What inspired you to join/start your business?
In May 1997, I was hired to help start a weekly newspaper in Hammonton, NJ. May 1997 was the end of my junior year at Villanova University. More than two decades later, I am still employed at The Hammonton Gazette Inc. The plan by the owner Gabriel J. Donio was to bring old-school journalism to a new weekly newspaper at the beginning of the digital age. It was the dichotomy of the old and the new that intrigued me. It is the people of Hammonton that have kept me in love with my job for the past 24 years.
The Hammonton Gazette is a wonderful place to work. Four of us were here in 1997. To be honest, one came back after a 15-year or so hiatus. Another has been with us for more than a decade. We cover this town in a serious and comprehensive manner. I believe a lot of publications have stopped doing this. We are old-school with new-school attitude and skills.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
People not accepting my words as definitive. If they don't like my answer, they go to the owner of the paper expecting a different answer. He supports my decisions. It happened today. And the B words. Let's be honest. A woman gives an opinion, maybe a strong one, and others consider her to be bossy, or witchy (or a word that rhymes with it) whereas a man is assertive or aggressive. It is so frustrating that this is happening in 2021.
What was your most satisfying moment in your career?
Hmmm. Great question. I have a couple. Being one of (if not the first) woman from Hammonton to be inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame in 2010. Writing investigative journalism pieces with twisting and turning paths 24 years into my career. Watching our subscription base grow despite the pandemic.
How do you define success?
Professionally: We recently had an advertiser call and say they received so many calls in like two days (hundreds) and had to turn off their phones. They didn't have a sale and their ad didn't have their phone number. That's the power of print. When a reader calls/emails and tells me that they learned something from reading the paper.
Personally: A hug from my 19-year-old nephew who has not outgrown saying I love you to my husband and me. Friendships that span decades. Remembering a friend's birthday without help from Facebook.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Don't worry about the other guy. Let him worry about you.
Also, it is better to be a good listener than a good talker.
What women inspire you and why?
- Margaret Thatcher. Phenomenal leadership skills. Ronald Reagan said she was "the best man in England."
- Jane Austen. She understood people in a way that I wish I did
- Murphy Brown. No nonsense and fearless fictional TV newswoman
- Sandra Day O'Connor. A woman of principals
- Serena Williams. Determination and focus.
- Nancy Drew. So inquisitive.
- Billie Holiday. The voice who can make you cry and smile at the same time.
- Jane Jacobs. Passionately devoted to her cause
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don't sugar coat something because you think that's what a woman should do. Speak plainly. Lift up your fellow co-workers (all genders). Don't allow yourself to become immersed in petty nonsense. Try and find humor in life. Make decisions based mostly on fact and never in fear.
Describe yourself in three words.
Inquisitive, assertive and I hope, funny.
Fill in the Blank:
- When I face a challenge, I... dive right in. It is my preference to deal with things head on rather than putting it off to another day.
- If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… just go for it.
- The one thing I couldn’t live without is… besides my family, books.
- By this time next year, I will be… going to baseball games again!
- The best thing that happened to me last week was… connecting with a new client that I have wanted to be part of our client base for years. And I finished two audiobooks.
- To get my creative juices flowing, I… play 1980s music at annoyingly loud volume and sadly, I sing along.