Oct 25, 201209:00 AMIn Her Business
Dr. Rebecca S. Hage Thomley and the Rewards of Contribution
Dr. Rebecca S. Hage Thomley, CEO of Orion Associates - which provides management services to both related and unrelated, for profit and nonprofit social service organizations shares her advice and her experience with Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program*.
Q. Share your experience with Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program
I have had an incredible experience working with Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. If I were to sum it up, it would be to say two words – Think Big! What Ernst & Young has done for me is created an entirely different way of thinking about my business in terms of possibilities. While we were a strong organization and continued to grow even during difficult times, Ernst & Young created a platform for developing strategies for growth potential that would not have been in my frame of reference in the past. In addition, the opportunities for connections that were provided with other women business owners and resources in this field are incredible.
Q. What drives your passion for your business?
The passion for my business is driven by community. My goal is to have a business that while successful gives back to the community in all aspects of its work. That is why we have established connections through community volunteerism and the development of our nonprofit relief organization. Over 90% of our employees, over the last few years, have participated in volunteer activities. In 2011, 97% have participated in community activism.
Q. What is one significant challenge that you have faced in growing your business?
The greatest challenge for us has been to continue to maintain our high-quality of service, which is what we have historically been known for, while faced with rapid growth in diverse areas.
Q. What some ways that you have effectively addreseds this challenge?
- We have used consultants for new development, and we continually assess our general business operations.
- Continue to grow and develop our board and utilize their talents and skills for oversight.
- Reach out to learn from my peers, specifically with women participating in the Ernst & Young program.
- Continue to work very hard and provide that example to my peers and employees in the organization. No one wants to work for an organization where the leadership is absent or disengaged.
Q. What advice do you have for other women in business?
My advice is to surround yourself with people with great talents different from your own. Allow outsiders to critique your operations and welcome their input. As a woman in business, rely on other women business leaders for support, and finally, give of yourself to the community. What you contribute to others leads only to greater riches for you.
To learn more about Orion Associates, please visit their site: www.orionassoc.net
*The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program is a national competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it.