March 21, 2022
The Meaning Behind a ‘Women-Owned Business’ to Celebrate Women’s History Month
As the daughter of an entrepreneurial female, Sundae McMillan grew up watching her mother build her own businesses to eventually join one of those businesses. Sundae understands the significance of Women’s History Month and what it means for women in the professional world.
Sundae McMillan (MRT’s current CFO, Operations Director, and part-owner) was raised under the entrepreneurial spirit of MRT’s founder, Kitte Carter. Kitte, Sundae’s mother, began her first business when Sundae was just two. She worked hard and long hours after her 9-5 job to advance and be her own boss. This had a lasting impression on Sundae. She concluded that to excel and get where you wanted to be, you needed to get out of your comfort zone.
Her Mother’s Passions Instilled
Sundae started her endeavors at a very young age. She worked odd jobs around some of her parent’s businesses, whether it was on weekends or after school. When high school rolled around, Sundae worked in various department stores. Upon graduation, she joined full-time with the Post Office, and in her words; “this is a quick way for someone to realize you need to figure out something more rewarding”. With her mother’s work ethic instilled in her, she knew the best way for upward mobility was to learn all the jobs within the Post Office. She worked just about every position, from a sorting and window clerk, working in finance, managing an office, and filling in for the Postmaster, all while becoming a regional trainer. She always wanted to keep learning and growing.
Sundae’s Path to MRT
After 22 years at the Post Office, she explains, “fear will keep you from growing”, she knew she needed a change and change she did. She started her own business with a direct sales company, and the sky became the limit. She grew the business to 400 people along with an amazing team. From an early age, Sundae knew the importance of hard work and determination. Whether it is working for yourself or being part of someone else’s team or business, it is important to set goals. She inherited her mother’s mindset; always seeking the next step, the next thing that will help herself and help those within her realm or business grow.
Sundae as a Leader
In 2006, after years of helping MRT when possible, Sundae joined the MRT team full-time. She left in 2011 to run her own business, continued to work part-time at MRT, then rejoined full-time in December of 2015. Her roles have been broad; IT help, Resource/Research Manager, Office Manager, Finance Manager, Operations Manager, and now CFO and part-owner, but she always leads with heart, as her mother has, she says. When asked the most important characteristics for leaders and business owners, she replied, “honesty, giving opportunity for growth, leading by doing, and having an open-door policy”.
Certified Women-Owned Business
When asked what it meant to Sundae to be a part-owner in her mother’s business and a certified ‘Women-Owned business’, she replied;
“We cherish this to continue the world of growth women have had over the last 100 years. I believe women have a unique ability to help people and companies meet their potential. Women are celebrated for their minds and strength of character. I am proud to be a Women-Owned business and the partners that are men who embrace it are forward-thinking as well. This brings confidence into our lives that we all can help with making the business expand and succeed.”
Sundae looks to her mother’s leadership style for reference on how to lead her team. She saw her mother Include others in her success and gave them a place to succeed, as well. Sundae garners so much from her mother’s giving ways and her larger-than-life heart. “It was never solely about her and her family, she included everyone within her business and helped them grow and succeed, as she still does today”, says Sundae.
At Management Recruiters of Tallahassee, our goal is to marry a candidate and client to meet their goals in business. This takes patience, listening skills, and time, all of which Sundae and other woman leaders in the business have practiced and preached. At MRT, our job is to make connections while helping others meet their needs. This practice is directly affected by how Sundae was raised. Sundae builds confidence within our business for long-term sustainability while empowering our employee’s potential to excel.
A Round-of-Applause to our Women Leaders
In recruiting, you must practice what you preach to be successful, and our woman leaders do just that. We thank them for their strength, empathy, drive, and leadership capabilities.
To all women, you may play many roles, but with each role, you inspire someone around you.