MBJ's 2014 Super Women in Business

As printed in the Memphis Business Journal

Memphis Business Journal is proud to honor 25 of the most accomplished and influential women in the Memphis area business community.

The third class of Super Women in Business includes top executives at large public companies, self-made entrepreneurs and nearly every corner of business in between.

In addition to their professional achievements, these women stand as role models for younger female executives and are community activists who spend personal time to make Memphis the best it can be.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always had an affinity for engineering because my dad was an engineer, but I did have a short-lived interest in journalism.

Who is/was your career mentor? I am so fortunate. I have so many “oracles” in my life whose counsel I seek regularly. The best I can do to narrow that list down to is these two. The first is my business partner, Steve Hill. He is the finest engineer I know, and I have learned much from him. He has been a great sounding board for me — he rarely answers my question directly; instead he asks great questions that lead me to my answer. The second is Dr. Jim Speakman, retired principal with EnSafe. His brain is brimming with great information and wise counsel regarding business strategies, and I have made it a personal goal to sponge off as much as I can. We have a standing date to meet monthly, and I learn something every time we meet.

Where would we find you on a Saturday? Spending time with my husband,Craig, and our baby boy, Lucas.

I am always fascinated by: How good God is to me. There are victories that come my way sometimes, and there is no intellectual explanation why, except God’s providence. I am fascinated by the doors He opens and the tools He provides for me to walk through those doors.

What’s something about you that would surprise people? I’m an introvert.

What is the best piece of business advice you have ever received? “You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish if you don’t listen to the ‘untruths’ your mind tells you.” My guidance counselor in high school told me that, and I try to remember it when my mind starts say things like, “Your firm is too small to compete on this project,” or “You are out of your league” or “What if you lose?” I combat those thoughts with a strong dose of eternal optimism and back that with hard work and perseverance.

What is your next big professional goal to accomplish? As our firm approaches our 10-year anniversary in 2015, my focus is on growth. I want to recruit folks that fit our culture and have a desire to grow with us. I have heard that your first 20 hires can make or break your organization, so I want to concentrate on hiring decisions that help “make” us.