Bella Heule, president and chief executive officer of the World Trade Center San Diego, is responsible for strategic leadership and management, fundraising and community relations. WTCSD is a trade association that provides comprehensive international trade services and key global contacts to facilitate and expand trade for regional and worldwide clients.
Best business decision: Hiring WTCSD team.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Focus on mission and core competencies.
Biggest missed opportunity: Media outreach.
Biggest ongoing challenge: Awareness that WTCSD is a great resource for local companies wanting to expand international business and trade opportunities.
Essential business philosophy: Build relationships and success will come.
Most important lesson learned: Delegate and leverage others’ expertise.
Worst business decision: Hired
accounting temp that stole staff identities.
Yardsticks of success: Bottom line and fun.
Most influential book: “The Drifters,” by James A. Michener, which inspired me to travel 10 months in 1986 through China, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Most like to meet: My father’s stepmother, deceased many years before I was born, who nurtured four children in Switzerland during the Great Depression.
Words that describe you: Energetic, genuine.
How is business currently versus a year ago: Public sector support down, but membership and sponsorship up an average of 23 percent over last year.
How do you motivate staff: Bonus of time off for exceeding budget.
What is the secret to your success: Can easily engage people.
Favorite quote: “It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men” — Mae West.
Goals yet to be achieved: Instant recognition of what WTCSD is and does; increase WTCSD’s cash reserve; buy another Volkswagen Westfalia to explore with and relax in while other two goals are being pursued.
Guiding values: Relationships, achievement, freedom.
How you plan to grow the business: Strategy, focus, focus, focus.
Largest risk: Procrastination due to tenuous economy.
— Andrew Schweizer