Entrepreneurship Speaker Series Welcomes Tenia Wallace

Posted: November 20, 2019 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Tenia WallaceSouthern Utah University’s Entrepreneurship Speaker Series was honored to welcome alumna Tenia Wallace, Chief Operating Officer at Decorworx, during the School of Business’s annual Business Week. As a graphic design major, Wallace has found great success working with Decorworx to design retail spaces for big name companies.

Wallace first began working with Decorworx while in high school, starting in soft production and working her way up the ladder. As the Chief Operating Officer, Wallace now helps to oversee all creative departments within the company, and she is well on her way to becoming CEO in the next few years.

Throughout her presentation, Wallace emphasized the value of hard work, passion for your field, and being willing to be different. “Better is better,” Wallace said, quoting New York Times bestselling author Sally Hogshead, “different is better.”

Wallace broke down step by step her growth within the company, using the imagery of blowing up a balloon to illustrate how she managed to expand her circle of knowledge and transition to various positions during her time at Decorworx.

Wallace told the audience stories from her childhood, highlighting moments where she learned to overcome difficulty with passion and hard work. One of these stories centered around an experience from her high school years, while being interviewed for the state Sterling Scholar Award.

Wallace had grown up with dyslexia, which made it difficult for her to get the best grades in math and science classes. Despite that, she decided to take a risk and interview.

She remembers telling the judges, “I can’t be smarter than the other kids that you’re interviewing, but I can be the hardest worker. I am going to take the scholarship that I win and I’m going to put it to use.”

It was this determination in the face of adversity that both helped her win Sterling Scholar Award and got her ahead in her field. However, that determination didn’t stop Wallace from running into setbacks. In an emotional video she shared with the students, Wallace demonstrated how stressful and heavy running a business can feel. 

“The more you love your business, the more you care when you hit the bumps in the road.” Wallace reminded students. “Failure is not fatal. No matter how much it hurts, how much you’re having self-doubt, it is not the end.”

She encouraged students to hold onto their determination and hope through hard times and bumps in the road. 

“It is the courage to continue, to keep pushing, that is going to make you different,” Wallace said. “That is what’s going to make your business stand out and make you successful.”

The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series is designed to benefit students from all majors as well as community members, with a focus on the guiding principles of “Educate, Experience, and Elevate”.  

Tags: Entrepreneurship School of Business

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