Family owned businesses are economic powerhouses that drive local, national, and global economies. 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family owned. WalMart, the world’s largest retailer, still stands as the most profitable family business started by brothers, Sam and Bud. Family is extremely important to me.
For me, it is always Family First. As a teenager, my mom served as my first role model as an entrepreneurial female in leadership. For 20 years, she owned and operated our first family business: Irving-Kedzie Currency Exchange (Chicago). I learned how to build trust and manage a small support staff and create relationships with our customers. I got an insider look at growing a business and how to provide services for the community. My mom and I have always been very close which is still true today but working literally in a “cage” certainly put our foundation to the test at times. However, she knew that I genuinely cared about her success and was an extremely loyal employee. College summer vacations were spent in the cage. After I left Eicoff (DRTV), she had confidence in my ability to run the business when she had several health challenges and occasionally enjoyed a well-deserved vacation.