March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. March also is Women’s History Month, commemorating the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. As a strategy and information management consulting firm and proud Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Resigility pays tribute to all the businesswomen who paved the way for us.

Tenacity and drive

Today and throughout March we honor women like Lillian Vernon, whose successful mail-order retail empire was worth more than $238 million in 2003. Growing up I remember my mom buying from Lillian Vernon’s catalogs all the time. Little did I realize then that a woman who came to the U.S. from Germany in 1927 to escape the escalating Nazi threat had created this business at her kitchen table in 1951, when she was a 24-year-old mom-to-be with a dream.

Despite her death in 2015, the same year her namesake company was acquired by private-equity firm Regent, “The Catalog Queen” lives on at LillianVernon.com, where she is described this way: “As a businesswoman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Lillian brought creative innovation and marketing moxie to everything she did, impacting many lives” (including my mom’s!). “When Lillian Vernon went public in 1987, it was the first company traded on the American Stock Exchange founded by a woman, affirming her entire life was distinguished by tenacity and drive.”

Building agility and resilience

About six and a half years ago Resigility was founded by Patricia Obermaier, another tenacious, driven woman with a dream. Patty’s vision was to create a company that could help build agility and resilience in ourselves, our clients and our communities. For over four years, she consulted with senior health care clients to develop digital strategies and customer-centric solutions, build organizational resilience, agility and performance, and expand information technology, analytics and informatics capabilities. Patty continues to serve as our board chair, inspiring us to think differently and always seek innovation as we work with clients to transform strategy into action while supporting our communities.

Making a difference

As we celebrate Lillian, Patty and so many other exceptional women who have come before, we also recognize current WOSBs for their success, contributions to society and actions that accelerate gender equity. All women business owners owe a debt of gratitude to the trailblazers of yesterday for making it possible for the current swell of WOSBs—including Resigility—to succeed and make a difference in our nation and world.

Karen Marlo, President, Resigility