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Faces of the Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead

Founded in 2015, the Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead is a club designated exclusively for CEOs, Presidents, Founders and serial entrepreneurs to have extraordinary conversations.

We were lucky enough to interview a number of those visionary leaders and are even luckier to get the chance to share them with you over our next few issues

Tom Iverson

Partner, Sagency

About Tom Iverson

Tom Iverson is a partner and executive coach at Sagency, an executive search and leadership consulting firm. With over 35 years of experience working with people, Tom’s passion is seeing individuals and organizations do better, reach higher and go further than they think possible. Tom’s expertise includes strategic planning, executive and performance coaching, succession planning, employee engagement and organizational/team development.

Take us through a typical day in your life

A typical day for an executive coach involves meeting with clients to discuss goals and challenges and providing guidance to help them achieve their objectives.

This can include conducting assessments to identify areas for improvement, developing and implementing strategies to address those areas and providing ongoing support and coaching to help clients stay on track and progress.

For example, coaching interpersonal skills requires an individualized approach. But typically, any coaching engagement has these components:

  • Establishing rapport and creating a safe, supportive-yet challenging environment in which the individual can discuss their interpersonal challenges is critical.
  • Through a scientifically robust assessment, I help the person identify the specific interpersonal skills they would like to improve, such as communication, collaboration, accountability, conflict resolution or active listening.
  • One of the roles of a coach is to encourage the person to set realistic goals and to provide regular feedback and support to help them stay on track.
  • Another responsibility is to help the person practice their interpersonal skills in various settings and to provide constructive feedback to help them improve.
  • I often encourage the person to seek opportunities to interact with others and practice their interpersonal skills, such as joining a club or volunteering for a project.
  • A coach will also provide the person with relevant resources and strategies to help them improve their interpersonal skills, such as books or articles on communication or active listening. Overall, the key to coaching interpersonal skills is to provide the person with a supportive and non-judgmental environment, help them identify and overcome their specific challenges and encourage them to practice and develop their interpersonal skills over time. As a coach, I also need to spend time researching and staying up-to-date on industry trends and developments and sharpening my skills.

Overall, the key to coaching interpersonal skills is to provide the person with a supportive and non-judgmental environment, help them identify and overcome their specific challenges and encourage them to practice and develop their interpersonal skills over time.

As a coach, I also need to spend time researching and staying up-to-date on industry trends and developments and sharpening my skills

What’s your “why”?

Coaching is a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor. As a coach, I have the opportunity to help leaders and organizations achieve their goals and improve their individual and organizational performance. In addition, I help individuals recognize their potential and develop the skills and knowledge they need to maximize that potential and be successful in their careers.

Another reason is that the demand for coaching continues to grow, so there will be many opportunities to work with diverse clients and organizations. Being a coach is a challenging-but-rewarding career that allows me to impact others positively.

I have a deep and abiding faith in humanity, and hopefully, I can help others discover their greatness through coaching. What that means is that I have a strong belief in the goodness and potential of people. This faith is undoubtedly based on my faith and an enduring belief in people’s inherent goodness and our ability to solve problems and make things better. Despite the many challenges and struggles that people face, human beings have the capacity to overcome these struggles.

The final reason I do what I do is that my sense of hope and optimism has never been stronger because of the grit, passion and skills of the teams and individuals with whom I have the honor to work.

Who’s a leader you’re studying or paying attention to right now?

Leaders who I regard as effective and influential articulate a clear vision and demonstrate the ability to inspire and mobilize others to produce positive results. They are also known for their practical communication skills and ability to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges.

One example of this is William McRaven, a retired United States Navy admiral who served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. After completing his initial training, he served in various positions in the U.S. Navy, including as a Navy SEAL, a SEAL officer and as the Joint Special Operations Command commander.

McRaven is best known for his leadership of the raids that resulted in the capture of Saddam Hussein and the death of Osama bin Laden. But his entire life has been about servant leadership to his country and his teams. His strong leadership skills inspire and motivate others to achieve their goals.

Some of the characteristics I find compelling that have contributed to his success as a leader include:

Empathy and emotional intelligence—the ability to be aware of and manage our own emotions, as well as understand the emotions of others, is vital to leadership. Empathy enables leaders to understand the perspectives of others and respond to the team’s needs in a compassionate, effective way. Because of his emotional intelligence and empathy, McRaven has been able to relate to and understand the needs of his team members. As a result, he has forged meaningful relationships that have endured and is known for building a supportive workplace culture in some of the most challenging circumstances.

Clear vision and effective communication—nearly every great leader I have worked with has a clear vision that focuses team efforts and provides a sense of direction and purpose. It ensures that the organization or team is moving in the right direction and progressing toward its goals.

Courage and decisiveness—as a leader, McRaven has demonstrated the courage to make difficult decisions, even in the face of uncertainty or risk. He acts quickly, decisively and thoughtfully in challenging situations.

Adaptability and resilience—McRaven’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges and his resilience in the face of adversity has allowed him to bounce back from personal (near-death experiences) and professional setbacks (not getting promoted) and continue moving forward.

He has also written several books on leadership, including a short read, “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.” This is also the basis for his speech to graduates of the University of Texas in 2014.
facebook: /sagencytalent

Sylvia Lunski

President & Designer, Design Direction

Fargo has been home for 28 years with my husband and now three grown children. I have worked in this industry my entire career, from selling cabinets, furniture, floor covering and design work prior to founding Design Direction 17 years ago. I received the State of ND Small Business Person of the Year Award. As President, I wear most of the hats in running a small business. Sales, design, business development, marketing and HR to warehouse work when needed. I have been an active member of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead involved especially with the Home Builders Care Foundation. With our Rotary Club, I participate in community service projects in the area.

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

An important lesson learned, or reminded of, in 2022 is to be open to change and pivot when needed. Hanging on to past priorities and thinking, may not serve me or my business going forward. Trust my gut.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

I am excited and looking forward to spending more time with my grandkids. They are all very young and living away from North Dakota. Grandma time is the best!

Take us through a typical day in your life.

Oh boy, I don’t believe there is a typical day. Each can be so different, which is why I love it. One might look like this. Mornings begin around 7:15 a.m. when all is quiet, by addressing emails.

From then on I might have client meetings, either in the store or at the job site. Meeting prep may include product selections being presented to clients and detailed drawings to have ready for approval. One day may have three or four meetings, another may be only prep and follow-up. In between other things to get accomplished are meeting with product reps, marketing, assisting employees and scheduling installations to name a few. Evenings are spent hanging out at home or with friends.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The worst piece of advice, which stayed as the voice in the back of my head for years was, I didn’t have a background in accounting or business, therefore I wouldn’t be successful in owning and running this business, because I wouldn’t know what I was doing.

What keeps you up at night?

Challenges that I cannot control or do anything to “fix.” This can be for my family or business. The need to take care of others, and assuring things go smoothly is ingrained in me.

What would you give a TED Talk on?

Listen to the voice that says you can do this, rather than the one that tells you a hundred reasons not to.

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

This is a good one. I hear all the time, “you must have so much fun picking out colors and fun things for clients.” I do! However, it’s a very small part of what we do. While we are responsible for making the “fun” selections, we are also responsible that correct products are chosen for where/ how they will be used. We work with builders and homeowners on function and design of the rooms early in the blueprint stages all the way through move in. Meeting at job sites, even on cold winter days, often before heating in new construction discussing construction details. Measuring, estimating, ordering products, making sure the correct items arrive on time, working with trade partners for installations and meeting deadlines. A lot of our actual project work is in the background, prior to and following client meetings.

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success. who would it be and why?

My Mom. From the time we were young, she instilled in us a good work ethic. She taught us to help our neighbors and community. When life is tough, keep going. Keep praying and believing God knows the path he has for you. For years I have had a sign above my desk “If God brings you to it… He’ll get you through it.”

What’s your “why”?

Three reasons:

  1. I love doing what I do, clients become friends. Working with them to achieve a space, whether it’s their home or business, that they love, a space that brings them peacefulness and joy.
  1. I love the fact that through Design Direction I can provide an opportunity for my team to pursue their careers.
  1. I am able to provide community support both financially and with service projects in several different areas in our community.

What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?


What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization?

Team approach. We often bounce ideas off each other and collaborate on projects.
Facebook: /designdirectionfargo
Instagram: @designdirectionfargo

Dave Harmon

President, Harmon Entertainment and Harmon Films

About Dave Harmon

I am the owner of Harmon Entertainment and its subdivision, Harmon Films. Our purpose is to help create the best events ever! We offer DJ, emcee, photo booth, lighting and videography for school dances, birthday parties and corporate events with our niche being wedding entertainment. Currently, my daily duties include leading the finance department and films department.

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

Make sure you have systems in place to move forward when you lose a key employee. Business would be easy if everyone followed the process and never left the company, but we all know that is not realistic. Cross-training each management role can really save a lot of headaches when something unforeseen happens. Also, make sure you have a solid training and policy and procedure manual for everything that happens in your company.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

I’m very optimistic about our current staffing for the 2023 season. We have such a solid group of emcees and videographers that I don’t foresee too much turnover this year. Our company’s motto that we’re hoping will stay true is going to be “stress-free in ’23.”

Take us through a typical day in your life.

Every day is different for me, but mornings are generally spent answering emails. On Mondays and Fridays, I go to a 10 a.m. Orange Theory fitness class, and on Wednesdays, I do Hot Yoga at 10:30 a.m. at Indigo Bloom. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are generally event prep or project mornings. Tuesday at noon is our manager’s weekly level 10 meeting (Traction). I work late on one night per week and that is usually Wednesdays when I do planning meetings or consults with clients.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

This has nothing to do with business, but being a wedding emcee, I hear this advice quite often. The “never go to bed angry” advice. That really doesn’t work very well for me and my wife Allison because if we get into a heated chat, it’s better for us to sleep on it and calm down. So, in the morning we can resolve the issue with cool heads.

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

When most people hear that I am a “DJ,” they think I just play music. The truth is I do all of the following: Salesman, Counselor, Referral Service, Event Planner, Roadie, Technician, Board Operator, Lighting Operator, Problem Solver, On-Site Coordinator, Announcer, Master of Ceremonies, Storyteller, Disc Jockey, Karaoke Jock, Music Specialist, Music Mixer, Comedian, Actor, Dancer, Singer, Entertainment Specialist and Crowd Motivator!

What is your “why”?

I know exactly why I do what I do now, but it didn’t start out that way. I started out as a DJ because I loved music, dancing and throwing parties. Over the years though, the reason I kept doing it was because I saw that the work I put into creating flow, fun and special moments for my couples was really making a difference. Doing everything I could to make the biggest day of their life epic so that all of their friends and family talk about it for years to come makes my job very fulfilling.

I know that I am truly making a difference in my clients’ lives and who knows, maybe when they are having little arguments years down the road, they can think back on how amazing their wedding day was and calm down. I know that is a little far-fetched, but it might happen. Either way, so often I get a big hug from my couple at the end of the event and they say, “Thank you so much for making our day so perfect! This has truly been the best day of our lives and it has so much to do with what you did here today.” That is why I do what I do.

What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?

If I could pick an easy button for one thing inside our company, it would be to find the perfect employee to fill the role of Emcee or DJ. It’s tricky because when we hire, we are always hiring for a weekend job, which usually means they need to have another job during the week to pay bills. That can lead to burnout after a year or two. Luckily, at this time, we have a very strong staff and we are doing everything we can in regards to benefits and culture to help keep it that way.
Facebook: /harmonentertain
Instagram: @harmon.entertainment

Maddie Craig

Founder, Blue Cypher Bookeeping

About Maddie Craig

Maddie Craig is the founder of Blue Cypher Bookkeeping, an MSUM alumni and a Fargo, ND native. Besides loving being able to nerd out about numbers with her math teacher husband, Zach, she loves exploring the city and traveling to explore others as well.

“I founded Blue Cypher Bookkeeping because I believe tracking finances does not have to be intimidating, overwhelming or stressful,” Craig said. “Our purpose is to provide accurate, timely financial data to take the strain off company leaders and allow them to make the best possible decisions to grow their organization and further their mission. I love that I get to support small businesses and nonprofits in our area to continue making a difference in our community!”

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

Seek out a mentor or advisor early on! Find people to learn from that will not only cheer you on but challenge you as well. I feel so fortunate to have been able to get to know some amazing businesswomen that have made and continue to make a difference in my life. There are many ways just this year alone, that I’ve seen how their advice and challenges have helped me grow and make more progress than I could have thought I’d be able to make and come out stronger for it.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

One of the things I was able to do this past year was to give a part-time team member paid maternity leave. I loved being able to support them and their growing family that way, and I want to be able to do more things to support and grow my team in 2023. I feel super fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team and I want to showcase them more in general! I also really want to use this next year to embrace each person’s strengths and put them in the best position to grow. When they’re excited about what they get to do every day, it means our clients will continue to be served with the high quality and level of service we want to provide. I’m excited about what 2023 will hold and how we may be able to continue helping support our community even more!

On a completely separate note, I am super excited about an event called “Leadership Unfiltered” coming up in September 2023 that is being put on by the Executives Club of Fargo-Moorhead! I love the idea of getting to hear from real business leaders sharing their honest and “unfiltered” stories and being able to learn from them.

Take us through a typical day in your life.

First, I just wanted to note that every day can be different, and even the best-laid intentions for good daily habits don’t always pan out, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. But here’s a typical day in my life!

7 a.m. to 8 a.m. – I get ready for the day, see my husband off to work and make myself a cup of jasmine tea.

8 a.m. to noon – I typically start my work day by going through emails or doing some light work unless I have a team meeting or plan to stop by a local client’s office.

Noon to 4 p.m. – I try to spend specifically blocked hours doing focused work and typically have an agenda for client work plans and goals to accomplish. Then, occasionally throughout the afternoon, I have coffee meetings at local coffee shops with clients, prospects and business peers.

4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – When my husband gets home from work, we have supper together, watch Wheel of Fortune and try to see who can figure out the answers faster.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – I’m a night owl so sometimes I actually do my best work during the evening hours and focus well during that time. My husband goes off to do his thing and then we come back together for a show later.

9 p.m. to 11 p.m. – My husband and I typically relax and end our night watching a show together before we go to bed and start all over the next day.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I first started my business, I had coffee with a man whose words of wisdom to me were, “you know, it’s not a bad thing to be second on someone’s list.” Whether intentional or not, they were trying to tell me that second place should be good enough for me, that this was the achievable level of mediocrity that I should strive for. But after I had time to think about it more, it only further challenged and energized me, because I knew I was capable of so much more and I had a clear vision for myself and my business. Why would I want to be a backup on someone else’s list when I can make my own? But hey, even bad advice can push you further. You just learn to take advice with a grain of salt or let it spur you on more to prove them wrong.

What keeps you up at night?

Imposter syndrome, thinking about how to achieve my long-term vision and goals or reading a book that’s just too good to put down.

What would you give a TED Talk on?

Imposter syndrome probably, or lessons I’ve learned in my entrepreneurship journey.

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

A lot of people assume/think of taxes when you talk bookkeeping/accounting. It’s actually a lot more “organizing” of numbers than one might think and my firm doesn’t do any tax preparation at all. This was very much on purpose because our entire focus and what we’re passionate about is the day-to-day details and information that people need to make confident decisions. Bookkeeping doesn’t just have to be reactive and something people only look at during tax time. It’s meant to help people see where they’re at and a roadmap to allow them to proactively leverage their finances to move forward. My business is called Blue “Cypher” for a reason. Numbers are really just a puzzle and I get to find, and put, all the pieces together. Getting to crack the “code” and being able to tell the story of the organizations we work with is my favorite part!

What’s one thing the local business community could do to help you/your organization?

Keep supporting the local businesses and nonprofits around you! This is who we work with every day and cheer on from behind the scenes. Your support, whether that’s buying local, giving them a review or even something as simple as spreading the word/interacting with their business online, can help them do even more.

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?

My husband Zach has always been one of my biggest supporters! He’s been with me since the beginning of this business. It’s his encouragement and somehow unshakeable confidence in me even when I don’t always feel that way that keeps me going. He keeps me accountable, supports me in other ways and there’s no one else I’d rather have alongside me as a partner in the journey.

What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?

Social media and marketing! I’m definitely more of a type A personality and a perfectionist. So, I definitely appreciate people who have that eye for that type of creative thinking and work.

What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?

I would say being a great communicator is one important characteristic. You have to be able to provide clarity and direction to your team. It also requires being good at listening, having self-awareness and being able to clearly communicate vision, ideas and other information clearly for people in and outside of your organization.

What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization?

I am always trying to encourage and empower my team members to take ownership of their work and they are not afraid to make suggestions or challenge me as well! We’re getting more regular team meetings and spaces to connect where people can bounce ideas off each other and discuss challenges or opportunities together as well.

Who’s a leader you’re studying or paying attention to right now?

There are quite a few I follow but in general I’ve been following a lot lately that care a ton about their employees—like the Spanx founder who gave all of her employees a cash bonus and first-class tickets around the world. People are the best investment you will ever make and as a business owner, you get to support more than just your external clients. You can tell the companies that truly care about their employees and those are the leaders I want to continue to emulate.

What’s a local/state resource your organization has utilized recently?

I went through the 35-Under-35 program this last year and that was an amazing leadership program. I learned a lot and made some great connections with other awesome women in business. Besides the 35-Under-35 program, there is also the NDWBC Leadership Program, Dale Carnegie and other leadership programs or opportunities to work on their personal/ professional development locally. I highly recommend anyone who wants to grow their leadership skills to check out and participate in programs like that when possible and you get to grow alongside others as well!
Facebook: /bluecypherbooks

Bill Erickson

Owner and President, Total Imaging LLC and Rapid Refill Ink

About Bill Erickson

Bill Erickson is the Owner and President of Total Imaging LLC. and Rapid Refill Ink. Before founding Total Imaging in January 2005, Bill Served 25 years on active duty with the United States Navy. Bill retired in 1997 as a Lieutenant Commander. In addition to his two main businesses, Bill also contracts on the side with national companies to install and repair various electronic devices, including printers.

Bill has been a continuous member of BNI Since February 2005, almost 18 years. He has served as the President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer in the Wednesday Morning Originals. Recently, he served as the Chapter Success Coach for four chapters this past year.

Bill is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Vietnam Veterans of America, The American Legion and a lifetime member of the VFW Fargo ND, Post 762. Bill is also a Gold Member of The Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead. Bill has served as a board member for Bonanzaville since February of 2022.

Bill is married to his high school sweetheart Bonnie. Bonnie and Bill have 6 children, 16 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter and 2 great-grandsons. They have a dog, Boots, a mixed-breed Chihuahua.

Bill’s hobbies include fishing, camping, gardening and reading. He loves anything Navy and tries to stay current with current events affecting the Navy.

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

Having in-person contact matters. It is important to meet people face to face.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

Continuing to grow these businesses and taking a little more time to enjoy life and spend more time at the lake.

Take us through a typical day in your life.

I get up early every day around 6 a.m. I watch the news and read for an hour or two. Then, I get ready for work and try to be at the office most days by 8:30 or 9 a.m. Throughout the day at work, I interact with employees and customers. I usually visit at least one or two customers at their office most days. I read emails and respond as I am able. Around 3 or 3:30 p.m. I try to be back at the office and work to wrap up things I am working on. I try to go home by 6 p.m. to spend time with my wife and relax.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The worst piece of business advice I’ve heard is to open a business when you’re ready. The truth of the matter is that you will never be ready. You’ll always feel that there’s something else you must learn, and that’s okay. When building a business, you learn only by doing; there’s no escaping that learning curve. For that reason, if building a business is your dream, then you must start now. You can do it!

What keeps you up at night?

Employee issues and shortage of available people to fill available jobs. Also, all of the endless opportunities.

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

I sometimes get the idea that people in general don’t realize how much effort it takes to establish and grow a successful business. I feel like there are always challenges and I always have more to do every day than I can possibly get done. But, I love it!

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?

Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, because I have learned much about networking and business leadership by following the principles of BNI and from the other members of BNI that I have met and worked with over the past 18 years.

What’s your “why”?

Owning my business and working to build a business has long been a dream of mine, and doing it is rewarding and keeps me actively working at it. I also feel a sense of responsibility to provide a good wage to my employees.

What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?

Bookkeeping and accounting.

What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?

Empathy and good communication.

What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization?

I treat all my employees with respect and positively encourage them to provide their ideas and efforts.

Total Imaging
Facebook: /totalimaging
Instagram: @total_imaging

Rapid Refill Ink
Facebook: /rapidrefillfargo

Rachael Boyer

President and CEO, The Authority Companies

About Rachael Boyer

Rachael Boyer is the President & CEO of The Home Authority, Inc., a remodeling and custom home-building company. Rachael is also the President & CEO of the Authority Companies which comprises six additional construction/design/real estate companies. Rachael has a diverse background in both the healthcare and construction industries and has combined these unique backgrounds to complete healthcare construction and residential construction over a 25-year time frame.

This diverse background has given Rachael the opportunity to better understand and manage clients’ expectations and deliver world-class experiences for her clients. Rachael will be speaking at the International Builder Show in Vegas in January 2023 on managing the customer experience. She has also written and is in the publication process for an early reader children’s book series on construction and the impact remodeling, building or moving by choice or by circumstance has on kids and families. The first book in “The Adventures of Super Dougie” will be available in January 2023!

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

Despite the negativity in the market and industry, never stop moving forward, building and growing. During an economic downturn, it is never the right thing to do to pull back and it is always the right thing to educate clients and provide solutions to keep momentum moving forward.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

We are anticipating the continued growth and development of the Authority Companies and we are embarking on an expansive effort to gain more business knowledge, education, training and support so we can continue to execute on our mission and vision to bring families together and impact the community. We are expanding our team and we are looking forward to providing our team the opportunity to advance their personal, professional and financial goals alongside the growth of the company

Take us through a typical day in your life.

With multiple companies and the need to oversee the strategic side of things and business growth and development, my day is very full! I start the day with the execution of project communication and follow up with our clients in the morning and then I turn my focus to connecting with new clients with onsite consults or team consults or in general client meetings and follow-ups. I attend various business meetings in person or via zoom with my partners across the country usually toward the middle of the day and then have our team meetings toward the end of the day to prepare for the next day.

After an evening with my family, I spend time reading, journaling, writing and creating a plan for the next day. I spend a portion of my time now on the weekends writing “The Adventures of Super Dougie” book series and working with my illustrator to bring the stories to life. The thing I appreciate most about each day is that it is never the same! I love the diversity of the clients I meet, the lives our team has the opportunity to impact and the ability to be creative each day.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The worst advice I’ve ever received wasn’t actually advice, it was a statement: “You are such a dreamer, that’s not possible.” What I found was that statement was meant for negativity, but I have taken it upon myself to turn that around to become a visionary and turn the impossible into the possible. Sometimes by failing and making the wrong decisions, some of which I truly regret, but, for the most part, I always find a way to fail forward.

What keeps you up at night?

I don’t worry, I don’t fret, but what keeps me up at night is the fact that I have very vivid and strategic dreams that most of the time require me to wake up to put perspective to what I was dreaming about so I can apply the concepts in some fashion in the future. I guess that does make me a dreamer! Whenever I tell our team, “I had a dream last night. . . ” they now know better and their response usually starts with “Ugh!”

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

The reality of being a business owner is that it never ends. It’s not an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., clock-in and clock-out type of role. It’s every night, every weekend, every holiday being actively engaged in the past, present and future opportunities. It’s sacrificing when others don’t want to or don’t have to. It’s trusting others enough to let go and be stronger together than alone. It’s pushing forward and making the tough decisions to keep the momentum when others want to play it safe and pull back. It’s being a leader and a follower and finding the balance between them. It’s nothing like most people perceive it to be.

What’s one thing the local business community could do to help you/your organization?

I would have to answer that in the reverse as I would say that I need to do a better job helping and being a part of my local business community. I have worked with many amazing businesses in our region and partnered with exceptional people along the way, but I have spent so much time working on building our businesses and establishing our teams to serve our clients that I have not done enough to invest my time, expertise, knowledge and partnership in helping the local business community as a whole. I typically don’t network to simply network. I desire to serve and be of service which requires purpose and intent. So, if someone in the local business community would be able to connect our companies with purpose-driven activities and have discussions around those activities, I would absolutely love networking with that purpose in mind.

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?

My husband Jeff has been the biggest contributor to my success. Through the good and the bad and the ups and downs over 30 years, he has never failed to be the biggest supporter of my wild and crazy dreams. He has allowed me to fail forward without judgment and he has allowed me to embrace my visionary passions while pushing me and helping me to avoid the pitfalls of extreme mistakes. Despite my failures and the reality of life, he has never failed to support me.

Do you have any book recommendations?

Books are my thing as I don’t watch TV or read magazines or listen to podcasts. I would highly recommend the following books:

  • “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek “10X Rule” by Grant Cardone (and all the Cardone books for that matter)
  • “Oversubscribed” by Daniel Priestley
  • “Traction” by Gino Wickman
  • The entire Jeb Blount series

What’s your “why”?

We created our “Why” after reading Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why.”

We bring families together by transforming their homes to create both comfortable and inviting gathering spaces and personalized private spaces where they can retreat, relax and rejuvenate. We provide our clients the opportunity to live in the now and enjoy life without the burden of never-ending home projects on their minds. As a result, we inspire pride of ownership which allows our clients to feel a sense of pride when they entertain family and friends and when they are simply enjoying the experience of the comfort of their home. This pride of ownership ultimately transforms the community as the same delight our customers experience is shared with those around them, inspiring others to do the same. Ultimately, we create the opportunity for our clients to achieve an optimal return on their investment assuring them a sound financial future in one of the largest investments they will make.

We transform environments through remodeling, custom home building and design services for residential homeowners who seek our expertise to hold their hand through the process using our proprietary and proven system.

What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?

Marketing! If I could crack the code and just push the easy button on marketing I would literally think I had found Heaven!

What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?


What’s one way you foster creativity within your organization?

Open door idea policy—come with an idea and let’s make it happen! We are not short on visionaries and creators on our team and having an open-door idea policy allows everyone the freedom to find a better way of achieving better results and serving our clients in a better and more meaningful way.

What’s a local/state resource your organization has utilized recently?

I would hands down have to compliment Angie Baumann at Choice Bank for the business and financial support they provide to the Authority Companies. Angie and the team at Choice have gone the extra mile to understand our vision and allow us the funding and opportunities we need to grow our business and execute on our strategies. Angie is one of our most critical team members and she does everything she can to better understand the vision and support the vision and mission of our companies. Never a dream crusher and always a critical support in a very challenging economic environment.
Facebook: /homeauthorityinc

Written by Brady Drake

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