Women’s History Month Spotlight – Susan Chavez
The first International Women’s Day was held over 100 years ago in March of 1911. Since then it has transformed into a month-long celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. To commemorate Women’s History Month, Capstone is pleased to highlight an amazing woman’s contributions and innovative leadership success.
This year, we recognize and honor the woman behind one of the most accomplished companies in our portfolio:
Susan Chavez, Vice President, Business Development & Operations for Recommerce Group, Inc.
Susan Chavez is Vice President of Business Development & Operations at Recommerce Group, Inc. She has an extensive resume with over 20 years of experience in financial services and operations management. Based in North Carolina, Susan is responsible for business development, project & client management, forecasting/reporting, recruitment, and strategic planning.
Prior to joining Recommerce Group, Inc. in 2016, she held several executive-level roles in manufacturing and the banking sectors.
Outside of work, Susan has positively impacted many people in her community by teaching at-risk youth, mentoring incarcerated women, organizing various fundraisers, coaching baseball & soccer, and being involved with elementary school PTA. She is a mother and an avid Red Sox baseball fan striving to visit every major league baseball stadium in the U.S.
We interviewed Susan to honor her career accomplishments and celebrate Women’s History Month. She is an accomplished businesswoman and has had a major impact on the growth of Recommerce Group, Inc.
You have worked with a variety of companies over the years. As you have progressed in your career you must have had a number of bosses. Some may have been just managers while others were leaders. In your view what makes you a good leader?
The characteristics of a good leader that I focus on emulating include: versatility, adaptability, and understanding the importance of every role in an organization from the janitorial staff to the CEO. Taking a stand with a fact-based approach. Having the ability to make decisions while collaborating. Always learning. Dressing for the job you want (not the one you have). Waking up every day and proving why you deserve the role you are currently in with moral and ethical work. Always giving the “Good, Bad and Ugly” to each client, internal & external, to build trust and open communication. But most importantly, always mentoring the next you – your successor.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in business that have a desire to work their way up the corporate ladder into a leadership position?
Learn the industry through leveraging professional associations, such as RLA (Reverse Logistics Association) and various tradeshows (RLA, Consumer Returns, International Housewares, etc.).
Learn your company through taking the time to understand each role, interdependency, clients’ perspective (how do they view you), barriers to success, and what is the “Good, Bad and Ugly” view from associates’ perspective within your Company.
Build your path by evaluating what roles, skillsets, etc. you need in order to get to the leadership position you strive for (including dressing the part).
As a successful woman have you run into barriers, and if you have please describe them and the tools you used to overcome them?
Barriers are a constant in business, but typically they are just tension/conflict points between various groups within an organization. For example, Business Development vs. Operations; we both want growth, it’s just a matter of how quickly it can happen.
Most successful people have a mentor or other influential person in their life that they model their behavior on. Is there a particular woman who either mentored you or you modeled your behavior on?
I believe every woman is influential in their own way depending on the topic at hand. As I look back through my life, an individual I have admired and desire to live like is Princess Diana. Not for the fame or lifestyle, but these simple tenets:
- Be kind to all.
- Serve a purpose beyond work and your home.
- Always have a servant’s heart and be willing to take a stand.
Some women have to make stark choices to succeed in their business careers. Can you provide any secrets to our readers on how you have successfully balanced your work and family responsibilities?
As a working Mother, candidly it is a constant struggle. However, I have set boundaries and priorities. Some weeks I am good at keeping them, and other times I fail. I never want to miss a school activity, sporting event, extracurricular activity, field trip, etc. My priorities and what drives me have changed drastically over the last eight years.
How has Invoice Factoring with Capstone impacted Recommerce’s business growth?
The ability for a startup company, like our situation, to see immediate access to cash flow is what drew us to invoice factoring. Factoring is more important with larger clients that typically have longer terms. It enhances cash flow stabilization and utilization. Capstone has provided the ability to increase client mix through funding to support expansion and improved cash flows with larger Fortune 100 companies that expect longer terms.
The partnership/relationship we have built with Capstone from essentially Day 1 of onboarding some of the Fortune 100 clients we service today has been phenomenal. Recommerce is accountable for ensuring no dilution and presenting credit-worthy clients to be factored. Capstone assisted with not only factoring. They also provided purchase order financing support during expansion phases of our business.
About Recommerce Group, Inc.
Recommerce Group, Inc. is an industry leader in returned product management, return center services, remanufacturing, reprocessing, repairing, and recycling of consumer products. For over two decades the management team at Recommerce has been servicing some of the world’s leading consumer product manufacturers.