DALLAS — “Always value people” is a business lesson that has stayed with Lynn Banta, chief executive officer at Outsourcing USA in Dallas.
Outsourcing USA, a full-service graphic design company, housed in the Twin Stacks building on the Dallas Memorial Highway, was established in May 2009.
Since its inception, Banta has placed value on people and her vision of creating family-sustaining jobs for the Wyoming Valley communities. Her vision for Twin Stacks as a business hub furthers her dream by providing space for entrepreneurs.
Where did you go to college?
“I did my undergraduate work at Kutztown University and at Villanova University, where I studied Political Science and International Relations. My law degree was from the Delaware Law School.”
What was your first job out of college?
“I worked for a sales and marketing firm part-time and summers during my sophomore and junior years of college. They offered me a full-time management position in their Philadelphia office the summer before my senior year, and I jumped at the opportunity. It was a life-changing decision. I was one of 13 managers and the only female manager the company had ever hired! It was exhilarating to make and exceed projections, to develop teams of professionals and watch them grow and achieve their goals. I was hooked! I spent the next five years opening new markets and traveling across the United States and Europe and never looked back. The lessons I learned in those years have served me well in every subsequent venture. Several years later when I could better control my travel schedule, I finished my undergraduate degree and law degree at night while working full time. It was a grueling schedule but worth it.”
What has been the best advice you received in business?
“Always value two things: first, people, be it your employees, clients or, in our business at Twin Stacks, tenants. Always remember how valuable those people are to you and your business. Second, the numbers. Know the key statistics that need to be tracked to ensure business success, and pay attention to those numbers.”
If your business had a limitless budget, what would be three things you would do differently?
“We bought the Natona Mill/Native Textiles property in Dallas in 1997. It formerly was a textile plant that had been vacant many years. It was a joy and a passion to reclaim what was once a vibrant part of the Back Mountain business community and revitalize it into a business center. If I had a limitless budget, I would spend more on developing the Twin Stacks Center. We have plenty of space (17 acres) on which to grow. Twin Stacks is designated as a KIZ (Keystone Industrial Zone), which means there are some tax advantages for businesses who qualify. Expanding our space means we could attract businesses and create more family sustaining jobs in the Back Mountain. Economic development is one of the mainstays of having a community be healthy and self-sustaining. Being able to contribute and help make that happen is very much a part of the fabric of who we are.”
What are our area’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
“We have so many strengths, such as our great quality of life, excellent colleges and universities, fabulous natural resources, and a population of hardworking, honest people — all in a two-hour proximity of major metropolitan areas. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that our major weakness is we simply don’t know how good we are. That low self-image manifests itself in so many ways. In addition, our lack of regionalization means we simply have too many local fiefdoms. We need to learn to work together and use our resources more efficiently.”
Where did you grow up?
“I’m very proud to say that I grew up in Luzerne. It was a great place to grow up.”
Tell us about your family.
“I am blessed with a fabulous large family. My brother Larry, his wife Erin and family live in Exeter. He runs a security systems business, Integrated Technologies. We’re thrilled that our son, Tony, has chosen to move back to the area after attending University of Miami and establish roots here. He runs a business strategy consulting firm. My husband and I recently adopted our granddaughter Gabriella, who, at 3, keeps us on our toes. Also, I’m fortunate to have a large, wonderful extended family. It’s a great, strong support system.”
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
“That’s my time to catch up on a morning news show and get ready for the day.”
What’s the last thing you do at night before you fall asleep?
“I’m a night owl, so once everyone is asleep, I take advantage of that quiet time to work on a business project that takes more quiet time than I can usually get in the office.”
Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation?
“In the States, water is the attraction, whether it’s the Jersey Shore, Maryland Shore or Florida Keys.
Overseas, my choice is usually Europe, where there’s great food, culture, people and more history to explore than I’ll get to in my lifetime.”
What’s your biggest fear?
“I’m not a very fearful person. I tend to spend my time problem-solving problems and don’t really spend much time being fearful.”
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or meal?
“I love almost any ethnic food, like Mexican, French, Indian or Thai, but my favorite meal is breakfast at the Lakeside Skillet in Harveys Lake.”
What do you want to do when you retire?
“I have no interest in retiring. If I am forced to retire, I’m sure it would probably only be about 30 days before I was bored and looking for the next challenge.”