On January 26th, 2018, Annie was inducted into the 13th Annual Monterey Bay Business Hall of Fame. The event is a benefit for Junior Achievement, their luncheon ceremony honors outstanding local business leaders who have made a significant contribution to the economic and social development of the Central Coast Region. These exceptional honorees serve as role models to their peers and to the next generation of business leaders - the Junior Achievement students. It was a pleasure for Annie to be included with Kurt Gollnick from Scheid Vineyards, Peter Kasavan from Kasavan Architects, and Stephanie Harkness an entrepreneur/author/philanthropist. Annie received a standing ovation for her speech! Watch the speech below.
Annie toasting to Annieglass at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, where the event was held.
The Annieglass team from left: Melissa Solorio (Store Manager), Ava Reinhold (Store Manager), Annie Morhauser (CEO & Founder), Ignacio Moran (Purchasing Manager), Kristin Wilsey (VP of National Sales), Sherlyn Torres (Customer Service & Shipping), and Biagio Scarpello (Production Manager).
Watch her speech (above) or read Annie's speech (below).
Thank you so much for this honor. I am most grateful to be part of the Monterey Business Hall of Fame. It is truly unbelievable that Annieglass could ever grow to be so honored.
After graduating art school I worked as a subcontractor for a San Francisco lighting company, making prototypes with their designers and shortly thereafter made my own torchiere lamp with their help. Now, this was way back in the early 80’s and before the internet but I was able to track down a part I needed to a tiny smelly dingy lighting supply shop in New York City in the Bowery. The old man behind the counter was probably the age I am now! And he was cranky, sweaty..it being August and very hot and humid. It looked like he had slept in his clothes, greasy hair was plastered to his face and he was yelling at everyone in the line in front of me. I was beginning to lose my nerve waiting. I was intimidated, actually, I was petrified but I was determined to get what I needed, I’d come a long way.
When it was my turn I squeaked out, “May I please have 200 step on floor switches please?” And he shouted “What? What? Are you crazy? What’s a girl like you want with 200 switches?" So I showed him a postcard I’d had made of the lamp they were for, I was very proud of the lamp ...and the postcard. He didn’t seem too impressed, shrugged his shoulders and he handed back the card and snapped back “What? What? You should put that face of yours on there then you’ll sell a million!” So I did. And we did! Not of torchiere lamps but plates, platters, and bowls. Several million since the company started, thanks to a small group of dedicated individuals, some of whom are here today that took my original design and made it into something special.
Anyone can make one of something but it takes real teamwork, perseverance, and creativity to build and sustain a company for 35 years the way our staff has. I would not be standing before you today without them. (Please stand Annieglassers!) (applause)
This being award season with plenty of causes, most honorable like #MeToo, # WeToo, #TimesUp, and yes as a woman in a non-traditional field I have also experienced harassment. So did the women before me, who paved the way for me, as I have for the next generation of entrepreneurs. I grew up with three older brothers so I was able to overcome the consistent harassment I experienced while building my business. But I wonder for every one of me, how many women are there who were not able to overcome the nuisance and trauma harassment causes...and why should they have to put up with it?
How many could be alongside me here today?
We have to create the conditions that will enable them to succeed too. They need our support and encouragement. Times up for one half of our population to be turned away from their chosen field due to sexual harassment.
Join me in encouraging young women, girls, and teens to participate in manufacturing, science, engineering, entrepreneurship, art, design and ......whatever the heck they want to.