Gina Radke, CEO of Galley Support Innovations, knows what it takes to build a successful business from the ground up. Her grandfather, Gene Webb, used to talk to her when she was a child about the importance of customer service and understanding how a business runs in case she had to go to a business dinner with her future husband.
“Turns out my husband and I both go on business dinners,” Radke said. “I became the CEO he wanted me to marry!”
GSI is a leading designer and manufacturer of interior hardware for aircrafts. Because there are few women in manufacturing, Radke gets asked all the time if she “really” works at GSI.
“I understand why you would think that,” she said, “but I actually do work here. I can run all the machines and have final say in the way my business will operate.”
Radke and her husband and co-founder, Wade, have grown GSI from $10,000 in sales its first year with four employees to a multimillion-dollar business with 45 employees.
With only 4 percent of C-level positions being held by women, there are not enough female mentors to help female entrepreneurs, Radke said. This inspired her to write, More Than: How to Be Bold and Balanced in Life and Business, to mentor other female entrepreneurs.
These days, Wade serves as COO and handles most of the day-to-day operations while Gina spends her time coaching, speaking and mentoring business professionals and women around the country.