Worthy of Imitation: Sheri Kurdakul
Sheri Kurdakul, president of Holistic Business Solutions, LLC, founded the Princeton-based company to help small businesses and nonprofits manage such data-intensive needs as customer relationships and registration for events. The Tech Ed Committee co-chair for the MIDJersey Chamber, Kurdakul wants to “take the intimidation out of the word technology” for Chamber members.
How she got her start: Kurdakul started her career in 1990, but that didn’t last. “I’m kind of a round peg that people tried to fit into a square hole. … In corporate [America], they want you to conform, they want you to follow the rules.” She has intense curiosity about how things work and asks a lot of questions. When employed at Packet Publications managing coop advertising in the late 1990s, she “pestered” friends in the art department to teachher web design basics. In 2013 after two years of consulting on the side, she quit her job, asked her boss to become a client, and that was the start of her business. Mentors, preparation: Mentored by an uncle who owned several businesses, Kurdakul also has a SCORE mentor and a coach she met at Business Networking International.
Always looking to learn more, she took online courses and joined online forums. Discrimination: “I’m aware that there are challenges and I know the stats, but I personally have faced very little… I don’t know that [sexual discrimination or harassment] is exclusive to the technology field. Some people are just not nice.”
She’d tell young women: The mother of a 10-year-old girl, she says, “Know what you want to do and do it. Know who you are and be that best you. Insecurity and doubt are the routes of most demise.”