Mundelein woman gains business accolade
Heather Sanderson, CEO of Overture Premiums & Promotions in Vernon Hills, has been named the 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year. Sanderson poses with the 1946 Plymouth taxi parked inside the office. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Heather Sanderson
POSITION: CEO/Owner of Overture Premiums & Promotions
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “I don’t like anything negative. When I walk in the door, I want everybody to be happy to be here.”
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:24PM
VERNON HILLS — In just 11 years, Heather Sanderson has grown Overture Premiums & Promotions in Vernon Hills from a three-person start-up to an industry leader with more than 2,500 clients.
It’s no wonder the Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago selected Sanderson as the recipient of its 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year.
“I’m very, very humbled,” Sanderson, a Mundelein resident, said of receiving the WBDC honor.
Hedy Ratner, founder and co-president of the WBDC, believes Sanderson is the perfect candidate for the award.
“She is a remarkably creative, innovative and successful business owner who happens to be a woman,” Ratner said.
Sanderson, 46, started Overture as the managing member of the company in 2001 after moving from California in 2001. She’d been CFO of an Advertising Specialty Institute supplier for 10 years.
She came to Illinois with no job, but reached out to a couple of friends in the industry. Over dinner, they created the idea for Overture. The next day, Sanderson got started.
“They had the building, financing and customers. I worked on the build out for a couple of months,” she said. “There were three of us that started at the time and it just grew from there.”
Today, Overture has 65 employees who Sanderson is quick to call “my team,” not her staff.
“I have an extremely bright team and we’ve been voted one of the best places to work for the last five years in our industry,” she said. “I do not micromanage people. I’m pretty laid back.”
But even that doesn’t account for the explosive growth, she admits.
“I look back at it now and think, how did this happen?” Sanderson said.
Ratner believes the company’s success lies with Sanderson herself.
“She’s generous, she’s funny, she’s unpretentious and she’s really an innovative business owner in an area that requires innovation,” Ratner said.
Sanderson approaches each day with positive energy, which might have something to do with it.
“I don’t like anything negative. When I walk in the door, I want everybody to be happy to be here,” she said.
The fun culture she created will help the company grow even more, Sanderson believes.
“Honestly, I feel we’re going to probably double in the next couple of years in our size. That’s our goal,” Sanderson said. “It’s crazy.”~.