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Montgomery County Women Making It

By Dr. Sharon T. Freeman
AASBEA, September 2011

ISBN 978-0-9816885-4-1

“…The law of unintended consequences is basically a warning that an intervention in a complex system always creates unanticipated outcomes. Everybody knows that in the biotech industry, so what venture capitalists are looking for when they make an investment is a management team that can handle unintended consequences.”— Rachel King

“…Entrepreneurship is the most exhilarating thing I have ever done – when it isn’t absolutely terrifying, shifting from one reality to another at a moment’s notice.”— Mary Moslander

“…One thing that helped us grow was entering in the Silver Spring Innovation Center (SSIC). In order to be allocated a slot we had to prepare a business plan, which is something we hadn’t done when we started out. Once we prepared it we found that it provided a solid foundation as roadmap and a document we then used to apply for an 8(a) certification, which we obtained two and a half years ago.”— Alexandra Jellerette

“…The first thing we had to do was figure out how to effectively work together.

Lesson # 1: Deal straight from the beginning; call it like you see it and deal with issues upfront. Lesson # 2: Recognize that there will be times that you don’t quite totally understand each other, and that’s alright. Lessons # 3: Recognize when you had better understand each other or risk losing the business or losing an opportunity to grow the business.”— Gail Bassin & Jerri Shaw

“…If you had asked me five years ago whether I’d ever find myself in the mountains

of Sichuan Province climbing a steep hillside to visit a beekeeping cooperative as part of my job, I would not have believed it. But that’s where my career has taken me recently, as part of Marriott International’s efforts to connect with the issues that are important in China.”— Kathleen Matthews

“…Throughout my life, people have questioned how my background as a French and Russian teacher could have prepared me for what I do today. I think it’s all about the ability to communicate, interpret one’s environment, and willingness to take calculated risks.”— Elaine Amir

“…I would have thought that my customer base would be primarily composed of early sustainable adapters. Instead, I have found that is like “preaching to the choir.” Rather than preach to the front pew of the choir, however, it has been in my better business interest to “preach to the back row of the choir,” bringing people into the world of sustainability gradually at their own pace.”— Denise Graybill-Donohoe

Farm life is unpredictable but always exciting. We are completely dependent on“mother nature,” so what happened last year might not happen in the same way this year, given weather conditions. I always say one has to roll with the punches in the boxing ring with the elements.— Linda Lewis

“…One of the lessons I learned early on is that it costs money to grow a business. You are going to spend money before you see any of the rewards no matter what business you are in. Succeeding also takes tenacity, the willingness to think outside the box and to get outside of one’s comfort zone.”— Carmen Larsen

“…Like parachutes, minds don’t work if they are not open. Mine was open when I came to America in 1986 without any real skills, no money to speak of, and no connections. I simply believed that I could make it somehow.— Prachee Devadas

“…One thing was clear, however, which was in Washington, DC if you want to make it big sooner or later you have to be prepared to do business with the government, which requires acting like a real business.”— Phyllis Jones

“…My love for art is not disconnected from my business, Tiger Management Consulting Group, LLC, because the former promotes cultural understanding and at the end of the day it’s not possible to effectively cross borders and do global business unless there is a willingness to understand other cultures.”— Juanita Hardy