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Humble beginnings with Marilyn Moss Rockefeller

“I think women make great leaders of businesses because I think we have more empathy, and that is really important that we take the time to get to know the employees.” Those are the words of author Marilyn Moss Rockefeller.

Rockefeller grew up in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia with her grandparents in the 40s. At first, she had aspirations of becoming a doctor. However, when she was at the University of Michigan, she met her husband, who was a designer.

Her husband had designed a pop tent that was easy to put up and lightweight. As he began to design different items, Rockefeller began working for him as a receptionist.

She began to notice that her husband was struggling to run a business and decided to jump in and run it herself. Rockefeller’s only business experience was working on her grandparent’s farm as a child.

While working on the farm, she learned the importance of trust, sharing, caring, and respecting others. She applied those values to running her business.

Rockefeller created a mission statement with her 164 employees: that each individual has worth and dignity. With the goal to help each employee reach their potential, Rockefeller was able to have a successful business with little to no business experience.

In her memoir, “Mountain Girl: From Barefoot to the Boardroom,” Rockefeller shares her life story and struggles. In the memoir, she shared the importance of unlearning the idea that faking is a negative thing, and she built the confidence she needed to be respected by pretending to know everything until she learned it.

To hear more empowering advice Marilyn Moss Rockefeller shared, visit