Broadleaf’s President and CEO Lynne Marie Finn was recently featured on ClearEdge’s podcast, “Think Big, Be Bold, Act Fast” with host Leslie Vickrey. The two touched on Lynne’s journey growing up working for a family-owned business along with her experience as a woman business owner and her expertise in the workforce management space.
In the late 1950s, Richard Stenclik—Lynne’s father—started a technical staffing firm called Superior Design Company. Since founding the company, Richard—with help from Lynne and her brother, Scott—transformed the organization from a small, local operation into a multinational enterprise. But in the company’s early goings, young Lynne wanted no part of the business.
“Our family dinner table conversations were almost always about business—and frankly, I hated it,” said Lynne. “I had no interest at all in joining the family business as a child. Instead, I dreamed of studying ballet, modern dance, and acting.”
Changing career ambitions
Despite her aspirations of making a career out of the performing arts, Lynne’s father provided some professional advice: either become a lawyer or a doctor. She selected the former and was accepted into Georgetown Law School, where she earned her JD and was the first person from her family to graduate college. This educational background served her well when she decided to turn down job offers in New York and Washington, D.C. to return close to home in Buffalo.
“Upon graduating from law school and moving back to Buffalo, I worked in a large law firm—primarily in litigation—for about three years,” commented Lynne. “I then left that law firm because I wanted to be in court more often—it was the performer in me! I then worked at the District Attorney’s office for about three years before my dad asked me to join the family business as a legal counsel.”
Joining the family business
Fast forward a few years into her tenure with her family’s business, and Lynne took over operations of an entity within the Superior umbrella. The organization is today known as Broadleaf Results—a provider of outsourced recruitment and talent management services. Lynne’s position as President and CEO of Broadleaf classified the company as a women-owned business—one of the largest such firms in the managed service space.
“I love having the opportunity to educate women about the value of a WBENC certification and what it can do for their business,” said Lynne. “I’ve been supporting women-owned businesses for about two decades. They have such a passion for their business and are invested in what they’re doing, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Supporting women-owned businesses
Despite the efforts of Lynne and other female business owners around the world, WBEs still encounter their fair share of challenges when starting their operations. According to Lynne, banks and other investors have to be intentionally inclusive of women-owned businesses to enable these females to have access to capital.
“It’s very important for women to develop strong networks and mentors, which is why I try to make myself available to women business owners,” noted Lynne. “We need to make these resources more readily available to female entrepreneurs so they don’t face these initial hurdles when trying to start their own business.”
Advice for young entrepreneurs
When asked for any professional advice that she would offer to women entering the business world, Lynne didn’t hesitate when sharing the following message.
“Think bigger, be bolder, act faster. I say that because earlier in my career, I don’t think I felt confident enough to do that. We have come so far in terms of creating opportunities for women to make an immediate impact in the workforce.”
To listen to the entire podcast, check out this link here.