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Photograph by Thom ThompsonA Great Fit

Susan Ledyard has streamlined her luxury shapewear business into a sleek success.

If you shop Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, read Oprah’s magazine or watch “ShopNBC,” you’ve likely seen Susan Ledyard’s undergarments.

Or should we say the shapewear created by her Chadds Ford-based business, CASS and Co.

The newfangled girdles—which help women appear slimmer in all the right places—are not simply underwear, outerwear or swimwear. They’re everywhere.

Ledyard’s stylish invention has put more women in shape than Suzanne Somers. “There’s no grass growing under our feet,” says Ledyard. “We’re shipping 100,000 units per year.”

Ledyard founded CASS and Co.—named after her oldest son—in 2004. Giving birth to a strapping second son left her with what she calls “well-deserved body bulges.” She put her experience in design and business management together to create a product that would help women “take care of the muffin top,” or roll of fat just above the belt.

Ledyard’s mother and sister were in the fashion business and Ledyard lived in Italy for a year after graduating from Concord High School, “so I have a good sense of fine fabrics,” she says.

Ledyard developed strategic stitching sewn into smart fabrics that support the bust and trim the waist. Ledyard had the technology, called Invisupport, trademarked. She received a patent last summer.

Ledyard first marketed her shapewear through local businesses such as Peter Kate Shoes in Greenville and Bare Essentials in Talleyville. “I did research through Peter Kate and sold 88 pieces right off the bat,” she says. “We sold 35,000 units the first year.”

The company made $1.5 million in 2006. The success led to Ledyard’s appearance on “The Big Idea,” a CNBC show that profiles successful entrepreneurs. CASS and Co. has received tons of publicity in national fashion magazines and in most other media.

The company, which celebrates its fifth anniversary in January, has accomplished quite a bit with seven employees. “We’re a big company with a small company’s attitude because we like to pay attention to the details,” Ledyard says.

As president, Ledyard manages operations, customer service, accounting, sales and marketing—and designs the garments.

“I love having my hands in it,” she says. “I know the way it should be run. I know it shows through in the end.”

on the horizon Ledyard says she is working on a licensing agreement with a celebrity stylist. CASS and Co. recently opened a showroom at 183 Madison Avenue in New York City. It already had a showroom in Dallas. “We also have a growth initiative in Europe,” Ledyard says. “And in January, we’re participating in one of the finest shows in Paris.”
 

Page 2: Women in Business | Michelle R. Brown

 

Photograph by Thom ThompsonMichelle R. Brown

As founder and president of a personal and professional development business, Brown’s mission is to bring out the best in clients. “We help people really realize that dreams don’t have to remain dreams,” she says. “They can become reality.”

Brown, who previously worked for DuPont, started Catalyst Enterprises International in 2006. The business, based in Dover, is truly international; Brown has taken her talents to such countries as Uganda, where she counseled small business owners. Catalyst has arranged hundreds of development programs and seminars for small groups to those up to 400-plus people. Clients include nonprofits, churches, government agencies, colleges and schools. “I help people see things not as they currently are but where they could be,” Brown says.

Making a difference In 2000 Brown launched World Changers Empowerment Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young women develop self-esteem, leadership ability and life skills. She is also one of the founding members of the Delaware Youth Leadership Academy, which helps young people become better citizens. This year Brown was one of four community leaders elected to the board of directors of United Way of Delaware.
 

Page 3: Women in Business | Paula Swain

 

Photograph by Thom ThompsonPaula Swain

Swain is scared to death of rats, but that didn’t stop her from watching scientists at a previous employer conduct autopsies on rodents that had been given experimental drugs.

Now, as executive vice president of human resources for Incyte Corporation, a Wilmington-based drug discovery and development business, Swain knows the company inside and out. She handles everything from facilities management to attending staff meetings with scientists.

“It helps me to see if we need more people and how to justify it,” Swain says. “In HR you have to be connected to people. You have to know what they’re doing.”

Swain was one of a group of folks who left DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company when it was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2001. Then California-based Incyte recruited Swain’s boss to start a drug development entity in Delaware. Swain was the third person hired at Incyte, which set up shop at the DuPont Experimental Station in January 2002. That’s when Swain went to work ordering furniture and setting up fax machines. “By June, people were up and running in the laboratory,” she says. “By the end of the first year, we had 60 scientists. There are 200 now.”

Swain, who has interviewed every employee the company has hired, has enjoyed helping to shape the company’s policies. “It’s an opportunity to come into a business and learn about what it is,” she says. “You have to learn that first, then develop policies and practices to really suit the needs of a company. There’s a big cultural aspect to it. You still have to hire, pay and do all the traditional things. But the thing you can do is create a culture. You really can make a difference and make people happy.”

How she got there Swain took risks. She left a comfortable HR position at then-Chase Manhattan Bank to join DuPont Pharma. She could have stayed with Bristol-Myers, but “it would be boring,” she says. “It’s a big company. I couldn’t change anything there.”

Page 4: Women in Business | Pat Batchelor
 

 

 

Pat Batchelor

Batchelor started her real estate career in the mid-1970s by managing apartments for low-income renters in Sussex County. For years, Batchelor knew she had more to offer. So in 1998 she took to heart her boss’ belief that she could handle more responsibility and bought the management section of the business. As CEO, Batchelor has grown East Coast Property Management, a Seaford-based fee management company, to 75 employees who manage more than 50 properties in Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The company offers property owners such services as insurance administration, contract negotiation, and rehabilitation and relocation management.

Key to success It’s all about surrounding yourself with good people, because “you’re only as strong as the weakest person on your team,” Batchelor says. She believes employees should want to go to work, and to do this you must create a comfortable atmosphere. “You need to make it a place that’s fun but also efficient,” she says.

Her role as CEO Batchelor has an open-door policy, meaning she’s always ready to listen to her employees’ questions and concerns. She says a positive work environment is one where people are rewarded for good work.

Page 5: Women in Business | Michelle Bruner

 

Michelle Bruner

Bruner admits that when it comes to getting U Oughtta Be on Chocolates off the ground, she and her husband, Dave, are learning as they go. One important lesson: When distributing edible business cards, be sure to include a paper card in the packaging.

Bruner, whose day job is finance manager for TransCore—the company that supports E-ZPass Delaware—set out two years ago to start a business that the couple could run out of their home in Magnolia. Bruner wanted to start small and didn’t want a franchise. While searching the Internet for ideas, she stumbled across technology called Chocolography that uses royal icing and food coloring to print photographs, logos and almost anything else on candy. The Bruners bought the printing software and custom printer and created a website. They also set up displays in businesses in Camden, New Castle and Milford to expose potential customers to their unique product.

The business frequently works with event planners who serve the “high-end novelty” chocolates at corporate events and weddings. While her husband takes care of the candy-making and printing, Bruner handles credit card processing, bookkeeping and marketing, and she helps with packaging. She brings 18 years of experience in accounting, finance and customer service.

Bruner also brings a strong notion of what the business should be. “I know what I want and what I don’t want,” she says. “I want to be successful, provide a quality product and customer service that is extraordinary.” She says sales have increased each year and she hopes to add employees, expand into storefronts and franchise the business. While Bruner sometimes works into the wee hours to package orders, she takes great satisfaction in knowing the effort goes into her own business. “It’s nice to do something that’s your baby,” Bruner says, “something you’re proud of and you can say you did it.”

Start small and be patient “Obviously, we’re not millionaires, but as we get the word out, people know who we are,” Bruner says. “We go out and people say, ‘You’re the chocolate people.’ Our product speaks for us.”
 

Page 6: Women in Business | Amy Colbourn

 

Amy Colbourn

As The Star Group has expanded, Amy Colbourn has helped bridge the gap between its offices in Wilmington, Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, N.J. The Philly-based marketing-public relations agency merged with homegrown Shipley Associates in 2005, then moved its Delaware operations to the Wilmington Riverfront earlier this year. As vice president and director of the Wilmington office, Colbourn manages day-to-day operations, including oversight of existing clients and wooing of new ones. “I’m extremely passionate about Delaware and I’m committed to the agency,” she says. “I think when you’re able to pair those two attributes, it makes for my success.” Colbourn is currently supervising a partnership between DuPont and the Delaware Museum of Natural History for DuPont’s Clear Into the Future initiative. An exhibit focusing on the Delaware River Estuary will be on display at the museum next year.

The cat’s meow Colbourn serves on the Delaware Humane Association’s board of directors as past president and member at-large. She volunteers on the marketing and development committees. “I can bring my professional networks together with my personal networks to create a win-win situation for everyone.”

Words of wisdom “Coming into this business, get experience any way you can. That’s the best way to sell yourself.”
 

Page 7: Women in Business | Barbara Hines

 

Barbara Hines

The souring economy hasn’t had much effect on Hines’ SSD Technology Partners. The information technology support business, based in New Castle, has experienced 15 percent growth each year since she founded it in 1983. As company president, Hines is moving to add to her list of 150 clients, so after 25 years of growing the business through referrals, Hines hired a marketing person. “We have more opportunities with small- and medium-sized businesses than we have ever had,” she says. “We just looked at our sales pipeline (prospective clients). It’s quadruple what it was this time last year.”

When Hines and Nancy Froome started the company, then called Software Services of Delaware, it specialized in writing programs for PCs. Their first break came when they were asked to write an accounts receivable program for the nursing home industry. Soon after, a nonprofit needed accounting software. In 1997, when they discovered their software wasn’t Y2K-compliant, they refocused the business on providing IT services. Early clients included Three Little Bakers and Wilmington Trust.

“Today, software is not even one-third of our business,” says Hines, who has 30 employees. “We put together programs and take responsibility for IT infrastructure. We’re your remote, virtual CIO.” Hines is responsible for vision, motivation, sales and growth. “Our big, hairy, audacious goal is to double our business over the next three years,” she says.

On the horizon “We have an opportunity now to write accounting applications for a well-known logistics firm,” says Hines. She notes that SSD could strike a similar deal in the higher education industry. “That would be very substantial.”

Words of wisdom “I wish I would have gotten smarter earlier,” says Hines. “When I was in business five to seven years, I thought I knew it all. It took me a few years of hard knocks that I needed to seek advice of someone smarter. You need a good accountant, a good lawyer and a good mentor, someone who will be honest and tell you when you’re full of crap.”
 

Page 8: Women in Business | Angela Jones

 

Angela Jones

Jones believes everything can be improved, so she is constantly brainstorming—even when she’s on vacation. “You can’t make your head stop,” she says. Jones, a Wilmington native, is a senior executive at Accenture Technology Solutions, a worldwide management consulting, technology and outsourcing company that works with two-thirds of the Fortune Global 500.

Jones, who has more than 18 years of information technology experience, has held several lead roles at Accenture. In 2002 she started a new arm that provides specific technology skills to businesses in Wilmington and Philadelphia. She grew the Philly-based business to more than 200 employees, then was promoted to lead the company’s Mid-Atlantic region, where she was responsible for more than 500 employees. Jones has also created training programs and leadership development programs for the company.

For the past two years, Jones has been one of two senior executives working on strategies to expand the company’s domestic business. “What I do is not easy to explain,” she says. “As my 6-year-old daughter would say, I type on a computer and talk on the phone all day.”

Jones also advocates for leadership development and women’s initiatives at Accenture and in the community. She has developed recruiting programs to help high school-aged girls become interested in technology so that businesses such as Accenture will have strong potential employees in the pipeline. “There aren’t enough women in colleges to do the work that is out there,” Jones says. “You have to go get them. They’re not going to show up on a college’s doorstep.” Jones was recently elected to the board of the YWCA of Delaware.

Words of wisdom Jones has noticed that women in positions of power can become caught up in proving they’ve earned their places. She says the fact that they have been selected for these positions shows they’re qualified. They should dedicate themselves to working hard and doing the job they were hired to do.

Don’t hesitate Jones says women must have courage and should not hesitate to ask questions or seek advice. She says young women need to “find what they’re passionate about and go for it.”
 

Page 9: Women in Business | Kelly McKown

 

Kelly McKown

As president of Incorporating Services, Ltd., McKown is credited with tripling the company’s sales over a three-year span. The achievement put the company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States last year. Headquartered in Dover, Incorporating Services, Ltd., provides services such as corporate formations, filings, records retrieval, and much more to attorneys, accountants, corporations and entrepreneurs around the world.

McKown, previously a branch manager for a competitor, bought into Incorporating Services, Ltd. as a minority shareholder in 2003, then was appointed president and charged with moving the company in a new direction. “It was either sell or grow,” she says, “so we grew.”

Thus began the instant expansion of the now 35-employee business outside Delaware. “I started a campaign to show clients that our same services can be used all over the country,” McKown says. ISL opened branches in Tallahassee, Florida, and Washington, D.C., and the business is still growing. “We definitely want to expand into more jurisdictions, either through acquiring businesses or going in and opening our own shop,” McKown says.

Perseverance A native of Denver, McKown was the first in her family to attend college. Her parents could not afford to send her, so she worked full time selling cosmetics. As a member of the Air National Guard, she benefited from the GI Bill. McKown competed in scholarship pageants to help cover expenses such as textbooks. She earned a legal assistant associate’s degree from a local community college and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in paralegal studies from The Metropolitan State College of Denver. It took her 10 years to pay back her student loans. “When you want to grow out of the status quo, you have to be creative,” she says. “Without the degree, I wouldn’t be where I am.”

You go, girl “For women in business, the biggest challenge is life’s little juggling act of family, career and personal time,” says McKown, who, with her husband, is raising 7-year-old twins. “The women who succeed in it, God bless them and more power to them, because it’s a tough game to have it all.”
 

Page 10: Women in Business | Ruth Ellen Miller

 

Ruth Ellen Miller

Miller grew up with a bona fide rocket scientist, so she naturally acquired a solid background in science. In 1990 she combined it with a degree in business and, with her father, founded NoUVIR. The company, based in Seaford, manufactures fiber-optic lighting that lacks the radiation emitted from conventional bulbs. NoUVIR’s products are used to light art works, which are easily damaged by radiation. Miller also embraces her creative side by helping to develop NoUVIR’s multiple patented innovations. Yet when it comes to being boss, Miller considers her style unusual in the male-dominated industry. Rather than focusing aggressively on profit, she helps customers grow.

Words of wisdom Don’t feel pressured to imitate men in similar positions. “Find your own style,” she says. When you do, you’ll be doing something you love.
 

Page 11: Women in Business | Marta Brito Pérez

 

Marta Brito Pérez

As vice president for human resources at AstraZeneca, Pérez’s mission is to ensure that the company “has the right people to do what we do, which is bringing medicine to people.”

Pérez reported to AstraZeneca’s Wilmington headquarters in February, where she is responsible for 12,000 employees of the North America and Global Marketing divisions. The road there was long. Pérez’s family left Cuba for the United States when she was 12. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at the University of Maryland, then a master of science in organizational development and human resources from Johns Hopkins University. From the nonprofit sector, Pérez eventually joined the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. After six years, President George Bush appointed her to manage Homeland Security’s human resources department, where she was responsible for the development and training of more than 180,000 employees.  

At AstraZeneca, it didn’t take long for Pérez to have an impact. “We are making changes on how we develop employees,” she says. “Rather than career paths, we are presenting career opportunities. We identify the key leadership capabilities that are very important to our industry: being collaborative, being decisive, being innovative and being ethical. We are keeping AstraZeneca at the forefront of the industry.”

Why she’s good “I think I’m passionate about what I do,” Pérez says. “Sometimes it’s contagious. I have a sense of urgency for getting things done. It comes from being an immigrant and having significant challenges in life. The only way to deal with them is head on.”

Words of wisdom “There’s no magic bullet. Hard work is the key to success,” she says. “Persevering. Learning from the challenges we’ve already faced. You have to work hard wherever you’re at. You have to think, How can I do the best I can at where I am right now?”
 

Page 12: Women in Business | Karen Poore

 

Karen Poore

As a senior associate with Creative Financial Group in Montchanin, Poore calls herself “an advocate for financial responsibility.” It’s her job to give people the resources and tools they need to make the right decisions and “achieve their version of financial success.” Whether handling the succession of a family business or finally buying that house on the beach, Poore knows it requires a deep understanding of her clients’ needs and desires.

Her determination to help them achieve their goals comes from a genuine caring for her clients. Poore knew at an early age that she wanted to help people with their finances. She saw how her grandfather’s lack of planning left his wife and six children in a difficult financial position when he passed. “I only wish someone like myself had gotten in my grandfather’s face to ask the hard questions,” she says.

Taking a break Would she have done anything differently? Poore says she “wouldn’t have gotten so serious so soon.” (She started her career four months before graduating college.) Looking back, “Going to some tropical island sounds ideal.”
 

Page 13: Women in Business | Cher Przelomski

 

Cher Przelomski

In 1970 18-year-old Przelomski left her coal-mining home in central Pennsylvania with $75 in her pocket to train as a secretary at Goldey-Beacom College while working for the DuPont Co. “That scholarship was my ticket out of town,” Przelomski says. “My life would have been this big void. I guess somehow I knew that.”

Since then Przelomski’s life has turned into one big party—sort of. “It’s a big industry,” says the founder and president of Planning Factory International. “It’s way bigger than just throwing a party.”

For more than 25 years, Planning Factory has produced big corporate meetings, sales gatherings and other special events—including huge fundraisers in NFL stadiums. The most expensive cost more than $500,000. The most intimate event was for two. “It was someone who wanted to make sure he got a yes on his marriage proposal.”

Przelomski and a partner started The Wedding Planners in 1982, then quickly realized they had to respond to the boom of Wilmington’s then-new financial industry. “The banking act had taken hold and created a need for relocation programs,” Przelomski says. “Developers were building buildings. We figured out how to do a groundbreaking and get the press there. We were the ones in the marketplace and it just kind of blossomed. We were at the birth of an industry.”

Przelomski renamed and repositioned her business. Since then, she has established a network of vendors to help pull together such grand events as the United We Stand terror relief benefit at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium after 9-11. Przelomski manages every project, oversees the finances of each account and handles marketing. More than 95 percent of the company’s clients are large businesses. “We help them achieve corporate goals through events,” Przelomski says. “We’ve closed many deals through our events.”

Get what you need “Early on, I hired a business consultant to help transition me from working inside a corporation to outside a corporation.”

What’s new Przelomski, who has handled events in Bermuda for 20 years, recently started Planning Factory Bermuda with a former client.
 

Page 14: Pamela Rizzo and Heather Shafer

 

Pamela Rizzo and Heather Shafer

When Heather Shafer graduated from Boston University in 2001, getting into the job market proved to be a challenge, so she took a chance: She bought the rights to the Boston Women’s Journal. Then her mother, Pamela Rizzo, jumped in to help. Now the duo publishes the New Castle County Women’s Journal and the Dover Women’s Journal.

The County Women’s Journal focuses on areas such as health, medicine, fitness, automotive and leisure. Informing readers about local businesses and services, Rizzo and Shafer give women the tools to make informed decisions. “Women like to be educated,” Rizzo says. “What we do is try to target them through education, not through pretty ads.” As publishers, they are in charge of advertising sales, scoping out the best businesses to contribute, and deciding what information is printed. “I’m doing something I really do love,” says Shafer. “I get to know a lot about people in the community and I learn every day.”

Start the presses Rizzo and Shafer also own rights to newspapers in Westchester, New York; Bergen, New Jersey; and Chester, Pennsylvania, which they plan to start in the next two years.

Unbreakable bond “My daughter drives me because she is very bright and a perfectionist,” says Rizzo. “She’s a very driven young woman.”
 

Page 15: Women in Business | Susan Ryan

 

Susan Ryan

As owner of Good Earth Market, Ryan is keeping her community in Clarksville healthy one organic egg at a time. For the past four years, Ryan has provided loyal customers with natural products straight from her backyard—a 10-acre organic farm, one of only a handful of USDA-certified organic farms in Delaware. Looking to give her customers a plant-based whole foods diet, Ryan offers whole-grain fruits and vegetables, organic milk, bread, meat and what she calls the best local organic eggs on the planet. Through cooking demos and classes, Ryan teaches people the best way to cook organically. “I’m proud of the fact that we have a community center for people trying to stay on the path of a good diet,” she says.

Her commitment Ryan is a member of the Delaware Organic Food and Farm Association, which provides knowledge and insight to farmers who choose to plant organically.

On the horizon Having already gained zoning approval, Ryan plans to expand her operation to include a commercial kitchen for sandwiches and coffee, a yoga studio and a naturopathic physician’s office.
 

Page 16: Women in Business | J. Pamela Scott

 

J. Pamela Scott

Scott was counseling Delaware public school administrators about mental health when she realized she wanted to be a teacher. So she took a job as a paraeducator at a local intermediate school, where she witnessed firsthand the need to help children become better at reading and writing. “I saw how they struggled and were getting passed on to the next grade,” Scott says. So in 2005, while teaching English at Fairwinds Christian School, she organized writing camps. Her Newark-based Great Scott Consulting now offers those services to more than 15 schools in Delaware. Her Student Writers Camp aims to help students who score low on the writing portion of the Delaware Student Testing Program.

Scott wants to help close the achievement gap. “We show them what a 5 looks like on the DSTP,” she says. “They know what a 1 looks like. When we’re done they know they’re going out with a 5.” The writing camps, offered throughout the year both in schools and other locations, help students improve grammar, spelling, editing and essay structure, among other things. Scott also works to build students’ self-esteem. “We don’t just teach,” she says. “We build morale and confidence.”

You’ve got to care Scott trains each instructor who helps her in the classroom. “Everybody I bring on has got to have the same passion or I don’t want them on my team. You’ve got to go in strong. You’ve got to love our kids.”
 

Page 17: Women in Business | Brenda Thompson

 

Brenda Thompson

As a legal recruiter, Thompson is a go-to woman for law firms and other corporations looking to hire. Thompson has been finding places for top attorneys since 2000, when she started Thompson Search Consultants. Her company also advises law firms, corporations and other entities on business development, management, human resources and marketing. Thompson worked full time at law firms while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at night. She has learned that it’s essential to keep a positive attitude and that you must be willing to work outside the traditional 9-to-5 to advance.

Experience counts By working at law firms for more than 15 years, Thompson gained valuable experience. “It helps me tremendously in understanding what firms are looking for,” and allows her to be selective about her candidates. She is currently the president-elect of the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

On the horizon Thompson Search Consultants is expanding, both by hiring more employees and by providing new services. Thompson’s company now offers business development coaching to attorneys. She is also excited to be working with several clients interested in significant merger opportunities.
 

Page 18: Women in Business | Lisa Ziropoulos

 

Lisa Ziropoulos

Ziropoulos started working part-time as a receptionist at the Winner Automotive Group’s Saturn dealership in Newark when she was a sophomore at the University of Delaware. She would eventually work in each of the business’ four divisions, then, three years ago, be named general manager.

Ziropoulos’ father, who is also in auto sales, was amazed at his daughter’s accomplishment in the male-dominated industry. “He said, ‘Oh my gosh. You’re 35 and a girl and you got this position,’” Ziropoulos says. “The whole girl thing never struck me.”

As general manager, Ziropoulos is responsible for all operations at the Newark facility, which employs about 50 people. Ziropoulos attributes her success to the people around her. Coworkers say she’s a good manager because she’s a great people person who knows the business from working her way up.

“We’ve washed cars elbow to elbow when we’ve had to,” says Rob Syva, a sales manager who has worked with Ziropoulos for 11 years. “There aren’t too many jobs here she couldn’t step in and do.” Ziropoulos has been known to fill in for employees on holidays, drive two hours to help sister dealerships, and come to work early to drive the snow plow. But even Ziropoulos has her limits. “I can’t change tires,” she says. “That’s where I’ve got to end it.”

Who are you calling “hon?” Ziropoulos still hears, “What can I do for you, sweetie?” when men answer her phone calls. “I think, I’m not your sweetie. It’s almost like they think less of you. I think all women go through it.”
 

Page 19: Women in Business | Helen M. Zumsteg

 

Helen M. Zumsteg

Zumsteg, senior vice president and director of private banking and client development at WSFS Bank in Wilmington, presents affluent individuals, business owners, executives and professionals innovative ways to manage their money. “Where we really add value is coming up with creative lending structures or well-diversified investment solutions for them,” says Zumsteg.

Since joining the bank in 2002, Zumsteg has led a group that has grown WSFS’s private banking operations by increasing the portfolio, building a diverse client base and implementing full investment management services. Zumsteg also had a hand in creating the bank’s Greenville facility—a combination of retail banking, private banking and wealth management.

“It’s all about putting the customer first and helping to meet their needs out of one location,” she says. As a certified financial planner, Zumsteg uses her skills to fully understand her clients’ needs.

Words of wisdom “The key is, when you have challenges, it’s not to look at the obstacles they create but to look at the opportunities that come about because of those challenges,” Zumsteg says.

Her motivation Her customers. “There’s a great amount of satisfaction in creating a solution for individuals and seeing how it helps them.”
 

Page 20: More 4 Women | A local financial planner launches a network to bring businesswomen together for a couple good causes–themselves and nonprofits.

 

More 4 Women

A local financial planner launches a network to bring businesswomen together for a couple good causes—themselves and nonprofits.

Carol Arnott knows all about multitasking, and she’s betting other Delaware businesswomen have mastered the art, too.

That’s why she’s creating opportunities for local women to enjoy a glass of wine while making meaningful professional connections and helping nonprofits.

Arnott’s WINE4Women event is one of the social gatherings tied to her recently launched website, NEWS4Women.org (Network to Encourage Women’s Support).

“I really want to be able to connect women with other women,” says Arnott, a certified financial planner and certified divorce financial analyst at Greenville Financial. “I think by having one central resource for women to do that, it will help women to grow economically, it will help nonprofits in our community to develop resources and raise funds, and it will provide a social forum for women’s issues.

“It’s a way to level the playing field for small- and mid-size businesses operating here in our community that want to reach out to the women’s market but don’t have the financial resources,” Arnott says.

Several local groups, including the National Organization for Women Business Owners, Wilmington Women in Business and Business Women’s Network, unite women for professional development, but Arnott says NEWS4Women serves a different purpose.

“My programs are really social in nature, social issues that are important to women: work-life balance issues, physical and mental health issues,” she says. “In that sense it’s actually very unique.”

The website maintains a calendar of events for Delaware businesswomen interested in impacting nonprofits while schmoozing with like-minded ladies.

“It’s a way for each one of us to give back, even if it’s in a small way,” Arnott says. “By simply sipping a couple of glasses of wine, they can support a nonprofit in our community.”   —Stephanie Ostroff

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