Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Tough Mother

One of the small perks I have received from my sponsors Columbia Sportswear is that they have sent me a copy of this book.

If I had known the book existed I would have already bought it from Amazon.

Columbia is a company whose products I have long admired. That is how our association came about - I am not promoting their products because they are backing me in Vic's Big Walk - more the other way around, they are supporting me because I am so enthusiastic about their excellent products.

One does not use Columbia gear for long before becoming aware of Gert Boyle. I did a piece about her and the company early in the life of this blog. She is a housewife who truly became a superstar. She is my heroine and I hope my connection with Columbia results in me meeting her.

Her husband died young while at the helm of a small company which was in transition from being a hat shop to becoming a sportswear company. Gert, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, was at home minding the home and family. Sportswear is a man's world. The company, heavily in debt, was expected to fold or to bring in experienced, male management.

Gert was having none of this. She took over and with the help of her son Tim, a college student at the time, took the company from below $1 million turnover to over $1 billion.

The book is a slim volume because, at 85 years of age, Ma Boyle does not have the time to write a tome. She puts in a full days work in the office, still stars, as she has for many years, in the companies advertising, and travels extensively on company business.

An inspirational book. Chairman Ma's little book should be on your shelves.

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