CEO & President, Argent Tape & Label

Lynn Perenic was one of the first business leaders to sponsor The Derby Diversity Business Summit. The CEO of Argent Tape and Label has transformed her company through open-book management, fomenting a sense of ownership among her employees with gain-sharing, and gamifying the manufacturing process. In 2010, Argent Tape and Label made $790,000 in sales. By 2017, that number had grown to $6.2M.

Perenic sang the praises of summit Founder and Chair Tawana Bain’s vision as instrumental in her sponsorship. “She’s getting many diverse groups together to work for one common goal. That was a very motivating factor for me to be part of, so I came onboard.”

Perenic was once a special education teacher. That may not seem to correlate with the manufacturing business, but she said, “Being a special ed teacher in an urban district, you’re sort of an entrepreneur. They throw you into a situation and you have to figure it out.”

The CEO describes herself growing up as “a typical Detroit kid,” from a working class background. Her mother was a press operator. “I have workers downstairs that run a punch-press. I know exactly what it is that she did.” That work ethic, where “nothing comes for free” is foundational not only to the way she operates, but also how she relates to and motivates her employees.

“I saw a t-shirt the other day that said, ‘Detroit hustles harder,’ and that’s what really got the company back on its feet. We all remembered ’08, ’09,” she said. “I believe in giving back. I believe in charity and gain-sharing with my employees.”

“Going to the Derby has always been on my bucket list,” said Perenic, who will get the chance to show off some of her hat collection when she visits the River City. In addition to the festivities, she looks forward to “a group of highly-motived, intelligent people coming together for a common goal of creating great business as well as great relationships.”