Profiles in Success
Women continue to make important gains
By Carol Katarsky
The days when women were just token members of the work force, particularly in management, are long gone. A number of highly qualified women have risen to influential positions in some of the printing industry's leading companies.
Despite the very different paths the following womenand many others like themhave taken, they all demonstrate that the keys to success are hard work, determination and a belief in your own abilities.
Growing Gracefully Into a New Role
When West Coast Business Systems & Supplies (WCBS) was first founded, Bryna Blum, was not in the pictureand happily so.
"The business was started by my husband Chuck and his partner in February 1981. I had absolutely no business experience; my training was as a ballet dancer. Our plan was for me to stay home and make children and cookies. Then, six months later, when Chuck started to get sick, I came in to help out just for a week or two'those two weeks turned into 18 years," Blum explained. "I joke that I only go home to shower and change clothes."
Proving the Doubters Wrong
Katie Crammer, an industry veteran with 15 years of experience, still remembers how hard it was to get her foot in the door and be recognized.
"It was very different back when I first started. Many times, people wouldn't give me any credit for having the technical knowledgeeven people with less experience than I had," she recalled. "My one advantage was that I worked for my father's company, SHIPCO. My father, Gail Heinlein, had been in business for many yearsand I often joked that I was born into the business.
"I found that once I could get them to listen, I was able to express my professional knowledge, explain our product line and various equipment capabilities, and make them feel comfortable that I understood their requirements and could support their needs," she added.