HELEN MANICH: “I Look for the Right Questions Instead of the Answers”
Updated: Feb 26
As a young Jewish girl raised in the south side of Chicago by Croatian and Slovak parents, Helen Manich grew up knowing that she had the tenacity to dream and accomplish extraordinary goals. She leaned into her constant curiosity to ask questions and was pushed by her family to be successful in school and beyond.
While growing up in Chicago during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, Helen benefited from a robust community of diverse families that held strong to their homeland traditions. When visiting friend’s homes during childhood, it was the norm to greet parents in their native language and indulge in the native cuisine of their country. Helen enjoyed a childhood full of learning and engaging her natural curiosity into other people’s way of life. To this day, the understanding of people’s similarities and differences at a young age has been one of the most incredible gifts of her lifetime.
Helen was first able to utilize her curious mind professionally after graduating from Cornell College in 1977 when setting her eyes on MCI. After pounding on doors for two years and ideal timing in the marketplace, MCI became ready for Helen’s talents of curiosity and asking the right questions. When applied, Helen knew exactly how to frame an argument and look for the right questions as opposed to the right answers. She was MCI’s secret weapon for 6 years under the leadership of Chairman Bill McGowen.
During the 6 year tenure, MCI produced 9 billion dollars in gross revenue and Helen herself led two different teams from start-up phase to 3 billion dollars in actualized revenue. To this day, Helen states that Bill was the best business leader she has ever worked for. “He did not see color, race, sex or religion. All he cared about was money coming in and value representation from his employees.” Due to the entrepreneurial environment and launching of something new to market, Helen became mesmerized by the positive disruption.
Throughout her career, Helen has used her talents to grow brand foot prints in the disruptive categories such as cellular and energy for the following companies: US West Cellular, McCaw Cellular/AT&T Wireless, Talk America & Renewable Energy Company. For the last 11 year she has focused on her own Marketing Consulting firm, Manich Strategic, Inc and has traveled all over the world to assist companies and non-profits connect with and establish their core consumer. She has been able to go back to her roots of curiosity and understanding different cultures through her modern-day clients.
Helen spends a large chunk of her time assisting startups with their business and getting them off the ground. We are especially honored as Helen has assisted multiple Halcyon startups with their messaging, core client base and strategic initiatives. In essence, she has become the “Chief Marketing Officer” in residence. EnrichHER has personally benefited from Helen’s mastermind when navigating through SEC approvals and was able to ask “the right questions” as opposed to just look for a simplified answer. With her help, EnrichHER was able to attain SEC approval more swiftly than if we tried to navigate on our own.
We are grateful that Helen realizes the need for more diversity in the startup community and especially for women minorities and has been called to action. Your expertise and leadership are truly invaluable to our community and we are so lucky to have you as part of the EnrichHER family!
About EnrichHER We bring together a network of successful women-led businesses to accelerate business growth so that we cultivate a thriving ecosystem supported by business financing and a supportive community.
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