Entrepreneurs

Dana Schomp

July 9, 2014

Recognizing that a skilled and motivated staff is necessary for everything from marketing, to administrative support, to sales — and everything in between — and realizing that the key to successfully growing a business is teamwork, Dana Schomp founded Premier VEBA, Inc. with the goal of reducing the costs associated with conducting business at a high level.

Premier VEBA provides companies and independent entrepreneurs with a comprehensive suite of customized business services in an innovative, virtual environment. Premier VEBA’s team of associates is vast and varied, as they strive to deliver only preeminent results to their clients with an inclusive, well-managed experience. No matter how large or small the task, Premier VEBA has the resources, knowledge and experience to attain highly desired results in a timely, professional manner.

Readers can learn more at www.premierveba.com.

schomp2What were you like as a child?

Competitive, creative and impatient from day one. My parents referred to me as the one who “wants it all and wants it yesterday.” My first business venture was at age eight. I cut flowers from my mother’s garden, tied bows on them and sold them to the neighbors. (Yes, I was grounded for that one)

What is your professional background, and what inspired you to create Premier VEBA?

I’ve worked at various admin levels in various industries including tech, legal and nonprofit for more than twenty years, often working two jobs at the same time. I also worked in sales, but found I enjoyed the background work a lot more than the selling. I started working virtually about 15 years ago while recovering from a car accident and kept it going part-time when I returned to corporate. Shortly after I left corporate to focus on my business full-time, I had a waiting list for my services. With the help of a client, Business-Accelerated, I created PVEBA. My first thought was to create a team of exceptional virtual assistants with specialties, but quickly realized my clients needed more than even a talented VA could provide. Outsourcing other tasks to different companies caused more problems than it solved, so I put it all under one roof in a true team atmosphere.

What services do you offers to companies and entrepreneurs?

Our goal is to eventually provide everything a business owner or entrepreneur would need, at any given time, so our list of services is always growing. Everything from virtual assistance to web development to sales and marketing to social media to legal assistance to business management and everything in between.

What sets Premier VEBA apart from others in your field?

We are different from others in several ways. First, we work with our clients, not for them. It’s a real partnership and we have a vested interest in their success, which is always evident as we work together. Second, our line of services is quite varied, but each team member gets to focus on their specialty and bring whatever they do best to the table. We believe one person can’t be great at everything and letting team members focus on what they love to do brings the best results for our clients. We are able to create a team atmosphere, even though we are spread out across the US. Everyone works together, supports one another and backs each other up. We also do peer-to-peer training for those who want to improve their skills or gain knowledge in another skill that complements their own.

The thing that sets us apart that I’m most proud of, is that everyone on the PVEBA team (including myself) donates their time and skills to needy nonprofits throughout the year. Whether it is building a new website for a local animal rescue or creating and implementing a social media strategy for a community fundraiser, we all believe in giving back.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There are no typical days, and flying by the seat of my pants on three hours of sleep isn’t unheard of. Our clients steer our schedule and we are there for them whenever they need us. We have clients who are working a day job and building a business in their off hours, so nights and weekends are a must for some of us. When a client travels, I may be up at 3 am to help with last minute prep for their morning meeting in London. Very few of our team members keep standard “office hours” and no one is surprised to wake up in the morning and see that I emailed them something at 3 am — whether I was just waking up or heading to bed at that time is anyone’s guess.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My downtime is very limited these days, but I have a very active Czech German Shepherd and two college-aged sons, who all keep me busy. I read whatever I can, whenever I can and always have a book on me.

Do you ever struggle to maintain a work/life balance?

Yes, but I am working on it — slowly, but surely. Getting ready for launch was all-encompassing and I even fell asleep at my desk a few times. We lived on takeout and I ate at my desk. I thought, “Once we launch, I will have time,” but then the clients were there before I could blink, so that time never arrived. Now, I make it a point to take breaks, check in with friends and family, head back to the gym, etc. I have a great team in place right now, with more coming every week, so it’s getting easier.

What do you enjoy most about living and working in New York?

We are based in the Hudson Valley, in Cornwall, NY. This area has so much to offer! I can hike in the mountains in the morning, stop by DIA Beacon or Storm King Art Center for an afternoon exhibit then dine on the waterfront that evening. Not that I have time for those things right now, but I will again soon! Anything you want is easily accessible and Manhattan, the capital of the world, is a short train ride away.

In your opinion, what’s the best song ever written?

Just one?! My taste in music runs the gamut from rock to jazz to classical, but I will go with Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” because it’s playing at the moment and it’s definitely one of the best.

If you could retire today and move anywhere in the world, where would you go?

That list is long — I have quite a travel itinerary planned for when I retire.

What are your short- and long-term goals with Premier VEBA?

Short-term goal is to keep growing and excelling so we help as many people as we can. Long-term, I’d like to create virtual teams around the globe, so every client will have a top-notch, local workforce available any time they need it.

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