Bridging Industries and Building Success: Karen Coley’s Inspiring Story

Bridging Industries and Building Success: Karen Coley’s Inspiring Story

Bridging Industries: Crain’s Chicago Business recently published a feature on Karen Coley about her experience serving as both the CEO of Verde Events and SBC Waste Solutions and how she found success bridging the gap between two seemingly disparate industries. Verde Events is a small event planning firm that helps businesses craft branded experiences for their clients, as well as once-in-a-lifetime experiences to incentivize sales teams and reward high performers. In contrast, SBC Waste Solutions is a family-owned trash disposal company that services Chicago and its suburbs. In recent days, the article has gained a lot of traffic. We’re so excited that Coley’s story is making waves!

Surprising Similarities: Finding Common Ground Between Event Planning and Waste Management

While waste management is a male-dominated, blue-collar industry, corporate event planning involves a level of luxury few would associate with garbage hauling and affords Coley and her team of eight event planning experts the opportunity to work with A-List clients. Yet, as the article highlights, the two industries have more in common than one might expect. To succeed in event planning and to succeed in waste management, you need to care about your customers. You also need a team you can trust to deliver exceptional service.

Coley started Verde Events first. As a team, the company plans nearly 50 corporate events each year for high-profile clients. By establishing a team of talented employees and learning how to delegate when necessary, Coley was able to then start SBC Waste Solutions. In creating SBC Waste Solutions, Coley teamed up with three members of the Flood family who were known for their contribution to a prominent waste management company based out of Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois. The Flood family brought years of industry experience to the table, while Coley brought banking connections to the table, as well as her business savvy.  Five years later, SBC Waste Solutions has a team of 65 employers, a fleet of 51 trucks, and is one of the fastest-growing waste management companies in the Midwest.

Bridging Industries: Thriving as a Woman-Owned Business in a Male-Dominated Industry

From the beginning, SBC has stood out because it is a woman-owned company in a male-dominated industry. In many ways, this has helped the company’s success because there are a lot of corporations and municipalities in the Chicago area who want to work with companies that have women in leadership positions. SBC is proud to be certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. One of the highlights of Coley’s journey thus far has been working alongside other women leaders, such as Mayor Katrina Thompson of Broadview, Illinois. SBC Waste Solutions is headquartered in Broadview and SBC recently became the official trash hauler for the Village of Broadview. What makes this accomplishment especially meaningful is that the board of trustees that rewards SBC with the Broadview contract was an all-female board.

Recognition and Accolades: SBC Waste Solutions in the Media

In addition to the recent feature in Crain’s Chicago Business, SBC Waste Solutions and Karen Coley have received recognition and media coverage from various sources. The company’s success and Coley’s leadership have captured the attention of prominent news outlets and industry publications.

One such publication is Yahoo News, which highlighted SBC Waste Solutions and its impact on the waste management industry. The Associated Press also took notice of the company, shedding light on its growth and achievements.

Furthermore, SBC Waste Solutions gained recognition within the waste management sector itself with a feature in WasteAdvantage magazine. The magazine recognized the company’s commitment to delivering exceptional service and its rapid growth as one of the fastest-growing waste management companies in the Midwest.

These media appearances not only contribute to the growing reputation of SBC Waste Solutions but also emphasize Coley’s ability to successfully bridge the gap between event planning and waste management. By garnering attention from various media outlets, SBC Waste Solutions proves its dedication to excellence and innovation within the industry.

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