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Gloria Henderson receives Governor's Trailblazer Award

Her Brookfield company is one of 12 women-owned businesses honored

Gloria Henderson (right) was honored with a Wisconsin Women’s Council 2014 Governor’s Trailblazer Award in Madison. She is shown with her husband, Dan, (left) and Gov. Scott Walker.

Gloria Henderson (right) was honored with a Wisconsin Women’s Council 2014 Governor’s Trailblazer Award in Madison. She is shown with her husband, Dan, (left) and Gov. Scott Walker. Photo By Bruce Fritz

April 29, 2014

Gloria Henderson is getting used to rubbing elbows with the state's highest political officials.

Last fall, she was presented an award by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch at the Potawatomi Expo Center that honored women-owned businesses that have been in operation for 25 years.

Six months later, Henderson, who is the president of D&G Insulation, based in Brookfield, was recently recognized with a Governor's Trailblazer Award at a ceremony at the state capitol.

The Trailblazer Awards are given to outstanding women-owned businesses in Wisconsin. Henderson's business was one of 12 that received the award last month. Four of the businesses, including Henderson's, are located in Waukesha County.

Henderson was nominated by Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield).

"The success stories of the 12 recipients are something to be in awe of and should be inspirational to Wisconsin's future entrepreneurs and business owners, of both genders," said Sen. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee).

Henderson is a great example.

She started her company, which specializes in commercial and industrial insulation, in 1988 with a station wagon, ladder and used her garage as a warehouse. She also started with just two employees.

"Basically, the first year was the hardest," Henderson said.

But as projects and jobs began coming in at facilities at various hospitals throughout the state, as well as at multiple schools, universities, factories and commercial buildings, her profit margin significantly grew.

She soon went from a start-up company worth $2,000 to one that is now valued at $2 million.

The increased revenue allowed her to purchase a commercial warehouse in West Allis, and in 2005, D&G Insulation established itself as a union shop. It now has 15 employees, including her two sons who have joined the company in recent years.

Henderson admitted there have been some rough times.

"I feel very honored and happy to have kept my business for 25 years when the economy was down," said Henderson, who maintains an office at her Brookfield home. "When construction was down during recent years, that slowed us down."

But Henderson said the key to her business "bouncing back" and surviving some tough economic times has been always honoring her quotes.

"I'm there when they need me, and I'm reliable," Henderson said. "I think that's what has always helped my business. I'm always focused on helping people."

For her dedication and her business growing, Henderson had the opportunity to be recognized at the high-profile event that included First Lady Tonette Walker, as well as Kleefisch. Gov. Walker presented the awards to the recipients.

"I felt very privileged to get the award and be recognized," Henderson said.

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