Rachel Sanchez, president of Prestige Maintenance USA, Ltd has seen impressive growth since joining WBCS. Prestige is a second generation company with 41 years of experience and 12 of those years being certified as Women Owned. Since earning the Women's Business Enterprise Certification, they have seen substantial growth, 47% to be exact! Rachel is humble about the company's success and has a great reminder for newly certified WBEs,"I think that some individuals think that the certification is magically going to get you new business. That’s not the case. You still have to deliver on service and price. Certification is a value add, and it’s no magic wand." We are lucky to have companies like Prestige Maintenance USA in our membership.

How/when was your business started and how did you learn about certification? My business was founded by my parents, Marie and Alex Dinverno, in 1976. Our long time CPA, Pat Laubacher, with Judd, Thomas, Smith, & Associates mentioned the benefits of certification to my mom. She immediately shared this with me and we began the process of certification.

How has WBCS membership benefitted your business? Since certification we have grown by 47%. The vast majority of our client base is Fortune 500 companies that are also corporate members of WBENC (JCPenney, Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, BNSF, Fedex). Our certification has been a value add to those clients, and it’s definitely opened the door for us to grow our client base. For example, we have had multiple contracts as a result of being introduced at a WBCS or WBENC event. An example of one such relationship is BNSF Railway who I met at a local WBCS matchmaker event and we are still servicing 8 years later. Because of our involvement at a local and national level we continue to get in front of companies that otherwise we would not be able to. It’s one of the best benefits of certification!

What was it like getting certified after Prestige had already been in business several years? Do you remember what that first year was like? I do remember, and it was eye opening. I was excited to learn that there was an organization that realized the value of woman owned business and put true commitment around it. I’ll never forget going to orientation and being blown away by all the professional women and men supporting the initiative to grow woman owned businesses.  Everyone was so friendly and helpful. It’s truly an uplifting network on both the WBE and corporate side.

What is the best reason for another women-owned business to get certified? #1, it will help you grow your business if you commit to being involved. You will get out what you put in. And the people you meet are the absolute best!  I’ve developed both personal and professional relationships that are lifetime treasures for me. It has also helped me develop professionally by saying yes to opportunities that come my way even though at times they push me outside my comfort zone.

How has WBCS helped connect you to other WBE's for mutually beneficial partnerships/business deals? Working with fellow WBE’s is a strong commitment that we have as a company. All RFP’s include WBE participation, and we’ve been able to award business to WBE’s as a result of service and competitive pricing. For example, Marfield is our preferred printing company and Aztec Promotions recently won an RFP to provide our uniforms. Both of these companies have a greater understanding of my company because we are all involved in the WBE community and have gotten to know each other’s capabilities. 

Are there any major lessons you’ve learned as a WBE? I think that some individuals think that the certification is magically going to get you new business. That’s not the case. You still have to deliver on service and price. Certification is a value add, and it’s no magic wand. So I would say continue to strive for excellence as company. Also, the more you get involved in the WBENC community the more you will benefit. Don’t be afraid to say yes when an opportunity comes your way!

What is your favorite WBCS event and why? The annual gala is definitely my favorite event. I love it because it’s a great way to kick off the year, and recognize outstanding WBE’s and corporations. WBE’s continue to have to take risks running their businesses and it’s rewarding to see their successes recognized and celebrated by all. And I love seeing everyone all glammed up. It selfishly gives me an excuse to go shopping and buy a new dress of course!

How have you leveraged the WBENC community? I’ve gotten involved both locally and nationally. From sponsorships to serving on various committees including host committee for the national conference in 2015. Last year I began serving on the WBCS board, and as a national forum representative for WBENC.  I meet so many people through these various opportunities. 

Is there anything we left off that you’d like to share about your experience as a WBENC certified WBE? WBCS and WBENC are world class organizations. Association with both of them will only make you better.