Plymouth CEO Inducted into Hall of Fame for Women Business Owners
Dee Thibodeau is always making connections. The CEO of Charter Solutions in Plymouth gets up at 5 a.m. every day always looking for her next opportunity.
“I love to look at new things and be out there and see what new opportunities are and how we can really expand,” said Thibodeau, who has led Charter Solutions, a technology consulting and data analytics firm, for the last 26 years.
Thibodeau has an office full of awards to prove her impact.
“My big thing is make things happen,” said Thibodeau.
It’s an example she sets for her company of 85 employees, but she doesn’t want the focus on her.
“All the awards are for the whole company. It’s not me. No, absolutely not,” she said.
Employees like Darrin LaPoint feed off her energy.
“She’s a powerhouse,” said LaPoint, the company’s chief technology officer. “Dee is so incredibly well connected. There’s so many different opportunities. And she’s willing to give people the chance to really blossom in the field.”
Woman CEO Undeterred in Male-Dominated Field
Working in a male-dominated field didn’t deter Thibodeau from rising to the top.
“Yes, technology is dominated by male, but I have a ton of great, male friends,” said Thibodeau. “I just think if you don’t look at it like that. You just look at it … how you can be successful in what you’re doing? That’s the most important thing.”
Thibodeau aims to encourage other women leaders.
“I thought if I could help make one other women successful because she has heard my story or she knows the types of things I’m involved in, it would be worth it.”
She encourages other women to network and develop a support group. Thibodeau pointed to a female employee at Charter Solutions who started a local Women in Data chapter, a first for the Twin Cities.
“If you believe in yourself and you make sure you connect with or have a small group that can help you.”
NAWBO Hall of Fame Honor
Thibodeau was recently honored by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN), which inducted her into that organization’s Hall of Fame.
She was among five recipients for the honor selected based on a variety of criteria, including contributions to Minnesota’s entrepreneurial community.
“It’s like ‘hah, you’ve kind of arrived,'” said Thibodeau.
She hopes it shines a light on other women entrepreneurs.
“I thought this is wonderful for all women who run businesses because we don’t get enough publicity. People don’t know enough about how many are actually successful in businesses.”