Camille Thomas, President & CEO, JMC Retail Group, WPO Minneapolis Chapter, Member since 2004
The WPO is the first organization that strikes a chord with me. From the beginning, I felt surrounded by women with similar issues, intellects, goals, and objectives. They're smart, they're credible, they have integrity, and they come from all different industries, so we learn from each other.
Kara Trott, CEO, Quantum Health, Inc., Columbus Chapter, Member since 2004
When I joined WPO in 2004, Quantum Health had revenues of just under $4 million and managed 23,000 member lives. Through WPO, we met our accounting firm, and one of the sponsors, Key Bank, stepped up to the table to procure an SBA-backed loan that not only allowed the buy-out to occur but seeded Quantum Health with an additional $500,000 in capital, which, when combined with the ‘friends and family’ equity we raised, gave Quantum Health an additional $1 million in cash over and above the buy-out.
As a result of these relationships, WPO’s sponsor, KeyBank, also promoted Quantum Health in its Key for Women marketing, which resulted in us being featured inBusinessweek in early 2007. As of 2006, we had grown to $6.5 million in revenue and 51,000 covered lives, and were entering 2007 with $7.7 million in revenue and 61,000 lives—more than double where we ended 2004. The Businessweek article attracted the attention of a private equity firm. The company ended up getting a $27 million post-money valuation, $7.5 million in capital for a 32% interest, which allowed us to retire the SBA debt, allowed me to take some chips off the table, and gave the company some capital funds to further invest in growth.
We have since used that additional capital to grow the company to where, as of 2011, its projected revenue is $17.2 million to $18 million with 150,000 covered lives—nearly double what it was in 2007.
Not only has WPO been instrumental in giving Quantum Health access to capital, but my local chapter has provided me with the opportunity to learn from others and gain perspective on the various issues we’re dealing with, as well as the members themselves being a strong source of friendship and support.
In 2008, I joined a Platinum Group, and that has been AWESOME! I have been able to bring the intense learning we go through and immediately apply it to our business. The insights and techniques have helped me provide better leadership and bring tools and ideas to the team that have helped us grow more rapidly and smartly.
Sandra M. Fox, Vice President, CHA Inc., WPO Albany Chapter, Member since 2010
The WPO has been an incredible organization to be involved with. The local chapter meetings and national training sessions I have attended have helped me to grow my business and sharpen my leadership skills. For me, the experience of being involved with the local chapter has been like having my own group of fabulous executive coaches. In addition to the advantages my business has gained from my involvement, the WPO Albany chapter has also provided me with support and advice that has helped me to grow in my personal life. I have made some wonderful friendships through the WPO that I will cherish for the rest of my life.