BUFFALO, N.Y. — Each week this year, we're featuring the women who are leading Western New York's resurgence in our City Shapers series. This week, 2 On our Side's Kelly Dudzik shows us how the CEO of a company, who's over sixty-years-old, is encouraging other women to start their own businesses.
Lynne Marie Finn is the President and CEO of Broadleaf Results, and she grew up in Buffalo.
Broadleaf Results is part of the Aleron group of companies. It used to be known as Superior Group and was founded in Buffalo by Finn's dad in the 1950s. It's a workforce solutions company that helps other companies find qualified employees.
Finn wasn't always with her parents' company. She started out as an attorney specializing in employment law.
"It took a while for my dad to convince me to join the family business. I thought I was going to become a famous litigator," she recalls.
At first, Finn was the company's general counsel. Then she took over Broadleaf, which was started by her mom.
"It was a lot harder for women-owned businesses to compete on an equal playing field with other businesses, so I saw that struggle, and I think it kind of informed how I look at women-owned businesses today," explained Finn.
Thirty of Finn’s employees recently moved to 500 Pearl. Finn felt it was important to have a presence in downtown Buffalo.
"Our clients come from all over the country to showcase downtown Buffalo with its great architecture, and great views of the lake, as well as having state-of-the-art office space, so our staff is thrilled to work here and to have downtown right at the doorstep," says Finn.
All of the art in the office is made by local artists, and Finn also supports the BPO, the Albright-Knox, and Burchfield Penney. Finn is also very involved in helping to mentor women who are starting their own businesses. She also works with 43 North and Launch NY.
One of her keys to success is don't be afraid to take risks.
"It's important to really be true to who you are, to your values as a company, and to make sure that what you're doing is important and interesting to you. And certainly finally, to have fun at it. You're spending a lot of time. If you don't enjoy it, you don't have fun, what's the point?" she says.
If you know someone who would make a great City Shaper, send Kelly an email.
You can check out the rest of our City Shapers from 2017-2019 - including Phylicia Dove from Black Monarchy.