Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Bridgett Tubbs is the founder and CEO of AppleTree Early Care and Preschool and its sister company Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool.
The businesses provide infant and toddler care, preschool, before- and after-school care and summer camp to children ages six weeks to 12 years old.
Tubbs has had a significant impact on the child care industry in the region because of her efforts to blend traditional day care and educational programming.
She was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 in the education and training category in the Michigan and northwest Ohio region.
Biggest career break?
When I won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. I met business leaders who have grown a company. I learned a lot from them — their trials and tribulations, as well as their journeys to success. I also learned more about how to scale a company and go from an entrepreneurial company to a policy-driven organization.
The first day my daughter worked in the company that I built to raise her!
Best advice you’ve ever received?
To never forget where you came from, but to always look forward.
How did you make your first dollar?
Peeling potatoes in a restaurant
A picture of my daughter and I at her graduation from Interlochen Arts Academy
I have it! I love what I do and am fortunate to have been able to make my living doing what I am passionate about and making a difference for children.
If you were president for a day, you would … ?
I would work to further legislation that would make a difference for women in business, including fair treatment for women in the workplace, as well as equal pay.
Last book you read?
“Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010” by Charles Murray
Last search term you googled?
The definition of apricity, which means the warmth of the sun in winter.
Your worst habit?
Eating while I drive!
To unwind, you like to … ?
Go boating on any boat and any body of water! Being on the water rejuvenates and relaxes me.
A trip through Fiji to New Zealand and then on to Australia.
Person you most admire?
Betty Ford. She brought women’s health care concerning breast cancer to light around the world. It changed the future for generations of women. I also admired her bravery and honesty about her struggle with addiction.