Women of the B.E. 100s

A look at how women CEOs arte running some of today's largest black-owned DK: businesses

how she’s been received in the steel industry. “It’s definitely a negative. And more so because I’m a woman than because I’m black. In this industry there are still a lot of ‘good ol’ boys’ of both colors,” she says. “I think it’s an issue of comfort and men not knowing how to deal with us. Women in this field simply make men nervous.”

But at least one of her peers marvels at wh
at Dodd has accomplished. “As difficult as it is for African American men to get a foothold in the steel industry, it’s almost unheard of for an African American female,” says Bing, who describes his relationship with Dodd as one of friendly competitors. “For her to decide to go into a field that for so long has been dominated by white males was a major commitment on her part. She’s a true pioneer.”

And thus far, Dodd has made all the right moves. Her roster of clients includes GM, Ford and Chrysler. Consequently, TMI is a perennial top performer. With 1997 revenues of $90 million, it is No. 20 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list.

With such success comes attention from all fronts and the label as a role model for Dodd. It’s a tag she initially resisted. “At first I was uneasy because as a role model the perception is, everything that comes out of your mouth is supposed to be profound and I wasn’t comfortable with that,” she says. “But now I realize I have to be a role model. It’s my responsibility to people of color and those of noncolor because they need to know black women can succeed at anything and everything.”

Making an Impact

RANK

COMPANY

LOCATION

CEO

YEAR STARTED

STAFF

SALES*

INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES

1

TLC Beatrice International New York Loida N. Lewis

1987

4,500

1,400

18

Soft Sheen Products Inc. Illinois Terri L. Gardner

1964

395

95.000

20

Thomas Madison Inc. Michigan Gerald Dodd

1990

650

90.000

28

V&J Foods Wisconsin Valerie Daniels-Carter

1984

2,400

70.000

63

Management Technology Inc. Maryland Pauline C. Brooks

1985

620

33.549

TOTAL

8,565

1688.549

AUTO DEALERS

23

Bob Ross Buick Inc. Ohio Norma J. Ross

1974

126

66.785

54

Rodgers Chevrolet Michigan Pamela Rodgers

1993

50

37.194

79

Huntsville Dodge Inc. Alabama Ellenae Henry-Fairhurst

1991

43

25.309

TOTAL

219

129.288

ADVERTISING AGENCIES

6

Carol H. Williams Advertising California Carol H. Williams

1988

24

48.500

12

Caroline Jones Inc. New York Caroline R. Jones

1986

12

15.000

TOTAL

36

63.500

RANK

COMPANY

LOCATION

CEO

YEAR STARTED

STAFF

ASSETS*

BANKS

11

Mechanics & Farmers Bank North Carolina Julia W. Taylor

1908

78

130.900

14

Illinois Service Federal S&L Association Illinois Thelma J. Smith

1934

45

109.672

15

United Bank of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Emma C. Chappell

1992

80

108.914

25

Peoples National Bank of Commerce Florida Rachel Reeves

1992

32

53.093

TOTAL

235

402.579

* In millions of dollars, to the nearest thousand. As of 12/31/97.
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