Location: Quincy, MA
Industry: Dry cleaning company
President and CEO
When Christa Hagearty joined her family business, Dependable Cleaners, in 1994, she thought she was there to help her father prepare the company for sale. More than a decade later, Hagearty is president and CEO of that same company. “I fell in love with the business and came up with a new vision and strategy,” she says. She led Dependable Cleaners to significant revenue growth by investing more into her team and into the communities the company serves.
Quick Tip: “Accept who you are and become your number-one advocate.”
In 2012, Hagearty faced one of her greatest challenges as a leader, when a fire destroyed a Dependable Cleaners facility in South Quincy. “Overnight, I needed to become an expert at insurance, designing and building a new building, and crisis management, while still ensuring we didn’t skip a beat in taking care of our customers’ needs,” says Hagearty. Over the course of two years, the company was able to rebuild by remaining creative and dedicated.
Both Hagearty’s mother and stepmother ran successful independent businesses, and one of her grandmothers helped co-found Dependable Cleaners with her husband. “Growing up in the 1970s, that was unusual, and I’m very thankful that I had so many great role models to learn from and to encourage me. It just seemed a natural decision for me to get my MBA and lead a business,” Hagearty says.