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Business moves fast and women in business understand how to adapt. We talked with these local women about their professional practices, career milestones and business philosophies before the current coronavirus crisis, but the persistent versatility of these women hasn’t changed. They have tackled big challenges, with the wisdom to prove it.
Dr. Sarah Hansen, Orthodontist
6407 Monroe St. | 419-882-1017 | perfectbraces.com
What advice would you give to another woman entering your industry? Go for it! If you’re interested in Orthodontics, then dental school is the first step, where you’ll be exposed to many different specialties and treatment types. The extra years in residency are completely worth it, if you’re finally doing what you’ve always wanted to do. However, keep an open mind, because you might end up liking a different specialty better!
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way? Good communication is a key component of leadership. It’s easier to communicate with people and to achieve success if you treat people in the way that they want to be treated. We all have different motivations and personalities, and if you can pick up on those ne in others and address them, then your leadership will be more effective.
How do you achieve work-life balance? When I’m not working, you’ll find me running, reading, cooking, or spending time with family and friends. My husband and I are fully supportive of each other’s careers, and we share in household chores and errands so that we have time to enjoy our weekends and time together.
What gender-specific assumptions do you encounter, and how do you respond to them? When telling anyone I was in dental school, or that I am in dentistry, it is often assumed that I am a hygienist. Previously, dentistry was more of a male-dominated field, while hygienists were primarily female. I take the opportunity to raise awareness about this misinterpretation, more and more females are now in the field, as half of my graduating class were women!
120 W. Dudley St., Maumee | 419-345-4996 | TamaraTCM.com
What’s your mantra? Don’t be food for the tiger!
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Not everyone practicing acupuncture has the same training. In the State of Ohio, doctors and chiropractors can practice acupuncture with weekend courses and little to no training. They are not required to take the national boards, be certified by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture Oriental Medicine) or be licensed by the medical board in acupuncture. Physical therapists practice “dry needling” with limited training as well. I’m addressing this by educating the public, urging everyone to make sure their acupuncturist is properly trained. People can look for “L.Ac” or “Dipl. O.M.” after a practitioner’s name and check their credentials at https://www.nccaom.org/. In Ohio, they can also look on the eLicense site to see what kind of acupuncture license practitioners hold. Someone who only took a brief course will be listed as having an “Acupuncture Certificate” instead of a full acupuncture license.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? When I went off to Seattle for my training, I gave up pretty much everything I had for the chance to start Tamara TCM Wellness Clinic.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? Integrity and compassion.
3904 Secor Rd. | 419-474-2400 | healthfoodsbyclaudia.com
What do you do? At Health Foods by Claudia, we help empower individuals opening their hearts to learning positive approaches for their health ne. With over 45 years of personal experience and celebrating our 30th year in business this year, we are proud and grateful to guide our customers with first-hand experience, knowledge and care.
What’s one thing every
entrepreneur should ask
themselves? Do they believe in what they are creating? Are they willing to commit their time, money and energy growing their vision? Do they understand the business side? Knowing the numbers, margins, etc. is important because you can have a great vision, but if you can’t pay your bills, it’s difficult to stay creative.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Mass marketing and the internet selling “natural” products for financial gain without any education about the products is a significant challenge. There is misinformation on the internet about supplements, and general confusion on what natural and healthy really means.
The natural products movement began in the United States in the early 1900s through thousands of small health food stores, and because of them, our knowledge about herbs, homeopathy, vitamins and minerals remains today. They were dedicated to sharing information with those that wanted to learn and who were committed to collectively fight unjust legislation that would have interfered with our rights to access supplements.
Still, because they stood together, they passed an important law that protects our access to supplements and the information to go with them, and it remains today. I am eternally grateful to have learned first-hand from many loving, dedicated people that taught the principles of healing, with purpose and from a place of heartfelt experience.
It’s easy to order stuff off the internet, but supplements without understanding how they work are spending money on a product rather than gaining knowledge for good health, so it’s wise to receive guidance from the people and the businesses that have knowledge through experience and the heart to guide you properly.
Childers Limousine Service
Kelly Childers, owner
5825 Angola Rd. | 419-535-7019 | childerstransportation.com
What do you do? My company has provided Toledo and the surrounding areas with passenger transportation for more than 25 years. Our diversified fleet consists of more than 50 vehicles ranging from sedans, vans, and buses to our luxury limousines.
What advice would you give to another woman entering your industry? Work through the moments of self-doubt that every business owner faces. The road to success is paved with losses, mishaps and mistakes. Learn from them, and don’t lose sight of your destination.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way? To keep challenging yourself and collaborate with people who think differently than you do, as a way to breed creativity and promote innovative ideas that will keep pushing you forward.
Who do you most admire? My father— he has been the root of my drive and source of inspiration for me to become an entrepreneur. He owned his own business for more than 40 years, and I grew up watching him work hard, helping people along the way. He taught my older brothers and me that you can achieve anything with determination and integrity.
Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority
Kimberly A. Dunham, general manager
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way? Build a network of close peers and mentors; people who you can trust to give you honest feedback and encourage you to get outside of our comfort zone. It is the only way you grow.
How has your industry changed for women since you first got your start? Diversity and inclusion in leadership has really changed on the national level. American Public Transportation Association has a premium workforce development program that draws people in during high school, for college scholarships as well as early, mid and later career professionals. Formal mentoring programs through APTA and Women’s Transportation Seminar are also very effective in building networks.
Dermatology Associates/Ada Aesthetics
Sarah C. Stierman, M.D.
Perrysburg: 12780 Roachton Rd.
Sylvania: 7640 W. Sylvania Ave.
419-870-0777 | daohio.com
What do you do? I am a double board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. I am a partner/co-owner at Dermatology Associates/Ada Aesthetics with locations in Perrysburg and Sylvania.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Fair and affordable access to medicines is a serious challenge, and this reality of a situation makes it difficult for me to help patients. At Dermatology Associates, we work as a team to coordinate care, and several of our full-time medical coordinators cut through red tape as much as possible so that patient care is always our first priority.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? Emotional intelligence and grit!
How do you achieve work-life balance? Schedule it! It sounds boring and robotic, but I schedule workouts, date nights, lunches with friends, time with my kids, etc. If you don’t make time for it, then it doesn’t happen.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? My life is a study in delayed gratification; when childhood friends and classmates were settling down or traveling the globe, I worked tirelessly to study, learn, and finally build the kind of work environment that would help me (and everyone around me) thrive. I have the best job ever— it’s my calling, passion, and a career that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
How has your industry changed for women since you first got your start? As of 2019, women now make up the majority of students enrolled in medical school (50.5% women versus 49.4% men) in the U.S. This is history in the making!
Responding to the crisis
Dr. Christy Lorton and Dr. Sarah Stierman donated Personal Protective Equipment (surgical masks and gloves) to St. Luke’s Hospital, which is facing a dire shortage of medical safety gear. In addition, in an effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Ada Aesthetics and Dermatology Associates are temporarily closed. Ada Aesthetics will reopen on April 7, and Dermatology Associates will reopen on April 16. During this time, they are offering free shipping on all of your favorite products. Beth Anne will also be available to answer questions and schedule skincare Fab Friday Cosmetic treatment appointments.
725 Ford St., Maumee | 419-873-6463 | essencembs.com
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? The ability to follow their instincts and to remember that being a leader is very different from and much more effective than being a boss.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? I have sacrificed way beyond what I ever expected that I would… early on and still, now. What I do is my passion, and it requires continual study, practice, and consistency to grow a business. I love what I do, and it requires a lot of a person to do something well.
8504 Secor Rd., Lambertville, MI.
734-854-8737 | masonjartapandgrill.com
How do you stay motivated? I believe that the guest deserves the best that we can give, so I am motivated to provide them with a memorable experience so that they are excited to return.
Who do you admire? I admire my mom and dad, who both worked in the restaurant industry. My mom led with heart, and my dad led with a fearless passion that he passed on to me. I give the best of what I do every day, and there is no room for subpar— only for what’s extraordinary.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? Confidence, commitment, and passion. These people follow the three “P”s: people, process and procedure.
Ohio Living Swan Creek
Tiffany Sutton, Director of Human Resources
5916 Cresthaven Lane | 419.865.4445.
What’s one thing every professional woman should remember? I have always tried to make a difference in the lives around me and believe that every professional woman should always remember their personal impact on their industry of choice. I am a better, more effective leader when positivity among staff and residents stems throughout my organization. It is important to keep a smile on your face without fearing to show emotion.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way? I have had to learn how to be supportive to others without someone taking advantage of me. Also, it has been important to realize that, sometimes, people do not need my assistance, even though I feel a need to help. In creating a welcoming work environment for my staff, I hope that they know that they can come to me for guidance during difficult situations. Additionally, I have learned patience, remaining calm in challenging circumstances. In order to run a successful business, it is crucial to present a caring nature with every scenario.
What gender-specific assumptions do you encounter, and how do you respond to them? Early in my career, some people communicated that they could not see me in a disciplinary role or leading staff because I was a young woman, and I have struggled to be taken seriously over the years. However, throughout my career, I’ve learned that my sensitive approach is what makes me good at my job— always listening and taking into consideration the other person’s feelings.
1725 Timber Line Rd., Maumee
888-604-0245 | arrowheadbehavioral.com
What advice would you give to another woman entering your industry? Always keep a Northern Star. So many times, in healthcare leadership, there are multiple, conflicting agendas. It is easy to get caught up in the flurry of the moment. If you always keep your Northern Star or guiding philosophy at the forefront, then you will be able to make the best decisions in each moment.
Generally, do you think there is a difference between how men and women lead? While I don’t necessarily think that gender makes for differences in leadership, I do believe that life experiences influence a leadership style, based on results. For many years, society has relied on the perception of power as a primary indicator for what constitutes leadership, which, historically, has not been a familiar seat for many women, therefore positioning an advantage for men. Now, I see a society that responds less to preconceived notions of power and more to a person’s ability to influence others— a skill that women have had to rely on in the past.
Who do you most admire? I admire those individuals who have faced an insurmountable amount of multi-generational oppression but still find it in themselves to treat others with kindness, which is a beautiful testament to the human spirit— choosing love instead of hate.
Atlas Bridal Shop
Jeanne Fairchild, owner and manager
4895 Monroe St. | 419-474-9119 | atlasbridalshop.com
What advice would you give to another woman entering your industry? Competition-wise, things are very different since I started in this business more than 30 years ago, when my only competition was other locally-owned bridal shops. Now, there are national chains, as well as heavy online competition. In such an environment, it would be difficult to start from scratch.
What’s your mantra? Treat others in the way that you would like to be treated.
Eileen Cousino, co-owner and operator
1842 Woodville Rd., Oregon
419-693-0862 | facebook.com/cousinos
What is your mantra? I trust what I know is best for me, and when faced with daily challenges, I rely on my past experiences to guide me in making good choices and decisions.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Cousino’s Steakhouse has survived three generations of ownership throughout 75 years of business. With each new generation, we have maintained the consistency of our sizzling steaks and famous casserole potatoes. With so many available options for dining out, it is important for us to give our guests a consistent experience— whether their last visit was 50 years ago or yesterday.
Who do you most admire? I have been very blessed to work with many long-term employees who have been with us for as long as 40-plus years. Our staff is comprised of single parents who support their families, cancer survivors, recovering addicts, and college students. They all sacrifice time spent with loved-ones to work during holidays, weekends and extra shifts when needed— without complaints. I admire my team and their commitment and I consider them all family.
How do you stay motivated? My son Cory is the third generation of ownership at Cousino’s, and I want for him to carry on the Cousino’s family traditions that his grandfather Earl and father, Tom, have passed down. I stay motivated knowing that what I strive towards will eventually be my legacy, which may possibly be passed down to a fourth-generation— my granddaughter Naomi.
Nikki Gillig, owner and general manager
1720 Northridge Rd., Findlay
419-408-3230 | gilligwinery.com
What’s one thing every entrepreneur should ask themselves? “How badly do I want this, and what am I willing to give up in order to achieve my goal?”
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? Starting and operating a winery/restaurant took much time away from my family and home— a sacrifice I knew that I would have to make during the early stages of starting our business. We (my husband and I) have tried to do our best to include our children in various aspects of our business, having them help out wherever they can… Sometimes, they enjoy it, and sometimes, not!
How do you stay motivated? My team and our customers are my motivation. There’s nothing more motivating than watching your employee grow and become a leader or have one of your customers tell you how much they love coming to your place.
Who do you most admire? My father. When I was growing up, he worked multiple jobs to make sure our family was supported. His love and dedication to our family is still apparent to this day through his support and willingness to help out anytime we need it.
Erika Vickie, owners
144 N. Superior St. | 419-725-0444 | registrybistro.com
What do you do?
Vickie and Erika (mother-and-daughter duo): We own and operate Registry Bistro, a casual, yet elegant, restaurant in downtown Toledo that focuses on modern Midwestern cuisine. Vickie is a front-of-the-house and business manager, while Erika is the creative and chef.
What is one thing every entrepreneur should ask themselves?
Vickie: “Am I willing to dedicate unlimited hours of my time for the long-term, to ensure that this business venture is successful?” As business owners, we must choose to work more hours per week than the people who we employ. Repayment for this commitment will not necessarily be reflected in the paycheck but in the ongoing success of the business.
How has your industry changed for women since you first got your start?
Erika: When I first started cooking 20-ish years ago, the professional kitchen was male-dominated. In culinary school, it was the same scenario, where “girls bake and men cook,” and I was one of a small handful of women in my graduating class. Ten years later, the landscape changed, which was reflective of our industry. We are seeing more women chefs in high-profile roles with well-deserved accolades, leading a new generation of cooks and aspiring chefs.
How do you stay motivated?
Vickie and Erika: We’re lucky, in that we motivate each other. We support each other. When one of us gets into a slump, the other is there to redirect and get the other back on track. We keep each other focused on what lies ahead.
Ye Olde Durty Bird
Sisters Linda Ball and Julie Ketterman, owners
2 S. Saint Clair St. | 419-243-2473 | yeoldedurtybird.com
What is one thing every entrepreneur should ask themselves? “Are you ready for the challenge?”
How do you stay motivated? We are born-and-raised Toledoans, who are motivated to maintain a destination place within Downtown Toledo that provides a positive experience through great food, service, and local entertainment for all to enjoy!
Inside the Five Brewing Company
Katie Fields, co-owner
5703 Main St. | 419-882-1017 | insidethefive.com
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? Sleep.
How has your industry changed for women since you first got your start? My craft beer career is fairly young, and although many people think that the profession is predominantly male, there are many women paving the way, as the craft beer industry continues to expand throughout the country.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Many employees in my industry are young, and/or students working towards another career. Therefore, it is often difficult for them to find motivation for long-term goals within the business. For me, it’s essential to first explain our mission, teach good work habits, and then, most importantly, lead by example.
Mary Cianci, owner
1242 W Sylvania Ave. | 419-478-5455 | sew-n-such.com
What do you do? Sew, fix, repair, alter, listen— every garment that comes in has a story.
What’s your mantra? “We will make it fit.”
What’s one thing every entrepreneur should ask themselves? “Am I willing to dedicate my life to this?”
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? A private life.
Twix N Between
Kristin Moncrief, CEO
419-754-0278 | facebook.com/TwixNBetween
What do you do? I advocate for vision care, and I am a community eyewear resource focusing on providing access to affordable, fashionable, and quality eyewear for the on-the-go professional, busy parent, immobile individual/family etc. I take care of this, that, and everything that’s in-between.
What’s one thing every professional woman should remember? Every professional woman should remember to not limit themselves to societal norms. It’s okay to stand out, speak out, and make waves. Challenge the status quo, and as long as we’re doing things for the right reasons, success will come in some way, shape, or form.
What’s your mantra? Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way? I’ve learned that being a leader does not mean knowing more than everyone else; rather, a leader is someone who recognizes, encourages, promotes, empowers and collaborates with others.
Who do you most admire? My mother— she is my perfect example of strength, humility, faith, hard work and so much more. She is the consummate professional that has, for years, served her community as a beacon of light for so many. She is a great example to follow and a blessing to have in my life.
Meredith Sherman, owner
124 10th St. | 419-243-5131 | sophialustigshops.com
How do you know when you’re done for the day? With technology today, you’re never really done for the day, your work is always with you. However, work/life balance is important and there comes a time to put it away and refocus. My hungry kids are another good clue.
I deal with stress by: Working out (or eating chips and guacamole).
I got my start: When I was a 16, I started working at Sophia Lustig for Paula Fall. I would come to the shop after school from 3-5:30pm. I would open boxes, steam clothes, clean up dressing rooms, whatever needed to be done. I loved it from the very beginning.
Victoria Perry, Leah Wilson, Jennifer O’Connor, and Jessica Johnson; co-owners
580 Craig Drive Suite 6, Perrysburg.
419-872-5555 | sotosalonspa.com
What do you do?
Victoria: We are passionate beauty professionals who are dedicated to the evolution of the beauty industry through our services and education platforms. Our company employs more than 60 talented salon and spa professionals who serve our community with the latest hair, skin and nail-care services.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Jennifer: I believe that achieving a work-life balance is impossible, it’s always a tipping scale. Sometimes, work ne more of your attention, and sometimes, it’s life that ne care. Staying present, and giving where it’s needed, is the balance.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them?
Jessica: Although the beauty industry is one of the fastest growing industries, it is a challenge to find qualified salon and spa employees to provide quality professional services because there aren’t enough people choosing to go to school for cosmetology.
Another challenge is the threat of deregulation, pertaining to licenses. The average consumer doesn’t value the education behind the services that we perform, despite the fact that we work in direct contact with a guest’s skin— using chemicals, sharp objects, and irons that can potentially cause a great deal of harm if one is without proper training— not to mention the extensive sanitation practices that we must understand and employ to protect the public and ourselves.
The Stars Speak
Janet Amid, astrologer intuitive
5600 Monroe St., Building B, Suite 206
419-882-5510 | janetamid.com
What do you do? I am an astrologer and life coach.
What’s your mantra? Knowledge is power.
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? Oftentimes, people perceive that readers/astrologers are fortune tellers or soothsayers; whereas, in reality, there’s more to it than that. Astrology is like having a key to the universe, helping to unscramble while also providing answers.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) in the early stages of your career? I have sacrificed a great deal— putting my personal life on hold quite a bit, and even forgoing friendships, as I built up my practice, because work comes first. So it’s been a rough ride, but well worth it.
Libbey Outlet Stores
Holly J. Egan, manager
205 S. Erie St. | 419-254-5000 | retail.libbey.com
What do you do? I lead in operations with the people of the Libbey Factory Outlet stores in Toledo, OH and Shreveport, LA. I’m responsible for developing and executing business strategy among my teams through sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction.
What’s your mantra? Hard work does pay off.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? A great leader should be a good listener, lead by example, possess strong integrity, communicate clearly, be encouraging, and recognize achievements.
How do you achieve work-life balance? Through being mindful of where I am, in the moment.
The Hair Depot
Angelina Pyle Matthews, owner and hair stylist
5431 Monroe St. | 419-885-8441
What do you do? I am the owner of The Hair Depot on Monroe Street. Although I’m a beautician and not a magician, I have been behind the chair making my guests feel beautiful over the course of 14 years.
What’s one thing every entrepreneur should ask themselves? “Are you crazy!?” If the answer is, “yes,” then you should be an entrepreneur!
What gender-specific assumptions do you encounter, and how do you respond to them? I think that there are gender-specific concerns regarding my age, and concerning my industry, some people perceive me to be young, as a woman owning her own business. I just smile and think to myself, “Wow, that person has a lot of self-growth to do!”
What challenges do you face in your industry, and how are you addressing them? We have to remember our worth and how hard we worked, through continuing education, to define a presence within this industry. Don’t ever let anyone take that away from you! With focus and passion, you can achieve anything.