A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
NANCY M. DAHL TASTEFULLY SIMPLE INC.
Title: President and chief operating officer
Nancy Dahl will help develop a new addition to Tastefully Simple's direct-selling business model as newly hired president and chief operating officer of the Alexandria-based tasting party company.
The new approach adds 10- and 30-meal plans and entertaining solutions to the individual products the company offers nationally through 19,000 independent business consultants and the social tasting parties and person-to-person sale efforts they conduct.
"It will provide a broader base of solutions to existing customers and, because it's easy and it's simple and it's fresh, that led to referrals to friends, which is how Tastefully Simple has grown," Dahl said. "The decision of what to make every day all through history has been one that people don't really appreciate, so we're trying to be in that space with some really good solutions."
Jill Blashack Strahan, who founded Tastefully Simple in 1995, is continuing in her role as CEO. Dahl's role, in combining the responsibilities of president and chief operating officer, is a new one at the company.
"The company just turned 20," Dahl said. "As Jill thought strategically through the business and worked with her advisory board, they really felt this position was a strategic one and an investment in the future."
Dahl, who has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, most recently worked at Minneapolis-based Lifetouch Inc., where she served as president and chief operating officer of Lifetouch National School Studios and Lifetouch Portrait Studios.
Q: What appealed to you about the opportunity to join Tastefully Simple?
A: The passion in the company and culture is really deep and authentic and real. With that comes this passion for innovation and staying ahead of the curve. And if you look at where food is going with the focus on simple and healthy eating and the strong brand that Tastefully Simple brings, it has a really strong foundation and can have a really bright future.
Q: How will your Lifetouch experience benefit you in your new role?
A: It's about building relationships one-to-one, staying focused on the mission that the company is about and then everybody engaging to help make that happen. That was the fuel that drove the growth at Lifetouch and I think it will be the fuel that drives what happens at Tastefully Simple.
Q: What is your leadership style?
A: I'm a collaborative leader. I don't believe I have all the answers. I'm very confident we can figure it out together. It's about bringing together a passionate group of people who are willing to add value. We can all make our organizations a better place, but none of us can do it alone.