Lynne Marie Finn
Host Committee Co-Chair President & CEO,
Broadleaf Results, Inc.
“Always look for the win-win result. This means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes – be it a client, employee, or supplier – and try to understand their position and what they feel will be a positive result.”
About Broadleaf Results, Inc.
Broadleaf Results (formerly Superior Workforce Solutions) delivers total talent acquisition and management solutions, including contingent worker managed service programs (MSP), recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), SOW vendor management, IC compliance, and payrolling services to a wide variety of industries. Work Nexus, our proprietary vendor management system (VMS), automates many aspects of the process and provides robust reporting and data analytics to optimize workforce productivity. Broadleaf’s consultative, flexible solutions streamline processes, increase compliance, reduce cost, and improve worker quality and retention to deliver our clients’ most valuable asset:talent.
Headquartered: Buffalo, New York
Became Owner: 1996
Company Website: https://broadleafresults.com
When and how was your business started?
Founded in 1965 by my father as an auxiliary business to an established technical staffing firm, the company became woman owned in 1980. For years my mother helped my father grow the business and didn’t receive any compensation or ownership interest. In 1980 my mother used a surprise inheritance to purchase the majority interest from my father.
After working as a lawyer in private practice and an assistant district attorney, I joined the family business initially as the General Counsel and then took over as President and CEO of Broadleaf Results over 20 years ago. I acquired my ownership interest through gifting over time and then inheritance when my mother passed away.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
WBENC Certification has provided me with both professional and personal growth. Broadleaf has been awarded large contracts from clients that we were first introduced to through WBENC, and we’ve been able to access dozens of other companies because of our WBENC certification. Having WBENC Certification is the first step, but getting involved and participating in the many activities WBENC provides — both nationally and at the RPO level — has given me access to potential clients and WBE suppliers I would not have had access to otherwise. Personally, I have developed close friendships with other women business owners who I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for WBENC. I have also taken advantage of the leadership development opportunities WBENC’s Corporate Members offer, which have made me a better business owner and person.
What is your business philosophy and how has it impacted your success as a business?
To do the right thing – no exceptions. I truly believe that what goes around comes around and you reap what you sow. By doing the right thing in business, you are planting healthy seeds that will produce bountiful results in the long-run. In the short term it may hinder growth, may cost more, or delay achieving your goals, but inevitably it has paid off for me in customer, supplier, and employee loyalty.
What is your proudest moment thus far in business?
I’ve had my share of proud moments in business, but the proudest moments – plural — for me are when a client tells me we’ve done a really good job for them and that we are a truly valued partner. That’s when my heart swells and I realize that’s what all of our hard work is for.
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Follow your gut instincts – after you’ve gathered all necessary information. Whenever I’ve ignored that little voice in my head, I’ve made poor decisions.
How did you first learn about WBENC Certification?
I learned about WBENC from a customer over 15 years ago. We were doing business with this customer for years before they knew we were woman-owned - which demonstrates how clueless I was about marketing our WBE status back then. They told me to get WBENC-Certified so I did it for them, not realizing the widespread opportunity it provided the company.
What advice would you share with a newly certified WBE looking to make the most out of her certification?
Take full advantage of what WBENC Certification has to offer. Attend the RPO webinars for newly certified WBEs. Become familiar with WBENC’s website. Register with both WBENCLink2.0 – which links WBEs with Corporate and Government Members and other WBEs - and Corporate and Government Members’ supplier diversity databases. Attend both RPO and WBENC events, including RPO events in other regions that are of interest. And don’t forget to join the Women’s Enterprise Forum so you can meet like-minded WBEs, as well as gain access to special educational programs and networking opportunities with corporate members.
Have you partnered with other WBENC-Certified WBEs on contracts or utilized other WBEs as suppliers? If so, what has been the benefit? Why do you feel it is important to work with other WBEs in the WBENC network?
Yes, we have successfully partnered with other WBENC-Certified WBEs. We have purchased services and goods, and we have also used staffing agencies as suppliers in our Managed Service Programs – to our mutual benefit. I try to direct as much business opportunities as possible to my “WBENC sisters,” including introducing them to potential clients where there’s alignment, and they’ve done the same for me. We’re all in this together and helping another WBENC-Certified WBE lifts us all up.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Always look for the win-win result. This means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes – be it a client, employee, or supplier – and try to understand their position and what they feel will be a positive result. This will allow you to see the common ground and arrive at a solution that will be good for everyone.
What do you do to prepare for the National Conference & Business Fair?
I become familiar with sponsors and Corporate Members who will be exhibiting and see if they have a need for our services and/or if there are interesting synergies between our companies. Then I make a list of who I’d like to connect with. I make sure we are already registered on any relevant supplier diversity databases so our conversations can be focused on next steps and how we may be able to do business together. I update our profile on WBENCLink2.0 and also our Capabilities Statement. I bring some hard copies of the capacity statement and have access to a soft copy that I can send during a conversation.
What is your strategy for how you approach the Business Fair?
Because we are a sponsor with our own booth, I have to divide my time between our booth and visiting current and potential clients. I always visit current clients’ booths to reconnect, thank them for their business, and meet any new contacts at the company. At lunch, I will ask to sit at a table with people I don’t know or invite others to sit at my table in order to make new connections.
What tips do you have for WBEs to get the most out of their time at the National Conference & Business Fair?
Educate yourself on the Corporate Members and sponsors who will be attending the conference and determine who may present potential business opportunities. I would choose no more than 10 primary and five secondary businesses to reach out to. Understand what their needs may be relative to your business and what has happened recently in their business and industry. Then come prepared to offer a solution. Also, make connections with other WBEs, relay your elevator pitch, and find out about their businesses. You may be able to connect each other with a good contact and create opportunities. Be friendly and talk to as many people as possible – you never know where you may find a connection!
What should every first-time attendee know about the conference before they arrive?
First time attendees should realize that the conference is just one part of your overall business strategy to maximize WBENC Certification. You should not expect to walk away with new business, but you should leave with having made several meaningful connections with Corporate Members and other WBEs who will move you closer to your goals. It takes time to develop relationships and the conference is a great opportunity to start building what will hopefully be long-lasting business relationships. I would also recommend putting some focus on meeting Corporate Members and WBEs from your RPO so you can build on those relationships at future RPO events. Each year you attend the conference it gets easier because you keep building on the relationships you’ve cultivated from year to year. This is a marathon, not a sprint!