We had the good fortune of connecting with Keri Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keri, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As my career has advanced, my work life balance has changed significantly. I began working straight out of college and had a typical 8AM-5PM work schedule. As my professional career advanced to my current role as President of Dot It, my schedule is anything but typical. I do a lot more traveling now. I have days where I am up early, days I work late and weekends I have to go in. In addition, my personal life has changed over time as well. My daughter is a competitive gymnast who spends many hours in the gym, and my disabled mother lives with me now. There are times balancing is hard. It’s hard to lead a company while being a present wife, mother, and daughter. But more importantly, it is extremely fulfilling for me. I have always told my daughter that hard work will get her further than talent, and I believe I show her that every day even when that means missing some personal events. There are times I have to ask my team to step in for me so I can take my mother to a doctor’s appointment. Balance to me is prioritizing where I need to be more and being ok with leaning on people for help like my husband and my work team. We cannot do it all, but we can do our best and ask for help when we need it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Dot It is a single-source brand partner specializing in food safety products and print fulfillment solutions. We offer comprehensive fulfillment solutions—sourcing, printing, kitting, order processing, warehousing and distribution—for growing brands looking to streamline their supply chain and maintain brand consistency. Dot It’s product solutions include labels, smallwares, safety & sanitation supplies, first aid, packaging, food safety training, and print fulfillment. All product solutions can be customized to fit individual brand needs and be housed on a Branded Web Portal for easy ordering at the store-level. With robust eCommerce and reporting technology, brands can quickly and easily manage their products and print from a single source. I am proud of so many things that we do at Dot It. One of those is highlighted in our company values: Innovation. We develop new and creative solutions that make our customer’s lives easier. A recent innovation is our SecureIt line of products, which includes labels and bags for food delivery orders. This line of products helps our customers secure their food for delivery by third party delivery companies. Our product gives consumers a needed assurance that no one has tampered with their food while in route to their homes. Being innovative in our environment has been key to our company’s success. We have a team of people who are always looking for new product and services to offer to customers to solve their everyday struggles. We develop solutions alongside our customers and act as a support system and trusted partner to help them. That is really important to us, to be a partner who helps our customers improve and grow their organizations.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite spots is the Dallas Arboretum. It’s a great spot to meet with friends when they come for a visit, especially if they have children. I love being outdoors, and I find the Dallas Arboretum to be such a beautiful way to spend a day outside with friends and family. Another one of my favorite things to do is go to a Dallas Mavericks game and head out for a quick bite at one of the restaurants around American Airlines Center. I love taking the train down there, it’s a fun experience for my visiting friends and family, especially when we have children who have never been on a train.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Team Dot It! Over the 1.5 years, Dot It has lost two of our executive team leaders. First, Gary Cooper, our late President and second, Mark Franks, our Director of Operations. Gary was my mentor and I would not be in my President role if he wasn’t for me taking the time to teach, coach and mentor me and most importantly, believe in me and help me build my confidence. He told me before his death that I would be Dot It’s next President, and when the time so unexpectedly came, I knew I was ready because he helped me believe I was. Our team has experienced unexpected loss and it has really shown me what it means to be a work family. Our team came together, we picked up the pieces and we powered on to continue to deliver the level of service our customers need from us, especially right now, when we have a customer base that is hurting during this pandemic. During tragedy and struggle, I really learn a lot of the people who will show up for me and our customers and those people for me, are my team at Dot It.