One of the big subjects for any woman in business is, "can I have everything?" Work/life balance is constantly on our minds as we work to get what we want in every domain. Our upcoming October panel will explore whether or not this is even a possibility. To help us really explore that idea, we're excited to welcome mother-daughter duo Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons, founders of Mixtroz, who will fill us in on what it's like to own a business (with your family) and work to have balance in your life in all areas. In preparation, here's a deep dive into who they are.
How long have you been in Nashville?
Kerry: 7 years in in Franklin, right outside of the city. I relocated for a job opportunity and still love it here.
Ashlee: Approx. 100 days in Franklin (living with my Mom/Cofounder – OMG!). I relocated from NYC (where I’d lived for the previous 7 years) to work on Mixtroz full time.
What is the best piece of professional or personal advice you've been given by someone else?
Kerry: When someone reveals themselves to you, believe them the first time.
How has mentorship impacted your life?
Ashlee: Mentorship has literally changed my life. In the Summer before my Junior year of college I went on an interview for what I thought was an internship with IMG and it turned out to be “the” internship with LeBron James. My direct boss in that position whose background was rich in higher education always approached the “intern” position as, at the end of the day I was a contributing member to the team and I should carry myself as such. There wasn’t too much running for coffee or mindless errands, it was a position that really played to my strengths and was a catalyst for creativity (not to mention, it was paid!!!). To this day, that internship prepared me for the next phase of my life in NYC and is definitely a large part of the reason that I soared. Over the course of my career, I’ve tried to keep my intern experience in mind with the 50+ interns and junior staff that have worked with me. Give people the opportunity to rise!
Name two truths and a lie:
Ashlee: I planned Leonardo DiCaprio’s Birthday, I was given a $25,000 tip, I competed in the 2012 Olympics.
What do you think is the biggest issue challenging women in the workplace?
Kerry: It’s cliché but true, the glass ceiling is still there and even when it has been shattered by a courageous few, you still have to go through shards of glass to get to the other side. On a daily basis, even with high profile women the conversation seems to be around their physical appearance or their clothing rather than their thoughts or values. It can still be seen even in young women in that we work so hard to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) because it’s still not a natural choice; it requires a lot of encouragement. And lastly, truly the biggest challenge is how to overcome the challenges and maintain sanity and success. #thestruggleisreal
What do you think makes you a strong leader?
Kerry: I’m not afraid to lead, I know when to listen, and I look forward to learning something new every day.
About Kerry and Ashlee
Although newcomers to both the technology industry and entrepreneurial world, this dynamic mother-daughter duo, Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons, are using their combined 10 years of post-secondary education coupled with more than 30 years of diverse work experience to develop their networking solution, Mixtroz. Even without a tech background, their vast business knowledge and street smarts have enabled them to “disrupt” the current networking scene.
Kerry Schrader (Mom), Cofounder/CEO, holds a BBA, MBA (Kent State University Alumni), SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. Kerry has more than 25 years’ experience positively impacting the human assets of large companies including Ford, Alcoa, and Sears Holdings Corporation. Her corporate experience his given her insight to engagement and how to foster it in any environment. Residing in Franklin, a suburb of Nashville, TN, Kerry is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, serves as the Corporate Treasurer for a Nashville-based investment group and has volunteered for local charities including Big Brother Big Sisters of Williamson County and Girls, Inc.
Ashlee Ammons (Daughter), Cofounder/CMO, holds a BA in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Notably, Ashlee was hired as the 1st intern to NBA Star LeBron James. Recently relocated to Franklin from New York City, Ashlee established a career as an Events Producer working with an impressive list of A- Listers including Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jay-Z as well as large brands like Moët Hennessy and Coca-Cola. Much of Ashlee’s passion for Mixtroz comes from her vast knowledge of events and the integration of technology into the landscape in an effort to track analytical data while optimizing consumer experiences.