Gina Schaefer is the Co-Owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, Board Member at CCA Global Partners, and the Author of Recovery Hardware, a book about Schaefer's path to building a business that revitalized her neglected urban community and provided opportunities for everyone to thrive, no matter their past. While expanding to 13 hardware stores in the Washington, D.C. Gina established a culture of acceptance, respect, and community. Gina shares why no question is a dumb question, how to develop greater buy-in from employees, and what happens when you treat everyone around you with the same respect without judging their past.
- For a successful business, the local community it is a part of is more important than the walls that support the company’s roof.
- Put faith in people who society may have left behind. Your feelings towards someone should not be based entirely on the worst thing they’ve done, nor should they be based entirely on the best deed they’ve ever performed.
- When leading with humility, influence, and culture are exchanged and built by both the leader and the follower.
- Ace Hardware is not a franchise-based business. It operates on a Co-op model, which fosters stronger communities because everyone is mutually invested in working toward a successful outcome that is only achieved by working together.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question if you’re unsure about something. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is more important than trying not to embarrass yourself by asking a “dumb” question.
- You don’t have to be a licensed professional to act in a professional manner in everything you do for your company. Gina emphasized how important it was to instill that a retail job is still an important part of anyone’s career and the more that her staff bought into that idea, they became more committed to giving their best effort.
- As a leader, it’s crucial to know when you're out of your depth and to be humble enough to listen to your employees and trust their insights when they have greater expertise in a particular area.
Quote of the Show:
- “When you're trying to build a business, you need every single body inside the business to be affecting everyone who walks through the doors.” - Gina Schaefer
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gina-schaefer-56380a8/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/hardware_gina?lang=en
- Personal Website: https://ginaschaefer.com/
- Recovery Hardware: https://ginaschaefer.com/book
- CCA Global Partners website: https://www.ccaglobalpartners.com/
- Father Gregory Boyle - Founder of Homeboy Industries
- Roberta McDonald - Former Marketer at Cabot Cheese
- Zingerman’s Deli
Creators and Guests
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Gina Schaefer is the Co-Owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, Board Member at CCA Global Partners, and the Author of Recovery Hardware, a book about Schaefer's path to building a business that revitalized her neglected urban community and provided opportunities for everyone to thrive, no matter their past. While expanding to 13 hardware stores in the Washington, D.C. Gina established a culture of acceptance, respect, and community.
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.