This post actually began about ten years ago, as our current Chairman of the Board, Anne-Merelie Murrell, was invited to be one of the first companies to attend the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) Conference, hosted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).
Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, the ICIC still operates to strengthen inner city economies by tracking organizations and helping them grow. They have continually reached out to Giroux Glass to stay engaged and inspire other companies to use resources to help and to develop their companies.
This year, I presented at the 10th annual ICCC Conference, held in New York City, NY. It was my first time visiting New York University, and though I was not new to the Big Apple, the bustling city was a welcome source of excitement — NYC is definitely a city full of history and vibrant life.
The theme of the conference was, “Keep your competitors close, but your customers closer.” It focused on the nature of successful sales and marketing, which has changed drastically in the 21st Century marketplace. Their “ABC: Always Be Closing” ideology was discussed with over 300 guests involved in their program.
I enjoyed connecting with entrepreneurial-minded owners and their growing companies throughout the U.S.., along with thought-provoking speaking and business leaders like Nikki Navta, CEO of Zulama, who develops gaming software that focuses on preparing youth for the jobs of tomorrow; Oscar Casillas, CEO of Business Excellence Professional Consulting, who outsources engineers internationally; L’Tryce Slade, CEO of Slade Environmental Consulting, who is a highly-educated, WBE entrepreneur striving to grow her business; and many more.
We swapped stories about how we got started in our industries, about the biggest challenges we’ve faced while growing our businesses, and what resources have been most impactful for our companies.
I was honored to present to this group, knowing that I had the potential opportunity to inspire someone in the audience. It was important to me to share that no matter where your business is, or what you do, since we all face similar challenges, we can all learn from each other. I hope the stories I shared about our Giroux journey (in and outside of my presentation) helped others.
At the end of my NYC visit, and because work/life balance is important to me and to our Giroux culture, I managed to turn my trip into a family vacation as well. It was action packed and included a few museums as well a subway ride with my young sons to New Jersey to meet with members of my husband’s big, Italian family. It was also emotional to visit the 911 Memorial during Veteran’s Day, and to relive the story with my sons. It was a lesson in tolerance — a big topic in my home, and one that is just as important in business. It allows us to always be open to other’s perspectives and to learn from each other, which seemed to be a uniting theme during this trip to New York.
by Nataline Lomedico, CEO and President of Giroux Glass, Inc.
Effective on January 1, 2015, Nataline was named CEO, although she has played an integral role in Giroux Glass’ financial strategies in each of her previous roles as Treasurer, then Controller and most recently, as CFO.
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