KIMBERLY D. ALLEN WRIGHT is a Vice President of Health Strategies for Metro Atlanta’s American Heart Association. Kim is an experienced leader with a track record of success in developing structural alignment, leading change initiatives and delivering innovative strategic solutions for both profit and non-profit organizations.
As the daughter of an Air Force intelligence specialist, she spent her childhood overseas living in Madagascar, Peru and Honduras. Her proficiency in Spanish later led her to serve as a translator for the Argentinian swim team during the 1996 Paralympic Games. She also performed as a stepper in the Welcome to the World segment during the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta under the direction of Kenny Ortega.
Kimberly graduated with honors from North Carolina A&T State University in 1992 with a degree in Banking & Finance. Upon graduating she accepted a job with McMaster-Carr Supply Co. in Atlanta, GA.
In 1999, Kimberly left McMaster-Carr to launch her own company, Castleberry On-Site Massage Inc., which provided chair massage and mobile spa services to corporations. Kimberly secured major contracts with high-profile clients such as Bell South, Jameson Hospitality and CNN.
Kimberly joined the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer following her mother’s diagnosis with colorectal cancer in 2001. As the director of mission solutions, she was responsible for the development and delivery of constituent education program materials and mission-based tools. She was also the National Strategic Lead for African American Collaborations/Partnerships and a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s Choose You initiative.
In late 2012, Kim joined Pitney Bowes Management Services as a Business Development Executive where she worked with both profit and non-profit organizations improving their data analytics and integration, communication intelligence, messaging via multi-channels and print outsourcing.
Kimberly is an active member of a number of volunteer organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and serves on the board of the Junior League of Atlanta and the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. She also served on the Visitors board at her alma mater and the advisory board for the Allen Etiquette Institute. In 2002 Upscale Magazine named Kimberly one of 10 Power Brokers of the Millennium. Kimberly resides in Atlanta with her two children Storm and JW.
Susan Duncan Gravely is President of Gravely and Associates, LLC, a women-owned company specializing in providing insurance products and risk management services to women-owned businesses as well as corporate clients who have a need or desire to do business with other women-owned entities. The intent is to develop and maintain professional relationships with those companies that have a diversity-based focus with their vendor partners. With 40+ year’s experience of servicing clients in the commercial property and casualty industry, she has been identified by corporate risk managers and international insurance brokers as very capable of filling this service void.
Gravely and Associates is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through the National Women’s Business Enterprise Council, the largest certification council in the United States. Gravely and Associates has been a member in good standing of the Regional Partner Organization, The Greater Women’s Business Council since 2006.
Susan obtained her CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) designation in 1989, the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation in 1999 and the CRM (Certified Risk Manager) designation in 2004.
Follow Gravely and Associates on LinkedIn.
Intro: [00:00:05] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for GWBC Radio: Conversations to Grow Your Business. Now here’s your host, Roz Lewis.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:25] Good morning.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:26] Good morning, Roz. This is Lee Kantor joining you here at GWBC Radio: Conversations to Grow Your Business. And February is Heart Awareness Month. I don’t know if you’re aware of that, Roz.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:38] Yes. And my heart has always been beating.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:42] So, you were gonna have a thematic show, right?
Roz Lewis: [00:00:45] We are. We’re gonna have a great show this morning because of who our guest is. And our guest is Kimberly Wright with the American Heart Association, who is going to give us some insight and tips on how to protect your heart. Our theme this month is talking about how do you protect your heart, as well as, not just your heart, but also the heart of your business. And we also have with us Susan Gravely of Gravely & Associates.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:20] So, she’s in charge of the business part, and Kimberly’s in charge of the heart part?
Roz Lewis: [00:01:24] I think they both have a heart.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:25] They’re both. There’s going to be [crosstalk]-
Roz Lewis: [00:01:27] They both have a heart.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:27] … referencing there.
Roz Lewis: [00:01:29] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:30] So, who do you want to kick off with?
Roz Lewis: [00:01:31] Let’s get both.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:31] But first … well, you know what? Before we get too far, this is our first show of 2020. Any updates on GWBC that you know about?
Roz Lewis: [00:01:38] Yes. 2020 is our 20th anniversary. We have been certifying women businesses for 20 years, providing them-
Lee Kantor: [00:01:47] Wow!
Roz Lewis: [00:01:47] Yes, The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certification. And for you women businesses out there, this certification is a national certification. So, whether you’re certified here in our region, Georgia, North or South Carolina, you will be able to utilize this certification with over 350 major corporations who accept this.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:13] And that’s around the country.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:15] That is around the country that accepts it.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:18] And then, there’s no reason not to do this. This is just opening doors for you to grow your business.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:23] This is a great opportunity, number one, for you to network with other successful women businesses. As a matter of fact, today, after we leave the show, we’ll be on our way to Tables of Eight. This is a luncheon where women connect in order to support each other. I have a special saying that’s by Madeleine Albright.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:46] Go ahead.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:46] There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. That’s right.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:51] So, Tables of Eight will kind of alleviate some of those issues, right?
Roz Lewis: [00:02:55] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:55] They’re going to get together and help each other.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:57] Exactly. Is going to be at the Agave Restaurant. So, if you have time to stop by, by all means, come. There is opportunity for you to meet some very successful women.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:10] And then, is that something that’s going to be ongoing?
Roz Lewis: [00:03:13] Yes. We do this once a quarter, but we have other events too. So, I always encourage you to visit our website at gwbc.org just to learn more about how you can grow and develop your business.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:28] Good stuff. So, who do you want to kick off the show with?
Roz Lewis: [00:03:30] Let’s kick out the show Kimberley this morning. Let’s get right into the heartbeat.
Kimberly Wright: [00:03:37] Good morning. Good morning.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:37] So, Kimberly, tell us about the American Heart Association. How are you serving folks?
Kimberly Wright: [00:03:41] Oh, well, first of all, it is Heart Month, and we are excited to celebrate your heart this morning and the heart of women. And so, we are a relentless force focused on extending the lives of all people. And so, February is important to us, especially it aligns with Valentine’s Day.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:05] That’s probably a coincidence, right?
Kimberly Wright: [00:04:07] Yes, it is a coincidence. Yeah. It makes sense. A lot of red, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:04:14] So, now, what’s your work at the American Heart Association?
Kimberly Wright: [00:04:17] So, I am the Vice President of Health Strategies for Metro Atlanta. So, what that means is we focus on all things health, in particular, blood pressure control, physical activity, and healthy eating, a lot of policy work focusing on tobacco, especially with his vaping epidemic that we have with the youth in particular. So, I get to wake up every morning focused on how I’m going to save lives. Fancy, huh?
Lee Kantor: [00:04:45] And then, how are you doing that in conjunction with businesses? How are you collaborating with the public?
Kimberly Wright: [00:04:52] Yeah, we partner with businesses, individuals, other nonprofits as well. We partnered with the city’s Councils in Marietta or City of Atlanta focusing on policies as well.
Roz Lewis: [00:05:06] So, how can companies support the American Heart Association and their employees?
Kimberly Wright: [00:05:13] Sure. So, there’s several ways that you can. So, we have actually Workplace Health Solutions, which is a toolkit for companies. A lot of times, companies will decide to have a healthier, which is great, but it’s not sustainable. So, it’s that, “Now what?” So, we really encourage companies to adopt policies of putting their health first. Specifically, tied to women, in particular, we are the chief medical decision makers in our households. So, if women are healthy, the house is healthy, businesses are healthy. So, in particular, we definitely encourage women-owned businesses to focus on putting your health first because there’s a sense of guilt that we tend to have when we focus on ourselves first thinking that it’s selfish when indeed it’s not.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:07] Now, is there some low hanging fruit that a business can do along these lines?
Kimberly Wright: [00:06:12] Sure. So, low hanging fruit is you can do an assessment of your environment and think about what are some of the things that we can take on. Low hanging fruit if you want to encourage and incentivize individuals to park far away, or have healthy meetings, make a decision that you’re going to ensure that you have water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. We need a little pizzazz, offer infused water perhaps, healthy snacks, again, physical activity, encouraging people to go to the doctor and know their numbers. So, really giving. If you can free up a day to say, “You know what, we’re going to recognize this day as a day that we want everyone in the office to go to their doctor to get their physical and know their numbers.”
Lee Kantor: [00:07:03] Yeah, I know here in this building, they really do a great job. In the third floor here, they have a walking trail that you can walk around. And I’ve seen people have like meetings or instead of having a meeting in a cubicle, you can just walk and have the same meeting, and you’re outside, and you’re walking and moving.
Kimberly Wright: [00:07:18] Yes, absolutely. And a lot of people are working remote these days. So, if you’re working from home, you can walk around or walk on the treadmill. And if you are a leader of a business, encourage that. So, if somebody sounds a little bit winded from walking, celebrate and recognize that versus making them feel like they need to apologize for sounding a little winded.
Roz Lewis: [00:07:40] But we also want to make sure that they’re okay.
Kimberly Wright: [00:07:40] Absolutely, for sure. Yeah, we want to make sure that if you’re just sounding winded because you’re walking, but we definitely want encourage walking.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:51] And then, piggybacking on that okay part, is there a CPR element of this as well?
Kimberly Wright: [00:07:56] There is a CPR element as well. In the American Heart Association, we do offer an extensive CPR training. But we also, on our website at heart.org, you can access information on how to administer hands-only CPR.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:12] And that’s the recommended?
Kimberly Wright: [00:08:14] That is the recommended because it is an easy training and it’s something that you can do to help that individual that is in the middle of a situation to ensure that the emergency, the ambulance can arrive. But it’s not necessarily … it’s enough that you feel empowered to do something without feeling like, “Oh, my gosh, CPR is just too complicated.” And they’re fun videos too.
Roz Lewis: [00:08:42] So, how often do you have to go through training for CPR? I remember when I was a flight attendant, we had to do it every year, doing what was called recurrent training. So, of course, we had to know CPR. But for the day-to-day person, someone working in an office, what would you recommend, so that they hopefully you don’t have an opportunity to use it?
Kimberly Wright: [00:09:09] Sure. So, yes. So, if you’re in a certain field, it is recommended that you get the annual training. But anyone, including your kids at home, can look at this video. Honestly, it takes 10 minutes, and it’s usually to the rhythm of a fun song to help you know the rhythm and the compressions. So, truly, you can go on heart.org, and click on the video, and learn. If you’re in an office setting, I mean, you can make that part of your next meeting to say, “You know what, we’re going to download and start this meeting off by showing this video, so everyone understands how to administer hands-only CPR,” which a big part of it is yelling to someone and telling them to call 911-
Lee Kantor: [00:09:50] Call 911, right.
Kimberly Wright: [00:09:50] … you forget. And so it’s just that reminder of pointing to that person and saying, “Call 911.”
Lee Kantor: [00:09:57] Right. It’s not just yell, “Help!’ You have to say, “Hey, lady in the blue dress, go and call.”
Kimberly Wright: [00:10:03] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:03] Right. Like that, they know it’s them.
Kimberly Wright: [00:10:06] Exactly. Indeed.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:08] Now, for you, when you’re doing this kind of work, is it a little frustrating in that heart disease doesn’t get kind of the press that some of the other diseases, even though the numbers of people who suffer from heart disease and die from that is much greater?
Kimberly Wright: [00:10:25] Yes. In fact, it is the number one killer of men and women. But the good news is 80% of it is preventable through physical activity, eating healthy, and knowing your numbers. But it can be frustrating because like I tell people, I’m in the business of helping to preserve your health. Everyone is born with a heart. We want to ensure that you have a healthy heart. So, when you have cancer, or something else, or diabetes, which is another chronic disease, that is something that is a disease where we’re trying to preserve a heart to prevent heart disease.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:05] Lifestyle.
Kimberly Wright: [00:11:06] Yeah, it’s lifestyle. So, we take February as an opportunity to celebrate life and your heart. So, that’s where this is an incredibly important month to make people understand, “You know what, there are small things that you can do. And we want you to survive.”
Roz Lewis: [00:11:21] So, how does the American Heart Association … because you mentioned about the healthy lifestyle, and drinking water, infused water. So, how does the American Heart Association work with the food industry to ensure that we are eating more low cholesterol items or have those options available to us?
Kimberly Wright: [00:11:45] Sure. So, well, we want to ensure that the healthy choice is the default choice. So, we want to sneak up on you and just make sure you’re being healthy without you even knowing it. So, with the food industry, in particular, when you go into the grocery store, you’ll see that there is something that says American Heart Association Certified with the check mark.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:06] Check mark, right.
Kimberly Wright: [00:12:08] Right. So, when you’re picking your meats for your sandwich meat for the week, if you know that you can hone in on anything that has that heart check because it lets you know that it has limited sodium, a great source of nutrients, it limits the bad fat. So, industries, we are proud of our brand. And so, for that check mark to to be on a box of healthy cereal or on sandwich meat, this low in sodium, that’s the way we partner with the food industry to encourage them to offer healthier options.
Roz Lewis: [00:12:42] So, what about taste test? Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the taste.
Kimberly Wright: [00:12:47] Yes. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And also, you can find in our heart.org, we have a tool kit or a resource that’s called Healthy for Life. And it’s all about food discovery experience, while at the same time learning something new. For instance, if we talk to people about you need to lower your sodium, okay, great, that’s wonderful. But now what? What are the different options that I have?
Lee Kantor: [00:13:16] Right. Like, what’s a lot of sodium? How do I-
Kimberly Wright: [00:13:17] What’s a lot of sodium, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:13:17] I don’t even have any context for that.
Kimberly Wright: [00:13:19] Exactly. And more importantly, what else gives me that satisfaction the salt gives me that is not salt? So, through the Healthy for Life, we have a program that’s really a taste test. For instance, there’s cauliflower rice or adding citrus. So, we provide options on what you can do around healthy eating and encourage people to taste. And so, that’s something that a business can do. So, it’s a great tool kit. You may say, “You know what, we’re going to offer a session and have a little competition on everyone preparing this healthy recipe or snack.” You can have popcorn that has no salt and none of the bad fat, but you can add some fun seasoning to it. And somebody may say, “Oh, I didn’t like the parsley.” We’ll try rosemary. It’s a win-win situation. And so, now, people are introduced to healthy options.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:12] Now, are you finding people are more open to trying different seasonings? You see so many ethnic restaurants, food from all over the world where salt isn’t used. They use lots of herbs and seasonings.
Kimberly Wright: [00:14:25] In some communities. Some communities are ready to just expand and taste some of the things. But for instance, there are certain communities that don’t have that same access. If you’re living in the middle of a food desert and the closest place that you can get food is at the corner gas station that has things that are high in salt, it is a preservative. So, that’s where we partner with school systems or community centers to offer these healthy options to get these kids to try-
Lee Kantor: [00:14:58] Right. Because they’re just not aware, right?
Kimberly Wright: [00:14:59] They’ve never been exposed to it. “Oh, what’s that?” You would really be surprised. So, it’s also about the exposure, and then knowing. I have to tell a story that there was one kid that they said, “You know what, I didn’t know that bananas were really yellow. I thought that was just on television,” because he gets his banana from the corner store fresh fruit, not necessarily available at the corner store. By the time they get to it, it’s sitting there for a while.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:30] Turns like Brown.
Kimberly Wright: [00:15:31] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:32] Right.
Kimberly Wright: [00:15:33] Right. So, giving them that exposure, but also tying it back to business and the children. It really lets them know what else is out there and exposes them. And they may have a passion for, how can we, a school in a certain neighborhood, partner with a local farmer’s market or a farmer to, now, have fresh fruits and vegetables that the kids can taste?” So, we also focused on empowering communities that don’t necessarily have the same access as others.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:03] Now, are you seeing more or more farmers markets pop up?
Kimberly Wright: [00:16:08] We are. And we are partnering with farmer’s markets. So, for instance, with a lot of the faith-based organizations, a lot of them you’ll see will have pop up farmer’s markets on site after service or donate a lot of their fresh fruits and vegetables to the pantries that are in the churches. So, we are seeing that. But I also want to mention that, sometimes, again, in the interest of time, some folks don’t have time to get that fresh fruit and vegetable. So, we also empower people and let them know frozen is a great option. You can’t get canned with that heart check that says low sodium. But if you can’t even get that, you can rinse things off. So, we really try to meet people where they are, so that everyone feels empowered and knows that there is one small thing that I can do no matter where I live, no matter the zip code. What can I do today to help extend my life and the life of my family members?
Roz Lewis: [00:17:07] Well, think about the things that you’re saying regarding the salt content that’s in a lot of our foods. And I even understand it’s even in milk. So, what are the silent signs that a business owner can look for when it comes to their employees as far as being healthy? And it’s always a fine line, right? We’re between an employer and employee. But more than likely, they’re caring about their teammate. So, are there any signs that any of our owners out there can be aware of or start noticing?
Kimberly Wright: [00:17:56] Right. And you bring up a good point because you want to respect people’s privacy’s, and someone may have the best of intentions and end up making a comment that, now, you have a new whole nother issue on your hands. So, what I would say, I would ask the business owners to not look for the signs but make a decision to be proactive. So, again, it goes back to if you are a business owner, ensuring that in our office, we always have fresh fruit. And so, every day, there’s someone in the office, they go and they get the fresh fruit, and there’s always fresh fruit in the break room. So, I would offer that up or having walking meetings.
Kimberly Wright: [00:18:38] But also, if you see somebody that is looking tired or if something’s going on, not necessarily approaching them because everybody may not want that, but that is an opportunity to reflect to say, “Okay, I noticed that this person’s a little bit tired, and maybe you might want to think, am I overworking them? Am I giving them an opportunity to get up and get moving?'” So, instead of having the conversation, you say, “You know what, let’s have a walking meeting today,” or “Walk with me today,” or something. So, that’s the way that I would. I go back to we want to ensure that the healthy choice is the default choice because there is a sense of guilt, especially for women when we take time out for ourselves. So, we don’t want to add that burden onto them to say, “You know what, you’re just not looking right today.” So, how do we turn it around and empower them?
Lee Kantor: [00:19:28] Now, what about stress? That’s kind of like a silent thing that affects a lot of business people.
Kimberly Wright: [00:19:34] Oh, my goodness.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:34] They feel like they have the weight of the world, responsible for other people. What are some things that people can do to alleviate stress in their business life and life?
Kimberly Wright: [00:19:44] Well, you know what you can do? We recommend you do? Take a deep breath. Stop, pause, inhale through your nose, exhale. Okay. Just stop and take a moment. It sounds simple. And getting enough sleep, we encourage sleep. You have to rest.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:11] Right. Some business owners pride themselves on, “Oh, I only sleep two hours a night. I’ve been working 24/7.” And that’s just not sustainable, right?
Kimberly Wright: [00:20:11] It’s not sustainable. And honestly, are you really being productive? So, that’s the question going back to the business. Are you asking yourself, do we … sometimes, we talk about- especially women – that super woman syndrome.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:32] Right. I got it all under control.
Kimberly Wright: [00:20:33] And I’ve got it all under control. And that’s great, but that can shorten our lives. So, we also need to look out for the super women in our lives and make sure that we’re not taking on too much and saying, “That’s great, but how can I help you?”
Lee Kantor: [00:20:50] Are there any kind of physiological clues that maybe something’s not right? Like is there heart kind of symptoms that someone could see, like, “I’m having trouble. I used to be able to walk up the stairs. And, now, I’m having trouble.” Are there some clues that people can hone in on?
Kimberly Wright: [00:21:06] Yeah, there are some. Those are some. Like, if you’re winded, you’re walking, if you’re feeling tired all the time. I mean, honestly, it’s just those basic clues. But for heart attacks, in particular, or in stroke. So, for stroke, we talk about the acronym of FAST, face drooping, arm drooping, you can’t smile. And if not, then it’s time to call 911. So, those are some of the outward signs, but the challenge is, again, going back to women, “Oh, you know what? I just had this little tingle,” and we ignore it, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:21:42] Right
Kimberly Wright: [00:21:42] So, what I would say is watch. Listen to your body. Listen to the signs. If you’re feeling tired, rest. Don’t ignore the signs.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:53] But they happen like so gradually. Like, you don’t know. It’s a little thing that just kind of builds over time. It’s hard to discern like, “Oh, this is something really big,” or, “This is something manageable.”
Kimberly Wright: [00:22:03] Right, right. And so, yeah, I mean, and everybody’s body is different, and it could be something not necessarily heart health related. So, that’s why we do say it’s important to know your numbers. That’s the best indicator. I mean, truly knowing your numbers.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:19] And your numbers, that’s your blood pressure. What are the other numbers that are important to know?
Kimberly Wright: [00:22:24] They are blood pressure, knowing what your weight should be. So, connecting with your doctor, so that they can even communicate to you what your numbers should be, and establish some goals and metrics.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:37] And that way, you can see trends.
Kimberly Wright: [00:22:39] You can see trends. Yeah, yeah.
Roz Lewis: [00:22:41] But what about the difference between women and men? Because there are some signs that women should pay attention to. Historically, the signs have been more geared towards men. And today, we really have some signs that our women need to be paying attention to. I say the first sign is to lower, to your point, the superwoman cape.
Kimberly Wright: [00:23:04] Right, right, right, yes. And then, if we’re talking about heart attacks, in particular, for both men and women, of course, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, you have discomfort in the upper part of your body. But for women in particular, women experience some different signs of which one in particular is that shortness of breath, if you’re nauseated or vomiting, and back or jaw pain. So, imagine how it could or could not be, right? So, you’re just thinking, “Oh, I was lifting my baby, and it’s just my back,” or “Oh, my jaw. I was clenching my teeth.” So, that kind of goes back to listen to your body.
Roz Lewis: [00:23:52] Right. So, this month is also Go for Red Month, right? So, tell us a little bit about the Go for Red Campaign.
Kimberly Wright: [00:23:59] Right. So, the Go Red for Women. So, it’s important because, like I said, women are the chief medical decision makers in the household, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women.
Roz Lewis: [00:24:15] Not breast cancer.
Kimberly Wright: [00:24:16] Not breast. That’s exactly what I was getting ready to say. It claims more lives than any form of cancer combined.
Roz Lewis: [00:24:24] Wow!
Kimberly Wright: [00:24:24] Right. And so, something else to consider is that women continue to be underrepresented in research and experience the inequities that come along with treatment. So, the research dollars, we need to ensure that more dollars go towards research in women, in particular. So, that’s one thing that we focus on. We have something, STEM Goes Red, which is really exciting.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:51] That’s a great idea to combine those two things.
Roz Lewis: [00:24:54] Exactly.
Kimberly Wright: [00:24:54] Absolutely. And that’s focused on young ladies, young girls. So, we partner with local businesses. And it’s a day where each business takes a letter, the S, the T, the E, the M. And the young ladies are exposed to science, technology, and so on, and so forth. And so, it really is about ensuring that women and young girls stay interested in that field. So, ultimately, we can have more women research writers and medical experts.
Roz Lewis: [00:25:25] But is it also about women volunteer for certain test or-
Kimberly Wright: [00:25:25] Right. Yes. So, I would say that women make up less than half of the clinical trials.
Roz Lewis: [00:25:38] And that’s the word I was looking for, clinical trials.
Kimberly Wright: [00:25:41] Yeah. Clinical trials, right.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:42] So, why is that? There’s more women than men, why would they do the trials less?
Kimberly Wright: [00:25:48] Well, I think there’s a number of reasons. One, that ties back to if there’s fewer women, fewer dollars that are going towards women research and women than some women may not qualify for certain clinical trials. But there are a number of factors, but we just need to be more aware of that and know that clinical trials can be an option, but then ensure that more dollars go towards research for women, so that we will have clinical trials that are focused on women.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:22] Right. Because like you said, it’s not the same. Like the disease affects people differently.
Kimberly Wright: [00:26:28] Right. There are biological differences that we can’t ignore.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:31] So, now, what do you need more of? What are some things businesses right now can do to celebrate Heart Awareness Month?
Kimberly Wright: [00:26:38] Well, there’s a couple of things that we’d love for you to do. And this is one, Heart Walk. We have our heart walk every year. And so, we’d love for businesses to participate. That’s a great team-building exercise. It’s a great way to be active together and just celebrate Heart Health. Also, we encourage businesses, if you want to call 1-877-242-4277 or simply go to cpr.heart.org and sign up your business for CPR training, the extensive one. So, that’s where if you want more than download the video quick hands-only CPR training, that’s something else that you can do as well.
Kimberly Wright: [00:27:24] Also, join us in the advocacy space. So, we spend a lot of time in our local markets. And so, you can join You’re the Cure. I’ll pull that information on how to text to join. And so, that keeps you abreast of all the policies that we’re focused on. We are incredibly excited to say that Atlanta is now smoke-free. And that was a result of the policy work that was done. And so, we’d love for businesses and community members alike to come along with us. And we, now, are focusing on … we have participated in Complete Street. So, if there’s new construction going on or renovation, ensuring that there are safe sidewalks for people to be able to to walk, but now taking it a step further, you have those communities that have the Complete Streets but it’s not safe for kids to walk to school. So, we call that Safe Routes to School. So, having business come along with us to really ensure, how can we ensure that kids can get to school safely?
Lee Kantor: [00:28:28] Imagine that, walking to school. Again-
Kimberly Wright: [00:28:30] Walking to school, physical activity. Fancy that.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:32] What a concept. Now, for you, what’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Kimberly Wright: [00:28:37] Every day, I wake up focused on saving someone’s life. And by trade, I’m a finance person. My background is in finance and operations. How did I end up, that’s another story, now that I said, right? How? But just knowing that I have purpose, and it’s a big job, but at the same time, it is incredibly rewarding when I go and I see that heart check at the grocery store.
Lee Kantor: [00:29:06] Or someone put that in their basket.
Kimberly Wright: [00:29:07] Yes, yes. Or people are talking about Zip Code Matter, and the disparity, and the life expectancy from one zip code to another, and the fact that we are participating in bringing awareness to that issue. And so, now, encouraging whether it’s businesses, city council members to come along with us to ensure that there is health equity. So, that excites me.
Lee Kantor: [00:29:32] Now, is there are ways for our listener to volunteer? Are there volunteer opportunities?
Kimberly Wright: [00:29:38] Say no more. There is always volunteer opportunities. So, I would go to heart.org. That’s really the best place to go. And there’s a place there where you can just click to volunteer, and they’ll connect you with your local market-
Lee Kantor: [00:29:54] Right, that’s near you.
Kimberly Wright: [00:29:55] Yeah, yeah, it’s near. Then, we want to plug you in with whatever space resonates most with you. But there are plenty. We don’t exist without our volunteers. We even have committee members that help to inform our where we go and what we should focus on. So, whether you just want to hand out information, or advocate, or serve on a committee, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. And definitely want to take a moment to thank all the volunteers that are out there. So, we really appreciate it.
Roz Lewis: [00:30:29] Well, most nonprofits cannot do without volunteers, right? They’re the extended team members. They are also part of the lifeblood of any non-profit organization. And I think you talking about the fact of what you were trained in versus where you are today, you have found your purpose.
Kimberly Wright: [00:30:51] Thank you. I think I have. I think I have. And there’s transferable skills, right? So, I started at a different nonprofit, the Cancer Society before, and I thought to myself, “Who am I, this finance and operations person, to come in alongside the Chief Deputy Medical Officer that I would see on CNN. Who am I?” But there’s the operation. So, I came into this space just really figuring out how to help nonprofits execute on the research. So, for instance, if the research says you need to consume X number of servings of fruits and vegetables a day, how do you translate that to the general public? How do you make it easy for people to understand what they can do? And really just the implementation, the budget side of it. So, at first, I didn’t understand my place. But now, I do understand my place in the nonprofit world. So, that’s another message too that where you start off in your career may not be where you end up, so.
Lee Kantor: [00:31:59] But it’s leveraging your superpowers in order to maximize the impact you’re making and your skills.
Kimberly Wright: [00:32:06] Right, absolutely. So, with donor dollars with the background, I’m always thinking about what’s a strong return on impact and return on investment. And I want to make sure we’re being responsible with our donor dollars. I take pride in the fact that if somebody says, “Where’s money going?”, “Okay, so glad you asked. I can share that with you, so you can see the return on investment and the return on impact.” Great. This is the output or what you paid for, but this also equates to X number of kids now being able to walk to school.
Lee Kantor: [00:32:41] And know a banana is yellow.
Kimberly Wright: [00:32:42] And know that a banana is yellow.
Lee Kantor: [00:32:45] Good stuff. Well, thank you for the work you’re doing. It’s so important.
Kimberly Wright: [00:32:48] Thank you.
Roz Lewis: [00:32:49] Yeah, we really appreciate it. So, Susan.
Susan Gravely: [00:32:53] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:32:54] You learned anything there?
Susan Gravely: [00:32:56] I learned a lot.
Roz Lewis: [00:32:58] So, now, here, we’ve talked about how we can help healthy employees and hopefully healthy business owners too. So, remember, it’s more than two hours of sleep. You need at least seven to eight hours. And I’m also talking to myself regarding that.
Susan Gravely: [00:33:15] I can relate.
Roz Lewis: [00:33:15] Yes. But let’s talk about the business and how important it is. And literally, tell us a little bit about Gravely & Associates. And you’re going to hear that I word business owners out there not thinking that that is truly your heartbeat.
Susan Gravely: [00:33:34] That’s exactly right. Well, Gravely & Associates provides insurance products and risk management services to businesses, large and small. Where we plug ourselves in is working with women-owned businesses, minority businesses, smaller businesses that do business with corporate. Those individuals or those businesses have a need for someone who can go in and look at those corporate contracts, determine what coverage they need, and provide that coverage for them in an environment that is service-oriented.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:09] Now, what’s an example of some coverage that when you’re dealing with a corporate that a business may not anticipate needing?
Susan Gravely: [00:34:15] That’s a great question. We see and I see all kinds of contracts. We work with a lot of WBEs, work with a lot of corporate contracts, and those corporate contracts can change from year to year. And you may have had adequate coverage the year before, and then they change their contract requirements, and they’re required to have additional coverage. And it can range from anything from general liability, to umbrella coverage, to crime coverage, and fidelity coverage, professional liability coverage. Cyber coverage is now a big hot topic and a hot ticket for clients that are doing business with corporates.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:58] What does cyber coverage mean?
Susan Gravely: [00:35:00] Cyber liability coverage is basically coverage for those individuals, companies that have computer services, provide computer services, can’t retain any type of personal information for that corporate or for their clients. And if that service is breached, then you have to provide notification to your clients that you have been breached, and you have to meet certain state requirements in that responsibility. You can be held for ransom. They will hold your personal information for ransom. And these are third parties that hack into your computer system.
Susan Gravely: [00:35:46] And so, that’s why cyber liability is such a hot topic now because these corporations, we all do business through the internet. We all do business with computers. We all have smartphones. All of those things can be breached. And if they are breached, then personal information that you have on that website, or on that server, or on that smartphone can be used against you or can be used against the client.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:16] So, then, you have to have the appropriate insurance to protect yourself from that.
Susan Gravely: [00:36:19] Exactly, exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:20] Now, what about in health care? I would imagine there is a lot of regulations because aren’t the HIPAA laws such that third parties have to-
Susan Gravely: [00:36:29] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:30] … do a lot of stuff-
Susan Gravely: [00:36:30] That is so true. Medical providers are the ones that have the most stringent HIPAA laws. And they have to protect the privacy of that patient, of that client going forward. And it can be thousands and thousands of private information that’s kept on their server or in the cloud that can be breached. And yes, most health care providers, most doctor offices, I mean, it can go down the line.
Susan Gravely: [00:37:03] I’ll give you a great example. During the Christmas holidays, I have a health spending account, and my health spending account was used for my doctor’s visit in November. Well, I just happened to look on my smartphone. I was checking my email on December the 25th, believe it or not. And I had eight emails saying, “Thank you from PayPal. $80 has been taken out of your health savings account.” And I’m like, “I haven’t spent any money. I haven’t gone anywhere.”
Lee Kantor: [00:37:41] That’s weird.
Susan Gravely: [00:37:41] And oh, by the way, it was nail salons and clothing stores.
Roz Lewis: [00:37:44] Wow!
Lee Kantor: [00:37:44] Not exactly heath savings.
Susan Gravely: [00:37:45] Which is not health savings account. So, I immediately go to my bank, I tell them what happened, and the money was put back in my account, but my account was breached, and it was breached from my doctor’s office in November.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:01] And it may not have been the doctor. It could have been a third party that worked with the doctor.
Susan Gravely: [00:38:05] It could have been the third party. It could have been someone who hacked into their system. And so, I notified my doctor. I notified their office. They went and had to notify all of their patients.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:18] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:38:18] So, when you look at time and effort to recoup all of this, how economical is this to have this insurance?
Susan Gravely: [00:38:27] The insurance cost compared to the exposure is minimal. And I’ll give you a great example. I have a client that we just secured a cyber liability policy for, and it’s three different companies, and it’s a temporary agency. They provide staffing for medical doctors offices and hospitals, general white collar corporate and employees and security. And they just secured a $5 million limit for $7500 a year.
Lee Kantor: [00:39:03] Wow!
Susan Gravely: [00:39:03] That’s unbelievable. And it had alternative coverages that were listed below there that the client hadn’t even really thought about. So, it’s a comprehensive program and the cost, fortunately, for the consumer right now, the cost is not caught up with what is actually going to be the exposure in the long term because everybody needs it. Five years from now, we’re going to see probably … the next three to five years, we’re going to see a big jump in cyber liability premiums because the losses are going to catch up with what people are paying in premium.
Roz Lewis: [00:39:41] Wow!
Susan Gravely: [00:39:41] So, right now, now’s the time to buy it, to get in on the ground floor, so that your costs are not going to be jumped up over a period of time. But if you wait three or five years from now, you may not be able to afford it.
Lee Kantor: [00:39:57] Exactly.
Susan Gravely: [00:39:57] Exactly. So, it’s a process.
Lee Kantor: [00:40:01] Now, any counsel for that new business? Like, what are kind of the basic insurance that they should be looking at?
Susan Gravely: [00:40:09] It really depends on the exposure and what their scope of operations is. And we’ll just take a main street business. A retail business would need coverage for their inventory and their property. They would need general liability coverage, which gives you coverage for bodily injury and property damage to a third party that comes on your premises, or you go to their premises. If they have a commercial auto that they use in the business, you would take commercial auto coverage to cover that exposure. And so, a regular, a main street business that’s just starting out. Those are probably the basics.
Susan Gravely: [00:40:49] Workers compensation, if you have two or more full-time or part-time employees, in the State of Georgia, you are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. And if you don’t, and you have more of those employees, and someone is injured on the job, you’re responsible for their injury, and you can be fined up to $10,000 for not caring it. And that’s something that’s not really out there or advertised, but it is a state law. I mean, it’s part of what Georgia requires.
Lee Kantor: [00:41:17] What about service companies? Are there any insurance that they should be carrying?
Susan Gravely: [00:41:21] Yes. Service companies are a little bit different in the fact that if you are providing a service, you’re providing something that’s almost intangible. It’s based on your performance. It’s based on the services you provide. In that instance, you would need to carry professional liability coverage. And that professional liability coverage gives you coverage for that entity if that client that you are servicing suffers a financial loss because of something you did as a service.
Roz Lewis: [00:41:54] Is that like errors and omissions?
Susan Gravely: [00:41:54] It’s exactly like errors and omissions. Those two or simultaneous, professional liability and errors and omissions are one and the same.
Roz Lewis: [00:42:03] Okay. But explain a little bit more about why I, as a service business, should have errors and omission.
Susan Gravely: [00:42:12] Okay.
Roz Lewis: [00:42:14] And the difference between the two.
Susan Gravely: [00:42:15] Okay.
Roz Lewis: [00:42:16] If there is a slight difference.
Susan Gravely: [00:42:17] There really isn’t. Errors and omissions and professional liability really go hand in hand. You can call six one half does the other basically. But what you are looking at protecting is the service you provide to that third party. And let’s just take, for instance, a design firm, okay? A design firm provides you with a service. They provide you with a product as well. But say, for instance, that design firm goes out, and they make a drawing of your facility. They say, “This this is where we want the exits to be. This is where we want the restrooms to be. This is where we want. This is how we’re going to decorate. This is the color scheme we’re gonna use,” et cetera, et cetera.
Susan Gravely: [00:43:01] Well, they put all this together, and we find out at a later date or after it’s done that, “Oh, my goodness, we forgot to take into account the ADA Act.” And so, instead of having a handicapped bathroom, we don’t have a handicapped bathroom. And that particular client has suffered a financial loss because they have to bring it up to code. And if that’s not done, then the design firm that designed it in the first place should know that because they are servicing that client. So, it would go back to that design firm and their professional ability to pay that financial loss.
Lee Kantor: [00:43:37] Because they should have known.
Susan Gravely: [00:43:38] They should known, exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:43:38] Right. And that’s why you were contracting them, because they were supposed to be experts.
Susan Gravely: [00:43:42] Exactly. That’s why you contract. They are experts in their industry and they should know that.
Lee Kantor: [00:43:48] Now, we’re talking about things that are mistakes and things like that. Is there any insurance for like kind of acts of God, like the power goes out, no fault of anybody, and that’s disrupting business? Is there any for that?
Susan Gravely: [00:44:03] Oh, yes, absolutely. And that insurance, some policies do you have a power failure. And so, say, for instance, we have a power outage here during this, and it’s caused by a tree coming down.
Lee Kantor: [00:44:18] Right, like we’re doing work. Right, they’re doing work.
Susan Gravely: [00:44:20] A work down the street, exactly. So, that power interruption comes about. We’re off the air. And then, basically, we’re looking at a tree down over here, and it’s blown over-
Lee Kantor: [00:44:31] And it’s like no fault of anybody.
Susan Gravely: [00:44:31] But it’s blown over and it causes an immediate accident here, then there’s coverage for that under your property policy, under the policy that is provided for your property coverage. And it’s usually a sub limit. I have restaurants that have the power outage coverage because they can’t afford to have a power outage for more than 10 hours or five hours because they have food in the freezer that’s going to go bad. So, that’s a huge exposure. And they will have that, and they may increase that limit. You can buy it in increments of $1000, or $5000, or $10,000, or whatever you think is adequate to cover your inventory or to cover your loss.
Roz Lewis: [00:45:18] But for startups, do you think startups should have this insurance?
Susan Gravely: [00:45:23] Absolutely. And the reason I say that is because you don’t know if you are going to see a client, and you don’t have that coverage in place, you don’t have that general liability coverage in place, and you caused bodily injury or property damage to that client that you’re going to see, they are out of whatever bodily injury and/or property damage, they’re out of pocket. Your insurance should pay for that. And basically, that’s what they’re looking for. And it also lends credibility to the business that you have. You can walk in and say, “I can do this for you. I’m an expert in this field. This, here is my insurance information to tell you that I have already done my due diligence. I’m going to have an adequate insurance program that’s going to cover my exposure, as well as your exposure,” if that situation comes up.
Roz Lewis: [00:46:30] So, we’ve talked about cyber security. Let’s talk about the equipment and how important it is to cover any of the equipment that you have and how, sometimes, especially for startups, they think, “You know what, my budget is already tight, and I’m going to just wing it. I’m just going to take a risk on the fact that this is going to be okay,” where should this not be the number one insurance that they look for coverage on?
Susan Gravely: [00:47:03] It really should. And the reason being … and I spoke with a young lady this week who said, “I did not get the insurance program that you talked to me about a year ago. And guess what happened? I had all of my equipment stolen out of my car.” “I’m so sorry.” That was my first response. “I’m so sorry. but I tried to tell you.” And now, she’s come back to me and said, “I’ve learned the hard way. I know I need to do this. Can you help me?” And I said, ‘Absolutely. I’ll be happy to help you.” But it is very important. You don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you until it does happen to you. And then, it’s too late.
Lee Kantor: [00:47:43] Right. Now, what’s the process? Like you’re a business owner. Like how early in the process should you be talking to your insurance person? Is this an annual call, like you update what’s happening? Like what’s a good insurance company that … what’s the rhythm of kind of communicating with their clients to make sure they’re protected because changes, it’s very fluid?
Susan Gravely: [00:48:05] Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:48:06] Things are always going on.
Susan Gravely: [00:48:07] Absolutely. One of the things that I do in my practice is I touch base with my clients, at least, 90 days prior to their renewal date. And we have that conversation. They get a summary of insurance from me of any changes that we’ve made during the policy term. And I go to them and say, “These are the things that we need to be looking at. What has changed in your scope of operations? What do I need to do for you? What is your payroll look like? What’s your revenue looking like?”
Susan Gravely: [00:48:36] And I’ll be honest with you, the past two years, every single account that I have worked on, every single client I’ve met with is having a huge, huge success in their business. So, their revenues are going up. Their payroll is going up to meet the needs of that product and service that they’re providing. They are expanding their business. And so, my job as their insurance agent and their insurance consultant is to make sure that we are addressing those needs as they come up. And so, that’s my job is to meet with them, at least, 90 days prior to the renewal date. And then, I touch base with them. Usually, most of my clients here for me at least once a month.
Lee Kantor: [00:49:20] And then, part of your job also is kind of being up to date of any changes like in regulation, or laws, or something that they may not be aware of that could be impacting them, right?
Susan Gravely: [00:49:31] Exactly. I mean, I’m constantly reading periodicals. I’m constantly going to … I go to an insurance class every year. We are constantly looking at what is going on out there in the workplace, what is going on out there in the business workplace. And I learn a lot from working with these women-owned businesses that work with these corporates because these corporates are also at the forefront of what is changing in the industry. And so, we have to meet those needs as they come up as well. So, yes, it’s a learning curve. Every single day, I’m reading some periodical, some information, something that has changed in the State of Georgia or whatever state that particular client is doing business in. So, it’s part of my job is to do that.
Lee Kantor: [00:50:17] Now, for the woman that starting out, and their budget is limited, and they’re saying, “Okay, I’m going to not address insurance on day one,” which I am sure it happens, but at some point they’re ready to have this conversation. That initial conversation with you or an insurance professional, is that something that’s very costly, like just a lay of the land to learn how this works because they might be surprised it isn’t as expensive as they made anticipate it be?
Susan Gravely: [00:50:48] Exactly. And a lot of times, I think they hear from … if they’re looking at getting that corporate contract, and they’re looking at doing business with the big guy, so to speak, you don’t always have to provide all of the insurance requirements that that particular contract is requiring because I have gone through contracts before with a client that is providing a product, but they don’t need professional liability insurance because they are selling a product.
Roz Lewis: [00:51:20] Right. That’s on the scope of their work, right?
Susan Gravely: [00:51:22] Right, exactly. So, we look at it or I look at it, look at that contract, and I say, “These are the things that we can go back to that corporate and negotiate.” And you tell them, “This is what…” They give you a contract, and it is a carte blanche. I mean, it’s [crosstalk].
Lee Kantor: [00:51:38] Right, it’s [crosstalk].
Susan Gravely: [00:51:38] That’s right.
Lee Kantor: [00:51:38] Right, exactly.
Susan Gravely: [00:51:38] And what you have to do is tailor it to what you are providing.
Lee Kantor: [00:51:45] Right.
Susan Gravely: [00:51:45] And that’s where I come in as well. And you’d be surprised. You can get a business owner’s package policy, which would include property, and general ability, and typically hard and unknown for $350 a year, depending on where you’re located, and what you’re doing. So-
Roz Lewis: [00:52:04] Can you repeat that. How much?
Susan Gravely: [00:52:06] $350 is the minimum premium.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:10] Wow. Hopefully you all are listening.
Lee Kantor: [00:52:11] Right? Because, I mean, people don’t know. They just imagine this is some huge number. They’re like, “I’m not going to deal with this.” One that’s so minimal-
Susan Gravely: [00:52:18] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:52:20] … it’s like silly not to have it.
Susan Gravely: [00:52:22] And if you start with that minimum premium, as you grow your business, yes, your premium is going to grow because your exposure grows. And so, you have to look-
Roz Lewis: [00:52:31] And so is the revenue and the income.
Susan Gravely: [00:52:31] And so is the revenue and the income. So, it is all relative. It all works the same way.
Lee Kantor: [00:52:37] So, now, how much is that initial consultation just to find out what’s what?
Susan Gravely: [00:52:42] I don’t charge anything.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:44] So, now, you’re saying that you don’t charge anything. I’m hearing $350 to have pretty much general coverage that you need.
Susan Gravely: [00:52:55] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:52:55] If you break that down, that’s equals to what? Let’s do the math. $30 dollars a month, if that?
Susan Gravely: [00:53:04] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:53:05] Like a movie for two people?
Roz Lewis: [00:53:07] Yes. Actually, a movie costs more.
Susan Gravely: [00:53:08] Oh, no, no, no, no. No, you can’t.
Roz Lewis: [00:53:09] You can’t go to the movies.
Susan Gravely: [00:53:11] No, you cannot-
Roz Lewis: [00:53:11] It’s not $30 anymore.
Susan Gravely: [00:53:11] You might get the popcorn and the cup for 30.
Roz Lewis: [00:53:15] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:53:17] Yeah. So, that’s kind of a no brainer there. So, if somebody wanted to learn more and have a more substantive conversation with you, is there a website?
Susan Gravely: [00:53:24] Absolutely. www.gravelyandassociates.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:53:32] Now, before we wrap this segment, Susan, can you talk about your relationship with GWBC? Like how that’s impacting your business?
Susan Gravely: [00:53:39] I love this organization. They have really been just incredible. I have made so many wonderful friends and not only business associates, but just lifelong friends. And if you get involved in this organization, the return on investment is tenfold. It is absolutely incredible. Roz Lewis does a fantastic job. Her support team does a fantastic job. I’m involved in several committees, and I absolutely love it. It’s a highlight of my day.
Susan Gravely: [00:54:16] And you’re talking about getting up in the morning and what your purpose in life is, I have found my purpose in life, and it’s working with women-owned businesses. They truly appreciate what you do for them. And I’m not knocking men. I love men. But working with women, they appreciate what you put into it, and they take your advice, and they look to you. And it’s not just a business associate or business association, it is a friendship too. And I count myself very fortunate, very blessed to be a part of this organization.
Lee Kantor: [00:54:54] And now, any advice for the woman who isn’t yet involved with GWBC?
Susan Gravely: [00:54:58] Please, please, please go to the website, get involved. We’re doing a function every month, some type of networking function every month for women-owned businesses. The certification process, once you’re through it, it’s very easy to renew every year. We are very hands-on organization. We have a working board, and they work, and we have volunteers that work within the organization. And we have a great time. We have a ball. We have a great time.
Roz Lewis: [00:55:37] And then, you can be recognized as volunteer of the year, such as Susan Gravely has been recognized as one of our volunteers of the year.
Susan Gravely: [00:55:44] How nice of you to bring that up.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:45] But the only way you’re going to get that though is, like Susan said, you have to-
Roz Lewis: [00:55:49] You got to show up
Lee Kantor: [00:55:49] You have to get involved. This isn’t something-
Susan Gravely: [00:55:53] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:53] … that you just pay a fee, and then-
Susan Gravely: [00:55:54] No, you have to get involved.
Lee Kantor: [00:55:54] … magically business comes your way.
Roz Lewis: [00:55:56] Exactly.
Susan Gravely: [00:55:56] It’s just like a gym membership.
Roz Lewis: [00:55:58] Exactly/
Susan Gravely: [00:55:58] That’s what we like to say.
Lee Kantor: [00:56:00] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:56:00] Exactly. If you want to grow up, you got to show up.
Susan Gravely: [00:56:04] That’s right.
Lee Kantor: [00:56:05] So, now, Roz, great episode. Is there anything, any events coming up to remind the listener about?
Roz Lewis: [00:56:11] Well, as I mentioned today, we do have an event that’s momentarily starting. It’s our Tables of Eight. We also have additional events, our Top Corporations Luncheon is going to be on April 27th. So, we encourage you to visit our website for other events that not only that GWBC organically creates, but also that we partner with other organizations that you may already be involved with that allows you to, once again, get your name out there. People need to know and understand what you do, how you do it, and more importantly, how you can solve their problems or provide a solution. You want to stay top of mind. There are 9 … no, there are 12 billion women businesses in this country. So, keep that in mind. There’s a lot of competition.
Lee Kantor: [00:57:09] Well, this is your edge. GWBC is your edge.
Roz Lewis: [00:57:12] Exactly. So, we encourage you to get engaged, get involved, volunteer.
Susan Gravely: [00:57:18] Absolutely.
Roz Lewis: [00:57:18] And not only just volunteer within our organization, but volunteer with organizations like the American Heart Association because you never know who your revenue elbows with. It could be the vice president or the chief procurement officer of that corporation-.
Susan Gravely: [00:57:35] That’s right.
Roz Lewis: [00:57:35] … that you are trying to get a contract with. So, those are relationship, relationship, relationship is key.
Lee Kantor: [00:57:43] And what about the corporates, like , why should they get involved with GWBC? What’s in it for them?
Roz Lewis: [00:57:49] Because we have the best repository of competitive women businesses in this country. Keep in mind that we can, now, say out of over a thousand certified women businesses that the majority of them are over $1 million in revenue. So, that’s exciting. And we want to encourage even more. We want to scale those that aren’t at a million yet to get there. So, we would love to say three-fourths of our constituency sits over a million dollars. That’s economic impact.
Lee Kantor: [00:58:27] Right. And that’s important to understand the context of that. That number is way above the norm.
Roz Lewis: [00:58:33] Way above the norm. You’re right. But I always leave you with a parting thought, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:58:38] Go for it.
Roz Lewis: [00:58:39] And so, keep in mind, yes, February is Heart Month, but it’s also Black History Month. And in that, I would like to quote Madam C.J. Walker. She was the first woman millionaire, African-American millionaire. And her quote is, “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity.” And she was very successful in making those opportunities that, today, we still reap the benefits of.
Lee Kantor: [00:59:10] That’s great advice. Choose yourself. Make it happen.
Roz Lewis: [00:59:13] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:59:14] Well, Roz, thank you so much for open this episode together. And thank you to both of our guests today.
Roz Lewis: [00:59:19] Yes. We want to thank Susan and Kimberly.
Kimberly Wright: [00:59:22] this was great.
Lee Kantor: [00:59:23] All right. This is Lee Kantor for Roz Lewis. We will see you all next time on GWBC Radio.
About Your Host
Roz Lewis is President & CEO – Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a member of the WBENC Board of Directors.
Previous career roles at Delta Air Lines included Flight Attendant, In-Flight Supervisor and Program Manager, Corporate Supplier Diversity.
During her career she has received numerous awards and accolades. Most notable: Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Diversity & Inclusion award; 2017 inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and 2010 – Women Out Front Award from Georgia Tech University.
She has written and been featured in articles on GWBC® and supplier diversity for Forbes Magazine SE, Minority Business Enterprise, The Atlanta Tribune, WE- USA, Minorities and Women in Business magazines. Her quotes are published in The Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business book by Susan Wilson Solovic and Guide Coaching by Ellen M. Dotts, Monique A. Honaman and Stacy L. Sollenberger. Recently, she appeared on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s BIZ on 11Alive, WXIA to talk about the importance of mentoring for women.
In 2010, Lewis was invited to the White House for Council on Women and Girls Entrepreneur Conference for the announcement of the Small Business Administration (SBA) new Women Owned Small Business Rule approved by Congress. In 2014, she was invited to the White House to participate in sessions on small business priorities and the Affordable Care Act.
Roz Lewis received her BS degree from Florida International University, Miami, FL and has the following training/certifications: Certified Purchasing Managers (CPM); Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), Institute for Supply Management (ISM)of Supplier Diversity and Procurement: Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta (DLAA), Negotiations, Supply Management Strategies and Analytical Purchasing.
Connect with Roz on LinkedIn.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
GWBC® has partnered with dozens of major companies who are committed to providing a sustainable foundation through our guiding principles to bring education, training and the standardization of national certification to women businesses in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.