Broussard of Universal Window Named “Outstanding Woman of Business” By Worcester Business Journal

November 17, 2014

Broussard began her tenure as president of Universal Window and Door a year before she became its owner in 2001. The company provides windows to architects, general contractors and developers of historical buildings. Prior to her arrival at Universal, she served as a regional sales manager for Baxter Healthcare.

Who is your most influential role model, and why?

While I have been influenced by a number of figures throughout my life, my current role model is Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. Musk is incredibly innovative, and he takes major calculated risks, with the emphasis on "calculated." After he weighs the risk versus the potential rewards, he follows through and doesn't listen to those who tell him that he's crazy, the way people told me I was crazy when I decided to buy and resurrect this company. ... And look at the results of his calculated risks: PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, an electric car that could revolutionize the industry. Without innovative thinking and some risk taking, you cannot move forward.

What has helped you achieve success in your career?

Perseverance. I have always kept a framed copy of this quote by Calvin Coolidge above my desk: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

What's your primary motivator; or if there is one thing that makes you tick or ignites a passion within you, what is it?

When it comes to this company specifically, I realized when I became involved in the talks about bankruptcy proceedings that if this company went down, it would affect a minimum of 2,000 to 3,000 people, and I couldn't accept that. There were not only the 100 or so employees at the time, but also the smaller dealers and vendors that supplied us. We had dealers calling us and literally begging me not to shut down. If we had filed for bankruptcy, they would have gone down with us ...

I'm a huge believer in not only supporting small businesses, but in buying products manufactured in America.

And I am passionate about working with and learning from other women in the business community.

What roles have you played in your organization's efforts to give back to the community? Also, how do you give back to the community?

One of the things we do … is provide jobs for local youth during the summer. We work with the City of Marlborough and Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce. Each summer, a number of residents age 16 to 19 go to work at the facility in various jobs for 25 hours per week for six weeks.

On a personal level, I focus my efforts on the advancement of women in business by working with various national and regional organizations designed to empower women. ...

When the stress level gets too high, how do you ease the pressure?

Since I've recently hired an extraordinarily capable president and CEO, Tony Muraco, I've been able to work offsite more (I keep a small office in Florida), and it's something I take advantage of when I can, and that is a great help.

Another key is exercise, exercise, exercise. On weekends and when I'm working off-site, I have a routine that involves weights and a treadmill, and I do that for an hour and half to two hours per day. ...

How have you tried to balance your career and your personal life? Please give an example or two.

I find myself spending a lot more time in Florida, which is becoming my refuge, even when I'm not working remotely. I am also spending a lot more time with friends than I have in the past, and that has been great. I am also planning on spending a lot more time traveling in the future, something I neglected for a while, but I'm trying to bring that balance into my life.