Jill Grammer-Williams is, apparently, a born entrepreneur.
As a girl, she went door-to-door selling the discounted bulk-rate products that her importer father occasionally brought home, as well as soliciting baby-sitting and house-cleaning jobs.
As an adult, she founded Orem-based American Name Services, a full-service agency providing list brokerage, list management and data processing for firms worldwide.
But the early days of ANS, when the company was run from an apartment, required that Gram-mer-Williams use every bit of her business skills and a few acting skills, as well. Sometimes, she would disguise her voice when answering the telephone to give the impression that her firm was more than a one-woman operation. When she did hire help, she turned first to her family members.
But Grammer-Williams has kept ANS on top of emerging trends, making sure the company is quick to add new technologies and enhanced data-processing services and pushing its marketing to a worldwide audience.
The company also is expanding into creating software for small- and medium-sized businesses that helps them manage their own data and use it more effectively in marketing campaigns.
This self-confessed "numbers geek" also has retained her understanding of the challenges faced by working parents, with company initiatives designed to help employees balance work and family life.
All of this has helped ANS to reach spectacular annual growth rates during the past four years, and this year is shaping up to be no different.