Growing up in the business, it seems only natural that Betsy Bankhurst has worked her way up to becoming President of The Basement Doctor. Her dad, Ron Greenbaum, joined the company as a partner in 1992. The business at the time, J&D Home Improvement, was built on basement waterproofing and foundation repair. The growth of the business was huge. In the 1990’s, Nash Distribution was born to supply materials to independent contractors in the United States and Canada who were seeking materials for their basement solutions jobs. It was a natural fit for Nash Distribution to be a supply chain for materials that small contractors were looking for and already using on a larger scale.
In the early 2000, J&D Home Improvement was reinvented as a brand and became The Basement Doctor. Ron took over as sole owner in 2016 when his partner retired. As the business continued to grow, Betsy’s responsibilities grew, as did her knowledge of the companies.
When Betsy turned 16, her dad thought that it was time for her to help out around the office. She started with filing, doing paperwork, and scanning files so the company could become more electronic. After high school graduation, Betsy attended The Ohio State University majoring in marketing and minoring in Spanish. Although college was a busy time for Betsy, she made time to intern at the company and continue to learn about the business.
After graduating from OSU, Betsy and her family agreed that it would be beneficial for her to gain some outside experience. She set out to Baltimore and worked as an account coordinator in an advertising agency. She loved her experience and stayed for a year before returning to Columbus.
When she returned to Columbus, Betsy gained even more experience by working as a project manager at Victoria Secret, but knew that her passion was still routed in marketing. She joined CTV Media as an account manager and later was promoted to account executive.
In 2016, as her father acquired sole ownership of The Basement Doctor and its businesses, Betsy sat down with him and discussed coming back. “I was at a crossroads and wanted broader business experience. I knew that the company would allow me to gain that experience while returning to school to get my MBA,” says Betsy. She returned to the business and began a rotation to learn it from the ground up. “There was a lot more to learn,” added Betsy. “Since I last worked there, the business had a tremendous amount of growth.” Betsy worked in Nash Distribution, The Basement Doctor operations department on the accounting team, on special projects, and settled in marketing and brand development for The Basement Doctor.
The family business also proved to be an incredible asset to her MBA degree. Betsy recalls, “While getting my degree at business school, I could apply my learning in the company. It afforded me the opportunity to work on lots of school projects using the business as my foundation.”
In late 2017 and early 2018, it became clear that Betsy was ready to be a leader. She was promoted to Executive Vice President. Her focus was on the organizational structure of the company. She worked with her dad and a leadership team to structure the company to include new businesses. Two new companies were created, Jenesis (now Greenbaum Stiers Strategic Marketing Group) with a partner, Mike Stiers. The other was My DIY Center, a website for people who want to purchase products to complete their home improvement projects themselves.
“From this point, the business grew dramatically,” says Betsy. “It nearly doubled over the last few years!” Betsy, along with the leadership team, created a strategy for the companies and reviewed the financial analysis to ensure that the businesses maintained profitability. The businesses were all aligned and created a synergy. “Understanding customer’s needs helped us stay relevant. People needed us and we were able to get out there quickly.” With business already expanding to other areas of the country, a franchise opportunity was recognized. The expansion of the franchises included Northwest Ohio, Indiana, Cincinnati, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
With many new businesses flourishing, Betsy went through a program to help her build a leadership team that worked across all of the businesses. Ron was removing himself from the day-to-day workings of the company and Betsy worked through a succession plan which included next-level leadership and revamping the organizational structure.
Taking on the next tier of the company, Betsy was promoted to President of The Basement Doctor, Nash Distribution, and My DIY Center. She served as the Executive Vice President of Greenbaum Stiers. With a strong leadership team in place, Betsy could focus on building teams.
“I remain involved in the day-to-day of each company but am so confident in the strong leadership team. They are all experts in what they do. I learn from them every day.” Much of Betsy’s time is spent on the expansion of the businesses. She spearheads the M&A efforts, strategic partnerships, and the launching of new companies within their portfolio.
Speaking of new companies, you will notice in the months ahead a new face as part of The Basement Doctor companies. It’s Betsy, who will be the face of Betsy Be. Launching this fall, this cleaning service will focus on indoor air quality. Betsy explains, “It is a cleaning service and set of products to clean viruses and bacteria. The products are all-natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.”
Another important trait that Betsy learned from her dad was the importance of community. While she is looking to increase her presence in our community, Betsy is already off to a great start. She spent three years helping to lead a team and fundraising effort for Pelotonia. She serves on the board of Special Olympics Ohio. Betsy is a member of the Women in Franchising Group. She has been involved in the Cancer Support Community Central Ohio.
“I am passionate about mentoring and educating students,” says Betsy. “I was a tutor throughout high school, college, and into my adult life. Most recently, through my affiliation with The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business’ MBA program.” Betsy’s family is also starting a foundation that she will be involved with. In addition to her busy work schedule and volunteer efforts, Betsy and her husband Adam have a young child who keeps them on their toes!
Betsy learned from the best. Her rotations in the companies were key to her success. She learned about products and installations, sat with all department leaders to learn their roles, and worked hard to earn respect.
“I love working with my dad,” adds Betsy. “He is a true visionary that can see the big picture and that is what I am trying to learn.” Betsy will continue to be a force in her industry and in our community through her strong work ethic and eagerness to learn, grow, and serve others.