Women in Business: Mandy Wolff

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,173 views 

Class of 2023 Women in Business Mandy Wolff Chief Administrative Officer Arkansas Myriad Inc.; Fayetteville

Residence: Fayetteville

Education: B.S., chemistry, Arkansas Tech University

Professional background: Wolff was recruited to ARMI in January 2017 for her business and marketing experience and developed a marketing strategy that included rebranding the logo and website. As marketing director, she established and oversaw a department the company previously did not have before taking on additional responsibilities, including overseeing facilities and safety. She was named to her existing role in January 2021 and oversees administrative operations, human resources and marketing. Before joining ARMI, she owned a successful clothing boutique for 10 years.

What habits or traits do you feel are most important for leaders to have? Consistency is one of the main habits I believe is crucial. Being consistent shows dedication to achieve goals, which in return comes success. When it comes to leadership traits, delegation and vision are essential. Successful people are doers. When you transition into a leadership role, you must have the ability to delegate tasks so you can focus on leading your team, rather than doing the day-to-day things. Because of how quickly the world moves, it is our responsibility as leaders to make sure that we are coaching, mentoring and holding our teams to a high standard to focus on the vision of the company.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? My advice to women is to prove you have what it takes to earn and perform the job role, stay strong, hold your ground and work hard every day.

What do you think of the opportunities that exist for women in business compared with when you started? They are very similar to when I started my career at ARMI six years ago. In the industrial construction/manufacturing sectors, women are outnumbered. According to statistics, there are around 10% of women working in industrial construction. There are 123 employees total at the company I presently work for, and only 11 are female. I do believe we are the change though. There are more women on the teams I lead rather than men. You need to be a very strong woman to succeed in the heavily male-dominated field I work in, and my team consists of independent, powerful women. By expanding our team, we can show other women that there are opportunities that exist and how gratifying they can be.

What is something distinctive that people would be surprised to know about you? I used to compete as a powerlifter and held the Arkansas state deadlifting record at one point. Another thing that may surprise people is that I auditioned for the 23rd season of “The Bachelor” — I highly recommend it for any single ladies. It was such a fun experience.

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top? Emotional intelligence would be a big aspect of it. Women are more empathetic, comprehend emotional awareness and behavior changes, and appreciate the value of connection among team members. To put it into perspective from my current job, we are more organized, creative and bring diversity to the stereotypical executive boards in the construction industry.

What is the most fulfilling part of your work? Progressing team members. Our company is predominantly trades personnel who work with their hands. My team’s job is to provide them with the tools they need and a progression plan to help them advance in their careers. It is so rewarding to see a team member go from an entry-level position with minimal education to advancing into a leadership role within the company.

What do you do to relax when not working? I am a busybody who rarely takes the time to unwind and relax. Outside of the office, I enjoy traveling, working out, reading and keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

Who was a big mentor to you in the early part of your career? As conceited as this may sound, myself. Growing up, I never wanted to be like everyone else. I was raised in a very conservative home, and the thought of being a female entrepreneur was not something that was talked about.

The old-school values that were portrayed upon us were the traditional route of getting married, staying at home and raising children. This is a full-time job, and I admire any woman who does this. My mother did this and did a wonderful job.

I did grow up with a sense of being naïve to the world. I do pride myself on being the first to graduate college in my family, and I challenged myself to study one of the hardest majors Arkansas Tech University had to offer, chemistry.

After graduating, I worked as a microbiologist/chemist where I was told I was “too social” for that job role. Turns out, they were right, and that’s when I decided to open my own boutique. I launched MACA Boutique in May 2007 and had an all-female team. I ran the boutique for 10 years and then went to work for my family’s business, ARMI Contractors, in January 2017. I had to be my own mentor to get to where I am today.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read? “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter and “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins.