Member Spotlight on Jacqui McGrew of Hoodz

Chicago Family Business Council: What year was Hoodz founded?
Jacqui McGrew: Hoodz was founded in 2010.

CFBC: Tells us a little bit about your company and the history behind it.
JM: Hoodz is a commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning company. We are part of a national franchise group owned by Belfor International, the world's largest restoration company. As a franchise concept that has only been around since 2009, you could say we have learned much about this industry alongside of our Franchisor. Our clients include restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals and retirement homes and anyone who serves food to the public is required to have our service performed for the prevention of grease fires.

What family members work with you in the business, and what positions do they hold?
JM: I own Hoodz with my husband, Chris, and although he is employed full-time outside of the company-he supports me on many levels on a daily basis. I often refer to him as my “Moonlighting CFO” and I rely on his significant financial expertise and management experience to help guide me in the many challenges I face as CEO.

CFBC: Describe one of your most memorable events at your company and why it meant so much to you.
JM: Hoodz recently hosted their national convention in Chicago. It was nice to meet with our peer group and since we have 150 offices across the country it was a great opportunity to learn from each other and to hear about the progress we have all made over the past year. We were also pleased to receive a few awards including being recognized as the Franchisee of the Year.

CFBC: What one aspect of working with family is more important to you and why?
JM: The most important aspect of working with Chris is ensuring that our success with Hoodz does not become more important than our relationship with each other and with our kids. Although it's not always pretty, we have successfully tackled the many issues we have come across. Fortunately, our relationship is also as strong as it's ever been. We've certainly made mistakes, but at least we can say that we did it together. I think that we may have even learned a thing or two along the way.

CFBC: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your experience with your forum and with the CFBC?
JM: The most rewarding aspect of my experience with the Gamma forum is that I have a group of people surrounding me that I appreciate and respect. I feel like I can talk with them about a wide range of topics and they will be supportive and nonjudgemental. The CFBC is a great resource and I enjoy the educational opportunities that are provided on a regular basis.

CFBC: What are your plans for the future?
JM: I am planning to apply for WBE ( Women's Business Enterprise) Certification. I know we will continue to grow our company and increase our profitability this year and into the future. I look forward to continuing to distance myself from certain aspects of the day to day operations in order to spend more time strategizing on our long term goals.

CFBC: If money was no object, what one thing could you do to enhance your company?
JM: If money was no object, I spend more of my time and energy building relationships with the prospects, clients and employees that I work with on a daily basis. Also, because I enjoy interacting with people of all walks of life, I would place more of an emphasis on helping others and giving back to the community through the organizations I care most deeply about.

CFBC: If you were talking to a potential CFBC new member, what would you say about the organization to encourage their membership?
JM: When I talk with potential CFBC members, I always share with them some of the insights I've gained through the concepts of Emotional Intelligence Protocol. It has helped me to be more mindful when dealing with the people in my life. I also believe there is a lot of value in having a diverse network of business owners from whom I can draw inspiration and best practices.

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