RIGHTSLEEVE President Catherine Graham Selected to Lead Workshop at Dell Women’s Entrepreneurial Network Conference in Istanbul
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- Shares expertise on the “Intersection of Culture and Brand”
- Provides advice to women-led businesses on how to hire the right people who best fit with their firm’s culture and brand
- Shows how technology can be transformational to a company’s development, culture and brand
Catherine Graham, President of Canadian promotional design agency, RIGHTSLEEVE and Founding Member of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (DWEN) in Canada, has been selected to lead an entrepreneurial workshop on the “Intersection of Culture and Brand” at the upcoming annual DWEN conference in Istanbul, Turkey, June 2-4, 2013. Catherine is one of 27 speakers who include Elizabeth Gore, Resident Entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation, and Moira Forbes, president and publisher Forbes Women. They are invited to address the three-day, invitation-only conference that brings together 150 women entrepreneurs from around the world.
“The theme of this year’s DWEN conference, ‘Pay It Forward,’ resonates particularly well with me,” says Ms. Graham. “I’m passionate about fostering female entrepreneurship, particularly in the technology space, which is traditionally so male-dominated, so I was delighted when Dell asked me to play a role at this year’s DWEN conference. This is my fourth year attending DWEN, an event I see as being the most important and useful peer-to-peer networking event for women entrepreneurs.”
Ms. Graham’s first-hand knowledge of the intersection of culture and brand comes from building promotional design and branded merchandise company RIGHTSLEEVE and founding software company commonsku.
As the Founding Member of Dell’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Network in Canada, Ms. Graham has also been instrumental in building the Canadian DWEN community, which hosts local chapters currently established in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Women entrepreneurs participate in networking events and through the global DWEN LinkedIn community. Ms. Graham first came to Dell’s attention in 2009 when RIGHTSLEEVE was named Canadian winner of the Dell Small Business Excellence Award for the way the company had leveraged technology to transform its business, differentiate itself from its competitors and deliver exceptional hands-on customer service and employee engagement.
The company remains a believer in harnessing the power of technology to grow a business, from building its robust cloud-based e-commerce infrastructure in 2005, transitioning email and security to Google Apps in 2008 and creating its own Software and a Service (SaaS) business commonsku, in 2010. This heavy reliance on technology at the back-end frees up approximately 50 percent of Ms. Graham’s time to focus on the people skills – the hiring, managing and development of people – to ensure the companies’ growing staff truly reflect and live both RIGHTSLEEVE and commonsku’s brands and culture.
“Hiring the right staff is one of the biggest challenges facing a small to medium sized business and it’s not something they teach you much about at business school. You need to know who to hire, what roles you need to fill and then make sure that you understand your candidates’ passions and how they align with the job and the company so that the new hires will be excited about coming to work. Culture, brand and staff are so inextricably intertwined. Once you start making the right hiring decisions, staff turnover goes down and the culture and brand can flourish. As a business owner, I believe hiring, managing and developing people to be the single most important aspect of building a great business, so I’m thrilled to be able to pass on some of my experience to my fellow DWEN members.” - Catherine Graham, President, RIGHTSLEEVE and CEO, commonsku
“As the Founding Member of DWEN in Canada, Catherine Graham has been a driving force in building the Canadian DWEN community. We’re delighted to have a delegation of a dozen Canadian women entrepreneurs and influencers join us in Istanbul in June for the 2013 global DWEN conference. A common thread that unites all DWEN participants is their use of technology as a business enabler. Catherine’s businesses RIGHTSLEEVE and commonsku are prime examples of this. From the earliest days RIGHTSLEEVE used technology to differentiate itself from its competitors and turn the promotional products industry on its head. RIGHTSLEEVE and commonsku’s trailblazing use of technology continues today as Catherine’s team develops new solutions that facilitate communications, build relationships and forge links between culture and brand.” – David Miketinac, vice president and general manager, Small & Medium Business, Dell Canada.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.ca.
RIGHTSLEEVE is a Toronto-based, award-winning promotional products agency that helps companies establish emotional connections to their brand through creative merchandise collections. For more information visit www.rightsleeve.com