Latinas on the Rise

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latinas

This rapidly growing segment of the population is gaining ground in business

There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit among Hispanic women, with more and more owning and operating businesses, both large and small. Latinas own more than 1 million businesses in the U.S., and 1 in 10 of all women-owned firms in the United States is owned by a Latina.

The Latina Entrepreneur

Latina owned businesses are also growing at a much faster rate than businesses for all women—over 200 percent versus 32 percent between 1997 and 2014. Over the past 17 years, the number of Latina-owned firms has more than tripled, employment has risen 85 percent, and revenues have more than doubled (106%)—in comparison with 68 percent firm growth among all women-owned firms, 11 percent employment growth among all women owned firms, and 72 percent revenue growth among all women-owned firms. In 2014, Latina businesses employed over 400,000 persons and contributed over $71 billon to the economy. Yes, Latinas are on the rise.

They are establishing businesses, taking on leadership roles and becoming ever more visible in every facet of business. Meet just a few of the influential Latinas who are doing remarkable things in the world of business today.


Geisha Williams of PG&E

latinas

Geisha Williams is the new CEO and president of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation. She is the first woman to take such a position at the company, and assumed the role just this month. Williams, a 55-year-old Cuban immigrant, is also the first female Hispanic CEO of a company as large as PG&E.

“We applaud Geisha Williams for breaking a glass ceiling in corporate America,” said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. “This signals a new beginning for the utility industry. It shows that Latinas too can earn command of Fortune 200 companies.”

Williams played a key role in handling the planned shutdown of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and oversaw PG&E’s shift to getting nearly 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources.


Carmen Castillo of SDI International

Carmen Castillo is the founder, President and CEO of SDI International Corp., one of the largest certified minority- and woman-owned Procurement Outsourcing Organizations in the world. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions (tail-end) centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay.

These programs are designed to manage large numbers of small suppliers handling non-critical/non-catalogue transactions that are often untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance and costs. SDI has distinguished itself as a provider of robust process efficiencies, driving repeatable hard cost savings through cutting-edge technology, risk assessment, quality policies and a dedicated team, fostering long-standing business relationships with its Fortune 500 customers.


Rosa Santana of Santana Group

Rosa Santana is the founder and CEO of the Santana Group, a group of companies providing innovative outsourcing solutions to organizations across all industries. Based in Texas, Santa is an entrepreneur and business leader who, for over 35 years, has been a driving force within the U.S./Mexico staffing industry. She is recognized internationally as a human capital solutions expert.

Santana is a fearless leader who harnesses her passion to successfully create and develop companies through impeccable client service and innovative business solutions. As a visionary trailblazer, Santana’s unwavering integrity has established her staying power and success throughout the course of her remarkable career. Santana Group companies include Integrated Human Capital, Workforce Management Mexico, Diversa, Forma Automotive, and Oveana Global Business Services.


Gaby Natale of AGANARmedia

A six-time Emmy nominee—and 2015 winner—mediapreneur Gaby Natale is the host of SuperLatina, the syndicated TV talk show. She is also the co-founder and president of AGANARmedia, a content development and grassroots marketing company with a focus on Hispanic audiences.

Natale is one of the few women in the entertainment industry who owns not only the rights to her TV show but also a television studio. This unique situation has allowed her to combine her passion for media and her entrepreneurial spirit.

In the digital world, Gaby has developed her own online fan base, with over 40 million views on Youtube (growing at a pace of 1 million per month) and 25,000 Twitter followers @superlatinashow.


A Powerful Force

With Latina-owned businesses are the fastest-growing business segment in the United States, we will continue to see these strong women grow and thrive, contributing significantly to our nation’s economy. The power of their combined efforts is a force to be reckoned with!

Sources: nwbc.gov, bls.gov, doe.gov, ushcc.com, gabynatale.com

You’re most likely to be single at 40 if you have one of these jobs

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People can be workaholics. Sometimes work becomes so hectic that people can block out everything else in their life—including love—in hopes of making a successful career for themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, being single longer is a trending topic in today’s society. There are plenty of benefits of staying single and marrying later in life.

Being financially independent, creating a successful career for yourself, and building a strong network of friends and coworkers are just a few of the things one can focus on if they’re not wrapped up in a committed relationship.

That’s not to say those things are impossible if someone is married, either. There’s just a lot of time that tends to be invested in those serious relationships that could be used for other things by single people.

Still, the thought of one being single later into their life made us wonder—what types of work are these people in that has them so wrapped up? We looked through some census data to see which jobs are most common for single people at age 40.

Top 10 jobs where you’re most likely to be single at 40

  • Bartenders: 74%
  • Tile installers: 73%
  • Food servers, nonrestaurant: 69%
  • Tour and travel guides: 65%
  • Parts salespersons: 64%
  • Personal-care workers: 63%
  • Flight attendants: 61%
  • Veterinary assistants: 61%
  • Postal-service mail workers: 60%
  • Food batch makers: 60%
  • Many of these professions seem to fall within industries with the highest turnover. A possible explanation for this could be that workers are so concentrated on their craft and making their careers as stable as possible that they cannot fit a serious relationship into their personal life schedule.

    A lot of these positions also offer the opportunity to travel for work, too, so people may believe that they’re better off traveling solo than bringing a partner along.

    Finally, a fair amount of the jobs listed have a commission aspect to them. There may be incentive to work longer hours with the opportunity to be paid more, again decreasing the opportunity workers have to enter a serious relationship.

    A logical reason why so many bartenders tend to remain single is that the majority of their income comes from their patrons’ tips—which can be increased with a little friendly flirtation. That’s definitely not a bad thing. Bartenders in some of the bigger cities are raking in six figures annually.

    Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

    How to decide if your social circle needs an upgrade in 2020

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    Group of diverse co-workers standing around talking

    You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, motivational speaker John Rohn once said. If you’re not happy with your current situation at work, you may want to take a closer look at your inner circle.

    “We have to be really good at [deciding] who we allow into our life,” says Ivan Misner, author of Who’s In Your Room: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life and founder of the global business network BNI. “Imagine your life is one room and the room had one door. The door could only let people enter, and once they’re in the room, they’re there forever.”

    It’s a scary metaphor, but it’s true, says Misner. “Think about a person you let into your life and then had to let out because they were toxic, difficult, or angry,” he says. “If you can remember the emotions and what they did, they’re still in your head. If they’re in your head, they’re still in your room.”

    For this reason, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people from the start—or they’ll be in your “room” for the rest of your life.

    “When you realize that this happens, you can get better at screening out people before they get in and dealing with the ones you already let in,” says Misner.

    Letting people in

    Opening the door to the right people means getting clear with your values. “If you don’t know your values, you don’t know where to start,” says Misner.

    Start with deal breakers—behaviors that you hate, such as dishonesty or drama. Look for people who demonstrate these behaviors, and don’t let them into your social circle.

    “Pretend your mind has a doorman or bouncer,” says Misner. “Train your doorman—your subconscious and conscious mind—to identify people with these behaviors. By understanding your deal breakers, you’ll be better able to start understanding your values.”

    A common mistake people make when letting others in is weighing too quickly “what’s in it for me” and disregarding the things that go against their values. When we make decisions based on short-sighted gains, we also choose values that don’t resonate with who we are.

    “In physics, resonance is a powerful thing,” says Misner. “It’s a phenomenon that occurs when an extra force drives something to oscillate at a specific frequency.”

    To understand how it works, imagine two pianos sitting side by side in a room. “If you hit the middle C key on one piano while someone presses the sustain pedal on the other one, the middle C of the other one will vibrate on that second piano, without [it] being touched,” says Misner. “That’s resonance. People are like that.”

    When you make a decision based on what you think we can get instead of your values, you invite values that don’t align with yours to resonate in your life.

    “Be mindful about creating relationships with resonance and get your values down,” says Misner. “Companies often recognize the importance of knowing your values, but people don’t always think about them. Values should be at the foundation of everything you do. Otherwise, you’ll create the wrong room.”

    Dealing with people you’ve already let in

    If you have people in your circle that are creating a bad environment, decide if they have to be there or if you can exit the relationship. If they must be there, it’s time to draw a line in sand.

    “Evaluating your social circle means recognizing that someone may be in your life but their baggage needs to stay out,” says Misner. “Draw a line in the sand by saying that you’re not letting their behavior continue around you.”

    For example, if you have a coworker who demonstrates toxic behavior such as frequent gossiping or complaining, establish boundaries. Say, “Starting now, if you start talking badly, I will walk away. I respect you and will talk to you again, but only if you can have a mature adult conversation.” Then follow through. It may take a while for the person to understand the new boundaries and rules, but once you draw the line in the sand, you can eliminate the toxicity from your circle.

    “Stand firm,” says Misner. “Part of that is learning how to say ‘no.’

    Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

    What Women Want At Work

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    Smiling young African American businesswoman leaning on a table in an office lounge working on a laptop

    Generation Z is set to make up over a third of the workforce in 2020, and the oldest of the generation are settling into their careers, or are already moving into their next roles. At Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women, we took a look at what Gen Z women expect from employers, managers, and companies as well as their general opinions about the workplace and their careers.

    A surprising and significant takeaway from the survey was the value, or lack thereof, that Gen Z places on long-term, professional relationships. Most notably, over half of the survey respondents have never had an internship and almost a third think you don’t need any internship experience to land a job. And once landing the job, over half (55%) of respondents said that they plan to stay or stayed in their first full-time position for less than four years, and almost a quarter (24%) reported planning to stay or staying for less than a year.

    A crucial part of establishing yourself as a professional in an industry is building a strong network, which is typically something that takes time and requires more long-term professional relationships. Not to say that a person can’t build a network while they’re hopping between jobs or even working for themselves. Many individuals can prove this to be true. But it does suggest a major change in the future of career development for this new generation of the workforce.

    There’s a well-known statement that 80% of jobs are never posted, meaning that having a robust network may help you get a leg up on these “hidden” opportunities and give you a better chance at accessing them. Yet, from our research, we found that the number one way Gen Z women reported looking for their most recent job or internship was through an online jobs board, followed by their college or university jobs board.

    Not to discount the value of a network, the third and fourth most popular ways respondents found their positions were through friends and connection referrals, but when it came to researching companies, Gen Z women still rely on digital sources like the company website (69%), social media (49%), and company review websites (44%) as their main sources of information. To sum it up: Gen Z women don’t believe it’s who you know, but rather it’s what you know that matters.

    While the notion of changing jobs one or more times in the span of a few years is a foreign concept for some individuals, it may actually stand to benefit this new generation of workers. Overwhelmingly, throughout the survey, we found that the aspect of any job that respondents value most is the compensation. Sixty-three percent of female respondents said the most important quality they look for in a company is that it pays well. When asked if they could only have one thing at their next or first full-time job, 53% of respondents said they want a high salary. This may also explain why over half of respondents have never had an internship where the pay is very low or, sometimes, even nonexistent.

    Perhaps changing jobs is the best way to get that desired high salary. Research has shown that when individuals stay in their jobs for too long they may actually lose money, as compared to if they changed jobs. When you accept a base salary for a position, you can only receive raises based on a certain percentage of that salary. If you’re a master negotiator, you might be able to get the raise you want every time, but for many others, the only way to get a 10% or 20% (or more) pay increase is to change jobs where you can ask for a higher starting salary.

    It will be interesting to watch as Gen Z continues to enter the workforce and make up a larger portion of working individuals and see how their opinions change, or if they stay the same. Members of this generation are only beginning their careers, so they’re here for the long haul–although maybe not too long.

    Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

    Retired US Navy Commander and Harvard MBA Begins New Career with Floor Coverings International

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    Kris Piotrowski stands outside in front of her work vehicle

    Kris Piotrowski’s background couldn’t have positioned her any better for her “second career.” The fact that she’s following in the legacy of her father is only icing on the cake.

    The 48-year-old Piotrowski, a retired U.S. Navy Commander who holds a Harvard MBA and also had a successful stint working in Corporate America, launched operations as a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Mesa, AZ serves clients throughout Mesa, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Tolleson, Avondale and Goodyear.

    “I do think that my military experience, coupled with my leadership and business training from Corporate America, is a definite asset to my business,” said Piotrowski, a Scottsdale resident who spent four years after her military career as a Facilities and Logistics expert. “Additionally, I have more than 10 years of facilities/flooring experience and am organized and driven.”

    Piotrowski was further inspired to pursue small-business ownership when she recalled her father’s trade when she was a youngster. “I have always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “I grew up with a father who was a cobbler and supported his family by making and repairing shoes. When I received my MBA, I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur and it was an inspiring moment in my career.”

    In Floor Coverings International, Piotrowski found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

    “I was inspired to select Floor Coverings International over other franchisors based on its culture, franchisee support, initial investment, and of course, being able to set my own schedule,” Piotrowski said. “Floor Coverings International was head and shoulders above the rest.”

    ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

    Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2020. 

    For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com

    And to find your closest location, please visit floorcoveringsinternational.com.

    What kind of questions should you ask at the end of a job interview?

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    group of people sitting outside office waiting for an interview

    It’s a scenario many of us have found ourselves in. You’re nearing the end of a job interview and finally, you can begin to relax a little. Despite the nerves, you’ve come across well and answered all the questions confidently – and with a little bit of luck, you may just be offered the position.

    Before you can run out of the room, however, the interviewer wants to know if you have any questions for them.

    It might be tempting to say no, so you can leave as quickly as possible – but asking questions can be of huge benefit when it comes to interviewing for a job.

    Firstly, it’s important to remember that interviews should always be considered a two-way street. Yes, the recruiter is interested in finding out if your skills and abilities are suited to the role in question. But a job interview is also a chance for you to work out if this is the right job for you – and if you are going to fit in well at the company.

    “As candidates, we can often get caught up in the whole process, particularly as we try to remember the answers we’ve prepared but it’s equally as important to take time towards the end of the interview to ask your own questions,” says Row Davies, HR business manager at the recruitment firm Macildowie.

    While you’re preparing for your interview and imagining the kind of questions you might be asked, it’s also useful to think about any queries you might have too. However, don’t ask an interviewer anything you can find out easily yourself, either online or on the company’s social media channels.

    “It’s crucial for you to assess whether the company is the right fit for you, as just like any relationship, both need to benefit and feel comfortable with the partnership,” Davies says.

    “Not only does the process allow you to show your enthusiasm for the company, asking questions also gives you the opportunity to check your goals and values are aligned with the business. You don’t want to be a year or more down the line and find that the company is heading in a direction that you don’t want to or perhaps can’t follow.”

    So what kind of questions should you be asking as an interview candidate?

    Davies believes there are three key questions that should be on every job applicant’s list.

    “The first, is asking the interviewer ‘is there anything regarding my experience you would like me to expand upon?’. Not only does this show that you are engaged, it also provides you with the opportunity to further emphasise your strengths and how you believe these will be an asset to the company’s objectives,” she says.

    The second is about learning and development – and specifically, whether the company is actively investing in their employees. After all, you want to know that you’re going to move forward in a job.

    “Ask, ‘how do you support the professional development of your employees?’. Answers to this question will give you an insight into how the business will support you as you progress up the career ladder,” Davies says.

    “It also shows the interviewer you have aspirations and a drive to succeed in the organization.”

    Finally, it’s a good idea to find out more about the company’s environment and whether they look after their employees.

    “I would encourage any of my candidates to ask the interviewer, ‘what do you like most about working for the company?’ This is great for building a personal connection with the interviewer, giving them the opportunity to share their personal views and the passion they have for the company,” Davies says.

    Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

    5 times it makes sense to include your high-school job on your résumé

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    young waitress in a restaurant taking an order on a notepad

    Whether it was bagging groceries, manning the fast food drive-through, or babysitting, many of us had jobs in high school. Entry-level roles give us our first workplace experience and help shape our work ethic. But do they belong on a résumé?

    According to a report by recruitment software provider iCIMS, 70% of recruiters identified past work experience as being more important than an entry-level applicant’s college major. But there is not a one-size-fits-all approach for knowing how far back to go on your résumé, says Amy Warner, iCIMS director of talent acquisition.

    Think about what you want to convey to the employer,” she says. “Highlight the roles or skills that are relevant.”

    Career experts often recommend going back about 10 years on your résumé. Here are five times when adding your part-time positions to your résumé could be helpful within or even after that timeline:

    1. If the experience is relevant

    If the role is relevant and you can connect the dots to the job you’re applying for, keep it on your résumé, says William Ratliff, career services manager at Employment BOOST, a professional résumé writing and career services firm.

    “For example, a job you had bussing tables or serving coffee in college won’t help much if you’re applying for a marketing management role five years out of school,” he says. “If you’re fresh out of college with no job history, those positions can help showcase your work ethic and customer service skills, but they lose relevance as soon as your professional career begins in earnest.”

    Be strategic in how you present your customer service-oriented roles. Ratliff recommends searching job descriptions for skills and traits that crossover, like team leadership, problem-solving, financial reporting, relationship building, or anything you else you can feasibly connect to the positions.

    “Focus your résumé’s content on those skills, how you used them, and the concrete result of their application,” he says. “That way, your résumé will include the right key terms while illustrating how you benefited your former employers in those roles.”

    2. If the job was in the same industry

    Listing high school and college jobs can be helpful if they demonstrate you’re familiar with the industry, says Dr. Wanda Gravett, academic program coordinator for Walden University’s MS in Human Resource Management program.”Listing that early experience could advocate for your foundational knowledge and learning from the bottom up,” she says. “Coupled with your education, this might be a good sell and get you in the door for a low- to mid-level position.”

    Candace Nicolls, senior vice president of people and workplace at Snagajob, an hourly job marketplace, agrees. “If you’re applying for a role that’s related to an hourly job you once had, list it,” she says. “If you want to get into merchandising, list your retail experience. Mention your restaurant experience if you want to work at their corporate headquarters. Nothing teaches hustle like hourly jobs.”

    3. If you were promoted

    If you started washing dishes and worked you way up, include your experience, says Louisiana restauranteur Chris McJunkins. “If you show growth, such as starting as a busboy and making it to manager, it is something I would want to show,” he says. “Your future employer would see that you started here and were respected enough to keep getting promoted.”

    McJunkins started in the restaurant business at age 15 bussing dishes and now owns his own independent restaurant, eight Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux locations, and one Cantina Laredo. He says if you can do restaurant work, you can do anything.

    “You deal with people on every single level, he says. “If you’re in management, you’re dealing with employees of all different educational and financial backgrounds. And you’re dealing with all levels of people with customers. You learn to communicate with people.”

    4. If you want to demonstrate work ethic

    High school or college jobs often demonstrate your level of motivation, says Dena Upton, vice president of people at Drift, a conversational marketing and sales platform. “These jobs can be a great indication of your work ethic and drive—particularly if you are early in your career,” she says.

    For example, if you were a manager of a restaurant when you were in college, it can speak to leadership experience. Or if you were a retail salesperson, it can demonstrate your customer service abilities.

    If you had a part-time job and participated in extracurricular activities, this can be especially telling, says Upton. “You shouldn’t shy away from showcasing things like sports achievements or volunteering, as not only do they paint a fuller picture of who you are and what makes you tick,” she says, “but they can be a great indication of your leadership, time management, and teamwork skills.”

    5. If you plan to talk about the job in an interview

    Employers often ask behavioral-based questions during an interview, such as “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.”

    Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

    The evolving face of female entrepreneurship

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    Black female business owner standing in building looking out large window

    With more women embarking on the entrepreneurial journey today than ever before, female business owners no longer fit a single mold. Whether women turn to entrepreneurship to have more flexibility or more control over their future, the growing number of small business owners is playing a positive role in the overall health of the economy by creating jobs, increasing exports and fostering innovation. In fact, women are starting companies at higher rates than ever before, with the number of women-owned businesses increasing by 45 percent from 2007 to 2016.

    To better understand the motivations female entrepreneurs have for starting a business and the challenges they face, Northwestern Mutual conducted a survey of entrepreneurs whose companies made at least $50,000 in annual revenue.

    Key findings that emerged from the report include the varying attributes and aspirations of female entrepreneurs, their motivations for starting a business and differing investment styles.

    The four personas

    The research found that entrepreneurial women generally approach their business in one of four ways: Dreamers & Doers, Family Legacy Entrepreneurs, Passionistas and Lemonaders.

    • Dreamers & Doers are drawn to the attractiveness of a new idea; they see opportunities in the market they want to expand upon. Mainly consisting of Caucasian women, these entrepreneurs are more likely to be single and unrestricted by family responsibilities.
    • Family Legacy Entrepreneurs have inherited their business or want to provide employment to family members. These entrepreneurs are mainly Asian and Hispanic women and more likely to be married and caring for family members. Of all groups analyzed, Family Legacy Entrepreneurs were the most substantial in size.
    • Passionistas are focused on doing what they love. They are not necessarily concerned with business growth, but ultimately aim to support the lifestyles they desire. This persona is predominantly Caucasian women, and many are likely to be caring for family members. As a result of feeling conflicted between work and family, these women tend to have created their business as a way to achieve a better work-life balance.
    • Lemonaders created their businesses because they were unemployed or under-employed. Entrepreneurship was a viable option for them, and some of their companies grew to a substantial size. These entrepreneurs are primarily African American women and tend to be younger than other female business owners.

    Entrepreneurial motivations

    While female entrepreneurs cited many reasons for starting their own business, the desire to make a difference often factored into their decision. Research found that women are more likely to start companies that make a social impact than men (43 percent versus 33 percent).

    Other top reasons for starting a business included being their own boss (69 percent), flexible working hours (60 percent) and controlling their destiny (58 percent).

    Self-perception and behavior

    The study also looked at how female business owners think and behave. For instance, women are more likely to lose sleep over business concerns than men (71 percent versus 61 percent). Those concerns include how to maintain and improve profitability, keeping up with the competition and coping with irregular income. Due to their greater family obligations, Family Legacy Entrepreneurs had the highest business concerns.

    As a result, women launching businesses are more likely to take preparatory steps than men, which includes determining their business goals and consulting a professional about financing. Women who identified as Dreamers & Doers took more preparatory steps than any other persona, while African American women were the most likely to consult a professional advisor.

    Investment styles

    Another key survey finding indicated that female business owners put more time into their investments. Because women tend to be more risk averse than men, they are more likely to prioritize business goals, seek opinions and value professional guidance when making investment decisions. For instance, women who identified as Passionistas stated they often seek advice from professionals even if they do not go along with it.

    Female entrepreneurs noted that business and financial planning was important to the continued growth of their business. In fact, female business owners were almost 10 percent more likely to revisit their financial plan regularly. Since many female entrepreneurs are supporting family members, ongoing financial planning helps them create the security they need and align their personal goals with their business objectives.

    Looking ahead

    As more and more women make the entrepreneurial leap, staying informed and seeking professional guidance can help female entrepreneurs improve the state of their company and run a more successful, enduring business.

    Author: Ashlee Bridge, Financial Advisor

    Retired US Navy Commander and Harvard MBA Begins New Career with Floor Coverings International

    LinkedIn
    Kris Piotrowski poses outside in front of her work vehicle

    Kris Piotrowski’s background couldn’t have positioned her any better for her “second career.” The fact that she’s following in the legacy of her father is only icing on the cake.

    The 48-year-old Piotrowski, a retired U.S. Navy Commander who holds a Harvard MBA and also had a successful stint working in Corporate America, launched operations as a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Mesa, AZ serves clients throughout Mesa, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Tolleson, Avondale and Goodyear.

    “I do think that my military experience, coupled with my leadership and business training from Corporate America, is a definite asset to my business,” said Piotrowski, a Scottsdale resident who spent four years after her military career as a Facilities and Logistics expert. “Additionally, I have more than 10 years of facilities/flooring experience and am organized and driven.” Piotrowski was further inspired to pursue small-business ownership when she recalled her father’s trade when she was a youngster. “I have always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “I grew up with a father who was a cobbler and supported his family by making and repairing shoes. When I received my MBA, I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur and it was an inspiring moment in my career.”

    In Floor Coverings International, Piotrowski found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations. “I was inspired to select Floor Coverings International over other franchisors based on its culture, franchisee support, initial investment, and of course, being able to set my own schedule,” Piotrowski said. “Floor Coverings International was head and shoulders above the rest.”

    ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

    Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2020. For franchise information, please visit www.flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com

    Fire Destroys Working Wardrobes Headquarters in Irvine, CA

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    Working Wardrobes floor displays professional career attire for men and women job seekers

    Non-Profit Facility Providing Work Attire and Training to over 105,000 Job Seekers since 1990 Loses Building and Donation Inventory to Fire

    ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (February 3, 2020): On Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at 5:50 a.m., a fire broke out at the Working Wardrobes headquarters located at 1851 Kettering Street, Irvine, California. It was several hours before firefighters could access the building. Everything has been destroyed by this fire and we are working closely with the Orange County Fire Authority and Irvine Police Department for more details.

    “We are absolutely devastated by this catastrophic loss, the heart of our operations is gone and so is 30 years of history,” said Jerri Rosen, Founder and CEO, after the fire. “We are grateful and relieved to report that no one was hurt or in the building at the time of the fire. Now our job is to get back on our feet so we can serve our clients very quickly and we aim to do just that with the help of our remarkable community.”

    STATEMENT OF FACTS
    ● Approximately 100 firefighters were at the scene
    ● OCFA Public Information Officer Capt. Tony Bommarito was onsite
    ● No injuries were reported
    ● Working Wardrobes has been in this 22,000-square-foot building since 2016
    ● Everything has been destroyed, including:
    ●Donation Center: Large warehouse filled with racks, bins, and boxes filled with thousands of donations. Including jackets, pants, shirts, blouses, ties, shoes, jewelry and additional accessories. Home goods, office supplies, etc.
    ●Wardrobing Center filled with quality clothing and accessories for men and women in a department like setting.
    ●Career Center: Computer labs where clients worked to research and apply for jobs online, training rooms and IT computer lab. Plus, the VetNet team and program for veterans, SCSEP program for seniors, all client services for women, men, young adults, and all wardrobing services.
    ●Corporate Office: Entire operations of Working Wardrobes

    We are determined to work with our employees, volunteers and the Orange County community to rebuild and continue to fulfill our purpose of helping men, women, young adults and veterans overcome difficult challenges so they can achieve the dignity of work.

    NEXT STEPS FOR US
    Financial donations are what we need the most to rebuild and continue to provide services to veterans, seniors, and unemployed get back into the workforce. To make a financial donation, please visit: workingwardrobes.org/donate-money/

    Our friends at Goodwill have stepped up to provide temporary space for our offices, wardrobe departments and donation center in their Fitness Center at 1601 E St Andrew Pl. Santa Ana, CA 92705.

    Donations can be dropped off beginning Tuesday, February 4, from 10 am to 2 pm. We are so grateful for their support and partnership. Much will change for us over the next few months as we start our journey over, but we know the strength of our friends and supporters will buoy us. We need volunteers to help get our new temporary home set up.

    PLEASE NOTE: Donated clothing must be in great condition, clean and ON HANGERS.  

    Please contact KathiS@workingwardrobes.org or call (714) 210-2460. We will release a list of our needs for donations soon, please contact (714) 210-2460 for more details.

    MORE ABOUT WORKING WARDROBES:
    Working Wardrobes is Orange County’s foremost career development nonprofit, championing on behalf of at-risk men, women, young adults, and veterans to help them achieve the Power of a Paycheck ® . The organization was founded in 1990 by CEO/Founder Jerri Rosen. This is Working Wardrobes’ 30 th anniversary year. Over that time, with the help of our Orange County community, we’ve been able to help more than 105,000 people overcome barriers to employment and achieve the Power of a Paycheck ® .

    Make the Most of Your Meetings!

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    profeesional woman speaking to staff in a conference room

    Typical managers spend nearly 40 percent of their work hours in meetings, not to mention the time spent preparing (and recuperating).

    A survey of business leaders showed:

    -33 percent of time spent in meetings is unproductive.

    -75 percent of the respondents said it is “almost essential” to have an agenda, yet they use them only 50 percent of the time.

    -Only 64 percent of meetings achieve their intended outcome.

    A disciplined approach to making the most of meeting time will help to maximize team effectiveness.

    Set an objective:

    Answer these three questions.

    What, ultimately, do I want to achieve by this meeting?

    What, specifically, has to be accomplished by the end of this meeting?

    When the meeting is over, how will I know whether the meeting was a success?

    Use your answers to define your meeting’s objective. Then make participants aware of the objective up front. Make sure the key people attend are the key people and are the ones with the knowledge and experience needed to accomplish the meeting’s objective.

    Arrange for the proper facility: Little things (how the room is arranged, the room temperature, or whether there’s coffee or not) can make a tremendous difference in the success of a meeting.

    Write an agenda There are numerous ways to accomplish this task. Have a planning committee set the agenda, or send out a pre-meeting survey asking people to list one to three topics they want to discuss. When writing an agenda, put the most important items at the beginning. The agenda should be distributed far enough in advance so participants can adequately prepare for the meeting. The agenda should state the date, location, start, and finish time, topics to be covered, the expected outcome (information only, discussion, or decision).

    Make the Most of Your Meetings Advice for achieving successful business meetings time allotted to each topic. Studies show that productivity decreases sharply after about an hour and a half of meeting.

    If you must have a long meeting, provide adequate breaks.

    Keep the meeting on track Consider using a facilitator or getting a team member to serve as timekeeper. If a facilitator is not used, the meeting leader is responsible for keeping the meeting on course and adjourning on time. You could also assign meeting roles to facilitate progress such as chairperson, note taker, timekeeper, or observer.

    You might also allow the participants to suggest agreements for the meeting before the meeting begins, like those listed below.

    – One person speaks at a time
    – No side conversations
    – Everyone participates
    – Listen as an ally
    – Set time frames and stick to them
    – se a consensus decision-making model

    If, as the leader, you notice that only a few are contributing, you can direct a question to others, such as “What do you think about . . .?” Should discussion stray from the agenda, you should ask, “Is this subject relevant?” and have the group determine if it should be added to the agenda or saved for a future meeting.

    Summarize the meeting In closing, the leader should summarize the group’s accomplishments, review action items (including who, what, and when) and, thank everyone for their participation. The summary of the meeting should be appropriately documented and distributed to team members and key stakeholders.

    Reprinted with permission: The Lindenberger Group, LLC.