As a Hispanic daughter of an immigrant, Nancy Vargas grew up with a strong work ethic and a “just push harder” attitude. She attributes being raised in a large and cohesive family as a contributing factor for her success. “I was raised to respect my elders and demand respect for myself. I also came from a family that would expect me to speak up for someone with a lesser voice. My role as a CEO has called upon all of these tendencies, especially in my industry.” From a headquarters in Queens, NY, Vargas is a woman in business who runs a MWBE in the male-dominated industry of ground transportation. Even with the advancing masses of shared ride providers, the professional grade companies that manage global logistics for “moving the masses” in luxury fleets is typically run by men. That’s why the honor as Businesswoman of the Year is doubly delightful. Vargas admits her achievement is a product of teamwork. “I invest in my employees because they are part of the DH2 brand and they manage the user experience with each and every reservation. That’s how we cultivate a positive DH2 Experience for our clients.” When asked about what sets her apart from other businesswomen, she blushes and replies, “Oh my gosh- there are so many female business owners that I know that are so talented. So smart. So innovative. I think what sets me apart is probably my ability to use my resources and ask for help. And to offer support. I think that sets me apart, because I really enjoy making connections. It moves me to be able to give back.”
When asked what practices or tasks make her the kind of CEO that gets recognized as Businesswoman of the Year, Vargas said it’s an everyday effort. She shared that everyday you have to come at the business with excitement and enthusiasm, and there are no shortcuts. She says her success has been 20 years in the making, and she offers three suggestions:
1.) Find your people.
Business owners need to be out networking, selling their story, and building reputation. A strong company brand will also draw a certain amount of loyalty. Deciding on platforms to inspire and engage as well as and mastering SEO should be in the hands of a competent team. Nancy credits Aleja Seabron of the LMC Group for setting a strong digital strategy in place for her company. While the digital architecture of an organization is receiving hits that are converting to sales, C level executives still need to be forming alliances. Whether searching for talented candidates or prospects, making connections has never been easier. LinkedIn helps entrepreneurs target a wide varity of partners and colleagues. Vargas suggests, “There is nothing like sending a handwritten note of thanks, but sometimes it’s impossible with scheduling. I find that connecting via LinkedIn is a great way to build bridges, discover leads and stay in touch.” As one advances or change careers, the profile should reflect that information.
2.) Get from the intro to the cash flow.
Connecting with people to uncover opportunity is one thing. Connecting the opportunity to revenue is another. Today’s CRM options scale to fit like shrink wrap, encouraging improved participation. Integration with various platforms provides a simple solution with the least amount of clicks. The most useful solutions allow updating opportunity phases, and easy edits of contacts as their titles and employers evolve.
3.) Learn and keep growing.
From a position at JP Morgan, Vargas moved onto various back-office roles within DH2, and finally stepped forward as CEO. She lead her company in securing MWBE certification with the city and state of New York, as well as with the Port Authority of NY and NJ. There are several government agencies in place to educate and assist prospective MWBEs. Empire State Development is a vast resource for New York based companies. Local assembly members also offer geographically germane resources, and on a national level, there is PTAC. The site is http://www.aptac-us.org and there is a section devoted specifically to MWBEs.
The annual gala is being held on June 25th by the Queens Center for Progress. https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/QCPGALA. Vargas is in good company with Man of the Year Douglas Meyer of Leumi Bank USA, Woman of the Year Francine Salomon of JFA Insurance Brokers, and Hon. David I Weprin who will receive Legislator of the Year.