Nashville Business Owner Named White House ‘Champion of Change’ for Fair Pay Advocacy

CONTACT: Erin Musgrave, 530-864-7014 or erin@erinmusgravecommunications.com

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, owner of LetterLogic in Nashville and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, named a Champion of Change by the White House today for championing a fair pay business model

Washington, D.C., June 22, 2016 —Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, the founder and CEO of LetterLogic in Nashville and a leading member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, will be honored Thursday at the White House as a Champion of Change for her work championing a fair pay business model in her community and across America.

The Champions of Change award honors people who’ve shown extraordinary leadership on important issues impacting their communities and the nation.

In 2002, Deutschmann put it all on the line—cashing in her 401k and holding a weeklong yard sale to raise the capital needed to start her own company. LetterLogic is now a $36 million company and has been recognized by INC Magazine as an INC 5000 company for nine consecutive years, an honor bestowed upon the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S.

Deutschmann said, “Our entire business model was built on my belief that I could build a better company if I took extraordinary care of the employees.”

Most of LetterLogic’s jobs are in the factory, where the employees operate machinery that prints, folds, inserts and sorts more than 235,000 bills each day. Deutschmann could have filled those positions at the minimum wage, $7.25 an hour in Tennessee. But she believed that well-cared-for employees can better focus on turning out a high quality product and delivering impeccable service, and their dedication would create loyalty among her clients.

LetterLogic has always paid the highest wages in its industry, and in recent years raised entry-level pay from $12 an hour to $14, and then to the current $16, plus benefits. In the months that followed those raises, the company grew from annual revenues of $27.5 million to $36 million—a 25 percent increase over a 27-month period. In that same time frame, their net profit increased 300 percent.

Deutschmann said, “My business can set a good example, but I can’t do it alone. The businesses with me in Business for a Fair Minimum Wage can’t do it alone. The federal minimum wage, which Tennessee follows, has not been raised since 2009. Raising the minimum wage will increase productivity, reduce the costly turnover that plagues so many low-wage businesses, and boost sales by putting more money in workers’ pockets. Raising the minimum wage is good for business and our economy.”

Besides being a model business owner, Deutschmann is a powerful advocate for raising the minimum wage. She has spoken at public events and to media around the country about the financial benefits of a fair pay business model. She’s hosted a roundtable at LetterLogic on raising the minimum wage with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Nashville business owners, and traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak with lawmakers. She is a leading signer on the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Federal Statement advocating an increase in the federal minimum wage.

“Sherry is an inspiration,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “She built a hugely successful business from nothing, and did it by valuing and empowering her employees, not miring them in low-wage jobs that lead nowhere. She is a perfect example of how paying fair wages and treating employees with respect creates better businesses and stronger communities. If more business owners took a page from Sherry’s playbook, our economy would be the better for it.”

To schedule an interview with Deutschmann, contact Erin Musgrave at erin@erinmusgravecommunications.com or (530) 864-7014.

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Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org.

 

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