DUECO Chief Operating Officer
Marikris Coryell, center, shares her experiences of
being a businesswoman Thursday while Gloria
Henderson, president of D&G Insulation Inc., left,
and Ellen Zilli, founder of Zilli Hospitality Group,
right, listen. The panel was part of the Women and
Girls Fund 'An Evening of Inspiration' held at DUECO.
Katherine Michalets/Special to The
WAUKESHA - A trailblazer is defined as one
who guides others, is a pathfinder and a pioneer, Waukesha
County Business Alliance President Suzanne Kelley said
during a panel discussion with five Waukesha County women
who were awarded Wisconsin Trailblazer awards in 2014.
She then asked the women, Judie Taylor and
Marikris Coryell of DUECO, Gloria Henderson of D&G Insulation
Inc., Christine Toson Hentges of The Tribute Companies and Ellen
Zilli of Zilli Hospitality Group what it means to them to be a
Zilli said she has learned while running a
successful catering business for decades, it’s about respecting
the people you work for and those who work for you. She also
said during that time, she raised a family and business leaders.
For Coryell, chief operating officer at DUECO, it
means being innovative, creative and thinking outside of the
box. It’s also always about respect, she said, and making sure
to spend time with your family.
Toson Hentges said it’s important to “vocalize
your opinions when they are not always welcomed.” She said never
accept mediocrity and evolve continually.
Presented by the Women and Girls Fund on Thursday
at DUECO, the “Evening of Inspiration” focused on what these
successful businesswomen have learned.
One audience member asked for advice on how to
mentor young women.
Henderson said it’s important for young women to
become confident and to be strong.
Taylor had the practical advice of learning what
body language to use as a professional woman who might have to
negotiate or work with men. A woman should avoid tilting her
head or nodding, she said. It’s also important to leave drama at
home, Taylor added.
When asked about their passions, Toson Hentges
said she wants to change how Americans view death. The Tribute
Companies offer architectural design and planning services to
cemeteries and funeral homes.
Zilli said her personal passion is to grow people
and her professional passion is to provide excellent customer
When Taylor, president and CEO of DUECO, drives
into the parking lot of the company and sees a new pickup truck,
she said she feels happy because she knows that an employee can
afford his or her passion.
“Whatever you are doing in life, have the passion
to do it well,” she said.