WPO Member of the Moment: Zawadi Bryant

Zawadi Bryant
CEO, Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care

Industry: Healthcare
WPO Houston Chapter
WPO Member Since: 2017

How has being a WPO member helped your business?
Our WPO chapter meetings allow me to work out urgent and important items with a thoughtful group of peer advisors.  I have worked through stumbling blocks and expanded my network as a result of being a WPO member.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?
The biggest challenge I have is not having the network or being the “room where it happens”.  As a Black Woman, I’m not typically included as a decision maker.  Building my social capital and influence to grow my business has been my biggest challenge.

What’s your favorite WPO event you’ve attended? Why?
Our chapter WPO retreat to Napa was my favorite event.  I was able to bond with my amazing chapter members, relax and enjoy life.  Those were rare and precious moments I will always remember.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be afraid to fail or the word “no”.  Turn failure into lessons and “no” into not yet.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with people that support you, expand your knowledge and network.  Never stop growing.  If you are the smartest person in the room, change rooms.

Connect with Zawadi:
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PPP Forgiveness Applications Are Opening Up. Should You Apply?

By Brian Thompson, Forbes

It’s not often you get a chance to turn a loan into an outright grant, but that’s potentially one of the most attractive features of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Right now, banks are in the early stages of accepting PPP Loan Forgiveness applications. Fifth Third Bank started the process a couple of weeks ago. Bank of America sent emails last Friday saying that the Forgiveness Application is now available. The nations’ biggest bank, Chase, hasn’t started yet. Their website says they are continuing to “prepare to accept your Forgiveness requests.”

Banks opening up the process might be welcoming news for those of you eager to get these loans off of your balance sheet. But just because banks are taking applications, does that mean you should apply? A few words of caution before you do.

Read more here

50 Fastest Spotlight: Tierra Kavanaugh Wayne

tierra 50 fTierra Kavanaugh Wayne
CEO, TKT & Associates, Inc.
Louisville, Kentucky, USA

TKT & Associates, Inc. is this year’s number one 50 Fastest Growing Woman-Owned/Led Business #50Fastest, moving up from the number two spot last year. Founded by the late Tierra Kavanaugh, the Louisville-based company saw its revenue flourish and employment more than double in 2019. With Tierra’s passing this year, WPO and @amexbusiness honor her tenacity, determination, and tremendous success.

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory? 
When I no longer stressed about payroll.

To what do you attribute your success?
First and foremost God’s grace. Followed by perseverance and determination.

What is your biggest business need or ongoing business challenge?
Access to investment capital.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?Authenticity. Being my true authentic self at all times with our clients and partners.  Then empowering my team to leverage that same authenticity in building relationships with clients and partners.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business? 
Having a sound financial team (in-house) from the beginning.  Initially, we outsourced these types of critical functions.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
Indentify your core service or solution and focus on becoming these best provider of this service or solution.

Connect with TKT & Associates:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Mary Hensley and Julie Hashagen

mary and julie 50 fMary Hensley, President and Director of Marketing
Julie Hashagen, Director of Operations

Enspire Energy

Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
When we successfully negotiated a base agreement and term transaction with a large paperboard company that had several large gas consuming paper mills.

To what do you attribute your success?
Experience and knowledge in the industry, and always providing great customer service.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
Strong knowledge of the industry, and being proactive in the sales cycle.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business? 
Hire great employees, make them invested in the business, and always be responsive to your customers.

50 Fastest Spotlight: Asma Ishaq

Asma 50 fAsma Ishaq
CEO, Modere
Springville, Utah, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
When my daily sales grew beyond $10,000 per day in 2010, I realized it was a viable business and had extraordinary potential. My products now generate over $315,000 per day.

To what do you attribute your success?
I attribute my success to my experience in developing unique, proprietary, scientifically advanced products that enhance people’s quality of life. I am also a bit of a rarity in that I am a founder/CEO and have a background in science as well as business management. That combination, I believe, yields a clear vision and deep understanding of the business that creates value for the company as well as its consumers.

What is your biggest business need or ongoing business challenge? 
Our company’s greatest business need is to enhance our technology to accomplish an ambitious objective as part of our 2020 initiatives – to provide AI-based retention for customers.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
Our company has developed a disruptive social commerce business model that utilizes personal influence to create unique opportunities for emerging product categories, as well as a lasting impact in the health and wellness space. Our vanguard collagen products now hold a significant market share of their kind and have pioneered a proliferating market of collagen products in North America.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business? 
In hindsight, I should have made quicker decisions concerning talent. Experience has taught me the courage to make tough decisions about people, because I have realized how much more powerful and impactful I can be with the right people in my corner.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
Stay close to your customers’ needs by genuinely listening to their concerns and feedback. The businesses that will be successful are those that deliver on their customers’ needs. Those that will flourish are the ones that over deliver.

Connect with Asma:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Christine B. Meyer

christine meyer 50 fChristine B. Meyer
President, Battaglia Associates, Inc.
New Castle, Delaware, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
We realized that our company was moving toward fast positive growth when we received our Contractor of Choice approval from Exelon and were told that our management team was top notch.

To what do you attribute your success?
The teamwork we have experienced and the way our small group pulls together to complete a project safely is the number one reason we are successful. Our hashtag is #wegotthis.

What is your biggest business need or ongoing business challenge?
Our biggest challenge is finding qualified project managers. We are 100% WBE and would love to see more women in the field of construction, because there are so many opportunities.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
We believe in checking all pride at the door. Every person is willing to roll up his/her sleeves and do what is necessary to get the job done.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business? 
We wish we had more education in human resources and we had hired more managers.  That would have enabled us to enjoy the process and the accomplishments of the team.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
If you believe in your team and love what you do, you can accomplish anything. Staying positive is infectious!

Connect with Christine:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Brooke Castillo

brooke castillo 50 fBrooke Castillo
CEO, The Life Coach School
Allen, Texas, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
When we went from 2 million to 5 million in one year based on our industry growth and demand for life coaching.

What is your biggest business need or ongoing business challenge?
Hiring awesome people.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
Managing my mind and planning my time are what create success for me.  I keep my product line simple and my business process oriented.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business? 
I wish I would have focused on aggressive acquisition marketing earlier.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
Focus on aggressive acquisition and marketing as a priority.

Connect with Brooke:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Jenelle S. Coy

Jenelle Coy 50 FJenelle S. Coy
Managing Partner, Spero
Washington, D.C., USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
Making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2017!

To what do you attribute your success?
Our ability to remain data-first, master studying trends and pivot when needed.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
A consistent aptitude for learning is crucial to success. Learning from those around me, learning from my mistakes and learning from industry giants.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business?
I wish I would’ve stopped looking for a business partner sooner in the game. I finally learned at the end of last year that I don’t ‘NEED’ a partner to succeed – and that all of my team members are my partners in different ways.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
Have the attitude of a conqueror – but be open-minded. Those sound like opposites, but when you can learn to mesh the two is when you’ve tapped into something much greater.

Connect with Jenelle:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Stacey Rock

 

stacey 50 fStacey Rock
President, Solvix Solutions LLC
Marlton, New Jersey, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
We knew we had something special as we were winning bids with the government rather easily. We knew that we needed to build a team to allow our company to continue to grow and develop new opportunities as our new staff would maintain our business that we developed.

To what do you attribute your success?
Our success is attributed to our knowledge of our industry, as well as our close relationships with clients and key strategic partnerships with manufacturers and distribution partners.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
Our main strategy was to stay thin on overhead and provide the best value that can be provided. This has allowed us to be aggressive on our pricing, which has created great opportunities

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business?
I wish we’d started it sooner.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business?
Stay thin, don’t panic, and do what you believe is best.

Connect with Stacey:
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50 Fastest Spotlight: Phyllis W. Newhouse

Adeline Palmerston (1)Phyllis W. Newhouse
CEO, Xtreme Solutions, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

What was the defining moment when you realized your business was on a fast growth trajectory?
My defining moment was winning a contract that I did not expect to  win and not having the staff in place to execute the contract. I needed capital to invest in the talent.

To what do you attributes your success?
I think it’s my leadership style.  I lead, but I empower others to lead as well.

What is your number one strategy that accounts for your success in business?
My strategy is teamwork.  I think when you build teams, you are able to build the business. I think keeping your processes updated and your team productive helps, too.

What is one thing you wish you did differently in growing your business?
Ask for help early on. Give myself permission to make mistakes.

What is your one tip to others for growing a business? 
Don’t focus only on the  growth of the business – Develop your team, and the business will grow.

Connect with Phyllis:
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