Title and company: President, EverLights
Bio: Gallagher graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1995, and launched EverLights, one of the first fluorescent lamp recycling companies, the same year. She was mentored by her older sister, Colleen Kramer, and mother, Patt Gallagher, who together had started a successful lighting distribution company in 1986 called Evergreen Supply Co. Gallagher played a role in making Illinois one of the first states to pass a law that mandated lamp recycling in 1997. EverLights was awarded the Governor's Award for Sustainability in 2010 and was a finalist in Chicago's annual Green Works competition. Gallagher also received an entrepreneurial award from Enterprising Women magazine.
What did you want to be growing up? I was inspired by the success of Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, who was appointed to that position about the same time I started my business. I have always been moved by her immense accomplishments, courage and vast knowledge of international relations.
Your business philosophy in 10 words or less: If you treat your customers well, success will come.
What drives you every day? The urge to succeed and grow my business. I want to make the lives of those around me safer, richer and fuller.
What advice do you have for women new to this industry? Learn how your clients make money. If you understand their business, you can better position yourself to be an integral part of their growth – and ultimately your own.
Social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogging. Our company blog is called "Our Take on Green."
The one gadget you couldn't live without: My iPad. I am constantly on the go. Having an iPad in my tote bag enables me to stay in touch throughout the day.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, which I completed in June, impacted me and my business in ways I could never have imagined. My business is already up 25% this year, and I made some great friends in the program. It was an experience of a lifetime.
What story does your family always tell about you? My parents once asked the doctor if they should be concerned because I read too much. They thought something was actually wrong with me.