Debra Sandler, founder of Mavis Foods, Auntie Mavis and Kiah Sandler created a family legacy through … [+]
Courtesy of Bazodee
Entrepreneurship, for some people, is the notion of not working for someone else. For others, it’s about creating generational wealth. The Family Business Alliance reported that the greatest part of America’s wealth lies with family-owned businesses. Family firms comprise 80% to 90% of all business enterprises in North America. In addition, family businesses provide a growing opportunity for women—24% of family businesses have a female CEO or president. Additionally, 31.3% of firms indicate that the next successor will be a woman.
Debra Sandler, founder and CEO of Mavis Foods, and her daughter Kiah created a family legacy through a family recipe, Bazodee Caribbean sauces. What started out as her aunt Mavis’ passion and creation has now turned into bringing the taste of the island into kitchens across the country.
“My role as a single mother is to make sure that I am building generational wealth,” Sandler expresses. “We don’t always have it in black families. I was a good earner, but especially as you get older, you start thinking about, ‘how do I set this thing up that all that I’ve earned long after I’m gone my great, great-grandchildren are benefiting in some way?’”
Sandler started her career at Pepsi Co., working in marketing as a vice president. The combination of the science and art behind marketing drove her career. She enjoyed creating and innovating new products and understanding the consumers’ mindsets.
After 13 years at the beverage company, Johnson & Johnson hired her on to launch Splenda. That project was the catalyst to create a new consumer division within the conglomerate focusing on nutrition. Sandler pivoted from a vice president to president. Working at the internal startup, her fondness for business models emerged.
Sandler wanted a change after spending a decade at Johnson & Johnson. So she transitioned to Mars, leading the North America confectionery business. Once she left corporate America after serving as a chief health and wellbeing officer at the confectionery company, she landed her first board governance position.
Auntie Mavis and Debra Sandler, founder of Mavis Foods, have created a company based on family … [+]
Courtesy of Bazodee
“That was always in my plan that I would do that,” she smiles. “I’m a planner, and slowly but surely, I built my board practice from my first board work in 2015 to …….