Married to the Family Business

Generally speaking, most people become an entrepreneur because they have created a product or service that will add value to a community. However, some people who enter entrepreneurship as a result of their relationships. Mandy Way, a recent MBA graduate from OCU, is a part of this category. Upon marrying her husband, Cameron Way, she became joint manager of Way Farms, a local produce company in Waverly, OH. Since it was founded in 2003 and became an LLC in 2008, Way Farms has been very successful, due to the support of its community and competency of its managers. Their goal - to provide fresh and healthy food for Appalachian and Southern Ohio natives - was not initially a sought after product in their area; however, by partnering with local senior centers and community action organizations, they have helped raise awareness about healthy living, which in turn created positive word of mouth about their company. In addition to this invaluable marketing source, social media has been of great value to them. With this tool, they’ve been able to reach their customer directly and expand their reach in the community. Oddly enough, these two tools were the very things that Mandy had underestimated when she had entered the entrepreneurship adventure. As an anthropology major during her baccalaureate education, and after working as a park ranger for 15 years, she was accustom to varying methods, principles and ways of thinking in relation to business. In fact, she mentioned during our interview that in her career she had gained expertise in marketing and customer service yet had not received formal training on business concepts. So, when she made the decision to pursue her Masters degree with a concentration in business, her lack of business exposure scared her. Finding OCU’s convenient MBA program was a lifesaver. When she stated, the fact that she could have a non-business degree and still enter the program was a relief. Furthermore, attending class once a week after work was a perfect fit for her full-time schedule. Now, two years after her first class, she sees the benefits of her formal business training in many ways. With her newfound knowledge, she and her husband have been able to accurately define their target market, and they plan to build Way Farms into an agro-tourism company, taking their current farmer’s market focus to the next level. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Now knowing and understanding key business terms has allowed her to be a participant in executive conversations at her current job at Centrus Energy Group, showing her supervisors and colleagues that she can make informed decisions about expanding the company, and adding more validity to the ideas she presents. Her story is a true encouragement to those looking to make a career change either by choice or due to circumstance.

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.