Degree/Year: B.S., Business Administration, 2002
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Current: Founder/Owner of The Heavenly Donut Co. in the Cahaba Heights area of Birmingham
How did your Samford degree / experience prepare you for your current role? In my various business classes at Samford, I created business plans, learned real world business skills in a business simulation class and even got to consult a local business as part of a marketing class. I think that my marketing classes at Samford helped to foster a love for marketing that has been extremely important in the success of The Heavenly Donut Company.
What Samford faculty or staff member had the most influence on you and why? The late Dr. Mary Ann Hocutt helped to foster my love for marketing. In one of the classes that I took from Dr. Hocutt, we were required to work on a marketing and business plan for a local small business. This was the first time, for me, that the coursework really "came alive." I knew that at some point in my life I would want to have my own business.
What would you say is the key to success in today’s world? Relationships are the key to success. From the relationship we've formed with our mentors and business partners to the relationships we've enjoyed with our customers, I think building new relationships and strengthening the ones we have is the key to success. We began our business as a way to be a part of our community and to minister to the local area. We always want to put our customers first. We have become a part of our customers' lives.
What is a favorite Samford memory? I have so many wonderful memories from Samford. The first would be receiving my bid on bid day and running from the West Campus parking deck to the Phi Mu house. Also, one of my favorite memories is attending Hanging of the Green and Lighting of the Way.
What was your motivation for starting The Heavenly Donut Co. and how has it evolved? My husband and I wanted to be a part of our community and be able to minister to those who live in or drive through our neighborhood. Our goal each day is to be a bright spot for those who visit our store, even if we do nothing more than smile and sincerely ask about their day. Over the past 18 months, we have enjoyed becoming a part of our customers' daily routines, Saturday traditions, and special celebrations. My marketing and event planning background has helped tremendously with our business. Our business allows us to sell a product that is very inviting and invites people into our store, and our faith gives us the opportunity to love our customers and encourage them throughout their day.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.