Years in this Position: 14 Years
Education: UW-Madison (Undergraduate), Madison College Graphic Design Program
Hometown: Madison, WI
Greatest Strength: Attention to Detail
From an educational perspective, what studies and skills do you believe launched your career?
My studies in Graphic Design and computer-oriented fine arts definitely set me up for success. But beyond the technical skills acquired, I believe my positive attitude can be accredited to my major achievements. I am constantly learning from mentors as well as my team. Skill is not enough to be successful, you must also have the work ethic and determination to solve the problems that accumulate as a business owner.
Why did you decide to start IH Concepts?
I launched IH Concepts out of a need to take charge of business culture. I wanted to establish an environment where both my employees and clientele are treated well and have the freedom to take the lead in their aspirations.
Impacts in the Community
What is your favorite project you have worked on and why?
Madison Urban Ministry, now released six years ago, was the first project that defined our direction as a company. Their website launch was the first IH site to incorporate our proprietary IH5 Principles, concepts now at the core of how we conduct our projects. Madison Urban Ministry’s donations went up 800% and their engagement revealed similar statistics. This project completely revolutionized the trajectory of our company.
How does your work with IH Concepts impact the Madison Area?
More recently, after our acceptance of Dane Buy Local’s Outstanding Innovator Award, we are more confident of our impact in Madison. We are proud to give the small business community a voice. With the aid of the SBER Grant, we foster relationships with business owners and the city to give them the chance to rise above financial struggles and run with the giants. We cannot take full credit, there are many leaders in the community, but I am excited about our newfound emphasis on uplifting Madison’s “Buy Local” ecosystem.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of running a small business in relation to a large corporation?
In running a small business, there are many added challenges that large corporations avoid. Many small businesses don’t have deep pockets or an abundance of resources at quick disposal. Above all, as CEO, I take sole responsibility for the actions of the office, working long hours to ensure success. We have to fight a little harder, but our wins are definitely appreciated. On the contrary, the small business culture allows me to wear many hats, having control over daily performance and delegating company focus. But most importantly, I can see firsthand the impact of our endeavors within the community.
How has your outlook on small business changed as you have grown in leadership?
It has definitely been a learning curve. I thought I was going to be able to go home and sleep in my pajamas every night, but I have learned that sacrifices need to be made to achieve success. However, in a positive light, this has made me appreciate the strength and dedication of like-minded small business owners. Above all, running IH Concepts has given me a perspective I hope to pass on to my family and other emerging professionals.
What’s Next For IH Concepts?
Growth. Not necessarily externally, but internally. In order to stay in touch with employees and clients, we don’t want to become too big. Instead, now that we are in our groove after 14 years of operation, the focus shifts to efficiency. Personally, I hope to offer a better work-life balance for the office as well as establish a focus on social responsibility. I hope to position IH Concepts to be an example for other businesses. This entails not only giving back to our community, but inspiring the next generation of business leaders.