Verde Martin’s Lead Auditor in Chicago Named One of 19 Influential Women for 2013 by Chicago’s Daily Herald Business Ledger

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Mary Erlain, President of Peak Development Strategies in Naperville and author of upcoming book on generational differences in the workplace is recognized for excellence in business, civic and personal achievements.

Sales Acceleration Verde Martin Firm

Verde Martin has led more than 100 businesses through a sales audit process that accelerates sales, improves employee engagement, reduces costs and increases market share.

[Mary] brings those amazing qualities to bear when she works with ... customers who are looking for a concrete, step-by-step way to accelerate sales.

Jill Slupe, president of Verde Martin, provider of sales audit and sales acceleration training to organizations in Omaha, Nebraska, and Chicago, Illinois, as well as nationwide, announced the company’s regional director of training and development in Chicago, Mary Erlain, has been named one of 19 suburban Chicago women hailed as 2013 Influential Women in Business. The annual awards are designed to recognize exceptional business women in the suburban areas around Chicago for their business and civic accomplishments, as well as their personal strength.

“There is a reason Mary is our director of training and development in Chicago,” Slupe said. “She has a stunning depth of knowledge and experience, as well as endless fortitude in the face of adversity. She brings those amazing qualities to bear when she works with other Verde Martin sales auditors, as well as our customers who are looking for a concrete, step-by-step way to accelerate sales.”

Erlain, who was nominated for the award by Tom Bennington, a Chicago business attorney, uses Verde Martin sales audit tools and sales training materials under the auspices of Peak Development Strategies in Naperville, Illinois, to help businesses create comprehensive, step-by-step sales plans that make controlled growth possible.

“The great thing about this award—and the most humbling aspect of it—is that it recognizes the well-roundedness of women in business,” Erlain said. “We all struggle with demands from work, communities and families, and it is gratifying to be recognized for meeting those challenges, along with the other Influential Women of 2013.” Erlain said the tagline she uses with her business is true to her personal approach to life and business: “Connecting the dots and removing barriers!™”

After two decades of work in the medical profession, Erlain chose a financial profession, where she demonstrated a deep passion for helping people. She learned to recruit, train, coach and retain members of her team as a branch office supervisor and lead trainer for a financial services company. In 2007, she founded Peak Development Strategies (PDS), and since has been deeply involved in the Chicagoland business scene. Since inception, PDS has grown at a rate of 25 percent each year, even in the face of the national economic downturn.

Erlain is a sought-after speaker on many business subjects and has managed, mentored and trained many successful business owners, managers and sales people. She has worked with organizations in a variety of industries, including Cole Taylor Bank, CENTA Corporation, Merrill Lynch, Waddell & Reed, Lawrence, Kamin, Saunders & Uhlenhop LLC, MidwestHR, JJR Marketing, and Lavelle Law LLC. Erlain facilitates Entrepreneurs Groups and a peer group focused on developing women business owners. Since 2005, she has owned and facilitated five Peak Networking Groups (PNG) throughout Chicago’s western suburbs. She serves on the Western Suburbs Executive Committee of the Small Business Advocacy Council, is an active member in the Chicago Southland Speakers Bureau (CSSB), and helps plan and implement many business events, including women’s business events, in the Chicago area.

Erlain is known for a series of business-related books called the “10 Answer Keys.” The most recent book is expected from the publisher in late 2013. It is titled 10 Answer Keys, Communicating with 5 Generations in the Workplace. It offers a perspective on the way companies are moving from a place of struggle and conflict among employees to habits of empowerment, achievement and excellence by understanding generational differences. The previous two books in the series are 10 Answer Keys, Building Powerful Business Strategic Alliances and 10 Answer Keys, Effective Business Networking.

Erlain said charitable work is part of the mission of her life. As a member of Community Christian Church, she actively participates in service, as well as lending her volunteer help to charities such as St. Thomas the Apostle Career Transitions Ministry, HOPE Employment Ministry, the Food Network food distribution center and area hospitals. She served on the board of Friends of Dupage County Animal Care and Control and has served Chicagoland communities in many other ways.

The 2013 Influential Women program also considers personal lives and challenges. Erlain’s nomination form revealed challenges she faced as she assisted both of her parents in their battles with cancer and hospice journeys in 2003 – 2004. They passed away just two weeks apart.

For more information about Verde Martin, the Verde Martin Sales Audit™, sales training and Mary Erlain, contact Jana Roberts at jroberts(at)verdemartin(dot)com or 402-305-6596. For additional information about Peak Development Strategies, contact Mary Erlain at 630.768.1422.

About Verde Martin
Using the unique Verde Martin Sales Audit™ process and sales acceleration strategies, Verde Martin has supported more than 100 companies since 2007, helping accelerate sales, improve employee engagement, reduce costs and increase market share. Verde Martin also provides sales training through monthly SalesTalk workshops in Omaha, as well as tailored training sessions to fit each client’s needs. Learn more at:
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Jana Roberts
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