Elizabeth Cigali-Manshel – P.O.W.E.R.ful Women
Owner / CEO, ITC4Promos
Q: How would you describe your business?
Ideas – Targeted – Creative
We specialize in creating ideas and solutions that target your audience.
For over 122 years ITC has been your family owned and operated supplier for quality printed and promotional products.
Q: When did you launch?
We launched in 1898 with a pushcart and a simple mimeograph machine, creating playbills and tickets for New York City theaters and working with the transportation Industry. Fast forward to 2008 I was recruited by my husband, Larry Manshel to come in and make overdue structural changes to move the business into this century!
Q: What were the biggest obstacles and how were they overcome?
A 122-year-old family business is challenging on many levels: personalities, honesty, compensation, conflicts of interest, etc… To add to those complexities, consider that I was being brought in as a female leader who needed to enact systemic and pragmatic changes to a male dominated company and industry. I faced extreme hurdles because there was an unwillingness to pursue change that was not only critical, but also vital to the company’s survival. My task was almost impossible. To say these challenges were not easily overcome is an understatement. I made many mistakes along the way, especially when it came to HR but I learned many lessons from fellow women business owners on how to move forward and grow. Whenever I wanted to quit, I would think about my daughter, the 5th generation owner, and what kind of role model would I be for her if I walked away and left the job incomplete. She was my inspiration; she helped me overcome those dark days when the family battles over a succession plan were almost too much to bare.
Q: What is your big focus right now?
ITC4Promos is focusing on selling relevant and complaint COVID-19 safety products. At this time, the future of this virus is uncertain and we would like for our customers to not only stay safe, but would like to help in anyway sustain the survival of their businesses.
Our family-owned and operated company has survived the Spanish Flu, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Great Recession, Katrina, union strikes and now we will survive COVID-19.
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
My Mother always tells me “tomorrow is another day”, she would remind me to get my sleep and when I wake up I would have a whole new perspective on whatever was weighing heavy on my mind. She is 100% correct, as always, a clear perspective is key to making sound decisions.
Q: What success have you had in the last year?
Cleaning up debt, reducing unnecessary expenses, making firm budgets. Creating defined roles for our employees and putting 1,3 & 5 year plans into place.
Q: What has been the biggest benefit of being a POWER member?
The exposure to other fabulous POWER business owners has given me the ability to gain and share valuable insights and strategies of owning and operating a business in today’s world.
Q: What does POWER mean to you?
Strength – Strength in numbers!
Some days when I think I am alone in my struggles, I know there are so many other POWER-ful women who are right there beside me. This confidence has an uplifting power, which only women truly supporting other women understand.
“I’ve always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.” –Gloria Vanderbilt
Q: What is one professional and one personal takeaway from this pandemic?
Professionally – Always be prepared for the unexpected.
Personally – My special takeaway was a gift, a gift of time and heartfelt conversations with my daughter who is leaving for college this fall.
Q: What are you currently doing to stay positive given the recent pandemic?
Reading books such as “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius and “Mental Toughness” by Harvard Business Review. Oh and drinking Scotch!