NRD’s Susan Beth and her ‘amazeball’ answers
Susan Beth’s car may not be as clean as it used to be, but she still thinks the best job in franchising just found her. Susan (we should refer to her by her last name, but it would just sound like we’re calling her by her first name, so why bother?), the COO of NRD Capital Management, an un-private equity fund started by Aziz Hashim, is the most bubbly M&A adviser you’ll ever run into. “I’m a Type A when I need to be,” Susan says, reassuringly.
The more buttoned-down Hashim said he hired her because in addition to her franchisee/franchisor, family-business background, she, like him, plays to win. “I’ve been working since I was 8 years old; Susan claims she’s been working since -0.5 years old because her mom was pregnant with her while building their first family car wash—can’t top that competitive spirit,” he points out.
When we asked three of the many friends seen frolicking with her on Facebook for three words to describe her, one was literal, “inspirational and encouraging (Franchise Elevator’s Mike Misetic), one refused to count “and” as a compliment and said “sharp, caring and fun” (Franwise’s Mary Ann O’Connell) and one doubled down, calling her “kind, caring and funnier-than-hell” (Wild Birds’ Paul Pickett). Plus pointed out “amazeball” is her favorite word.
Susan just received an emerging leader award from M&A Advisors and was singled out as one of only three women doing her job in private equity, and yet she still signs off with her Super Wash catch phrase: “Have a super day.” She’s professional and zany, sometimes at the same time. She’s like that haircut: business upfront, party on the back end, with a sympathetic ear exposed. Just check out her answers:
#1 You used to have Black in your name, where did it go and tell us about when it was part of your moniker.
I got married in 2002, just after I had signed 200-plus sets of franchise agreements as ‘Susan E. Black’ when we converted the Super Wash system from a licensing business model to a franchise. At the time, it felt right to keep using my maiden name because I was part of the family business. When I joined NRD, it was the start of a new chapter so I thought I would simplify and use my married name. Whoa, was I wrong about it being simplifying! It’s a real pain to have so many last name combos, and to have a last name that is a girl’s first name. Do you know how many times I get called ‘Beth’? And, the real doozy is when people introduce me and say, ‘I’d like you to meet my good friend, Beth.’ Not to be persnickety, but we’re probably not that good of friends if you don’t know that my first name isn’t Beth.
#2 You took a whole year to turn 40, why so many celebrations?
In December of 2015, I lost a very dear high school girlfriend to a car accident. She was six months shy of her 40th birthday. At the start of my 40th birthday year, I set the goal to celebrate 40 times, mostly as a way to remind myself to celebrate life every day because none of us is guaranteed the next day. It was also a way for me to challenge myself to try some new things, and it was a good excuse to celebrate with as many friends as possible when I am traveling for work.
#3 If someone were to tell a blonde joke about you, what would it be?
It would be less of a blonde joke and more of a funny harsh reality. My two sons, 11 and 9, love to let me know when I’m not looking so blonde anymore. Their favorite line is, ‘Mom, it’s getting dark in there,’ pointing to my roots, ‘it’s time!’
Hey, we think hair advice from your kids is actually pretty amazeball.
Give a dog a ball and ...
No, your dog isn’t salivating for no good reason. That really is a 7-foot tennis ball dispenser, filled with 2,000 fetching blue and red balls just waiting to be retrieved over and over and over.
Camp Bow Wow installed the giant gumball replicas in late September in dog-friendly parks in Atlanta, Denver, Cleveland, Dallas and Northern New Jersey. For every ball dispensed to a dog, Camp Bow Wow pledged to donate $5 (up to $50,000) to a local animal shelter or rescue.
It’s all part of the franchise’s #GiveAFetch program that helps dogs who don’t have parents to board them in the style they wish they could become accustomed to.
In addition to the giant dispenser, Camp Bow Wow sponsored local events which featured food trucks, a caricature artist and a notable Instagram dog influencer. Local shelters/rescues also had adoptable dogs at the events for anyone who doesn’t want to raise a spoiled only-dog.