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Jennifer D. Collins, CMP
President & CEO, JDC Events
Industry: Events & Hospitality
WPO Greater Baltimore Chapter
WPO Member Since: 2012
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization Board Member
How has being a WPO member helped your business?
The WPO has expanded my network of successful, inspirational and talented women in every industry. When I need resources to assist with our events or in running the business, I tap my WPO sisters. I have also been fortunate to serve as a resource to the organization and other WPO members. It’s definitely a trusted and valued network.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?
There have been times over the years, inside and outside of the business, that I have been on the receiving end of behavior that I know would not have been done to a man. It said more about them than me, but I was thankful to recognize this so that those doors could be closed.
What inspired you to start your business?
I started my business planning family reunions. What I most enjoyed was the end – not because it was over – but seeing the overwhelming expressions of connectedness, enjoyment and bonding that occurred. I simply loved creating those memorable moments that touched hearts. That led me to continue creating events that spark change in people’s lives with a shift in focus to the business sector.
What’s your favorite WPO event you’ve attended? Why?
I absolutely love the WPO Annual Conference. It’s oxygen for me and one of my favorite events of the year. It’s a time to recharge, connect and drink in the inspiration of powerful, tough, resilient and fearless women. Being around so many stories of success, loss, triumph and overcoming gives me everything I need to keep going another day.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Many years ago, when I was overly focused on company revenues, one of my business advisors said to me that “top line is vanity and bottom line is sanity.” What he meant is that there are many companies who might say they have what’s considered to be “impressive” revenues. But when you look ‘under the hood,’ you’ll often find they aren’t profitable. So that’s why I now focus on profitability rather than revenues.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with people who can help make you better. Those who demonstrate they are “all in” and invested in helping you carry out your vision are invaluable. Even if you have to spend a little more to bring these individuals into your company, it’ll be well worth the investment.