In this episode Gina Schaefer shares the story of how she went from working in software tech (and having no retail or home building experience) to founding a successful chain of Ace hardware stores in the DC metropolitan area, and why she started hiring recovering drug addicts as employees. Not only have they turned out to be some of the best employees she’s had in the nearly 20 years she’s been in business, Gina says she’s learned invaluable lessons from them about how to be a great leader.
Gina is the youngest female (and only the 3rd female in 90 years) to sit on the Ace Hardware Corporation board. Covered in this episode: how to trust your instinct when you are the lone voice in the room and how to overcome hurdles and succeed in a male-dominated industry.
Gina is the author of Recovery Hardware: A Nuts and Bolts Story About Building a Business, Restoring a Community and Renovating Lives, released in September 2022.
More at ginaschaefer.com.