Fastsigns CEO Catherine Monson: Five Traits to a Successful Career
(Fastsigns CEO Catherine Monson is the fifth successful female executive to be profiled in our series highlighting women in business.)
CARROLLTON, Texas (TheStreet) -- Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsigns International, is no stranger to hard work and long hours on the job.
She started working in her family's pre-school business (at one time they had three) as a kid in California, at first helping her dad with janitorial duties, but gradually taking over office tasks as well. She was so involved in the business that as a high school student she ran the business for two weeks while her parents were in the hospital for different reasons.
Monson, now 55, says the experience not only gave her a strong work ethic but a solid understanding from there. Her roots were formed.
"I knew by high school that I wanted to lead a company," Monson writes in an email. "At the time, my goal was to be president of Exxon (now Exxon Mobil (XOM) ), only because it was one of the biggest companies I knew of."
Monson took over the chief executive position at Fastsigns in December 2008.
At the time, she says, one of the biggest issues for the 25-year-old company was a lack of communication between corporate headquarters and franchisees. Franchisees were furious and felt they weren't receiving the support they needed, which led to a lack of company growth, she says. Same-store sales dropped and franchise locations were closing.