I spent 20 years working my way up from entry level to CEO in a male-dominated industry. Early on, I realized that my success would depend upon my ability to negotiate in tough situations. So I sought out mentors and consultants, and I learned a lot of lessons the hard way.
Learn more about me in my intro video.
MY FATHER WAS MY FIRST MENTOR
As the daughter of an entrepreneur, even family vacations were opportunities for sales negotiations. My father was always stopping along the roads of major highways to see if he could convert multi-family construction projects from lightweight concrete to Gyp-Crete®.
Watching my father wheel-and-deal on job sites was fascinating to me. It was fun and entertaining to watch, but more importantly, it taught me a valuable lesson about the potential for negotiations in which everyone wins. My fascination with negotiation — and construction projects — continues to this day.
I NEGOTIATED MY WAY FROM THE VERY BOTTOM TO THE VERY TOP
I started at the bottom of the family-owned construction business in 1992 making $7.00/hour. It was a scary time, after over 50% of the staff had lost their jobs during the recession of the late 1980s. My responsibilities grew with time, and negotiation was always a huge part of my job.
Being a woman in the construction industry wasn’t easy, and being in a family-owned construction business added even more passion and dysfunction. But the gender stereotypes and family challenges I encountered on a daily basis only made me even more committed to conducting business with professionalism, knowledge, courage, confidence and perseverance. I pursued every opportunity that came my way, and always focused on creating long-term relationships with my customers, suppliers, and bankers. I worked my way up from that entry-level position to CEO.
MY MENTORS GOT BETTER… AND SO DID I
As I climbed the corporate ladder, I always made it a priority to seek out negotiation consultants, coaches, and organizations who could help me get to the next level. Each one taught me something valuable, but no one taught me more than Norm Stoehr of Game Changer Negotiating. It’s because of him that I learned to confidently negotiate multi-million dollar deals, solve complex banking and legal challenges, and survive the “Great Construction Recession” of 2009-2012.
After 20 years in the business, I had become a master negotiator, but I was ready for a new challenge. So in early 2014, I decided it was time for the most important negotiation of my career: my own severance package.
Today, I’m thrilled to be a negotiation consultant. My programs and services are based on 20 years of negotiating in the real world, and nothing makes me more proud than watching my clients confidently negotiate win-win deals for their businesses.
And on a personal note…
This “About Me” page wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my husband Chad and my three beautiful children. My youngest was just six months old when I was promoted to CEO, and work/life balance quickly became an area of focus in my negotiating practice. In addition to my negotiation consulting practice, I now own another business called Living Wellness, LLC with my business partner Ashley Darkenwald. In 2017, I’ll be finishing up my Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Wellness.
I also make it a huge priority to donate my time and money. Read more about how I give back to my community.