It has been a longstanding trend that men run the workplace in relation to their female counterparts. However, this national trend may soon change. Studies done by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company show 75% of women want to be promoted and 43% of women want to be top executives. With the rise of motivated women in the workplace, many successful companies are run by women. In fact, in many states and cities, the top businesses are women-led. Nashville, Tennessee is no different. The following is a list of the top four women-owned businesses in Nashville.
1. Western Express, Inc.
Western Express is an asset-based truckload carrier founded in 1991 by Donna Wise and her husband Wayne. Over the past 20 years, the couple has grown the Nashville business to become one of the largest truckload carriers, with annual revenues topping $550 million in 2014. The goal of the company is to provide the United States with innovative transportation solutions that meet customer needs. Western Express has facilities located across the countries, with eight locations between Pennsylvania and California.
Donna Wise built her company as a family-owned business with big ambitions. She identified that happy drivers would better service their customers and implemented a strategy where driver needs were met every day. In 2010, her husband passed away, leaving her as the sole co-founder and owner of the company.
2. Wyatt Johnson Automotive Group
Wyatt Johnson Automotive Group buys and sells new and used cars, and also offers car services and collision centers. The company has an inventory of cars that spans almost every brand, and it was voted the General Motors (GM) dealer of the year in 2010, selling the most GM cars in the state of Tennessee. The business also came in as the third-highest GM seller in a region that includes most of the southern part of the U.S. The company had revenues of $179.9 million in 2014.
Principal Katherine Johnson Cannata is a local resident who attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and spent two years playing Division I women's tennis. She worked as a public accountant for nine years before raising a family. While she was a stay-at-home mother, her father asked her to join him at his dealership on a part-time basis. From there, she become its owner and turned it into the company it is in 2015.
3. Quality Industries, Inc.
Quality Industries has a mission to become a world-class supplier of metal-fabricated products and services. The business has Nashville and Dallas facilities that can house more than 300,000 square feet of metal fabrication equipment operated by a team of expert technicians. The technicians use a wide variety of procedures on the company's metal inventory to meet the supply chain needs of customers. The company's 2014 revenue topped out at $94 million.
Georgianna Russell, along with her husband Robert, founded Quality Industries in 1972. Originally, the company made stainless steel food service equipment and truck component parts, but it has been expanded by its female co-founder to become a contract manufacturer that provides a full suite of engineering services.
4. Tennessee Bun Company
The Tennessee Bun Company was founded in 1996 by Cordia Harrington and her husband Tom. The business is a leading manufacturer and innovator in the wholesale baking industry. The value proposition of the company lies in its focus on quality, which has allowed it to feature its products in leading quick-service restaurants and grocery stores. The company is composed of bakeries in Nashville and Dickson, and the Cold Storage of Nashville. The business' top-line revenue was $67 million in 2014.
Cordia Harrington began her business career by purchasing a McDonald's franchise in Illinois. Afterward, she purchased a Greyhound bus line and adjusted the route so it drove past her McDonald's store. From there, she became part of the McDonald's bun committee, eventually becoming its head bun supplier, before leaving to launch Tennessee Bun Company.