13 May Coyle Studios Announces MBE/SBE/DBE Certification
Everyone knows how satisfying it feels to cross a major item off of your to-do list – especially if that task involved numerous government forms, calls to your CPA, visits to lawyers, and a thorough site visit. Only a few people were able to experience the sheer joy, excitement, and sense of achievement Mary Lou Coyle felt upon being notified of her company’s recent MBE/DBE/SBE certification.
“It gives Coyle Studios a chance,” says Mary Lou. The Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) is awarded by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Companies that receive this certification meet the requirements to do business with large corporations and local, state, and federal government departments as a minority business entity.
“As a business owner, I’ve never wanted to be in the foreground,” says Mary Lou. “By nature, I am a person who does not want credit as long as the client is happy. The problem with being ‘behind the scenes’ is that everyone assumes that ‘the guy’ did it. It has never bothered me because I love my staff, but being in the background shortchanged our company. By opening the door, maybe my team can be in front.”
“The guy” in question is her husband and business partner, John Coyle, Master Photographer. The two founded Coyle Studios in 1997, but the company has always been a Woman Owned Business. Mary Lou was in charge of the daily operations, client meetings, and project management on photo shoots, art direction and more. At one point during John’s cancer treatments, Mary Lou even took the reins as photographer while he received chemotherapy and recovered.
Since then, Coyle Studios has grown in accounts and staff, including the addition of Brynn Devereaux as Ringmaster/Operations Manager and Amy Meyer as Conservator. This has resulted in a growth of services as Coyle Studios offers commercial photography, fine art/corporate art solutions, custom framing for both corporations, photo restoration, art restoration, and more.
“I may be married to my business partner, but the people who work here are equal team members,” says Mary Lou. “We have a single business card, ridiculous titles on our website, and everyone has ownership over the projects they are completing. We are a collaborative group of artists, and I take it personally when people make assumptions or do not respect the staff as they should.”
Mary Lou is a leader that may prefer to build up her staff from behind the scenes, but she has made a tremendous impact both within her company and in her community. Over the years, she has served on the board of SMEI, the marketing committee for the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, and has hosted two art shows called “Gallery for Hope” supporting the Cancer Center at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital. She currently serves on the MedStar Philanthropic Committee and has chaired major fundraisers for the MedStar Franklin Square Auxiliary helping them fulfill a 1 million campaign for the new NICU. Mary Lou recently graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and joined the board for the Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America where she is chairing their VIP Auction that will take place later this fall.
By obtaining the MBE/DBE/SBE certification, Mary Lou hopes to set an example for her staff and her community. “I have a philosophy of working hard and loving what you do – even when it is hard – because it is worth it at the end of the day,” says Mary Lou. “I never leave my office regretting what I do or feel I have compromised myself, and I hope my staff feels the same way.”
To learn more about the certification and to see our NAICS codes, check out our press release.