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Theresa Feiner, Feiner Food Consulting

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Theresa Feiner, owner, Feiner Food Consulting.

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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I work quite a bit with small business owners and entrepreneurs so it is always a challenge to make the most out of limited time and resources. At the same time I am drawn to these types of clients for that very reason. We get to troubleshoot, problem solve, and be innovators in the marketplace. The can-do attitude is inspiring!

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

There are a lot of people who I admire in business! Everyone has his or her own style of management and execution. One person I learned a lot from was my former boss, Dan Smith. He is both inquisitive and pragmatic. I appreciate people who bring curiosity to everyday situations because I think it helps us relate better, find more effective solutions, and strive for improvement.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

I am not sure I could choose just one thing. This past year I realized how much of a network I had built over the years. Everything has come to a slow boil and I am seeing the impact of the effort I have put in. Business owners now come up to me and say, “Hey, I heard you did a great job helping out so and so and I’m wondering if you can do the same for me?” That is always rewarding. I love seeing results and having an impact!

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

When I was 21 I was finishing up my last year of undergrad at UW–Madison and working about 30 hours a week as a professional in the industry. I was really lucky to have so much opportunity to get ahead and learn. However, I wish I would have slowed down and spent more time with friends and family, which is really what life is all about at the end of the day. I have worked hard to find a balance. So my advice to anyone who is reading, especially women, is you can’t have it all and you will have to make sacrifices, but make sure you take the time to slow down and smell the roses!

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