executive perspectives : All in the Family
Tales from a top executiveAugust 2013 By Elise Hacking Carr
When Danielle J. Kay visits the family home where she grew up, she is taken back to simpler times of make-believe and Tyvek tags.
More than 20 years have passed, and the original tags hung by Kay still decorate the pine trees scattered throughout the property. "When I was a child, I always [pretended to be] a teacher or office staff employee, and played with all the paper and goodies I found," she recalled. "I would take the Tyvek tags and tag the trees, bushes and items around our home like I was selling them to people in a store."
Kay's penchant for print wasn't random—it was in her blood. Her paternal grandparents, Joe and Verna Kay, started a small company called Kay Printing in their garage. The Toledo, Ohio-based business took off and as they neared retirement, Joe and Verna's five sons stepped up and changed the name to Kay Toledo Tag Inc.
After Kay's father, company president Daniel J. Kay, locked up the plant, Kay used this opportunity to grow her paper product collection. She turned this hobby into a career, and currently serves as Kay Toledo Tag's sales, marketing and customer service manager.
Here, Kay talks shop.
Print+Promo (P+P): How do you set goals for yourself? For your business?
Danielle J. Kay (DJK): Setting goals for my life has become a faithful process. Thinking about my ideal future, motivating myself to be a vision of my future and turning my visions into reality help me focus on succeeding. Knowing precisely what I want to achieve, knowing where I have to concentrate all my efforts that help me strive to reach my goals. If you don't focus on your life and the way you are living, you'll quickly see the many distractions that this world has.
When setting goals for our business I like to use the S.M.A.R.T. theory that was once given to me in college. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the five steps of being: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based goals. I feel our family business success depends on our ability as a family to set and achieve the goals we set for all staff, family and customers.