Meet the Women in Print: Carmen Rad
As president of CR&A Custom, Carmen Rad Prioritizes a Team Mentality.
In conjunction with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), CR&A hosts a facility tour for youth involved in the program, encouraging them to explore and ask questions of the various departments, and even bring designs to have printed. Rad has also spoken at universities, including Stanford University, Collins College of Hospitality Management, University of Southern California, and East Los Angeles College, in support of young entrepreneurs.
On a recent call, you mentioned you could not have won this award, or be in the position you are today, without your team. Can you talk about the importance of hiring and retaining great employees?
I strongly believe the key to any strong organization is the people. A great team can elevate you, your brand, and most importantly, your day. Negative team members and work environments can cause distractions that are detrimental to everyday business activities, which brings the creative energy down. This is why it is extremely important to retain and build around a core team of leaders who understand the overall mission of the company. Your team becomes your filter, your eyes, and your ears in order to watch out for the company’s best interest. Do not second guess yourself, because if you have made a bad business decision, your instincts will tell you.
You are an advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses, previously having served on the board and as the president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Can you talk about your passion for this and how it has affected your career in the print industry?
I definitely take pride in creating connections for other businesses and watching others succeed. Plenty of times, I am asked, “Do you know someone who can help me with finance, marketing, HR, or the like?” I love creating that new connection. When you have created a strong network around you it is easy to pass along their contact information. Being an advocate for others has definitely given me even more opportunities to develop relationships with high-profile clients, who find it important to work with people who share their business values.