Gwen Witherspoon has been connected to The Edge in some way since 2011. She officially became a client in 2012 when she was an MBA student at Saint Leo University just after her 50th birthday. She would describe herself as a serial entrepreneur who, at the age of 54, is living the best years of her life.
She gets up every day and invests her time in building her dream–a multi-faceted communications company. It has undergone three major renovations since the ’90s, the latest as a branding agency that she named Adam Red. When asked, “Who is Adam Red,” she smiles and joyfully describes that “he” represents the origins of identity: who you are, what you’re made of, and the work you’ve been given.
Her identity is firmly rooted in a God-given mission to position entrepreneurs and companies for growth. She has earned her entrepreneurial chops by experience, trial, lots of errors, and sheer grit, and she has emerged with an understanding that nothing significant happens in business without four things: 1) vision, 2) strategy, 3) planning, and 4) the tools for execution. Gwen has carved out a lane where she can thrive and where she can build Adam Red into a corporate force.
As a student in The Edge Plan for Profit class, Gwen went on to win second place in our business plan competition. She used the financial award as vital working capital for one of her in-house brands, Smallisimo.com. It was the $250,000 website network she built without any web development experience with just $30,000. She had to step away from it because she didn’t have the marketing dollars required for growth, but that one project was the catalyst for a 5-year deep-dive into digital marketing. She describes it this way, “I always say that I got my Bachelors from Drake University and my MBA from Saint Leo, but I’m earning my Phd from Google.” Add her three decades of traditional advertising, public relations, and project management experience, and you have Adam Red.
We coached Gwen on innovative funding options and even introduced her to a prominent angel investor. Though she never acquired the money she sought, that didn’t stop her. She gained a wealth of knowledge, and she has leveraged it all to build Adam Red. She is more resourceful, more confident, and more determined than ever. In fact, she has emerged as a skilled strategist.
The latter is evidenced by her work for The Edge as the agency responsible for bringing Rachel Davis‘ vision for the #next20 years to life. Our new website and our end of the year giving campaign are courtesy of Adam Red. We are excited to have Gwen Witherspoon as a member of The Edge Community and as a client on the Expansion Track.