Westchester County's Most Accomplished Women Entrepreneurs
Meet 28 of the county's most successful, move innovative, most respected business women.
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(Sales) Pitch Perfect
Co-Founder, Owner, and CEO, Westerly-Enright
The road to success for Susan Villamena was fraught with detours and false starts. The English Lit major thought she was destined for a teaching career. When that didn’t pan out, she worked at a series of jobs in the corporate world. “I was in my twenties, having a lot of fun, and probably would have stayed there forever if not for getting downsized,” Villamena says. “Luckily for me, I’m the daughter of an entrepreneur and salesman. At that very low point in my career, my father said to me, ‘If you never want to get ‘downsized’ again, learn to sell and become your own boss.’”
Villamena began by working for her father, “but my professional life changed forever” when she discovered Sandler
Training, an international franchise that teaches sales techniques. “After working for a franchisee and mentoring under the most incredible salespeople, including David Sandler himself,” in 1996, she opened her own franchise in Westchester, which eventually made her realize that most companies lacked an effective hiring system for their salespeople.
With a niche in the hiring/recruiting industry that Villamena had identified, she turned to friend Laura Loughlin (see above). Since Laura was already in the staffing industry, she understood the nuances of that world. The duo founded Westerly-Enright, “which is an entirely separate company from both her Loughlin Personnel and my training business.”
Westerly-Enright deals exclusively with the recruitment and hiring of sales executives for all types of companies. Villamena derived her company’s moniker from a cross street near her home and the last name of Loughlin’s grandmother. “Any combination of our own names just didn’t sound like a staffing firm.” And she should know. “In the past twenty years, I have trained, mentored, coached, evaluated, and helped hire thousands of sales professionals from hundreds of different industries at all skill levels. I know salespeople and sales leaders better than anyone.”
To date, Westerly-Enright has enjoyed revenue increases of 10 to 15 percent each year since its launch four years ago. “And,” says Villamena, “I’m anticipating that 2012 will be another good year.”
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