League of City Wide Women Advance the Culture and Success of the Network

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on November 27, 2023

 In 1961, City Wide was founded by Frank Oddo in Kansas City, with his wife, Beth, supporting his efforts and growing their family along the way. Today, as the leading franchise business opportunity in the commercial building maintenance industry, the diverse network is growing with more and more women in leadership and ownership positions, including Alyssa Oddo and Savannah Oddo, granddaughters of Frank and Beth Oddo. With remarkable growth came the opportunity for women within City Wide to encourage and support one another through the development of the League of City Wide Women. 

What started as a casual conversation during the 2019 City Wide Annual Conference has flourished into a group of 50 women across the network and at the City Wide Home Office participating in a Virtual Summit in October 2023. 

“Our Virtual Summit was designed to cover a myriad of topics important to women both professionally and personally,” said Karen Sommers, owner of City Wide Facility Solutions operating in Boston. “Work/life balance, challenges in the business, how to handle difficult conversations – all of these elements are part of our ‘tool kit’ as female entrepreneurs, wives, moms, and so much more.” 

Sommers, who started the business with her husband, Bob, says being a business owner alongside your spouse is not for the faint of heart, but is rewarding, inspirational, and fun. “We respect one another, we’ve built this together, and I’m very proud of that. 

“City Wide has grown so much since we became owners in 2008. I can remember sometimes being the only woman in the room. Now dozens of women are collaborating and impacting the system through our contributions.”

“Franchising can be lonely, and the grind is real. Sometimes you feel like you’re ‘on an island,’ but you don’t have to be because you aren’t alone. There are dozens of women experiencing everything you are and they have positive influence to share. This is why we formed the City Wide League of Women and why we are forming a Steering Committee for our future as well.” 

Trina Petrash echoes this sentiment as a co-owner of City Wide in Southern Arizona with her husband, David, since 2018. 

“We’re working to make our room (as women) bigger; to provide more opportunities for authentic connection and support. The League of City Wide Women is creating resources and mentorship programs, two incremental parts of City Wide’s culture. It’s like the glue that connects us. As a group we are comfortable enough with one another to challenge one another without demanding perfection. That space is authentic and real.” 

Within City Wide, female ownership includes military veterans, sales executives, HR, operations, event management, IT professionals and financial experts, to name a few. Whether solopreneurs or starting the business with a business partner or spouse, City Wide’s mission is being faithfully carried and multiplied by the League of City Wide Women. Dozens of women are sharing resources, providing mentoring, and collaboratively making a difference as City Wide sees record-setting growth, underscoring the tremendous opportunity for female entrepreneurs with City Wide. 

City Wide Facility Solutions offer franchise opportunities in both the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit www.citywidefranchise.com. 

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