VP & CEO of CSS Office Solutions Inc.
WPO Calgary II Member
How has being a WPO member helped your business?
Being in the WPO has helped worked through challenges and obstacles I've faced in my business. It has allowed me to gain clarity on how plentiful my business knowledge really is and the expertise I actually have. Every meeting I'm contributing and taking away valuable lived and learned lessons that aren't in any textbook, this is real life, these are the real challenges only few talk about. You can't replace that vulnerability and connectivity with any course or workshop. Having different perspectives and experiences shared amongst our group has proven extremely valuable for my business. I couldn't imagine what would have happened had I needed to face many past years’ challenges alone in solidarity, had it not been for my WPO Chapter.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?
I work in the services, sales and moving side of commercial office furniture so there have certainly been a couple challenges working as a woman in a male-dominated industry - I feel like I'm trying to transform an entire industry on my own some days. I've heard "we've always done it that way", "why do things have to change because you say so", "you don't do what I do so how would you know" and have been met with some unacceptable responses to company betterment strategies or initiatives. In saying that, I'm happy to acknowledge that CSS is considered a women-led business which we shout from the mountain tops every chance we get!
What’s your favorite WPO event you’ve attended? Why?
I'm fortunate to be involved in organizing our annual Calgary Chapters' retreat. It usually includes mountains, learning, time for personal and business strategic recharge and some incredible WPO bonding time. It is by far my favorite, but of course conference is always pretty amazing as well!
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
I truly believe everything happens for a reason, even if I'm cursing along the learning journey. You'll never know if you don't try or ask. Better to know than not know at all. Trust your intuition, your body is really reliable at giving you all sorts of cues, just pay attention to them!
What lesson have you learned that can you share with other women entrepreneurs?
I am most certainly stronger than I think I am on some days. There are people in my WPO group that have helped lift me up, they've allowed me to lift them up and we're riding on the clouds of support together! It is a beautiful thing to have an incredible group of support when being a woman entrepreneur, when you're doubting yourself or when you're celebrating an incredible milestone.