Welcome back to the HerHub blog!  We have an amazing woman to introduce you to today by the name of Dr. Shanda Gore.  Dr. Gore is the founder and CEO of Mays & Associates, a comprehensive, full-service diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic planning firm.  We can learn a lot from Dr. Gore and this is a great place to start! Keep reading to learn the influences in her life that drew her to this line of work, some great advice for business owners or women looking to get into leadership and much more!

Tell us about yourself! What makes you, “you”?

My name is Dr. Shanda Gore and I’m the founder and CEO of Mays & Associates Ltd. I have more than 24 years of experience as a teacher, trainer and coach for individuals, small and large public and private organizations including those in higher education, K-12, health care facilities, and national member organizations. There are a lot of things that make me, “me”, including my faith, my family and my ability to focus on my work to serve the communities I love.

Describe your business/services and then tell us about what brought you to creating this business and why you’re passionate about it.

Mays & Associates, Ltd, is a full-service, global strategic planning consulting company working with individuals and organizations to create customized solutions for growth by enhancing appreciation for a diverse and inclusive environment. I founded M&A on the legacy of my father, Arthur M. Mays, who made inroads by often being the first African American in professional positions and who purposefully paved the way for others to follow. My father, along with the support of my mother, Betty Tomlinson, broke down barriers and demonstrated that there is strength in diversity. They always reminded those closest to them that each individual, through the power of education, can make a difference.

What goals do you have for your business in the future?

I want our company to be known as a DEI strategic leader in our area. We want to continue to be someone that our clients can call on to help solve problems and celebrate successes. I also really want us to continue to focus on “diversity of thought”. Everyone, and we really mean everyone, has something to bring to the table. Mays & Associates Ltd is all about helping organizations make space for each person.

What is your proudest achievement?

I am most proud of the family that I have built with my husband, Bob, and my two amazing children. Second, I’m very proud of my educational achievements. I’m a three-time graduate of Bowling Green State University, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Communication and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is managing my and my staff’s time. It is a work in progress but we work hard to be very intentional about entering into a relationship with our clients, we always try to make sure that a client’s mission is aligned with M&A’s mission.

What advice would you give to a woman looking to start a business or get into a leadership role? Is there one thing that has helped you specifically?

Know your priorities before making life-changing decisions, whatever that decision is. In addition, the golden rule has always helped me. It helps me keep my priorities straight, no matter the circumstances.

What made you want to join HerHub?

To support an important community of women. I just love the idea of joining a group that supports other women, especially other women-owned businesses.

Why do you feel it’s important to collaborate and empower other women?

Collaboration is everything. Through collaboration and support of each other, women can make a big difference to correct historical inequities. The power of the dollar is a good example, I think it is important to be very intentional about the businesses that I chose to spend money with and if we all do that, we can elevate the entire community.

If you could recommend one resource (book, podcast, quote, class, website, etc.), that has helped you in life or in business, what would it be and why?

A book I’m reading now – Traction by Gino Wickman. It has some great insights into running a successful business. Thanks to my friend, Meg Ressner for the recommendation!

We love spreading love to other woman-owned businesses and we bet you do too. Give a shout out here to your favorite, local, woman-owned business (besides your own)!

There are so many! To name a few…Meg Ressner & Associates, Meg is a trusted business strategist. I also love the fact that Meg is a huge supporter of the Toledo and NW Ohio community. Ebony Construction – Amy is amazing, I’m so impressed with how she is working to diversify her portfolio and working on her own legacy by bringing her son into the business. She’s a huge supporter of the community as well.

A big thanks to Dr. Shanda Gore for taking the time to share her thoughts and wisdom with us!  If you’d like to learn more about Mays & Associates, click the link below.