Spotlighting Two of Albion’s Women Entrepreneurs for International Women’s Day

March 7, 2022

International Women's Day
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating women’s historical, cultural, and political achievements. Organizations large and small come together to show women just how valuable they are in today’s society.

To celebrate this, we sat down with two of Albion’s successful women entrepreneurs, Stephanie Dobbins and Emily Dobbins-Verbeke, to get insights into what motivates them, what moves them, and what they see for the future.

Stephanie Dobbins


Q: Who was your role model or mentor?

The woman who has made the biggest impact on my life is my mom, Debbie. While she is retired now, she spent 40+ years working as a nurse and continues giving as a wife, mother, and grandmother. She has always demonstrated compassion for her patients by listening, expressing genuine concern, and providing the best care. She loves fiercely, stands up for what she believes in, and has a heart of gratitude.

Q: How important is it to be an example for your children?

I think having kids is a very humbling experience. As much as I’d like to think I’m teaching them, they are teaching me much more about myself and life than anyone or anything else has before!

What is the most significant barrier you feel must still be overcome?

The beauty of age is that each decade reveals new lessons. As I’m in my forties now, I know the biggest barrier to overcome is myself. Life, society, and media constantly bombard us with messaging that can lead to hurt, fear, and insecurity. I  continue to do a lot of introspection to change the narrative in my head, lean into my values, and embrace the opportunities in front of me to live more freely and fully. I’m finally understanding that I’m not something to be fixed. Life is just a continual process of learning, unlearning, and re-learning.

What is the most important lesson you have learned while in business?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that being a leader is a choice I had to make for myself and one that I have to make repeatedly. I’m in a unique situation, as I work with my husband and a family of entrepreneurs. Nobody was coming to tell me what to do or how to define my role within Mitchell Golf. I realized that I needed to take responsibility as a leader because our team deserved better. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to have all the answers or know exactly what to do all the time. Leading is much more about listening, facilitating communication, empowering people to make decisions, and caring about people and their experiences.

Emily Dobbins-Verbeke

General Manager Foundry Bakehouse and Deli. Director of Special Projects, Caster Concepts. Board Member Swinging at the Shell, Run Albion, Innovate Albion


Who was your role model or mentor?

Both my mom and dad were mentors. I appreciate that my dad saw no difference between myself as a girl and my brother Andrew. The expectations were the same: Do your best.

With my mom, we learned that we had a lot of potential and to never accept less about anything. My mom was an art teacher at a Catholic School while raising us. She had an outstanding balance between her teaching and her faith while always being there for her family. She was amazing at utilizing her time between the service of others while getting a whole lot of things done.

How important is it for you to be an example for your children?

My son Ian needs to see me work hard and take on challenges that may seem like barriers to some. I’m helping him connect with what he sees in myself, his grandma, his aunt, and the other remarkable women in the family as good role models compared to what is portrayed in the media.

What is the most significant barrier you feel must still be overcome?

I think it’s the belief that women should be modest. That it is not “becoming” of a woman to be overconfident because it can be construed as being bossy. This perception can be challenging when it comes to sharing knowledge. As a woman, you have to massage your message. In a leadership role, what people typically respond to is not necessarily how they expect a woman to lead. It’s a constant struggle, and it can undermine your confidence and make you overthink some situations.

What is the most important lesson you have learned while in business?

That if I had to do it over again, I would still jump in with both feet. Running my business has a larger impact on Albion, and being part of the community is a huge part of it. The Foundry BakeHouse and Deli is my love letter to Albion. Our community deserves nice things. It’s worth all the extra effort.

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