2007-05-09 Three Businesswomen Inducted
LONGMEADOW, MA— Gloria Smith, President of The Zanger Company, importer of Polish pottery and based in Connecticut; Lynn Donohue, founder and president of Brick by Brick, a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based nonprofit foundation; and Suki Kramer, founder and owner of skin care company Suki, Incorporated, based in Northampton, Mass., were recently inducted into the 21st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame at Bay Path College. The induction took place during the college's 12th annual Women’s Professional Development Conference, on April 27, 2007, and recognizes women business leaders who exemplify qualities of creativity, innovation, and risk. Previous such noteworthy women as Marjorie Feldman, President and CFO, Al's Holding, Incorporated & Subsidiaries; Nadja Piatka, Founder and President of Nadja Foods, Inc. and Wendy Lewis, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity for Major League Baseball, Office of the Commissioner have earned this honor.
After a successful career that included teaching, computer sales, and marriage and family counseling, Gloria Smith recognized a creative spirit still yearning to be satisfied. In 1987, Gloria purchased The Zanger Company, a 20-year-old cutting board manufacturing business, aggressively expanding it into the largest importer and U.S. distributor of Polish stoneware. Using innovative sales techniques, including the QVC shopping network, as well as traditional retail outlets, Gloria completely transformed the company, growing it from $500K to over $10 million in annual sales. She enjoys a wonderfully nurturing business relationship with a women-managed cooperative in Poland, continually inspiring new product lines and artistry. Her breakthrough concept was the "mix and match" design for dinnerware, baking and kitchen accessories. Gloria now appears over 20 hours a year on QVC, bringing Polish stoneware directly to the national audience. Gloria won QVC's 2004 QStar Award for Product Concept of the Year.
Lynn Donohue was a high school dropout working as a bartender until she answered an employment ad for a bricklayer. Facing prejudice and great odds, she turned her life around, and before the age of 40, became a millionaire. Lynn Donohue broke barriers in the male-dominated world of construction, becoming the first, and to this day, the only woman to win the state masonry apprentice award. She used her talents and drive to build her own construction company, Argus Construction. In 2000, she founded Brick by Brick, a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that empowers people to advance their personal career goals through inspiration, education and mentoring, and to pass their experience on to others. Donohue is also the author of a critically acclaimed book, Brick by Brick: A Woman's Journey, which describes her journey from bartender to bricklayer to sole owner of her own construction company. Her lessons in dedication, determination, and fearlessness have been an inspiration to entrepreneurs, managers, and executives across the country.
Driven by her need to find skin care products that were 100% pure, 100% natural, and 100% honest, Suki Kramer created Suki, Incorporated. Suki Kramer took an idea and put it into action, working from the trunk of her car to grow her customer base. Today, Suki, Incorporated products can now be found on the shelves of the Whole Foods Market, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus and has over 6,000 customers internationally. The company has been profiled in Elle, Bon Appetit, and Body & Soul magazines, as well as Vogue.com. Suki, Incorporated products have been selected as one of the preferred product gifts for the stars at the Oscars and at the Sundance Film Festival. From its first year in business, Suki, Incorporated sales have doubled every year.
Visit Bay Path College's 21st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame online.