What inspired you to start your business?
I followed in my father’s footsteps. He had founded the company as a one man locksmith shop. My sister and I often accompanied Dad to work on Saturday mornings, and I worked for him during the summers when I was in high school and college. I majored in economics, then worked as a sales representative for a security hardware manufacturer after graduation. When I returned to Anderson Lock, I worked in different areas of the company. During this time, I also earned several DHI industry-specific certifications. The company, then with 45 employees, had begun supplying doors and frames as well as hardware. We also added electric and electronic hardware to provide remote access control for higher security. Before long, Dad named me Vice President, then, when he retired, I became President. A few years later I bought a majority share of the company then applied for and received WBENC Certification.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
The door and hardware industry is male-dominated, and some customers, especially in the early days of my joining Anderson Lock, seemed to only want to hear from a man. The expectation was that a woman would know less. However, when they learned I was knowledgeable, my credibility increased. I began to stand out, so being a woman was a distinguishing asset.
What three traits define you?
Optimistic / conscientious / analytical
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
Anderson Lock has won several bid contracts to provide doors / frames and related security door hardware to building contractors who need to meet their goals of “subcontracting to not less than 5% WBE of the awarded contract price for work to be performed.”
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Today’s technology is streamlining wired and wireless access control hardware. High security systems connect with CCTV cameras, and have web-based networked software. Right now, during the pandemic, the manufacturers that serve our industry have introduced several products that provide touchless door openers and wave-to-open door operators to reduce the spread of germs, and others are adding antimicrobial hardware to their product lines.
What’s your favorite career moment?
There have been many, and it’s difficult to choose just one, but I am very proud of overseeing extensive renovation of an immense manufacturing facility in the Elk Grove Business Park, which transformed it into a new home for our still growing Door Division. It took a lot of effort, and employee teamwork, but opening the Door Division, with its huge inventory, commercial door fabrication capabilities, and state-of-the-art office space for Project Managers who do door and hardware bids for general contractors, was a memorable career moment, and one which thrust our company to the top of Total Opening Solution Providers in the Greater Chicago Area
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to work in business. I loved the stories of Dad’s business, and knew I would be like him and run a business.
What do you like about your workspace?
We recently remodeled the interior office area and service department of our Main Office, and had the exterior repainted by our lock techs and installers who otherwise would not have had work to do during COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions, which had led to a huge decrease in business. My newly reconfigured office is in a larger space with more storage, a glass window wall, new office furniture and carpeting. There is room for a small table with wheels and four chairs. The collaborative nature of the design attracted me, for its functionality for hosting small meetings.…but now, with COVID, it provides room for social distance.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... dive in.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… don’t ever forget, most people are good!
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
The best thing that happened to me last week was… I collaborated with several employees to complete a complicated contract.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… serve on national peer group boards to exchange ideas and experiences
Anderson lock company
Anderson Lock is a woman-owned and operated business. Founded in 1960, Anderson Lock provides security products and solutions for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. In addition, Anderson Lock’s online store is a one-stop shop for buying door hardware quickly and conveniently.