Tressa Wood

CEO, Men in Kilts Age: 39

Every so often, Tressa Wood goes out on the job with the window washers of Men in Kilts, the company she’s led since 2009. Standing next to her employees – who, yes, all wear kilts while they work – she said she might as well be invisible.

“When you go out with these guys, if you’re at a coffee shop or anywhere in public, people flock to them,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Before becoming CEO of Men in Kilts, Wood was VP of operations at 1-800-GOT-JUNK. The fun, irreverent brands of both companies appealed to her.

“It’s really the reaction that you get from people when you do the service with such a fun brand,” she said. “They’re not used to getting their junk removed or their windows done by a fun, interesting company that makes them smile.”

The opportunities for growth are also exciting. While Wood was at 1-800-GOT-JUNK, franchise revenue grew 92% in a five year period. She sees even more potential at Men in Kilts: the company will soon have nine franchises in Canada and three in the United States. In 2013, the company plans to add 20 to 30 more franchises. The company is also planning to add more services, like carpet cleaning, painting or moving.

“The opportunity and the vision for this brand … is bigger than anything I’ve been involved with to date, in being able to do it all under one umbrella,” she said.

Becoming a mother of two children, now aged two and four, hasn’t lessened Wood’s drive and ambition, but it has changed her perspective and hiring practices. She now encourages her staff to work flexible hours or from home.

“I hire a lot of working moms, because I understand that they still have so much to contribute, if you can give them a little flexibility.” •