2018 Women in Print and Promo: Sarah Scudder, Procureit5
Years of Experience: 13
How she got her start: I was involved in several organizations in college. My sorority put on an annual fundraising event that I chaired. I hired a local company to source and produce all the print, promotional items and apparel. They offered me a job. They wanted to infuse the company with younger people and set up an internship program. I started as a sales rep. I did sales until my company was acquired by The Sourcing Group (TSG) in 2013. I served as the chief growth officer for TSG until taking on the position of president at Procureit5 in 2017.
Her proudest career achievements: [I’d say] signing a Fortune 100 company as a client in my first six years in the industry. It was my goal to close a $4M+ deal by the time I turned 30. I did it when I was 27 years old. It took me three years and a lot of creativity.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: I’ve never focused on gender. I like to work for and build teams consisting of highly driven, motivated and empathic people. All of my bosses have been entrepreneurial males. My support and operations teams have been heavily female-dominated. I think it’s important to hire highly adaptable, motivated and kind people. I try to build teams that are diverse in age, race and gender.
Her job advice to women: Print industry sales is a lot of work and very competitive. If you are looking for a “leave-it-at-work” career, this industry is not for you. The industry has long, difficult sales cycles. But ... it’s great if you are entrepreneurial, independent and want to build your own company within a company. If you are creative, you have the freedom to apply technology and innovation to a traditional industry. Print industry sales allows you to work remotely, set your own schedule and make as much money as you want. You aren’t capped by a salary.
Her industry mentors: Roger Blumberg, vice president of business strategy for SynerTrade.
Her biggest lesson learned: Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get wrapped up in little details and fail to see the big picture. Focus on the end goal.
How she maintains a work/life balance: When you run a company, your work and personal life are intertwined. Staying healthy is important to me, so I run, swim and work out at the gym. Working out helps me blow off steam, think and stay energized. I really enjoy writing—it allows me to capture the knowledge I learn and share it with others. I write for three national publications. I also enjoy entertaining and throwing dinner parties. It allows me to meet new people and help like-minded people connect.
Related story: Print+Promo 2018: A Celebration of the Women in Print and Promo
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.