Distributor Woman of Distinction – Regina Broudy

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Regina BroudyAs an avid reader of biographies, Regina Broudy counts business giants like Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz, Sam Walton and Jeff Bezos as her mentors. “To see what they have achieved is awe-inspiring,” says Broudy. “One of my favorite business quotes comes from Martha Stewart: ‘Build your business success around something that you love – something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.’ I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t enjoy what I do.”

Broudy, who started her company in 1999, says she “didn’t have the usual ‘I’m a woman’ obstacles because I never thought of it that way. In your own business, there is no glass ceiling.” The key to her success, she says, has been to focus on treating customers like family. “This has had a tremendous impact on our business,” she says. “We’ve built strong relationships with all of our customers over the years, and we can attribute some of our growth to referrals from our loyal clientele.”

To demonstrate her commitment to customers, Broudy gives this account: “One time someone called me and asked ‘Can you…’ and I replied ‘Yes.’ And the person continued ‘But I didn’t ask the question.’ It didn’t matter. We find a way to do it. That’s the kind of attitude we have and the attitude we need to succeed. Technology is also a driving force of growth for us. Our development cycle allows us to respond to customer requests in a fraction of the time compared to other companies, enabling us to further improve our business process for our customers and save them time and money.”

Along with her sons (Daniel is CEO and Michael is COO), Broudy has increased the company’s staff from nine employees to over 100 and expanded real estate. “We were in a rental for 10 years, and then built our own building,” she says. “We ran out of room, so we had to rent another 23,000-square-foot warehouse. We’ve run out of room there, which is a good problem to have.”

An influential business leader in the Pittsburgh area, Broudy has been the recipient of many awards including the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year, Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year and the U.S. Small Business Administration regional and state of Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year. Recently, she has participated in The Pittsburgh Business Times Meet Your Mentor event. “It was a great opportunity to meet with and give advice to some of today’s up-and-coming business women,” she says. “And my office door is always open for any of my employees to stop in to talk.”

To be a leader today, Broudy says it’s important to “always be networking and to look at every interaction as an opportunity” since you never know when a chance encounter can turn into a major sales win. Broudy caught such a break early in her career while at a chamber of commerce meeting. “I sat next to a local franchise owner of a popular restaurant chain,” she says, “and 16 years later, we’re still providing its custom-printed materials, banners and branded apparel. We eat, sleep and breathe this business 24/7. You have to devote yourself to what you’re doing.” – JC