When Sherri Winslow's Husband Tragically Died in a Plane Crash in 2012, Her Local Support Team at Minuteman Press International Made Sure She Was Not Alone in Running Her Business
PALM DESERT, Calif. - Celebrating 15 years in business in Palm Desert, California, Minuteman Press franchise owner Sherri Winslow is an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome a tragic loss. When her husband suddenly lost his life in a plane crash in 2012, everything changed. At the time, Sherri was playing a supporting role in the design, marketing, and printing franchise that she and her husband built together for ten years, and now she had to transition to running the business herself on top of all of the other aspects of her life that would never be the same. If there was any silver lining, it was that Sherri was fully supported by her local regional team at Minuteman Press International, which is something she is truly thankful for to this day.
Sherri says, "This is probably the most important part of my long tenure at Minuteman Press. My husband was killed in a plane crash in 2012. We had always received great local support before that date, but at that time in my life, I needed to completely change my role from the support person to the owner. I could not have done that without the help from my local support team. My Regional Vice President Dan Byers, Area Manager Steve Szymanski, and the other field representatives helped me stay on track, get my feet back under me and move forward. A special thank you also goes out to Minuteman Press International's Jack Panzer, who really helped me as well. I not only survived a very tragic time in my life, but was able to carry on the business in such a way to start growing from where we were in 2012. My local Minuteman Press support team helped me with developing new marketing programs, equipment purchases and growing the direction of the business."
Celebrating 15 years in business + giving back to the community
As Sherri Winslow celebrates 15 years in business with Minuteman Press located at 73-660 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, CA, she relishes the chance to talk about helping both her clients and the community. Sherri says, "At our business we not only provide printing services, but we do it in a manner that makes the process easy for our customers. We provide service to fit the needs of the customer whether they have never printed before or they are more experienced. We do what it takes to get the job done and turn it around very quickly. Our services include: graphic design, digital and offset printing, bindery and finishing, large format printing, signs and banners, and promotional products. We specialize in printing for charities and nonprofits, country clubs, small businesses, medical facilities, restaurants, conferences, and more!"
As well-versed as Sherri and her professional team at Minuteman Press in Palm Desert are with their customers, she has also made it a point of focus to give back to the community. Sherri explains, "I have been lucky enough to have a successful business career so now I feel better able to spend time and money to give back to causes I believe in. I actively work with organizations such as Women Leaders Forum and Coachella Animal Network. We support a number of charities including the Desert Cancer Foundation, Desert ARC, Angel View, Loving All Animals and Indian Ridge Scholarship Fund. We are also members of the Palm Desert and Indian Wells Chamber of Commerce."
Through organizations like the Women Leaders Forum, Sherri Winslow has served as a mentor to high school students. Sherri shares one particular experience that really made a difference: "This young lady was very intelligent and talented. As part of the mentor program, you work with these young people for many hours during the year. You are there to help them pursue their goals by instilling good business practices and helping guide them with the college and university process. My mentee thought she should try to get into a local community college. I expressed to her that one of the important things about the university that you attend is not only the learning but also the lifelong connections you make while you are there. I persuaded her to apply to the Top 5 Business Universities in Southern California. We worked on her letter to be included with her application. I don’t think I could have been happier than when she was accepted to attend UCLA. "
Why own a Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise?
Sherri Winslow and her husband first opened the doors to Minuteman Press in Palm Desert, CA in 2002. Sherri was a CPA who had previously worked for the Washington State Gambling Commission as Deputy Director while her husband was an entrepreneur who had bought and sold a computer manufacturing company while specializing in sales. Sherri says, "We moved to California from Washington State. After about one month of retirement and my husband being completely bored, we went in search of a business."
Knowing they wanted to own a business, Sherri and her husband began their research. Sherri explains, "Throughout our search, we focused on a few things. My husband wanted to own his business, he wanted to work with other businesses (not retail) and he wanted a good income. The reason that Minuteman Press appealed to us was that they had a training program that made it easy for someone with no printing background to achieve success. It included the intensive training at their Long Island, New York headquarters, plus onsite training at startup from the local field representatives. It also had a reasonable royalty program, particularly compared to other franchises."
For Sherri, owning a Minuteman Press franchise for 15 years and operating it for the past five years as a sole proprietor has really given her a unique perspective on what it is really like to own a business. She states, "The most rewarding part of running this business is being in control of your own destiny. You get back out what you put into the business. If you work hard, are dedicated and make good decisions the payback is there. I worked very hard at the Gambling Commission and was paid well for the time that I was there, but it does not compare to owning my own business. Also, although I was the Deputy Director and able to make many of the decisions at my former career, I still did not have same level of the control over the direction I wanted to go."
Running the business and advice for others
Asked about how she runs her Minuteman Press franchise on a day to day basis, Sherri answers, "I pick up the paper on my way into the office and make some of the deliveries to clients on the way. Once I am at the office, I work with staff to solve any questions that have come up. Additionally, I will review, change or approve quotes for certain jobs. I handle all aspects of the accounting. I also make sure that we stay current with all of our marketing efforts."
As for Sherri Winslow's advice for others who are looking to own a business, she says, "If a person is looking into a franchise, I think it is important to look into what their training programs are. Additionally, look into the costs that are involved with being part of the franchise. You also want to know what type of support will be provided once you become a franchisee."
She concludes, "Minuteman Press was certainly a fit for us and continues to help me today."