Each year during the month of March, our nation celebrates the stories of women’s achievements that are integral to the fabric of our history. Learning about women’s tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremendous source of strength. Here is one such story of a successful entrepreneur who demonstrates how women are making a difference.
As a young girl, Sheila Rossman’s father left a lasting impression on her. His dedication and commitment to working in a manufacturing facility showed her firsthand how important this industry was not only to her family, but to the U.S. economy as well. At the time, Rossman didn’t realize her childhood experiences would affect her future in ways she never expected.
After graduating college, she went to work at Arthur Young, a large CPA firm, where she was placed in the entrepreneurial services group, serving as a business consultant to small businesses. That’s when Rossman realized that her true calling was to get back to manufacturing. She quickly found a position in the accounting department of a manufacturing company that faced many challenges, including a union strike, a bankruptcy, a workforce downsizing and plummeting sales from $14 million barely $1 million in a short time span.
Rossman remained committed to the firm and in just three years became the controller and shortly thereafter the president. During her tenure, she and her team built the company back to profitable levels and the management eventually sold the company for a sizable profit.
When Rossman found Paramount Precision Products, she knew it was a company in which she could make a difference. The company provides machining and some assembly services to a variety of customers in automotive, oil, gas, alternative energy and marine industries primarily in the United States. When she originally bought into it, there were five other partners and many subsequent ownership changes, but in 2007, she became the sole owner.
An important component to Rossman’s strategy for growth was becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise to capitalize on corporate contracting opportunities. She contacted the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development, an SBA funded women’s business center, and the parent organization of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. The Great Lakes Council is one of the leading independent certifying agencies in the country. Paramount was certified as a WBE in 2011 and the company took full advantage of this designation. Revenues increased by 120 percent in just five years and staff expanded from 60 to 220. Two new facilities have been added and the company is planning to open another this year.
From a child intrigued by her father’s career choice to being named as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 by Ernst & Young, Rossman never looks back.