax advantages and tax ramifications of actual property investing. “I knew that if I opened my very own enterprise, I may serve my purchasers higher than I may at another person’s agency,” she says. “It turned out to be true.”

Born in South Korea, raised in Sweden, educated proper right here in Florida and now dwelling in Naples, Grasmeier has 1,500 or so purchasers from everywhere in the world, lots of whom are actual property buyers with holdings within the state. However her shopper base isn’t the one factor that’s worldwide about her enterprise. Grasmeier manages and mentors workforce members in a 100% digital and paperless surroundings and offers alternatives for accountants each regionally and globally. 

What’s it like going all digital? “I like it. We’re rather more environment friendly. We nonetheless have our shopper contact. And it offers us extra time,” Grasmeier says. “We’re all the time accessible. I feel we’re extra responsive as a result of we’re digital, as nicely.”

Grasmeier practices what she preaches to her purchasers. She personally invests and in addition assists different buyers in her position as supervisor of RealinFlorida, a consulting agency for worldwide actual property buyers that she co-founded along with her husband John. And he or she was one among 18 girls professionals to contribute to the nationwide collaborative ebook challenge Wealth for Girls: Conversations with the Group That Creates the Dream.

When she first opened her firm in 2009, she felt as if she was one among only some girls operating an accounting agency. However within the 13 years since then, quite a bit has modified.

“Being digital has helped extra girls come into the enterprise and be capable to steadiness their work and household life.”

Neighborhood Minded

Nancy Dauphinais, chief working officer on the David Lawrence Heart in Naples, has a powerful sense of neighborhood, and it comes out in the whole lot she does. Having labored on the nonprofit DLC, which offers psychological well being providers to youngsters and adults, for greater than 16 years in a wide range of jobs, Dauphinais has seen loads of adjustments over time.

“One of many issues that I get pleasure from concerning the David Lawrence Heart is that we’ve been in the neighborhood for 50 years, and I need to see us proceed to be the hub for psychological well being care over the following 50 years,” she says. “I really like being a part of a corporation that has a mission to avoid wasting and alter lives. On daily basis we get to assist people who’re actually struggling. For different people who could not have extreme signs, we’re capable of enhance their lives. It’s very rewarding.”

As COO, Dauphinais, herself a licensed psychological well being counselor, oversees all scientific programming on the heart, which incorporates 40 particular person applications and 330 scientific and administrative employees. Sadly, for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, DLC has seen an uptick in demand for the middle’s providers that mirrors state and nationwide developments. 

“I feel that we’re seeing a disproportionate demand for disaster providers. We would favor to see a higher demand in in search of outpatient providers as an alternative of a higher demand for inpatient and disaster providers,” she says. “At some occasions, we’ve seen upward of will increase of 45%. That’s according to developments being seen in Florida and throughout the nation.”

Dauphinais additionally manages DLC’s partnerships with Collier County Public Faculties, Collier County Sheriff’s Workplace, the Collier County judiciary and dozens of native nonprofits. However one of the vital rewarding facets of her job is with the ability to make a distinction within the lives of kids and households.

“Working with youngsters and households is actually necessary and rewarding. The sooner we are able to intervene in psychological well being challenges, the higher we are able to affect the kid and mitigate long-term results. It’s a terrific funding in the way forward for the neighborhood,” she says. “It’s been actually rewarding for us to have the ability to develop our youngsters’s providers over time. We’re actually impacting your entire household. In delivering remedy for youngsters, we discover that youngsters can get higher at a sooner fee than adults. Their brains are actually receptive. That helps them to be very resilient and to get better nicely.”

The truth is, for Dauphinais, working at DLC is the end result of lifelong ambition to have the ability to assist these in want.

“It’s been a ardour for me. I needed to make an affect on others’ lives. I all the time needed to do one thing within the serving to sector, and I knew it might contain psychology,” she says. “Winding up on the David Lawrence Heart has been a blessing.”

Connie Ramos-Williams’ Sixth Sense  

When Connie Ramos-Williams is struck by instinct, you’d be nicely suggested to observe it.

Again in 1999, she was satisfied that the area was prepared for its personal kind of parenting journal, so she created Southwest Florida Mum or dad & Little one. Nicely, she was proper, and she or he ultimately offered the profitable publication to Gannett 5 years later. 

Then in 2007, throughout the top of a recession, Ramos-Williams thought the time was proper for a special type of advertising and marketing agency, one that may assist native companies efficiently climate the monetary storm and support them in getting again on their toes as soon as the economic system rallied. It seems she was proper once more, and CONRIC pr + advertising and marketing was born. Ever since, the agency the place she’s the president and chief advertising and marketing officer has been going sturdy.

“I might say that the imaginative and prescient I had once we began was staying very true to being native and staying very true to creating advertising and marketing. And there have been loads of companies who wanted further assist. We actually need to see all people succeed throughout a really troublesome time,” she says of CONRIC, which now has places of work in Fort Myers and Naples. “Our imaginative and prescient for the corporate now’s to be a frontrunner within the digital advertising and marketing house nationally. That‘s the place our best development is, and that’s the place we’re hiring for many of our new roles.”

Simply earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ramos-Williams had one other a kind of emotions. One thing advised her to forego the 6,500-square-foot workplace house the corporate was eyeing and ultimately arrange the agency so everybody may work remotely. It was no whim; she researched her choices rigorously. By September 2019 she was certain she was proper. One month later, the corporate was transitioning employees to work remotely. Inside six months, the pandemic hit the USA. “What a blessing that was. I had lots of my mates in enterprise and at different companies calling when that pandemic hit and had been, actually, a bit of panicked. We simply had been blessed to be working that means when the pandemic hit,” she remembers. 

At the moment, the agency went into overdrive, checking on purchasers, reaching out to essentially the most susceptible ones, delaying billing and dealing to ensure none of them would shut their doorways completely. The corporate began a Fb web page and commenced broadcasting the SWFL Sturdy podcast to unfold a message of solidarity all through the neighborhood. “We advised them, ‘We’re all on this collectively, and as an organization, we’re going to assist you as a lot as we are able to,’” she says. “It was great to assist others.”

Ramos-Williams wasn’t untouched by the pandemic herself. She contracted COVID-19 in October 2020 and spent per week within the hospital. Nonetheless, she remained assured in herself and her agency. “Actually, I don’t know what it was, I felt like we had a deal with on it,” she says now. “I felt like we may undergo something.”

Banking in Her Blood 

In case you ever wanted proof that trail-blazing native banker Robbie Roepstorff isn’t any pushover, you’d be sensible to do not forget that she hunts pythons for enjoyable.

“Oh, my gosh. I didn’t intend to get into it,” Roepstorff says with amusing.  

“My husband, Geoff, was gung-ho and needed to go. It was the final day of the problem, and it was Valentine’s Day. I stated, ‘You aren’t going to go down there by your self,’” she explains about how she first grew to become concerned in looking the invasive species about 5 years in the past. “Geoff and I are actual environmentalists, and if we don’t maintain the animal inhabitants intact, we’re actually going to have points.”

Roepstorff’s actual declare to fame is co-founding along with her husband Edison Nationwide Financial institution, the oldest regionally owned and chartered neighborhood financial institution in Lee County, in 1997, after which the Financial institution of the Islands on Sanibel a 12 months later. 

“It’s been the perfect resolution that we made by way of our careers, let me let you know,” she says of Edison, which now has simply shy of $550 million in property. “We by no means needed to return out massive. We needed to remain a neighborhood financial institution and serve the folks of the world.” 

She and her husband of 29 years have banking of their blood. She serves because the financial institution’s president, and Geoff serves because the CEO. They even met and married whereas working collectively at a financial institution. Now their focus is on offering the perfect providers they’ll—all the time with a human contact—to their native prospects via their 4 branches.

“I actually consider our prospects know our mission, and so they know they’ll get to speak to an individual. We nonetheless don’t have voicemail on our telephones,” Roepstorff says. “You might be all the time going to speak to an individual while you name our financial institution. And you’ve got the senior administration proper right here making all the selections.”

In the case of the following technology of ladies entrepreneurs searching for their shot, she gives some recommendation that’s all the time labored nicely for her.

“You all the time, all the time need to steadiness household and profession. Household is the whole lot. We all the time say God, household, enterprise. That’s first. The second factor I might inform them is to look at and pay attention. Watch what’s going on in entrance on you. And pay attention when somebody is speaking to you,” Roepstorff says. 

“And the third factor I might inform them is you want HIT: honesty, integrity and reliable,” she provides. “In case you can’t show your self in these three areas, it doesn’t matter how nicely you realize your small business, you gained’t succeed.”

Days of Wine and Poses  

Sarah Newcomb stays fairly busy holding down three jobs. 

She’s the only proprietor and operator of The Wine Room, a tasting room/retail institution/occasion house in downtown Fort Myers that she opened in 2020. She has her personal pictures enterprise, S. Newcomb Images, which she arrange in 2016. She additionally works as administrative specialist on the Lee County Division of Transportation. And, she is pursuing an MBA in her spare time.

How does she do all of it?

“I don’t sleep. I like to remain busy, and I wish to be productive,” says Newcomb, who lives in Cape Coral. “The whole lot I do I’m keen about. That’s my persona.” 

That’s factor as a result of that zeal helps to gasoline her 14-hour workdays. And with The Wine Room rising in reputation, these days most likely aren’t going to get a complete lot shorter. “I needed my very own brick-and-mortar enterprise that I cherished and was keen about,” Newcomb says of The Wine Room. “I may incorporate my ardour for enterprise and my love of the neighborhood. Nicely, I even have a ardour for wine. Why not mix all three?”

Though she opened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the enterprise has been a powerful success, providing patrons wines from everywhere in the nation and around the globe, together with the specialty wines reminiscent of Cape Coral Cabernet, Caloosahatchee Chardonnay and Music Stroll Merlot. “My first 12 months in enterprise was superb,” she says. “Each greenback I had, I used to be capable of dump again into the enterprise.” Nicely, not each greenback. Newcomb donates 3% of each bottle bought to an area nonprofit, with prospects capable of choose their alternative of three native charities being highlighted at the moment. “They not solely get the assist, but it surely’s nice promoting for them,” Newcomb says. “It offers me the prospect to speak about these nonprofits and make folks conscious of the organizations.”

Newcomb’s pictures enterprise comes from an curiosity she developed for the artform as a teen. “I really like pictures. I began doing pictures in highschool with movie and converted to digital,” she says. “I really like journey pictures, and I take pictures wherever I journey. I’ve them up in The Wine Room, and other people should purchase them proper off the wall. I don’t do as a lot of it now as a result of I’m working a lot. However, once more, it’s one among my passions.”

For others on the market who’d like to show their passions into companies, her recommendation is straightforward. “Go for it,” Newcomb says. “I feel folks get so nervous about what may occur that they don’t take dangers. We might by no means get anyplace with out taking a threat. Simply take the prospect.”

Taking part in for Retains  

When Teri Hansen does one thing, she does it for retains.

Her public relations agency, Precedence Advertising in Fort Myers, celebrated its thirtieth 12 months in enterprise this previous April. She’s additionally celebrating her twenty first 12 months cancer-free after being recognized with stage 3 breast most cancers in 2001. And, only for good measure, this 12 months is her forty first marriage ceremony anniversary.

“That’s precisely proper. I’m a dedicated individual. I feel that basically does describe me. I’m an individual who is devoted and dedicated,” says Hansen, a Fort Myers native. “I feel that’s the reason we’re right here 30 years later.”

Through the years, Precedence Advertising, the place Hansen is president and senior inventive director, has gained greater than 150 awards for its work (with Hansen profitable a slew of particular person awards herself). The agency’s purchasers comprise a broad spectrum of industries, together with hospitality and tourism, retail, well being care, senior dwelling, development, authorized, monetary, authorities, training and regionally owned companies. Other than being one of many largest native PR firms, Precedence Advertising can also be Southwest Florida’s premier company for nonprofits and actively represents dozens of charitable organizations. 

“I’m so grateful for the chance of serving so many superb purchasers and companies on this neighborhood and in serving to companies develop and serving to so many nonprofits. That’s the reward for me,” Hansen says. “I’ve by no means had a want to do anything. I really like coming to work day-after-day. I really like this enterprise. My ardour hasn’t waned.”

Precedence Advertising’s employees is greater than 45 members sturdy, about 75% of them girls, with lots of them being longstanding workers. “My workforce right here, we’re household. Each single day I obtain encouragement and assist in the whole lot that I do. I’ve workers which were right here for 26 years, 20 years. I really like them and take care of them and we have now all grown collectively,” she says. “I really like watching them develop, supporting that development. I’m so happy with having a component of their lives. To mentor them, coach them and advise them, that may be a large reward, too.”

Hansen gives this recommendation for future entrepreneurs: Don’t examine your self with others, don’t be impatient as you construct your profession and don’t give attention to monetary rewards.

“All the time contemplate alternative over cash. Consider one thing based mostly on the chance it offers you, not what it’s going to pay. Specializing in cash is short-sighted,” she says. “I might not commerce the next paying job for the alternatives that had been afforded to me to have the ability to develop and to have publicity into the neighborhood. I inform younger folks on a regular basis, ‘Have a look at what’s going to give essentially the most alternative. Cash follows you in your profession.’”

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