Spotlight on Candy McCullers, Founder and Owner Advertise America

What brought you to NAWBO?

I discovered NAWBO last March through a friend, Kim Beck, who invited me to join her and her boss, Nancy Postle of Sympatico Resources, at a luncheon where Lisa King (Brownie Points) spoke.  I was so impressed that I immediately signed up for the Women, Wisdom and Wine event on March 10, and joined that night!  Subsequently, I have become a NAWBO ambassador; I have joined the Membership Committee; and I’ve attended as many events as possible. I’m also waiting to get into a Roundtable. Since joining NAWBO, I have been amazed at the connections and relationships the organization brings together. In addition, Advertise America donated the branded Govino Wine Glasses for the WBC swag bags; and we also contributed branded Business Card Folios for new members. 

Tell us about your business

Advertise America is a full service promotional advertising company providing expertise in all facets of branded communications. We are experts at global sourcing and fulfillment, event management, promotional marketing campaigns, corporate message delivery, creative packaging, art services, and e-commerce technology -- including online stores and fulfillment. Today, 90% of Advertise America's clients are repeat customers, a statistic that attests to a relentless focus on service, detail, and satisfaction.

Advertise America’s mission is to contribute to our customer’s success by providing the highest quality promotional products and services that showcase their brands.  We provide creative, integrated brand strategies and focus on building relationships and lasting partnerships.  We go out of our way to ensure our customer’s complete satisfaction, because we care.

Advertise America has received the Northern Virginia National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Award of Excellence for Innovative Marketing.  We are a recipient of the Marketing Communications Award for Best Special Programming from the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) for a custom online employee merchandising program created for one of our clients, offering their employees over 40 promotional items at the touch of a finger. 

We have developed and managed global programs throughout North America, South America, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  This international experience is what sets me and my team apart and has enabled us to understand and deliver exactly what our customers expect and demand. 

What inspired you to get into your business?

I am a “people person” and enjoy building relationships with others.  My father-in-law told me that my personality and compassion for others would be very valuable in business and sales.  His confidence and my family’s support gave me the courage and inspiration to form Advertise America over 20 years ago.

I started Advertise America in 1995 while still employed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Project Coordinator assisting Ambassadors to the IMF in their relocation to overseas posts in over 80 countries; ensuring that items were delivered and installed to the required specifications in a timely manner. Servicing internationally diverse clients contributed to the vision for Advertise America.

What are your three best practices or best tips that every NAWBO member needs to hear?

  1.       Just do it.  Have the courage.
  2.       Make it fun.  Life is too short.
  3.       Enjoy the ride.  It will be like a roller coaster.

What does your future look like?

We are planning for growth and expansion.  My husband, Mark, was the President/GM of the Columbus Crew for over 10 years and recently formed a sports management and consulting firm.  He contributes to business development strategy while I focus on customer development, retention and satisfaction.  We are investing in our infrastructure to support additional customer service and sales personnel.  We are also investing in strategic marketing partnerships to extend our client services and value.

What do you do in your free time? 

I’m a very social person and enjoy my bunko group (20 years strong), book club and other activities with friends like our Bocce league. I walk daily to get exercise but also to catch up with friends. We have three children – Corey (20), Camryn (18), and Carson (17). Camryn and Carson are Irish Twins, 11 months apart! We have been very engaged in our children’s activities including golf tournaments, rowing regattas, cheerleading and competitive dance! We enjoy travel and recently had an incredible experience with our entire family in Italy visiting Venice, Rome, Florence and Sorrento. In addition, we have three dogs that keep us very busy – Cha Cha, a miniature Yorkie; Samson, an English Springer Spaniel; and Roxy, our black Lab who had 10 puppies shortly after we rescued her! 

Spotlight on Pathways Financial Credit Union and Deanna Barzak, Business Development Manager

Tell us about your company.

Pathways Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Delaware, Franklin, Madison, or Union Counties. Pathways is a full-service,  not-for-profit financial cooperative with six convenient branches in the Central Ohio are, as well as thousands of shared branching locations across the United States. Though our products and services may seem similar to what you would find at any ordinary bank, we are a better alternative because we are a credit union. 

We’re owned by the members who choose to bank at our institution, meaning that you’re the one calling the shots, not stockholders, or a paid board of directors. Our members realize many advantages of belonging to a credit union:  a sense of ownership, better interest rates, lower fees, and top-notch local service. 

What motivated your organization to get involved with NAWBO?

Pathways decided to get involved  because our interests align with that of NAWBO’s.  We’re passionate when it comes to seeing our members succeed in their business goals.  We also think that being involved with NAWBO provides us a great opportunity to network with local business owners. 

What does your company offer NAWBO members and why is this important to them?

Pathways offers a partnership when it comes to working with our business members. This means one-on-one service, local decisions, and added benefits to employees of our business members. 

What is the one best practice you’ve learned from working with businesses in your company that our members should know?

Being a not-for-profit financial cooperative, meeting and serving our members financial needs is what we value most and is a fundamental commitment of our organization. Whether companies are aware of it or not, they have core values, and, of course, we’re no different. Just as our business members have things things/beliefs that they value above all else, and that are the foundational qualities that make up their organization, so do we. 

Ready to run - Campaign Training for Women

The Ohio State University will host a one-day conference on December 1, 2016. Click HERE for more information.