BE 100s 2012 Company of the Year: Act-1 Group

Service Leadership

Bryant-Howroyd meeting with her sister, Patricia, vice president of corporate development

A Working Family
Raised in a loving and large family, Bryant Howroyd still quotes lessons and problem-solving strategies from her parents, and has successfully integrated family and business in her operations. Her younger brother Carlton has helped her through every stage of building and developing strategies almost since its inception. Her younger sister Patricia is vice president of corporate development.

Bryant Howroyd’s husband, Bernard Howroyd, a staffing executive who started his company, AppleOne, in the 1960s, has been a supportive spouse throughout the company’s growth and development, and eventually merged his company under the ACT-1 umbrella. “I’ve seen her grow and build on what I was doing,” he recalls. “She was much more open to other things. She was making better decisions than I was. So I wanted to get out of being two things and since it became one, it’s been much more successful. It blows my mind.”

The couple has two children, Katharyn, who is the director of marketing, and Brett, the vice president of global development,  whom the Howroyds are grooming as a successor. “My parents didn’t ask me to join the company or tell me to. I decided to in college,” says Brett. After expressing interest in being a part of the burgeoning enterprise, he had to earn his position in the company. Having worked in a range of positions, including as receptionist, he is now focused on strategies to coordinate more synergy among the ACT-1 brands.

“Our son, Brett, always knew what we did in our business,” says Bryant Howroyd. “It’s so exciting to me that he has a passion for this business. He approaches work as opportunity.”  Seeing work as opportunity is how Bryant Howroyd believes everyone should approach business tasks–either as an employee or an entrepreneur. She knows that life has challenges, but she advises not to focus on problems. “The excitement, the enthusiasm you bring to it is what makes the difference.

“Today is the best time ever to start a business,” she continues. “Opportunities are ripe. Whenever you have an economic situation that is weakened a bit, whenever you find societies are having challenges, you also have the opportunity to bring solutions people may not have thought about before and you can deliver in ways they’ve never been open to receive it.”