Female Entrepreneurs on Leading Teams

On Saturday, February 6, Cornell hosted its Women Redefining Entrepreneurship Conference in Stocking Hall. The sold-out all day event hosted college students from across the state, business people, and government officials. The event included an opening keynote from Laura Danckwerth, a panel on biases women face, small business administration matchmaking with local mentors, networking meals, and more.

One panel featured three local female entrepreneurs who offered advice to women seeking to scale up small businesses. They spoke candidly about leadership:

women redefine leadership

Chelsey Kingsley of Kingsley Quality Woodworking: Kingsley believes in a strong core management team that ensures everyone is properly trained to do their jobs. Up to five craftsmen work on each woodworking project, and she has to make sure they know how to properly use the company’s supplies and tools.

Heather Lane of Purity Ice Cream: Lane primarily employs high school and college students, so she prioritizes understanding her team’s motivations. She understands they work to buy textbooks, and school is their first priority. To cultivate camaraderie, she works alongside them with – mopping, washing dishes, and scooping ice cream.

She also provides her team the opportunity to relax and have fun while learning for their job. When Purity Ice Cream launched its breakfast menu, she sat down with her employees and served the new menu. “They have to taste the food so they can convey it to our customers,” she explained.

Amy Zarbock of Ithaca to Go: “There’s no job I haven’t done or would not do,” Zarbock said. Through working in every role of her business, she built a strong foundation that carried Ithaca to Go forward. She likens this progress to a planting a tree and ensuring its roots develop properly. She says this strong start was fundamental to her growth, as she now employs fifty delivery drivers for food delivery of over thirty restaurants.