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Exceeding Expectations

As chairman of TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Loida Lewis has made a habit of defying the odds. After the 1993 death of her husband, Reg Lewis, it was widely assumed that his widow would remain a silent partner. She didn’t. Holding more than 50 percent of the stock, Lewis announced that she was taking over the $2.1-billion snack-food and grocery business. Wall Street thought the inexperienced Lewis would surely flop.

She didn’t. Instead she recharged Beatrice, which was mired in debt, and returned the company to the black. As part of her management style, she writes down managers’ assigned tasks on a chalkboard, erasing each entry as the job is completed. “I know where I want this company to go,” she says,” and I know how I want to get there.” - Thomas McCarroll in Time

Reader’s Digest, April, 1997, pp. 134-135.