After a brief hiatus, Print+Promo is excited to bring back its "Women in Print" feature. This year, we added the promotional market to the mix. In the profiles below, some of the top female executives in the business discuss their jobs, how they got their start, and what advice they'd give women new to the industry.
Adrienne Barker, MAS
Corporate Vice President, Barker Specialty Company, Cheshire, Conn.
Years of experience: 30+
An average day: Emails are checked 24/7-let's put that on the table right now. There is no time except when I am sleeping that I am not checking my emails. I try to balance my time between sales calls, events to attend and office time working on presentations, entering orders, artwork and following up with clients. I leave some time each day for personal marketing to my clients while making sure that I add new business cards to my LinkedIn and my contact list. I'm active on social media daily to make sure I keep up my online presence. I also try to read one new industry-related article each day so I stay up-to-date with what is happening in our "promo" world.
How she got her start: I got my start in the industry at 20 when my dad asked me to come into the business and work with my brother Gerry to learn the [ropes].
Her advice to women just starting out in the industry: Always be true to yourself. Know the industry and be proud of the services we offer. Most importantly, make sure you get to know your suppliers, their reps and their team that is there to help you. The suppliers will help you grow your business.
CEO, MadeToOrder Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.
Years of experience: 27
An average day: Alarm goes off, I try to get an hour of exercise in first thing so I feel good for the rest of the day. Check overnight email, then head into the office. I do work with a "high" and "normal" task list throughout the day. But as everyone knows, many times you get waylaid by fires that need to be attended to immediately. The best part of my day is working with all the delightful and hardworking people at MadeToOrder (MTO). After the workday, like all mothers, I race home and figure out what to make for dinner.
How she got her start: When I first moved to the Bay Area from Chicago, I worked as a salesperson for a supplier company, Shaw Umbrella Co. Later, for distributor firm The Harwood Company, and now MTO.
Her advice to women just starting out: Recently, we hired four bright, smart, young ladies at MTO. I look at them and I think they have so much opportunity in this business. They are learning the business currently by working in the back office, but after some experience and gained knowledge they will be able to work in any aspect of the business, whether they choose to manage the business behind-the-scenes or build a book of business as a sales partner.