Gina Schaefer knew her community needed her in 2003.

About Gina

When she moved into a neglected neighborhood that lacked essential services, she took action and built a hardware store. Recognizing the potential of the recovery community, she transformed her business into a supportive and inclusive workplace. Believing in the power of business ownership to combat inequality, she sold her business to her team, empowering over 130 co-owners.

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Since that time, Gina has become a renowned keynote speaker, dedicated to empowering others to find their voices and build thriving communities and businesses.

Her journey, filled with challenges and triumphs, serves as an inspiration for audiences everywhere. Gina's talks are packed with compelling stories, actionable insights, and a passion for creating positive change.

She now travels the country, sharing her expertise on topics such as succession planning, women in business, and building powerful organizational cultures. Gina's mission is to help others harness their potential, engage with their communities, and drive meaningful change in their own lives and industries.

Gina Schaefer is the author of Recovery Hardware, a powerful memoir that highlights her journey of transforming communities and creating inclusive workplaces. As a dynamic keynote speaker, she captivates audiences with her compelling stories, actionable insights, and unwavering passion for positive change. Gina's mission is to empower others to build thriving businesses and vibrant communities, making her a sought-after speaker and thought leader.


Schaefer has received numerous accolades for her many accomplishments, including:

  • Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply, 2020
  • Hardware and Building Supply Dealer's People of the Year Award, 2016
  • Washington Woman of Excellence recipient, Washington DC Commission on Women, 2016
  • SmartCEO’s "Brava Award" for Top CEO in the Washington, DC area, 2014
  • Women Worth Watching, Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2013
  • Industry Top Gun, National Retail Hardware Association, 2011
  • Women Who Mean Business Award, Washington Business Journal of 2009

Board Experience
  • CCA Global, Corporate Board Member (2016 - present)
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nonprofit Board Member (2014 - present)
  • Ace Hardware Corporation, Corporate Board Member (2007-2016)
  • House of Ruth, Nonprofit Board Member (2008- 2020)


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