Meet the Ladies Whose Friendship Began With an Umbrella.

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Kerri GORMAN and Karen FOY

Founders Gorman Foy

Kerri GORMAN and Karen FOYFeatured Ladies Kerri Gorman and Karen Foy knew that starting a company with a friend was risky, but they’ve made it work to the tune of $1.7 million in annual revenue. Since meeting on a rainy day at the University of North Texas, the co-eds forged a best friendship that has successfully weathered the uncertainties of business ownership. After leaving their corporate jobs in 2001, Kerri and Karen launched Gorman Foy, Inc. – a printing and promotions business that now includes graphic design and copywriting, in addition to many other services. Gorman Foy has been profitable since its first full year in 2002 and boasts an impressive 90% client retention rate.
Immediately before launching Gorman Foy, Kerri was in sales and visuals for an interior design showroom in the Dallas World Trade Center. She was also a buyer for Harold’s, a chain of upscale women and men’s apparel stores and spent nearly ten years in the gift and gourmet business. Karen was an outside printing representative for The Odee Company – a commercial sheet-fed printer, who also specialized in digital imaging and specialty finishing. Previously, she was a sales representative for ABCO, where she sold offset printing, digital imaging, tabs and binders.

Despite successful careers, Kerri and Karen weren’t feeling fulfilled. “I wasn’t happy where I worked,” Kerri says. “And I kept hearing Karen talk about printing.” Even though neither woman admits to entrepreneurial aspirations, they decided to start a company together.

However, Gorman Foy wasn’t the ladies’ initial attempt at entrepreneurship. “Our first go at it was K&K Solutions, a custom gift basket business which Kerri and I started on the side of our careers,” says Karen. “It was craziness, outlandish hours and a lot of hard work.” Unfortunately, the company didn’t make any money, but they had loads of fun!

“It was a lot of stress, but also a lot of laughs, and I think that’s when we realized how much our personalities complement each other when it comes to business,” Kerri says.

That’s when the idea of Gorman Foy began to brew. “Our personalities and our backgrounds in printing and buying seemed like a perfect blend,” says Karen. “It just took a last nudge from our husbands for us to make that jump and we’ve never looked back!”

When pondering a name for their company, Kerri and Karen had the foresight that their business was going to grow and progress. Not wanting to be pigeonholed due to a business moniker, Karen and Kerri purposely named the company Gorman Foy utilizing “Printing and Promotions” as a tagline only, allowing for changes as their business evolved.

Like many small businesses, Kerri and Karen faced a challenge with start-up capital while trying to establish Gorman Foy. “We approached banks for a loan but were treated like little girls,” says Karen. So, each woman put in $20,000 – Kerri using a personal credit card and Karen borrowing money from her dad, which she paid back with interest.

In July 2001, with a portfolio of clients that Karen managed during her many years in commercial printing sales, the best friends launched Gorman Foy out of Karen’s house, which served as their office for the next nine months. Nine years later, Gorman Foy has progressed with the industry and its founders are proud to describe themselves as print, promotions and graphic communication experts. “We dare to call ourselves ‘enthusiasts,’ because we are truly passionate, even fanatical, about what we do,” Karen says.

“The printing business has changed over the past two to three years due to the economy. We added web design a few years ago to evolve our services,” Kerri says. “When we started, 80% of our business was printing and today it makes up 40%.”
Kerri and Karen know first-hand that owning a company with your BFF can be a great experience, but there are also logistical issues. “We can’t be pregnant at the same time or take vacations together,” says Karen. “We’ve had to switch off having kids.”

Both women are wives and mothers to two children. “I got pregnant nine months after we launched the company,” Kerri says. “The balance has gotten easier, but early on there were a lot of late nights and bouncy seats in the office.”
Today, Gorman Foy has five employees as well as several freelancers and boasts an impressive client list that spans a variety of industries.

What we learned from Karen and Kerri: “Being in business with your best friend makes for a real interesting combo.”

Live It
Karen: “You can have a career life and personal life. It’s OK to want both or just one. Don’t let society’s standards deter you from doing what you want.”

Keep It To Yourself
Kerri: “Try to do it on your own without getting any investors involved. Have a vision for what you want.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Meet the Lady Whose Passion For Shopping Fashioned Her Business

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Corinne PHIPPS

Founder and Commander-in-Chic Urban Darling

Corinne Phipps, Urban Darling

Founded by Featured Lady Corinne Phipps, wardrobe styling firm Urban Darling has gained significant momentum and recognition in fashion consulting circles and established itself as the go-to expert styling source. Since Urban Darling’s launch in 2006 with its signature Closet Audit, Martha Stewart’s Real Simple, CNN.com, SheKnows.com, The View from the Bay, E! Online, MyStyle.com, NBC Bay Area, iVillage, The Fashion List, HotMomsClub and MSNBC have all taken notice. Corinne, a pioneer in offering wardrobe stylists an innovative licensing opportunity, is one of San Jose’s “Top 40 Under 40” up-and-coming businesswomen.

A corporate refugee who never felt comfortable in a structured work environment, Corinne always found herself in administrative positions rather than the creative roles for which she yearned. “I must have held 15 to 20 jobs before Urban Darling and finally realized I wasn’t a cubical kind of gal,” she says. “So, I began to investigate whether being my own boss was for me.”

As Corinne considered entrepreneurship, she consulted a business intuitive who simply asked her what she liked to do. “A bit embarrassed, I sunk my head and replied, ‘I really like to shop,’” recalls Corinne. The intuitive’s immediate response was, “I hate to shop!” At first, the future Urban Darling founder thought her predilection for retail purchasing was being dismissed. To the contrary, she received encouragement.

“I was 34 years-old and had no idea that there were people out there who worked as wardrobe stylists, image consultants and personal shoppers because I never needed help like that,” she says. “At that moment, the concept for Urban Darling was born.”

Before starting her company, Corinne was a top-selling advertising representative for a local San Jose magazine. She stayed on for eight months before committing full-time to Urban Darling. “Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband who told me to just go for it,” says Corinne. Today, Urban Darling is privately owned and invested, but Corinne plans to pursue venture capitalists and angel investors for future growth.

The name Urban Darling materialized while Corinne was listing adjectives that described the company she was creating. “I wrote urban and darling in that order, and when I read the word pairing out loud I just knew.” Corinne immediately checked to see if urbandarling.com was taken. “When I saw that the domain was available, I lost my mind!”

Urban Darling’s focus is to help clients maximize their existing wardrobe by creating new outfits from the clothes they already own and to help them smart-shop for items that fit their wardrobe, personal look and the image they want to project. Corinne says, “We call it Purge, Merge, Splurge.” Philanthropically, Corinne is actively involved with local Career Closet chapters and will debut her non-profit Darling Project next year.

In 2009, Urban Darling became the first fashion consulting company to license its brand to stylists across the country. “I saw an opportunity to assist women and men with breaking into the wardrobe styling industry,” she explains. To date, she has thirteen licensees from San Francisco to Philadelphia and envisions reaching 150.

However, this LWL Incubator Intensive graduate’s decision to license the Urban Darling brand didn’t always go smoothly. “Last year I brought on someone who wasn’t the right fit for the company and didn’t realize it until after the agreements were signed,” Corinne freely admits. “I learned the hard way not to do anything with contracts before consulting my lawyer.” As a result, she implemented a more discriminating screening process for Urban Darling’s licensees and remains pragmatic. “Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake,” Corinne suggests. “Just learn from it and move on.”

To maximize the momentum Urban Darling gained with its new licensees, this summer Corinne relaunched the Urban Darling website with a complete overhaul. “I was tired of conforming to what everyone else’s idea of a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and image consulting was,” she says. “I told my business manager and web designer that I wanted to invigorate my company and blaze my own trail.”

And blaze she did, with a home page photo of a fashion-distressed woman holding a blowtorch to her closet. Urban Darling’s new interactive website leverages the company’s 60,000 unique page views with a blog and new online magazine. With a focus on the person, the fun and the individual side of style, Urban Darling has gained a loyal following and enjoyed rapid growth.

What we learned from Corinne: “Never put your business in a box. Always let it grow.”

Join In

“Even if there are already companies out there doing what you love, do it anyway.”

The Thrill of it All

“It’s not easy, but launching a business is exhilarating.”

Hearing Voices

“Many new female entrepreneurs talk themselves out of things because they listen to outside influences. Be tenacious and don’t let anything get you down.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who’s Helping Oprah Produce a Ten-Week Webinar

Elizabeth LESSER

Co-Founder, Omega Institute


Elizabeth Lesser, Omega InstituteFeatured Lady Elizabeth Lesser, a former midwife and birth educator, was ahead of her time when she launched Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in 1977. Today, Omega is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. Elizabeth worked with many eminent thinkers of our time, including Zen masters, rabbis, Christian monks, psychologists, scientists, and an array of noted American figures (from L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson to author Maya Angelou) and discovered that by combining psychological, religious, and healing traditions, everyone has the ability to quench their spiritual thirst.

A senior advisor at Omega, New York Times best-selling author, and host on Oprah Radio, Elizabeth was speaking at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference New York location on November 8 – 9, 2010.

Omega Institute offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. With the mission to help people awaken the best in the human spirit, Elizabeth’s organization helps people uncover their inner power, grace, joy and goodness in a multitude of ways. “We’re holistic, which means we understand that there are many dimensions to a human life,” she says.

A student of the Sufi master Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan since 1971, Elizabeth was captivated by the eastern philosophy movement beginning in the United States. “I remember when the Beatles went to India. I was very interested in that,” she says. Omega Institute grew out of Elizabeth and her first husband’s (Stephan Rechtschaffen, M.D.) association with Khan and the community of young people who studied with him in the 1970s. Despite being in their early twenties with no business experience, Khan put the couple in charge of Omega. “We didn’t know anything, we weren’t business people,” admits Elizabeth.

Elizabeth on Oprah

Watch Elizabeth lesser on Oprah’s Soul Series Video

Omega Institute’s concept quickly took off and within four years the organization expanded from rented facilities to its current site, a former children’s camp in Rhinebeck, New York. Renovating and developing Omega’s new location was somewhat slow due to cash flow and the condition of the facilities. Financed on a wing and a prayer, Elizabeth explains, “My husband and I were fortunate in our own naïveté and the times. Had we known the stress and the challenges with finances, we probably wouldn’t have done it.”

Today, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people annually to its workshops, conferences and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York and around the world. The organization employs 100 full-time people, which triples seasonally from April to October, and operates with 300 speakers as part of the faculty.

When Elizabeth co-founded Omega thirty-three years ago, yoga, meditation, natural foods and acupuncture were considered voodoo-like by the mainstream. “Back then, the concept of holistic studies was very fringy stuff,” she says. “Our faculty and staff were just so thrilled to have a place to share their services.”

“Now you can go into any hospital and they’ll have massage, Chinese medicine, therapy and a prayer room,” Elizabeth says. “You can find a yoga studio on any street in any-town, USA.” She believes that holistic studies’ infiltrating our culture is a good sign. “Diversity of thinking and healing traditions from around the world are good for us. The movement itself has evolved enormously and it’s been a thrill to be part of it.”

Although Elizabeth and her co-founder accepted the challenge of starting Omega without any business experience, they grew it into a successful, thriving company. “Omega is a non-profit, but we’ve always acted like it was a business,” Elizabeth says. “For the first twenty-five years, we never fundraised a penny. All our capital was generated from housing and fees. Now we’re using our non-profit status to raise money for specific projects and a capital campaign.”

Elizabeth is the author of  The Seeker’s Guide and Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.

Her recent work includes helping Oprah Winfrey produce the 10-week webinar for Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth.

What we learned from Elizabeth: “I love combining business with my purpose in life.”

Be True
“In the business world, karma is instant.”

Lead with Spirit
“I like to think that if you’re interested in spiritual growth, you’ll be a better leader.”

Make it Happen
“I’m such a self-made person and not a big reader of business philosophy, but I live by Gandhi’s edict, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.
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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Wants You to French Kiss Life

If you can’t wait for Dream It! Launch It! Live It! to get answers to your launching questions, join our first TweetChat Tuesday October 19th at 9 PM EST!
Our experts (and maybe a DLL celeb speaker!) will be online to chat, dialogue, dream and inspire.

Tell us what you want to learn at these amazing events; ask your pre-launching questions; network via chat with other attendees; and get ready for the launch of your life.

The hashtag is #LWLChat and here is more info.


Danielle LaPorte

Founder, White Hot Truth

Danielle LaPorte

Featured Lady Danielle LaPorte admits to having a drive to innovate and a heavy addiction to getting results. In 2009 she founded White Hot Truth, which has been called “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.” An Amazon.com best-selling author, inspirational speaker, business strategist and former business executive, Danielle’s wildly popular digital book, The Fire Starters Sessions, helps entrepreneurs rock their career with integrity, audacity and their truest strengths.

Danielle will ignite your business flame as a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference Seattle location on November 8 – 9, 2010

Several years ago, Danielle ran her own communications company and was an executive director of a Washington-based think tank. She was a partner in a thriving lifestyle media company, featured in Elle, Body + Soul, Vogue Australia, Better Homes & Gardens, Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Huffington Post and Entertainment Tonight, as well as the lead author of Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design, an Amazon.com best-seller. Oprah’s producer was calling and Danielle was being courted for her own show. Then she bagged it all to do things her way.

Though Danielle sought to inspire authenticity in others, back then she felt her life had become very unauthentic. “I built a big website and media presence based on the Style Statement brand, and then went super rogue,” Danielle says. “I walked away and it was one of the toughest yet most blessed events.”

When Danielle decided to ditch the establishment she knew it meant breaking the rules but didn’t care what anyone else thought. “I don’t have a university degree, so there was no formal box for me to get out of and I didn’t have to retrain myself,” she says. “My perspective comes from my unique acumen. I went through some pretty grisly business experiences; from financial, acts of betrayal and criticism to becoming disconnected from my own self.”

Doing things her way meant launching White Hot Truth. Why? Because, in Danielle’s words, “self-realization rocks.”

Through her website, Danielle offers inspiration, provocative reality checks and thought-stimulating musings. She is a writer, sought-after speaker, strategic and intuitive business adviser and designer of a line of sassy-wise note cards that profess “french-kiss life,” “great, full” and “you shine.” Her most recent creation, The Fire Starter Sessions, is a blazing hot commodity these days.

In just twelve weeks, Danielle conceptualized, developed, and produced The Fire Starter Sessions (which incidentally pulled in $11,000 in pre-orders during the first eleven hours she offered it – without any discounts or promo codes). Promising results-driven inspiration, The Fire Starter Sessions are a combination digital book-meets-video seminar designed to help solopreneurs ignite their ideas and quickly gain momentum with their businesses. “It’s high-minded inspiration combined with hard-core pragmatism,” explains Danielle. “It’s as much about consciousness and feeling good as it is about cash and results.”

Danielle is adamant that a person’s most valuable currency is what comes naturally, in other words, if something isn’t easy, then don’t do it. “You can’t override your feelings or ignore your core desires and expect to create something sustainable,” she says. “If it feels right, it’s right.” Danielle admits that when she let go of the activities that weren’t second nature to her, it freed up her creativity – becoming more innovative and productive. “I don’t do anything that doesn’t light me up,” she says.

In addition to living and working her natural passion every day, Danielle believes that White Hot Truth has been successful because, intrinsically, she had no choice. “It’s depressing not to make things happen. Results feel great,” she says. “There’s nothing more enthralling than to get an idea in the shower and ship it six weeks later.” For Danielle, it’s life affirming and sexy to make things happen.

Danielle’s vision for White Hot Truth is to continue inspiring others to live according to their desired feelings, rocking her creative sovereignty and living her life in adventurous ways – all while doing this in style and, of course, cashmere.

What we learned from Danielle: “Honor the ideas that feel good and trust that the brilliance is going to come.”

Inner Voice
“As women entrepreneurs, we tend to keep our mouths shut, invalidate our feelings and make ourselves wrong. Don’t ignore your instincts – you KNOW.”

Get a Yes
“Master the capacity of the ask. I got the yes that changed my life.”

It’s OK to Stop
“Analyze when things aren’t going right and know when to stop soldiering on.”

Danielle will ignite your business flame as a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference Seattle location on November 8 – 9, 2010

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
* Reach your Launch Potential by taking advantage of these SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES and online resources from Ladies Who Launch

Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Wants You to Get a Second Opinion

Lisa OZ

Founder and President – Ozworks, LLC; writer, actress, producer, and co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah Radio, Sirius and XM – LisaOz.com

Lisa OzFeatured Lady Lisa Oz considers herself a professional dilettante. An actress, screenwriter, producer and frequent co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah & Friends XM radio telecast with her husband, Dr. Mehmet Oz, she is also the founder and President of Ozworks, LLC, a media investment consulting firm and directs Pine Room Pictures, a production company specializing in family-friendly media. Lisa focuses much of her life on health, well-being and spirituality, and co-authored three New York Times best sellers, including YOU: The Owner’s Manual series. A health advocate and Reiki master, Lisa is a spokesperson for HealthCorps, the organization her husband founded to work with schools to prevent childhood obesity. Lisa and Mehmet, married for 22 years, have four children, Oliver, Daphne, Zoe and Arabella.

Lisa was speaking in New York on November 8-9, 2010
at Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Lisa attended Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary. A pre-med major while in school – her father and brother are both surgeons – Lisa dreamed of being an actress, which was not a favorable vocation in the eyes of her family. “Katharine Hepburn was an alumna of Bryn Mawr and she spoke at my graduation,” Lisa recalls. “She was so smart, talented, independent and really headstrong. She motivated me.”

Growing up, Lisa’s mom also inspired her. “My mother was brilliant, she was very much her own person,” she says. “I have six siblings, but my mother always maintained her own life. She earned two advanced theology degrees, was a minister and a local politician.”

Lisa eventually enrolled at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, which led to her appearing in a few television pilots, commercials and movies during her decade-long acting career. However, Lisa’s occupation was never number one in her life. “My priority has always been my family,” she says. “I was never willing to go to Los Angeles for pilot season, or be part of traveling shows.” However, her exposure the industry gave her the insight to later spearhead the show Second Opinion with Dr. Oz.

US_Lisa_Oz_1As someone who never pitched a television show to a network before, Lisa believes that one of her best moments was when she “had the guts” to approach executives about her idea. “I felt strongly that my husband could make a big difference,” Lisa recalls. The series ultimately launched on the Discovery Channel and, with the support of a network executive who was also Dr. Oz’s Harvard roommate, aired in 2003 – 2004. The show helped viewers wade through confusing and contradictory medical advice, while combining both non-traditional and modern medicinal practices.

For Lisa, the show was a result of her wanting to spend more time with her husband. “I dragged him into the media so we could be together,” she explains. “The message was patient empowerment and playing an active role in your own well-being.”

The YOU: The Owner’s Manual series resulted from the discussions on Second Opinion. “After the show went off the air, we had all this information, so Mehmet, Dr. Mike Roizen and I decided to put it into a book,” Lisa says. “Usually, medical books are either dry and technical, or are filled with heart-wrenching stories. My vision is to make health and medicine accessible, fun, approachable and easy to comprehend.”

Lisa was heavily involved with the first book and the diet book, and thrives in creative outlets. She feels strongly that doing what you love is more important than making money. “I knew that I’d wither in a nine to five environment, so I went where my skills lie,” she says. “I do what I enjoy the most, what I love and am most passionate about.”

“We have friends who are in their careers for the money. There never seems to be enough to justify the misery. Be happy to wake up to your role, if not, then switch jobs,” Lisa says.

“Being in the entertainment industry working on films and writing was something I really enjoyed. I would do anything, work as a production assistant or a grip, for no money because I loved it!”

She also advocates that it’s important to make a difference in the world while having fun. “We need a higher purpose. It needs to be fulfilling for us as well as fill a need in society and on the planet,” Lisa says. “Think big and do good in your venture.”

What we learned from Lisa: “Do what you love. Even if you’re in a job you dislike, find an aspect of it that you enjoy.”

Health Plan
“You hold the power to enhance your health – making even simple changes can have such a positive impact on one’s health. Value your body more. Buy a pedometer and count the steps. Make it fun.”

Vison Quest
“What ever you’re doing, look twenty years into the future.”

It’s All Good
“Most women juggle a mix of responsibilities and neglect taking the time to just stop and take a gratitude break. Good or bad, it’s relevant to say ‘thank you’ to everything that happens.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.
* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Can Tell You What’s Up Down There

Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

HawaiiAtlantaClevelandSeattleNew York

Calling all launchers!

Ladies Who Launch invites you to our biggest event of the year, the ONLY global leadership conference for women – Dream It! Launch It! Live It! It’s the best way we know how to spread the launching love everywhere. Join us as we reinvent entrepreneurship with women who have Dreamed It, Launched It and are now Living It! Forever transform yourself and your business by joining us in one of our FIVE events taking place nationwide this November! Register NOW for Maui, Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle or New York.

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Dr. Lissa RANKIN

Founder and Pink Director of Mojo – Owning Pink

Lissa RankinWhen Featured Lady Dr. Lissa Rankin experienced what she dubbed “Her Perfect Storm” in January 2006, it threw her into a tailspin. Already unhappy at the busy San Diego Ob/Gyn practice where she was a physician, Lissa quit her job and moved her family to the country to live a more balanced, creative life. Today, Lissa is the Founder of Owning Pink, a thriving online community and social network she launched in 2009 that helps redefine health from a “lack of illness” to vitality, wholeness and owning all the parts of your authentic self. Earlier this year, Lissa opened the Owning Pink Center in Mill Valley, California and her new book, What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend comes out in September. In addition to being a doctor and author, Lissa is a professionally represented artist. She is also one of the featured speakers at Ladies Who Launch’s Seattle Global Conference on November 7-9, 2010.

What was Lissa’s “Perfect Storm?” Imagine if all the following events happened in a two week period: giving birth, the family dog dies, your brother goes into liver failure from an adverse reaction to an antibiotic and your father passes away. Combine the shock of those occurrences with Lissa’s already growing dissatisfaction with her job and general unhappiness and you have the makings of a major life change. As Lissa describes it, “I lost my mojo.”

“In the busy group practice, I was double-booked every 15 minutes, which gave me 7.5 minutes per patient, which I didn’t like,” she confesses. “I’m a nurturer and the system was hardening me. I vowed I’d quit but I was the breadwinner for my family.”

What's Up Down There So, Lissa took a “Pleap” (a pink leap of faith) and decided to leave medicine completely. She and her husband sold the house, liquidated their assets and moved to the San Francisco area with their daughter. Lissa then spent two years focusing on her art and writing. While she enjoyed this time away from the medical field, Lissa still felt a need to serve others.

“You can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling,” she says. “I wanted to go back to practicing medicine, but do it on my own terms.” Those terms meant integrating all the parts of her fragmented life – creativity, health, relationships, spirituality, sexuality and interaction with the planet – to finally become whole.

In the fall of 2008, Lissa had the idea for Owning Pink, but back then it was for a teen gynecology website. She joined the four-week Ladies Who Launch Incubator Intensive Workshop in Monterey to gain clarity, support, inspiration and momentum about her concept. Ultimately, Owning Pink was launched in 2009 as a blog chronicling Lissa’s journey back to herself.

“All my coaches told me, ‘You need to be more focused. You need to pick one topic and become an expert.’ But I was just writing a blog and I had no idea where it would go,” Lissa says. “I did feel that if I just got out of Owning Pink’s way, it would show me what it was to become.”

Within three months of going live, Owning Pink gained hundreds of thousands of readers all looking to get their mojo back, live authentically, serve others and be loved. Lissa had also returned to practicing medicine. “I got offered a job in Marin County to join an integrative medical center, which I did for a year,” she says. “I learned that health is more than the wellness of the physical body. It also involves vitality of the mind, body and spirit.”

Lissa relaunched the Owning Pink website and opened the Owning Pink Center in 2010. The facility gave Lissa the freedom to practice the kind of medicine that she wanted to provide. The wellness professionals at the Owning Pink Center include a naturalopathic doctor, acupuncturists, fertility specialists, nutritionists, psychologists, life coaches and a Reiki master.

Described as “a community of women dedicated to celebrating all things feminine, successful, sexy and pleasurable,” Owning Pink draws not only those looking to rediscover their mojo, but also wounded healers. “It’s interesting that I started attracting a lot of doctors. They’re looking for a way to heal the profession,” Lissa says. “Those San Diego doctors I worked with lost their mojo, but they don’t know it.”


What we learned from Lissa: “Have faith in yourself and put everything on the line.”

Mission First
“Money is always the hard thing, but when you put your mission first, that works. If your mission is pure, the money will come. Money can’t be the driving force.”

Business Direction
“Let your business become what it was meant to be. Get out of your own way and let your business guide you… I created Owning Pink, but it’s not mine. The community owns it.”

Live and Love
“Live fully, and love ourselves and our girly parts.”

Apply to Be a Featured Lady

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
* Reach your Launch Potential by taking advantage of these SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES and online resources from Ladies Who Launch

Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Led Her Company to Its Highest Revenue Ever

Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

Hawaii • Atlanta • Cleveland • Seattle • New York

Calling all launchers!

Ready to connect and network with the largest worldwide community of women who are reinventing what it means to be a successful entrepreneur?
Registration for Dream It! Launch It! Live It! in FIVE cities opens next week!

Come away completely inspired by women who’ve dreamed it, launched it and are now living it!
Hear from powerful speakers including Joan Lunden, Molly Ringwald, Lisa Oz, Lisa Price, Martha Beck and more.

Join us at one of five locations nationwide – it will be the launch of your life!

Register Now

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Lisa Terrenzi

CEO, Diskeeper Corporation

LisaA recognized authority in the software industry, Featured Lady and Diskeeper Corporation CEO Lisa Terrenzi has led her company through its growth and global leadership position as innovators in computer performance and reliability. Lisa’s long history with the company includes managing its largest strategic alliance deals and overseeing the software engineering and development divisions. She took the helm as the CEO of Diskeeper Corporation in 2007 and has since led the company to the highest revenue in its twenty-seven year history.

Diskeeper Corporation was founded in 1981 with the objective of developing products that make computer systems faster, more reliable, longer lived and energy efficient – all with zero overhead. Lisa has experience in almost every division of the company including sales, marketing, treasury, business development and overseeing the software development and R & D divisions. “I have successfully taken Diskeeper Corporation from a mostly North American company to a global company with offices in China, Europe and North America as well as representation in Australia,” she says.

Prior to joining the company, Lisa was a marketing specialist. “I found the transition into Diskeeper Corporation rather smooth as I was intrigued with what a unique and special company it was and is. “I found not only the owners, but also the individual members, to be more of a team and a family than a large, unapproachable corporation,” Lisa says.

“What made me join the company was the promise that we would help the IT world actually be more productive at achieving their goals,” Lisa says. “This was not just another software company that only cared about making a fast buck and would be gone quickly. I would actually be able to help corporations around the globe increase their productivity and thus make them happier and more effective.”

Lisa stayed because she contributed to achieving the company’s goals. “Success story after success story from our customers confirmed that our software worked,” Lisa says. “It actually freed up IT Managers across the globe for what would have otherwise been hours and hours of endless time spent on doing what our software does while they are sleeping!”

Her affinity for the technology field stems from its constantly changing environment. “The players in this field never sleep. They never give up,” Lisa says. “They are always innovating. You have to keep a step ahead of the game to stay in it! Nothing stays the same. That motivates me!”

In addition to the dynamic environment of her industry, Lisa stays motivated by helping people. “I am very much a people person and a social person. I like to be able to contribute towards goals that will make a positive impact,” she says.

A female CEO in a field dominated by men, Lisa admits her role can be challenging. “I have always tried to view it as ‘how do I succeed as an executive’ and not so much as being a woman in an executive role,” she says. “I believe the challenges I’ve run into are similar to what anyone else would have had to overcome working their way up the ranks within the company.”

“Conversely, there have been challenges, going into board rooms or conference rooms filled with all men or even mostly men,” says Lisa. “Because the technology field is a constantly changing and evolving field, I have found that the path has been more open to me.”

Lisa believes her best Diskeeper Corporation moment was leading her team to the highest revenue in the company’s twenty-seven year history. “This was a real morale builder for the group and showed them that we could do anything that we put our minds to as long as we worked together an effective team,” she says.

Moving forward, Lisa envisions Diskeeper Corporation continuing to produce innovative technologies that make global computing more efficient, as well as increase productivity and cost effectiveness for their customers. Lisa says, “Additionally, I see an increase in our technologies being utilized by OEMs, ODMs and ISV’s to make their products more effective and efficient for their users.”


What we learned from Lisa: “Always deliver what was promised.”

Enjoy the Day
“One key point is that I always strive to have fun in whatever it is that I am doing, which has a tremendously good effect on my family and business life.”

Keys to Success
“I believe that productivity alone should be the key measurement in determining the worth of an executive to his company and their customers.”

Staying Power
“What has allowed me to remain in the field and excel is my ability to persevere and to get things done once I start them.”

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This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Whose Best Bet was Outsourcing Gift Sets.

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Tara Abraham

Founder and CEO, Accel, Inc.

Tara Abraham, Accel inc.

The next time you buy a beautifully packaged gift set, think of Featured Lady Tara Abraham. Recognizing that there was a lack of quality, affordability and timeliness in retail packaging suppliers, Tara launched her own company, Accel, Inc. Fifteen years ago, Tara started with two people and now boasts up to 1200 associates during peak retail time – July through December. Known for its limitless innovation, unsurpassed efficiency and flawless assembly, Accel, Inc. is a certified woman-owned business headquartered in Lewis Center, Ohio. Among its numerous honors, Accel, Inc. was honored with one of Columbus Business First’s 2010 Corporate Caring Award and was the recent recipient of Limited Brands 2009 Partners in Supplier Diversity Award.

Tara originally wanted to become a fashion designer but once she began her college studies she had a realization. “It became very apparent I couldn’t draw,” Tara reveals. Despite her lack of sketching skills, Tara knew she still enjoyed the business side of fashion and shifted her major to fashion merchandising. Tara was eventually recruited by Bath and Body Works in Columbus, Ohio, a retail Mecca also home to Limited Brands, Inc. World Headquarters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Big Lots.

While at Bath and Body Works, Tara worked in product development where her responsibilities included fine fragrance and home fragrance products. As an Associate Product Manager, Tara soon realized that the outsourced sets came back late and poorly assembled. She struggled to find a supplier that could provide the quality packaging, style and reliable distribution the company required. Tara knew there was a huge need for a quality contract packaging company – one that was reliable, affordable, delivered on time, and met client and consumer expectations. In direct response to this void, Tara combined her retail merchandising experience with an eye for fashion and launched Accel, Inc. in 1995 with her husband, David, and mother, Shirley.
Accel
Accel, Inc. offers all the services a company could need, such as hand and/or automated assembly, shrink wrapping, packaging engineering and design, manufacturing of thermoforms, prototyping, sequential kitting, sourcing and new product creation.

“We specialize in the complete supply chain and offer our clients an end-to-end innovative packaging solution,” explains Tara. “We design for manufacturability, to streamline costs and to bring products to market fast and flawlessly.”

To finance the start of Accel, Inc., Tara approached her dad about borrowing $27,000 from her parents to open a 1,200 square foot location. A fellow entrepreneur, his response was, “That sounds like a nice little business for you.” Since its beginning, Tara’s nice little business has grown by double digits, expanded into a 600,000 square foot facility and established joint ventures globally. She also paid her parents back in six months.

Tara initially worked part-time on Accel, Inc. for six months before committing to it full-time. Her first client was The Limited, and for over a decade, Tara’s company has been the creative expert behind the design and assembly of the Limited Brands’ gift sets you find at Bath and Body Works.

“Limited Brands was my first client and I am proud to say they are still a client today,” says Tara. “I feel blessed to have this relationship.”

Tara knows first-hand how important customer relationships are, especially after one of her clients took a significant piece of their business to Mexico with only three months’ notice. “I felt if I was closer to the customer, I would’ve seen it coming and been able to plan for it,” Tara says. “It’s so important to be in tune with your clients.”

Today, Accel, Inc. serves more than two dozen clients across eight industries in the United States and Mexico. Tara’s best Accel, Inc. moment was winning the 2009 Partners in Supplier Diversity Award from Limited Brands. Currently, 73% of Tara’s employees are minorities, representing 12 different countries and speaking 15 different languages. Tara explains, “We are extremely proud of the welcoming and friendly environment we’ve created for our multicultural staff.”


What we learned from Tara: “Be accountable for everyone who reports to you…”

A Rep to Protect
“When establishing your reputation, be diligent, confident and innovative. Then guard it.”

People and Passion
“A passion for innovation, cost effectiveness, quality and on-time delivery is the foundation for our success. This passion can only be delivered through our people. Accel, Inc. fully believes in its people and the talents they display.”

Establish Value
“Maintain a client-centric approach. The more information you learn about your customers’ goals, vision and strategy, the more valuable you become.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the lady who Oprah called “the next big thing in fashion.”

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Tory Burch

Founder and Creative Director, Tory Burch

Tory BurchFeatured Lady Tory Burch launched her namesake company in February 2004 to fill a void in the fashion industry. By offering an affordable, accessible, luxury lifestyle brand, Tory innovated the marketplace. Today, her collections are available at Tory Burch boutiques,  and in 450 select department and specialty stores worldwide. Celebrity fans include Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman and Hilary Swank. As a nod to her innovative brand, in 2008 Tory was honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America with what is considered the Academy Award of fashion – Accessory Designer of the Year.

Tory’s retail days began when she was a sophomore in high school and worked at Benetton folding sweaters. Later, her first job in fashion was as an assistant for the designer Zoran doing everything from sales to press relations. “It was an incredible experience,” she says. “And I learned so much.”

After years working in the fashion industry and as a customer, Tory noticed there was a gap in the market for clothes that were not only beautifully made, but also accessibly priced. She wanted to create classic American sportswear that was luxurious and sophisticated at a more attainable price point. So, in 2004 Tory started Tory Burch out of her apartment and opened her flagship boutique in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood.

Tory also wanted customers to feel like they walked into her living room rather than a store, so she bucked the popular minimalist retail decorating trend by adorning her boutique with bright orange walls, green carpet, vintage chandeliers and white couches to give the location a unique and luxurious feel.

The next year was big for Tory Burch. Brand recognition for her company changed overnight after Tory appeared on Oprah as “the next big thing in fashion.” That day, toryburch.com received eight million hits. Oprah also wore Tory’s tunics on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine, in June 2005 and July 2006. Tory was also acknowledged for her store’s design aesthetic when Fashion Group International awarded Tory Burch the 2005 Best New Retail Concept for going against the minimalist retail design concept.

Over the next several years, Tory added stores in major United States cities, began international distribution with prominent retailer Harvey Nichols in London and Dubai, and established her retail presence in Milan, Tokyo and Manila.

The Tory Burch collection is influenced by many forces including Tory’s childhood on a farm near Philadelphia and her mother and father’s unique sense of personal style. “My parents Buddy and Reva are my greatest inspirations,” she says. “They were such an effortlessly chic couple and so gracious and welcoming to everyone they met.”

Photography, art, films, travel and the work of interior designer David Hicks drive Tory’s designs, as well.

storeInspiration at Tory Burch also comes from team members. “Many people on our team have been with the company since we started it out of my apartment six years ago,” she says. “We keep each other motivated by coming up with new ideas and finding inspiration everywhere. It’s very collaborative, and people feel like they are an integral part of something special.”

“We have an extraordinary group of people who all have different opinions and experiences. This diversity makes us stronger, more collaborative and pushes us to come up with great ideas, business-wise and design-wise.”

The goal at Tory Burch has always been to build a lifestyle brand that customers return to season after season, year after year. “Every season we think about the collection as a lifestyle – what do women need and what do they want?” she says. “We think about that across all our categories.” Within her collections, Tory strives to offer special, versatile pieces that women can make their own.

After six years in business, Tory Burch is poised for more expansion. “We have managed our growth, making sure that everything was done at the right time and for the right reasons,” says Tory. “We want to grow worldwide slowly and strategically, while always maintaining our quality, prices and relationship with the customer.”

When Tory started her company in 2004, she wanted to create a foundation to help other women achieve their dreams. “Last year, we started the Tory Burch Foundation with our partner Accion USA to financially empower women,” Tory says. “Through microfinance, we enable women to start, sustain and grow their own businesses. They in turn can help their communities, revitalize local economies and support others.”


What we learned from Tory: “Have confidence in your unique idea and be tenacious.”

Will to Win
“My parents and family instilled in me a strong work-ethic, the confidence to do anything and a desire to follow-through.”

Customer Commitment
“We work hard to maintain a high level of design at a price that is attainable.”

Good Times
“One of the most exciting moments was the first time I saw a woman wearing something from our Tory Burch collection, I was so excited and flattered.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Meet her: She built $20 million business using down to earth loyalty.

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Carol Craig

President , Craig Technologies, Inc.Carol Craig

Remember Charlie, Kelly McGillis’ character from the movie Top Gun? She was the no-nonsense civilian flight instructor who kept the jet pilots in line at the Miramar Naval Air Station. Meet Featured Lady Carol Craig, a real-life Charlie whose role at the Naval Air Warfare Center was the integration of Global Positioning Systems and Cockpit Display development for several Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. Today, she is the founder, president, CEO and CFO of Craig Technologies; a multi-million dollar federally certified 8(a), service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned business. Incorporated in 1999 and on track to earn over $20 million in revenue this year, Craig Technologies specializes in systems engineering, project management, infrastructure installation, software design and engineering, research and development, modeling and simulation, training and a myriad of custom technical services.

Carol always wanted to be in the military, even earning a ROTC scholarship, but decided to go the traditional college route earning her BA in Computer Science from Knox College and a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois. Carol’s love of computers emerged when she was a 13 year-old middle schooler with free time. Instead of chasing boys and getting into trouble, she enrolled in computer classes at a local college. It was then Carol “fell in love with computers.” They kept her focused and on track.

After graduation, Carol worked for the Department of Defense where she developed software systems for aircraft cockpits, acting as Charlie for the Naval Air Warfare Center – Indianapolis. However, she still hadn’t realized her military dream. Carol knew she wanted to do more than just design flight systems for military planes – she wanted to be a part of aviation in the military.

Carol received a commission through Aviation Officer Candidate School, became a Naval Flight Officer and was the first woman aviator in her P-3 Orion squadron. While with the Navy, Carol specialized in Anti-Submarine and Subsurface Warfare and earned her MS in Electrical Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

Unfortunately, a botched surgery on her injured knee abruptly ended Carol’s military career and she was discharged as a disabled veteran.

Prepared to follow her husband’s military career, Carol intended on returning to the Department of Defense; however, location and lack of that type of work stalled her plans. While working in Jacksonville Florida for a large transportation company, a friend suggested she incorporate “just in case” and in 1999 Craig Technologies was born. Within a few months, she unexpectedly began receiving requests for consulting work. To avoid involving investors, Carol used personal finances and maxed out eight credit cards to launch her company, which was in growth mode with planned losses for several years. “Business is all about opportunity,” she explains. “I didn’t know I had a winning idea. I just loved what I was doing and had confidence in my decisions.”

After her husband, Captain John W. Craig, left the Navy in 2003, the couple moved to Merritt Island, Florida. After years of learning the world of government contracting and focusing on securing contracts for government programs in aerospace and defense, her business took off. Carol’s unique dual perspective of being an engineer as well as a former naval flight officer served her well.

She also discovered government set-asides for women-owned, minority-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small-businesses and used them to her advantage. Carol “always operated the business as if we were in a recession,” reinvesting her company’s profits back into the business, which allowed for more strategic growth and kept Craig Technologies debt-free. Today, Carol still owns 100% of her business.

By 2008, Carol had offices in Cape Canaveral, Pensacola, and Jacksonville, Florida, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Canton, Illinois, where her parents run the administrative office. Carol admits the company could have grown faster, but having a son born with a rare genetic disorder, Prader-Willi Syndrome, forced her to refocus her energy.

“I never wanted to miss a school outing or event because I had a meeting, “Carol says. “Family stays number one.” Husband John now serves as Carol’s “Special Projects Officer,” as well as flying for JetBlue Airways and pursuing his MBA. Their children are Danny, 8 and Gillian, 7.

Craig Technologies grew from one person in 1999 to 200 employees in 2010, and Carol plans to expand the business to 500 employees over the next five years. The company’s vision is to be the government contractor of choice with demonstrated employee-centric delivery of quality customer-centric results.

“The business today is about loyalty and relationships,” Carol says. “I always believed that family, friends and associates are much more important than revenue.” In fact, most of Craig Technologies’ business comes through word-of-mouth. Carol attributes her firm’s success to her and her team’s networking skills and ability to retain long-time customers as the company grows.
Carol was named 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of Women Engineers and selected as 2009 Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Administration – South Florida District. She is a founding member and supporter of the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR), an international non-profit organization dedicated to funding research and finding treatments for the syndrome and is also active on over ten boards in the local community including Junior Achievement, March of Dimes, and the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. Carol is pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical computer engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering at the University of Central Florida.

What we learned from Carol: “Second guessing wastes precious time. I never ask ‘what if…?’”

Heartfelt Leadership
“My leadership philosophy is lead by example and with your heart. Consider the perspective of your employees. If you can’t put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you can’t be effective.”

Use What You’ve Got
“Women entrepreneurs should never apologize for who we are – being a mother or having family priorities. All the attributes inherent to a woman make us successful in business. Be true to yourself – you can do it all.”

Employee Relations

“Empower your employees and teach them to act like owners. If they have a vested interest in the company, it will succeed.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

Apply to be a Featured Lady

* Learn more about PR Opportunities and PR Leads from Ladies Who Launch
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