One year ago…
Clickstop saw the first change at CEO in its 16-year history. Cari McCoy was named the second-ever CEO after our founder, Tim Guenther, stepped into the Chairman role. As we celebrate this milestone, we caught up with Cari to get her perspective on her first year as CEO, her role as a leader, and her ambitions for Clickstop.
BONUS: watch our video below to hear what matters most to Clickstop’s CEO.
Q&A with Cari McCoy
What comes to mind as you reflect on your first year leading the Clickstop?
How humbling it has been. I have learned a lot, received so much support, and been able to work alongside some very talented people. Our teams continue to grow in strength and clarity of mission and it’s exciting.
What are some highlights that come to mind from 2021?
This question is hard to answer because there are so many, plus time seemed to go so fast and slow last year. Here are some that come to mind:
- Announcing the launch of our first remote distribution center.
- Completing and launching our Pepper Joe’s greenhouse onsite in Urbana.
- Seeing our Fasteners Plus brand grow 30%.
- Supporting people who were pursuing new opportunities.
When you stepped up to lead Clickstop, we were one year into a global pandemic. What has it been like taking this leadership role during the COVID-19 era?
It’s been crazy! Being the CEO of a company is already a difficult job where you must accept that there are times when you simply won’t make everyone happy. When you throw in a pandemic, it becomes a tense topic, but we had to be willing to address it head-on.
It put things into perspective for me and now when I make business decisions I continue to keep the same two main factors constantly top of mind: employee health/safety and business continuity. When I focus on those two things, personal opinions fall away and I can be most objective.
It’s been a great learning opportunity for many of our leaders, including me.
In one sentence, what is most important to you as the leader of an organization?
Supporting the growth of our people so they can become their best selves which allows them to transform the business.
Why Clickstop? What keeps you energized and connected day in and day out?
I’m constantly energized by the stories of transformation and growth of Clickstoppers. Some are subtle and personal, and others are more visible. Having my own unique experience I can attest to how Clickstop allows people to better understand themselves, discover their strengths, and build their confidence and voice. The result is growth.
As a leader, that has given me a sense of purpose. I am driven by ensuring every person at Clickstop has the opportunity for self-discovery and transformation, whether that is personal or professional, or both.
In the US, the number of female CEOs continues to rise. What does it mean to you to be in this role and what advice do you have for other women and young girls?
Growing up, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be. No limits. As long as I was willing to work for it. Now, raising two little girls (Charlie and Channing), I’m teaching them the same thing. It’s empowering that I can be a CEO and be their mom. They are constantly watching me, saying things I say and mirroring my mannerisms. I get to show them that they can be all the things they want to be. They don’t have to choose between a career they love and a family. They can have both. I get to have both!
The best advice I have ever received is something I try to pass on whenever I can.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
This doesn’t apply exclusively to women, but we may need more encouragement to embrace it. We shouldn’t assume things will somehow work themselves out or we’ll get lucky.
- If you want something, go for it!
- If you think you can do more and you want more, ask for it!
- If you don’t feel valued or are disappointed by what you’re getting, respectfully say so.
- If you want a discount on that scratched piece of furniture at TJ Maxx? Ask for it! (Yes, that’s a real-life example!)
In every scenario, the worst that could happen is someone says no. But the best case, and what I believe will happen most of the time, is they say yes.
What are you looking forward to in 2022?
I’m looking forward to mobilizing strategies and teams to set ourselves on the path to achieving our goals. There is so much energy humming around Clickstop right now to get it all in motion!
What should people know about Clickstop and where it’s going?
Over the years, we’ve heard our founder say, “This is where we are today…and we are heading somewhere different.” It continues to be true. Our teams and business are going to transform as we continue to pursue our mission. I’m eager to paint that picture while remaining true to our values.
Achieving this goal will transform the lives of our employees. It will impact our personal wealth, and our individual and collective ability to contribute to our communities.