Costco, Sept 09
Springboard Consulting LLC
Race level: Runner
What is your elevator pitch?
The disability community is now the largest minority market in the world; in the U.S. it surpasses the Hispanic population by 5 percent. Springboard Consulting LLC works with corporate America on how to successfully market to this large, loyal segment of the population and how to support them in the workplace.
Why did you start your own business?
As the vice president of marketing at MetLife, I had created a dedicated division to market to families with special-needs children on how to plan for the future. In just three years it became a very successful area of the company. Other organizations started contacting me to do similar work for them. It got me thinking what a huge business opportunity this was and no one was currently serving it. I also realized there was so much more to do to benefit the disability community and corporate America, and I was the perfect person to do it, so I left MetLife and started my own company. It has been and continues to be an amazing ride.
How long have you been in business?
I began actively working Springboard in March 2006.
What was your vision?
To be seen as the leading expert in the U.S. on working with corporate America (globally) to successfully market products and services to people who either have a disability or who have a child or other dependent with special needs, and to support this segment of their employee population through a variety of diversity, work life and human resources initiatives. My vision has not changed, but has now expanded to include working with the federal government, nonprofits and academia.
What (or who) is your source of inspiration?
I have two sources of inspiration.
1. My two daughters, both of whom have special needs. Everything Springboard does in some way helps or will help my daughters or others like them. They are incredible and deserve to have a company such as Springboard in their corner.
2. Others who have gone before me. I read everything I can and attend as many functions as possible to learn about and meet highly successful entrepreneurs.
How are you balancing your business and personal life?
I am not sure that it is about balance, but rather about interconnectivity. For instance, I feel very comfortable talking with clients and my employees about my kids or spouse or needs to be with them, and I encourage them to do the same. I also feel very comfortable talking with my kids and spouse about work. Everyone should be able to bring their whole selves to work and then back home again. I felt and acted the very same way as a corporate officer as I do as a business owner.