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Recognizing Opportunities, Solving Problems, and Finding Need with Courtney Wright

Today on the WAM podcast, we welcome to the show, Courtney Wright. Courtney is the CEO of Gemini Builds It! and Showcase Acrylics. Prior to Gemini, Courtney founded CDW Merchants, the leading provider of 3D virtual retail displays and e-commerce gift packaging for the nation’s top retailers, including Kate Spade, Sperry’s, and Club Monaco. In 2016, she sold CDW to a global billion-dollar company, however, with little downtime as she acquired Gemini Builds It! in the same year, all while saving 60 jobs in the community. She is one woman who is making manufacturing cool in Chicago. In today’s episode, we delve into how Courtney and her team made an incredibly timely pivot providing a key product for the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic. She talks more about how she is driven to solve problems, continually finding new opportunities, and shares great advice about failing fast and prioritizing growth. Stay tuned for an insightful conversation with Courtney Wright.

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Meet Our Guest, Courtney Wright

Courtney Wright has the equation for success … stay curious, listen to feedback, fail a lot and make time for friends and family. Coco’s (all her friends call her Coco) tenacity begins at 4:30 AM when she begins to connect the dots. She’s always laser-focused on her master plan. The five-decade-old business bombshell is New England born, but calls Illinois home after attending Lake Forest College.

She founded CDW Merchants, the leading provider of 3D visual retail displays and e-commerce gift packaging for the nation’s top retailers, including Kate Spade, Sperry’s and Club Monaco. In 2016, Courtney packaged CDW for the last time and sold it to a global billion-dollar company.

Free time isn’t her thing … quickly she jumped on an opportunity to buy a company she worked with closely, a vendor to CDW. The downtime didn’t last long, in 2016 she bought Gemini Builds It (F/K/A Gemini Moulding). Since the deal closed, she saved 60 jobs, bought a business to close the gap on outsourcing and offers 401K and continuing education to the staff. Gemini is housed in a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing center in Elgin, but Courtney has her mindset to double the growth of the business and ... she's one woman making manufacturing cool in Chicago.

Wright wants women to know they can have their cake and eat it too. She has been married to her life and business partner, Larry, for the past 24 years. They live in Winnetka and have two sons. She prides herself on never missing either of her boys sporting events and stopping to smell the sweet scent of success.

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Meet Your Host, Frances Brunelle

Frances Brunelle is the founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., which specializes in the sale of lower middle-market manufacturing companies nationally. Fran and her team help to ensure the continuity of U.S. Manufacturing by transitioning ownership to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Fran writes on topics that help manufacturing business owners prepare their companies for sale and navigate the sale process to ensure a positive financial result in support of their retirement. Her articles can be found here. Recently Fran was named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers & Acquisitions.

To learn more about Fran and her company, click here: About Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc.