I first met Denise Devine over a decade ago.  At the time my wife Meg and I were setting up a new non-profit organization that was going to be the foundation of a business incubator.  We had reached out to Denise in the hopes that she might consider being a Board member of this new venture.  The thing about our initial contact with her was that it was not through typical recommendations or networking circles.  We had essentially done a cold call inquiring on her interest in working with us and possibly creating a connection with Geisinger Medical Center.  Little did I know that single call would begin a lifelong friendship that lasts to this day.   Denise offered her assistance then without hesitation making a 2-hour trek from the Philadelphia area to rural Pennsylvania to find out more about us and our fledgling project.  Her friendship, advice, and business savvy has been an inspiration to us over the years, helping to maintain our focus on the lifelong journey of entrepreneurism.

Now, where to begin? 

I could start by telling you she is on the Board of a $20 Billion banking group.   Or that she has started 4 companies, had a hand in another and created a non-profit organization.  Or that she is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) holding Master’s Degrees from both Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.   Or about her great passion for children’s health and longtime focus on creating companies emphasizing technology R&D to disrupt the traditional food industry developing healthy alternatives for the nutritional needs of children.

Or her work with Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) programs to develop innovative products to improve children’s nutrition.  Work that resulted in a technology platform and nineteen U.S. and International patents for composition and process that in essence could use whole grains and whole vegetables in a number of non-solid ways.  Perhaps a good starting point would be her latest venture Real Time Vital Monitoring Signs (RTM) developing a real-time blood pressure monitoring device that has significant implications in the medical industry and the health care of patients.

Hmmm, I haven’t even scratched the surface about one of the most passionate, intelligent, outspoken, business savvy, and nurturing individuals I have been lucky enough to call a friend and mentor.

Denise’s story is a long winding journey through the mind fields of corporate America, the dark forests of government policy, and the growing pains of new company startups.  Yet despite her personal portfolio, she is one of the most unassuming persons I have had the privilege to meet over my lifetime.  Her matter of fact, no-nonsense ability to focus on a problem and identify solutions that others have missed is just one of the uncanny abilities that have led her to be a dominant force in the business world for over 40 years.

A few Friday’s ago, I had breakfast with Denise not only to discuss her new startup company RTM but also to try and tease out some of the wisdom she has collected during her years in the world as an entrepreneur.

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND

Perhaps the best place to start would be at the beginning.  Where did you go to school?  We never spoke about all the years I have known you?

Denise:  “I grew up in small-town Lebanon, PA.”

As Denise began to loosen up, she explained to me that her parents were her early influencers.

Who was more of an influence on you your Mom, or your Dad?

Denise: Pointing to her brow Denise shared that her Father would say “What you put in there no one can take away from you.”   She continued “My father was very intelligent and very frustrated because he never got a full education.”   “I am second generation American, both of my parents only had an 8th grade education.  My father’s family was from Germany, and my mother’s family was from Hungary.  My Dad worked at Bethlehem Steel.  He was a tool and die maker, so he had a professional trade working his entire life for Bethlehem Steel.”

As I sat listening to Denise tell this early part of her life my own thoughts turned to all the other men and women of the same era now celebrated in Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation.”  These folks were the backbone of America and were the wellspring that has led to our Nation’s own greatness inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs like Denise.

As our conversation turned to her university days at Villanova.  I asked her what influenced you choosing Villanova?

Denise:  She paused thoughtfully as if conjuring up the past and said, “I don’t know if I can explain it.  I have two brothers and two sisters, and there is an 11-year gap.  I am very much the youngest of 5 children in my family.  I was also an academic and got straight As in school.  I loved school.  I loved to study, and I knew I wanted to go away to college.  I wanted to go away but not that far away.  I became enamored with Villanova.  My parents were delighted I wanted to go to a Catholic School.  Both my parents were very encouraging.”  However, she further explained that her brothers and sisters were the ones like, “Why do you have to go away.”  My response was always, “Don’t worry I’ll find a way.  I worked my tail off.”

When you were at Villanova what did you do for relaxation when you weren’t studying and working?

Denise: “I was a very dedicated student because I paid for my own education and wanted to make the most of it.  That is why I majored in accounting I wanted a career, not just a job, and I wanted to be employable when I was done.  I went to Villanova University getting a BS in Accounting.”

She explained that after receiving her degree from Villanova, she started out as a CPA.  Then got a Master’s in taxation practicing tax strategy and planning for some years.  Then going onto Wharton and receiving a second MBA.  At that point with a smile, she said, “I am academic overachiever I will admit!”

I have always known Denise to have a brilliant mind and to be an exceptional problem solver never considering her academic achievements and all the groundwork she laid during her college years on the road to becoming one of Pennsylvania’s premier female entrepreneurs.

FROOSE Nutritional Brands

Our discussions next led to Froose Nutritional Brands (Froose) one of the many companies she has founded.  What is the status of Froose?

Denise: “I recently did a co-branding deal with Build a Bear Workshop out of New York.  I have a whole strategy on where to take it next (Froose), it’s just a matter of raising funds to do it.  Which is a big question mark in my mind right now because of what is happening in the food industry.”

As we discussed Froose, she gave me her insights on her previous statement.

Denise:  “Amazon has really upset the apple cart.  And millennials just approach things differently.  For example, there were some crazy statistics released about 2010, I think about 13% of people surveyed said they shop the perimeter of the grocery store, staying in fresh aisles.  And now it is in the high 30%.  That combined with online shopping even my millennial children are on Amazon every day or Trader’s Joe.”

RTM A NEW VENTURE

As she finished sharing her thoughts on the food industry our conversation naturally turned to her newest venture RTM.  As she began to share information on RTM you could plainly tell by her voice and body language that she was extremely passionate about this company.

Denise: “About two years ago we formed a company between 3 of us, all co-founders.”  She elaborated, “It is a minimally evasive implantable device in the cardiac space.  It can be implanted in a 20-minute outpatient procedure.  The company is called RTM Vital Signs which stands for, Real-Time Vital Monitoring of Signs.  The device will send data to a central monitoring station so that a doctor can always get patient information, or the patient can get information.  So, it is real-time monitoring of vital signs, and the difference is that it will be real 24/7 blood pressure.  No one has been able to do that. You cannot get a valid pressure on your watch or on a wearable device.”

I immediately recognized the advantages and implications of such a device because as a diabetic myself, this type of information is critical to me.

Denise: “Think about it. you go to the Doctor they take an ad hoc reading – you can be nervous being at the doctor – but the point is that from that reading they are diagnosing and prescribing medication based upon ad hoc readings, and the truth is we don’t really know what happens before a true cardiac event.”  She further explained, “The blood pressure is a leading indicator of a true cardiac event.  The other thing is I serve on the Board of a hospital system and I know one of the biggest costs in the health care system is now is false trips to the Emergency Room (ER).  One of the leading reasons for false trips to the ER is false heart attacks.  So, the idea is that not only can a doctor get this information but for the first time we are going to be able to see a true 24/7 blood pressure wave.  We will be able to see from this continuous data algorithm diagnostic information about what really happens a week before or even an hour before a true cardiac event.  Now we can get this information  to EMS people, and they can say Oh we have a real heart attack happening here or not.”

As she enthusiastically explained the implications of having immediate and continuous access to this type of data my mind raced ahead to all the lives it might save.  Her story was even more poignant for me that day as a close colleague and a senior leader in my hometown had passed away a few days earlier.  He was involved in so many activities including the Lions Club, fundraising for the local high school football team, local sports announcer, not to mention having his own business in the Health Care Industry.  And how such a device may have been able to provide data for diagnostics to prevent his early passing.  Our community would have been that less diminished could his passing have been prevented by such a device.

Denise continued: “We are thinking big!  We have one patent issued!  We are building a very nice portfolio, but we are thinking it could be used for monitoring Navy Seals.  Once the device is in blood pressure is the real key, but it can monitor anything.  For example, you can be able to tell instantaneously (Snaps her fingers) if you have exposure to radiation.  Once the device is in there, we have an array of sensors planned that can monitor all kinds of things.  Based upon our patents and the fact we got the first one issued no one is heading in the direction we are.   The implant wraps around an artery but does not invade. It is so tiny, it is one-twentieth the size of a pacemaker, and getting much smaller from here.  It wraps around an artery and does not invade.”   While simultaneously sharing a rough prototype with me.

What’s the procedure?

Denise: “The brilliant Doctor who’s concept this was also invented an insertion tool.  Twenty minutes outpatient procedure where it is almost like a little J device that clamps it right around (the artery), and done.

How long have you been working on this project? 

Denise: “About two years.  Mostly working with engineering consulting firms.  A lot of sensor technology is involved.”

Who are your co-founders? 

Denise:  “Myself and Dr. Jeffery Joseph out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Nance Dicciani former President and CEO of Honeywell’s Specialty Materials Business Group and a chemical engineer by training.  Dr. Joseph was a co-founder of Animas, and it was kind of Spiritual on how it came together because he was a co-founder of Animas which is the company that developed the insulin pump that my husband wears every day.  Dr. Joseph really developed the technology behind that, and Animas was very successful and went public and was acquired by J&J.  He is just a tinker an inventor, and he has a notebook full of concepts.  And I am an idea person too.  But the way we connected was Nance Dicciani was on the Villanova Board with me.  She retired running the chemical business for Honeywell in Europe.  She came to me one day and said I have this dear friend Dr. Joseph, whom I have known for twenty-five years.  He is brilliant he is successful, he is an anesthesiologist by training, he runs the animal lab at Thomas Jefferson.  He has got a new idea he wants to pursue.  He is not a business person, and I would love to help him, but I know nothing about startups which you do.  You have done some startups, you are entrepreneurial, would you like to join us.”

How did you get involved in this particular device?

Denise: “I have always been under the broad umbrella of health and wellness. What motivates me is impact, it always has, it’s really not money.  What I tell anybody that is thinking about starting a business is if your main objective is to make money forget it you’re done from the get-go.  That is not enough to sustain you when things go wrong.  You got to really believe in what you are doing, and you got to see a path that nobody else sees.  And you have to be passionate about it because there is no other reason to do it.  If somebody else can, they will do probably do it better, if you’re not totally passionate about it.  You don’t see something that other people already see.  That is really what being an entrepreneur is about.  They see things that other people have not quite seen yet.  So, when I started my company, I was not just interested in just making another beverage product.  I was interested in really turning the development of food on its head basically and really developing in an authentic way true whole food elements in convenient forms that could really fit into people’s existing lives.  So that’s what started it.  The whole umbrella of health and wellness.  This isn’t a far stretch and then having served on the Board of Lourdes Health System in Camden NJ.”

Denise: “The whole health arena, I see the disruption there.  We have no choice but to be monitoring people remotely because we have a shortage of doctors and that is going to get worse.  Then I think about there are populations outside the United States that are ahead of us on this like India, and China.  Because it is parallel to the cell phone.  They do not have the infrastructure in place they have no choice.  They have huge populations and very few doctors, so they have to monitor people remotely, and they are far ahead.  There was an article in the Wall Street Journal months ago about this they are far ahead of Silicon Valley when it comes to remote monitoring because they have no choice and they don’t have the infrastructure they can leapfrog over that just like they did with cell phones.”

“So, it wasn’t a big stretch, and I am still very passionate about children’s nutrition because to me it is at the heart of a lot of health issues.    You need to have an impact early on.  I am actually Chair of the Advisory Board at the Center for Obesity Prevention and Nutrition Education at Villanova, so I stay very involved in that, and it was not too far a stretch.”

A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR WITH 5 STARTUPS AND COUNTING

Do you consider yourself a serial entrepreneur? 

Denise:  “Yes, I am a serial entrepreneur, and I am still involved in.  I think I mentioned to you I am on the Board of Ben Franklin Technology Partners in the Southeast Region here.  I am totally immersed in the entrepreneurial world.”

How many companies have you started in your lifetime?

Denise: “I started 4, had a hand in another one, and started a non-profit organization.  Devine Foods, Nutripharm which became the crux of a lot of things I have done.  Froose Nutritional Brands,  and RTM Vital Signs. “

Tell me a little about Nutripharm?

Denise: “When I left the food industry I went back to work with my husband a little bit who was starting a financial services company with the notion I had some Ideas I wanted to work on, and I had some ideas for some innovative products in the food industry back then.  I was passionate about children’s nutrition for a long time, and that was the initial spark, and so I started working with a chemist at a Cornell University to create some of the products.  One thing lead to another, and they (Cornell) said we have more here than these particular products.  We think there is a base technology that can do more.  Based upon the technology we actually end up with a base patent portfolio, a technology platform, that resulted in nineteen patents U.S. and all over the world including composition and process patents that in essence could use whole grains and whole vegetables in a number of non-solid ways.  My strategy was, I am going to try to prove the versatility of the technology and develop a number products and then decide how to best commercialize the technology and make more products.  Nutripharm was the holding company of the technology and what Devine Foods was an operating company that also owned with other companies the manufacturing facility outside of Pittsburgh (co-packer).  What I used Devine Foods for was to periodically take one of these product concepts and do test marketing on if there was consumer acceptance or basically what was the market acceptability at the time.  I have a lot of arrows in my back, and I am a pioneer, and I was way ahead of the market on a lot of things I was doing.  So Nutripharm was the core.  From that, I developed the OTC drug product that I licensed to the pharmaceutical company.  When the technology was pretty much sliced and diced, I did with it what I wanted to, or what product application I could.  Then I carved out Froose Nutritional Brands just to retain some of the healthy products for kids, which is my passion.”

DENISE’S TENETS OF SUCCESS

Going back to Nutripharm, you said you were ahead of your time?  Can you explain what you mean by this statement?

Denise: “I learned you can’t force the market.  If your products are just not ready for the market, it does not matter how much money you throw at it.  It is not going to work not at that time.  You do test marketing, and you can tell pretty quickly.  The way I know that is that there are many products on the market now that utilize my technology.  The patent expired now.  The products I was doing in the food space were ahead of their time.  I learned patience.  I am not a very patient person (chuckling softly).”

“I learned the deal begins when the deal is done.  Meaning that a lot of times you spend a lot of effort trying to get a deal.  Whether it is a joint venture, or whether it is a license agreement, or whether it is a sale of a company.  Then you get the signed deal, and you think great.  The deal begins when the deal is done.  That is when the rubber hits the road.  That is when you have to be engaged with your partners.”

Do you have any mentor persons you pattern yourself after?

Denise: “You know what that is what is really odd about me I cannot point to one person. I can say that there are a lot of people I sought advice from.  And I am just a very curious person, and I am interested, I am so interested in what other people are doing.  So often I will meet other entrepreneurs, and I really want to know their story.  I am just interested.  And I also I find passion contagious!!!”

Let me flip the roll.  Is there anyone you mentor?

Denise: “I try to.  I mean I always make myself available.  The nonprofit was the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs.  I try to mentor female entrepreneurs both through Wharton and Villanova I definitely make myself available to students.”

“I am an atypical on paper but, I would say I am a very typical entrepreneur.  Because I spent a good amount of time in large corporate environments before I started my first company.  And I really had to do a lot of soul searching when I did that.  Basically, and this is what I tell students, you need to do a self-assessment and an inventory of your talents, your goals, etc.  And what I discovered about myself is that I came out of a big company environments…I was trained that way. Why did I think I wanted to start several companies.”

“First of all, it is about the passion about what I wanted to do.  It has nothing to do about being the CEO of a company, I could have cared less about that.  But what I did discover I have always been entrepreneurial in spirit.  And what I mean by that is no matter what environment I have been in, I have been a leader, and I have been pushing the envelope to do something differently.  I did it at Campbell Soup, I did some breakthrough strategies that were never done by any other corporations.”

“And I have always had other things going on.  Like I have never been, and that is one of my lessons learned and one of my things it is hard to do, focus, focus is difficult when there are a lot of opportunities.  When there are other things that I have going on.  But to that point that is important to an entrepreneur.  You have to be able to juggle a lot at once.”

“So, in looking back and yeah, I do that, that is what I do.  I have lived my life that way.  I have always had several things going on that is another thing I tell students all the time is stamina.”

PERSONAL STAMINA

Denise: “You know personal stamina the ability to get by with not much sleep.  You think you are important and you know that there are a lot of smart people in the world.  There are a lot of educated people in the world.    That’s not what will make or break your ability to be a successful entrepreneur.  It is other personal traits that are so important!  And you have to be honest about that.  I am telling you have to be honest about that.  If you are a person that really needs 10 hours of sleep at night forget it!”

As Denise shared her own rules of success that she has followed over a lifetime, I could see a common theme shared by all great entrepreneurs.  Her individual accomplishments are the outcome of consistently applying these rules not only to her businesses but to how she approaches her personal life.  In fact, her comments on personal stamina and sleep remind me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success in which he affirms his own thoughts on sleep, “I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day.  You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left.  Now I know, there are some of you there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours.  Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.  I always say I will sleep when I am old.  Problem is I am getting old, but I am still not sleeping.  The way I explain it to people it is something that almost like you, like when you are ready to get married.  I know this is right, I know!  That is kind of how I felt when I was starting a new company.  This is my path, this is what I am supposed to do next!”

LUCK’S ROLE OR JUST PLAIN HARD WORK

You mentioned how important timing is in introducing new products to the market.  Why do you think that timing is so important?

Denise: “You got to have luck, no question.  Timing luck, there is a lot of that.  The other issue is that you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig into the detail and do good work.  That is why I was always skeptical, I came from a big corporate environment, but I have always been a hard worker I am not hierarchical at all.  I am always very skeptical.  You would not believe how many corporate refugees I had beating on my door along the way.”

Big position people, “Oh yeah I want to do that.”  Saying “You have no idea.  Something goes wrong with your laptop you can’t call an IT department.  And they have no clue!”

Denise: “These are all the important things you have to know about yourself before you embark on this journey.  There are important things, and I think these are important things and I think students particularly don’t really think about those things.   They see the Silicon Valley twenty-something billionaires, and they think it is so easy.  And I think OMG that is such the exception to the rule.   It is a journey.”

FROM USDA CRADA TO CHILDREN’S NUTRITION

I wanted to ask you again about your work with Cornell University and the CRADA and your passion for children’s nutrition?

Denise: “I had a CRADA with the USDA, and one of the things that we did that was interesting.  They contacted my company because they read about the technology, and at the time they were particularly concerned about getting more calcium into middle school age kids, particularly middle school-aged girls.  Because of the proliferation at the time of Arizona Ice Teas and all these alternative beverages.  And they were very concerned about calcium.”

“They had incredible data showing how the consumption of alternative beverages was going up while milk consumption was plummeting.  So, they asked us if we could use our technology and create a healthy milkshake for the school lunch program.  And that is what we did, and actually ended up with 3 products.  A completely non-dairy with a soy isolate dairy grain combination that would be a dispensed shake that tasted like a Wendy’s Frosty.  And then actually a little hard packed Dixie cup ice cream you could buy on the lunch line.  Now the issue at that time was again being ahead of the times before the school lunch program was changing that was number one.  The other thing I learned because we were learning things along the way, so we were dealing with the agricultural research service.  We were dealing in the lab with the scientist side-by-side developing this stuff.  When we got done now, we have to go talk to the school lunch people in the USDA.  Oh, and by the way, I find out there are no national regulations for school lunch.  It is state-by-state-by-state, OMG it’s a quagmire!”

Did any of the research lead to the products being developed?

Denise:  Oh yeah, they were developed, but the problem was they never got to the school lunch program where they were intended to go because of this quagmire of approval.  Here is the other issue I had with school lunches.  You checked a box for what’s approved for school lunch a juice, a fruit.   I had a beverage product for kids that was basically made with whole grain flavored with fruit.  It wasn’t 100% juice because it had fiber, it had whole grain nutrition in it.  But it didn’t meet the box check off for school lunch.  Even though it was much healthier, much healthier than 100% juice.  So that is why all the way along the way I have been very interested in policy.  I’ve done a lot of policy stuff as much as I could.”

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURISM

Denise: “My passions change over time.  You know right now I have two passions.  One is I do like to support female entrepreneurs as one of my current passions is I think we need more female entrepreneurs in the classroom.  Because all these entrepreneurial programs and all these universities you rarely see a female teacher.  There are no female entrepreneurial role models in the classroom.  The second one is governance which I spent a lot of time on Boards, and that is policy level stuff, and I really like that  but what I am really interested in now is the fact that I have been an entrepreneur and I think I add a very very different perspective on a Board than the traditional person that comes out of the big corporate world.”

“I think it is really important because I find it very ironic everywhere I go to all these Board conferences National Association of Corporate Directors, etc.  Their talking about, everybody is talking about disruption and innovation. Everybody but yet, you look at who is appointed to Boards they keep going back to the same well of a traditional group of big corporate people.  And I am like there should be at least one seat for someone who has actually done it, someone who has actually disrupted stuff.  So that is another passion of mine.  I do enjoy my Board work because I think I do add value and have impact.  Once again it is all about impact for me.”

Going back to the first passion.  Do you have any insights on how we get more female entrepreneurs in the classroom?

Denise: “I’ve been thinking about trying to do doing some adjunct teaching myself just to get something in some college classrooms locally.  I haven’t thought about an actual process or movement.”

Are there programs that could funnel people through to get it started?

Denise: “Number one historically there have been many fewer female entrepreneurs than male in just sheer numbers.  But when you look at the statistics, women are now starting a business at the same rate as men.  It is noticeably absent when I see entrepreneurial curriculums I rarely see any females teaching courses.”

“Starting something is critical.  One of my best stories, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  And I ‘ll never forget because it was like a big lesson for me.  I was still in my CPA world, and I was at a conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we had some dead time, and I was with an attorney, and he said let’s go to the Walker Modern Art Museum.  Which is well known.  I hate Modern Art I don’t understand it, I don’t get it, and I am like ok.  We walk into this museum, and there is a huge Jasper John Canvas.  The whole wall White Canvas with one red line that’s it.  You know what I don’t get it.  I could do that.”

And without skipping a beat, this attorney turns to me and says, “Yeah but you didn’t.”

“And that was an important life lesson for me because he had a vision about something that nobody else did and he did, and that to me was a huge life lesson.  So to your point, you got to do it.  You got to do it at the moment.  You can’t be afraid even if you are afraid.  You got to push the fear aside somehow.”

LESSONS LEARNED AND AFTERTHOUGHTS

What was your most fearful moment in any business at any point in time about something you had to do?

Denise: “I would say it was a series of when we had the plant in Pittsburgh (Three Rivers Bottling) after 911 we lost our biggest customer.  I mean we lost Arizona Ice Tea.  There were 3 partners in that plant, and I did the heavy lifting on that joint venture, and I was the only one that had a finance background.  It was all about financing and the numbers and keeping that plant viable, keeping people employed was very important to me.  Somehow, we struggle through, and we ultimately sold it, and it was the right decision because I knew if we had to close that plant it was never coming back.  My objective was just to keep it open, keep it operating until we could find either another partner or a buyer.  We did, and it’s now flourishing, the workforce has doubled.  They now go by Castle Co-Packing and 100 employees.”

“When your co-packing, especially when you’re a small company and a small brand, you can get bumped off the schedule at any time when you have a production run at a co-packer.  You are out there, and you got orders to go to grocery stores, and you got distributors waiting, and it is really important that you are able to fill those orders on time.  You are always in fear as a small brand that you got your dates locked into for production, and you’re going to get bumped because one of their bigger customer’s needs the time on the line.”

“Once, and this is true and actually happened.  We had some frozen ingredients that had to be FedEx shipped by refrigerated trucks to actually get there just in time for the production run.  Once, literally, a FedEx truck caught on fire and so we couldn’t get the frozen which means we couldn’t meet our production run, which means we got bumped from the schedule.  And then the ripple effect.”

“Another thing that happened that was so crazy that I should write a book.  We probably had 10 pallets of product sitting on a Less Than Load (LTL) carrier in an LTL yard.  It also happened that my little children’s beverage product was on the same LTL truck as Monster Beverages, and apparently (Who Knew?) there is a black market for Monster Beverages.  The trailer was hijacked.  I laugh about it now, but it was awful.”

Did you get a call, or did someone come into your office to tell you?

Denise: “The LTL carrier called and said the truck was hijacked.  Insurance covered the contents, but it was like yeah I couldn’t fill orders.”

THE CONTAGION OF ENTREPRENEURISM

As our conversation came to a close, Denise took a few extra minutes to ask about my ongoing ventures.  As we discussed a few of my own projects, she listened intently.  Always the consummate entrepreneur and mentor Denise offered me advice on how to overcome a few hurdles I had encountered and shared with her that day.  She also offered her assistance going forward.  As we parted, I thought to myself, “Here is an individual whose plate is overflowing with her own project demands and deadlines yet generously offers to assist me with whatever it may take to overcome my own obstacles and business barriers.”  Denise Devine embodies the spirit and substance of what it means to be an entrepreneur always passionate, hard-working, and a maverick in whatever her endeavors!  I have found Denise always willing to share her experiences and insights while spreading her unique contagion of entrepreneurism!!!

 

Author: Steve Bartos

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