Women in business is something we know a thing or two about. As small business owners, we like to surround ourselves with local businesses, many of which are woman owned and operated. We are continually inspired by the amazing partnerships we have cultivated and witnessed over the years, but the most inspiring women to us are Sue Pitt, Jill Bath and Candy Medina.
The first two women, Sue Pitt and Jill Bath, are our mothers. They raised us to be the business owners we are today. The balance of work and life, is something we, and all women in business, continue to try to perfect. It is a never-ending battle as our business and our children grow. Our mothers not only led by example, but they continue to support us today, as our business adapts and evolves. The third woman, Candy Medina, is equally inspiring. She is the epitome of a dynamic woman in business, who strives for success, yet manages to make a positive impact within our community.
L. Jill Bath
I remember the moment I realized, as a small business owner, wow, this is what my mom has been doing all these years... running her own business. I am not sure why it took me so long to put it all together, but at that moment my admiration for her grew. My mother, Lana Jill Bath, is incredible. She lives her life with grace and a true inner strength that will astound you. She was a small business owner for 20 years until her retirement in 2018. She was the owner of Creative Balance, specializing in massage therapy, acupressure, Jin Shin Jitsu, and several other energy-based therapies. She can make anyone’s day better through her work. She brightens life, and makes you feel safe.
When I was a child, demands on her time were high. In those moments, I knew she was supporting me, raising me to be a strong, kind, and successful person, while still honoring her commitments. Looking back, she worked long hours, including weekends, and I believe she passed her work ethic along to me. As a business owner, you never truly turn off, however, she never missed my field hockey games, cheer competitions, or important life moments. Her business gave her the flexibility to be there for me.
Today, my mother is our accountant, handling all of our business finances. She keeps us paid, our expenses recorded, and budget in the black. She knows what it is like to run a small business, and handles it with the same grace and strength as she does everything in her life. The things she has taught me that stick the most are to be kind and to always follow through. I strive to pass these same characteristics on to my own kids.
As little girl, I remember trying to sneak under the dining room table, unnoticed and hide, while my mother worked on what seemed like piles and piles of paper. Of course, she always knew I was there, but she played along all the same. Never did she yell that I was distracting her, or keeping her from finishing her work. Now, 30ish year later, I try to maintain that level of patience and grace as I handle being a business owner and mother of three. As all working women with kids know, you are often finishing a conference call while rushing to school pick-up, answering emails while cooking dinner, and finishing up projects after putting kids to bed. And while my mom did lots of those things, I never felt she didn’t see or hear me.
My mom was a nurse by trade, and being the kind-hearted and generous person that she is, she often volunteered for night and weekend shifts in order to be around during the day, to stay involved in my schools, and to make and eat dinner with us every night. When she retired from nursing, she helped my father with his small business. I know her time, work ethic, and dedication played a large part in that business’s success.
Today, her kind heart and generosity have stayed constant. While flexibility and excitement are two of the things that make being a business owner so attractive, they are also the things that make it most challenging. My mother’s help with my three children, her ears when I need counselling, and her heart when I feel spent are three things I could not go without. I hope I am showing my three budding entrepreneurs the same level of care, kindness and dedication.
We met Candy through our involvement with Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council, where she serves as Board Chair, and we as Directors. Unofficially, she is the heart and soul of this dynamic non-profit, designed to inspire and train the next generation of philanthropists. The epitome of a successful business woman, Candy inspires us to push ourselves further, refine our practices, and to expect more.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Candy began her career as a project manager/engineer. She also possesses an MBA; just another asset that helped her thrive and rise in the Louisville corporate environment. Her love of process and strategy was born out of this experience, and it is nothing short of inspiring. However, after nearly 20 years in this field, an abrupt life change led to a new line of work.
With the passing of Candy’s father, Dick Gilbert, the former helicopter pilot and ‘Traffic Tracker’ for WHAS Radio in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Candy transitioned to Executive Director of The Gilbert Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation established from his estate. It is here, armed with her corporate background, scientific mind, and love of analytics, that she found a new calling. It is the application of this diverse and dynamic background that inspires us most. And we are not the only ones. While serving as executive director of her family foundation, Candy continued to train and coach executive work forces through her own company, CGM Associates. But in Louisville, her name has gone beyond her engineering successes, and become synonymous with philanthropy.
Candy is proof that you career is never static. She exemplifies successful business transitions, and she inspires us to turn our strengths into marketable commodities that will propel our business for years to come.
We feel so lucky to live in a city where admirable women in business are aplenty, and we appreciate the opportunity to introduce to our favorite three. They have inspired us to not only break through the proverbial glass ceiling, but to do it with a conscious. While success is something to celebrate, it means more than salaries and notoriety. Our favorite women in business have taught us that success is more complex than that. It is legacy and impact that we want to achieve.