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Intriguing Women-Led Businesses
 
Published Friday, November 10, 2017
by LISA REDMOND

For the past six years, Business NH Magazine has spotlighted women-led businesses in NH to demonstrate their economic influence. The inaugural list had 50 companies with at least $1 million in revenue. This year the list includes 85 businesses. Together, these companies generated $4.9 billion in revenue in 2016 and employ more than 4,000 people in NH.

We are also profiling five intriguing leaders from this year’s list, who are chosen either for their companies’ fast growth, the influence they wield or their significant achievements. Here is one of the profiles:

 

Rowell's Services

People may giggle as they read “POOPRO’’ on the license plate of one of Mandie Rowell-Hagan’s trucks, but the light-hearted license plate is actually an apt description of her family’s business and her job as its president. She is pumping new life into the Northfield-based Rowell’s Services, a septic and drain-cleaning business started by her parents, Debbie and the late Dickie Rowell, 34 years ago.

During her 14 years working in the family business—the last six as president —Rowell-Hagan has expanded the company’s services to include: heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and trenchless excavation, most of which was added in the past year. “I wanted to provide one-stop-shopping for household services,’’ Rowell-Hagan says.

The company has generated average annual revenue growth of 15.5 percent since 2014. The number of employees has increased from two when it launched in 1983 to 30 with more to come. (Rowell-Hagen refers to her employees as “rock stars.”) The company now has a 60-mile service area that includes about 50 NH towns. Despite her success, she admits, “If you had asked me if I expected to do this, I would have said no.’’ Her father died of a heart attack in 2001, leaving his wife to run the family business alone. As an only child, Rowell-Hagan knew she might have to step up.

In 2003, Rowell-Hagan, an assistant vice president at a bank at the time, and her husband, Ian, moved to NH from Colorado to help run the business. The transition was an easy one for Rowell-Hagan. “This had been my life since I was 7 years old,’’ she says. Six years ago, her mother decided to go into semi-retirement and handed over the keys to the company. “She is still my gal Friday, but she lets me run the company the way I want,’’ Rowell-Hagan says.

Rowell-Hagan created the Smile Program to give back to her customers and the public. She has a custom-made company “jingle”’ designed to make customers smile while on hold.  And who wouldn’t smile when the person who is going fix your septic system brings you a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, courtesy of Rowell’s Smile Program. “My business is the only thing I have left of my dad. I live every day to make him proud of me,’’ Rowell-Hagan says.


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