We had the great honor of having Marian Singer come to MalamaDoe’s Fireside Chat at the end of February. We had over 30 people come into MalamaDoe. The large turnout was due to the motivating nature of Marian’s story, her passion for her field, and the impact her business makes daily.

The evening began with the audience celebrating women’s purchasing power by enjoying samples and hearing pitches from some local food and beverage startups. As we met with founders of the Light Fruit Company with their dried melon and Zyn with their curcumin drink, we helped them to launch their product to a new market. We celebrated how we as women were their target customer that evening and how our input was being utilized to help shape these new businesses product rollouts.

The audience was engaged and ready to hear how Marian co-founded a water technology business. The respect they felt for her and their interest in learning from her experience was genuine. As she began, the questions came one after the other with Marian patiently answered them, while deferring some to members in the audience if she knew a better answer could be given.

Wellntel is a company that helps us monitor, measure, and manage a great natural resource – groundwater. It was founded to turn private wells into monitoring wells and engage the community into a conversation about real-time monitoring and the season trends and annual impact that can be learned. Wellntel is rooted in building and sharing actionable information and Marian was thrilled to be able to do this with women in her community.

Some key takeaways from Marian came on the Business Development front. Here are just a few:

  • Do your homework when starting a business, be scared of rigidity and always have a healthy dose of constant questioning.
  • Create a plan and track the changes as they occur.
  • Communicate consistently while remembering that transparency is critical.
  • Put strong advisors in place.
  • Treat your employees and contractors very well and refer to them as team members. Marian’s team is awesome and motivated.
  • Celebrate arriving at the sixth year of running a business as it is the magic year – she hopes!

We learned about how to delve into local resources as Marian touched on the value of incubators and her experience. Marian shared how Wellntel won the local Brew2 Incubator as well as San Francisco’s ImagineH20 contest in 2014. She gave an overview on the Global Water Council in Milwaukee, mentioned how as the area grows as it promotes Milwaukee and the trickle effect on others businesses, such as hers, benefit.

For women looking Wisconsin investment programs, she recommended looking into WEDC- the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Marian is a true leader for women who want to work in technology, to open technology businesses, and to run them successfully. For days after the Chat, attendees continue to tell me how impressed they were with Marian and the interesting nature of what she is doing. A few attendees told me they would listen to Marian for hours as they were so intrigued. What stood out about Marian was her wonderful communication skills, her kindness, her care as a manager, her business great sense, and her intelligence.

We want to keep this camaraderie going, this connection of women with intriguing local role models so we can help foster the support one another as we flourish. Come join us for our next Fireside Chat and help us build our community. RSVP at Eventbrite.

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