Women's Network

Chicago Booth Alumni Special Interest Group

Monica Weaver, '07

By Laura Kempf, '04

Black woman smiling and standing in front of a rose hedge with arms folded

It’s not every day that you meet someone immersed in chasing their dreams, but that is what I remember first when I think about Monica Weaver.

I met Monica at a Detroit Booth Women event. I remember her confidence as she passionately outlined her dream. She was an entrepreneur and she was using the search fund model to find the perfect company to lead. It was a dream inspired by her experience at Booth where she reflected on corporate America. Monica wanted to be able to cut through the internal politics and drive change.

My mind replayed The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost: “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” That was Monica. I know no other woman who has tackled such a journey. Monica commented, “The uncertainty is a deterrent; you need to be bold to take this journey.”

Chicago Booth gave her that mentality. Monica remembers, “I walked out of Booth thinking, no matter what, I could do it. I could figure it out. I had the resources to figure it out.”

But Monica left Booth with more than confidence. She left with support for her dreams. During the Chicago Booth New Venture Challenge, her team landed fourth place, but a colleague on that team, Kim Fette ‘07, continued to coach her on real life and skills she needed (e.g., deal flow accounting) as she pursued her dream.

Monica reminisces about her Booth colleague, “[Kim] was there from the beginning to the very end. She wanted me to succeed.” Monica had a network that supported her. I asked, “What kept you going? What kept the dream alive?”

She recounted, “Doubt is part of the journey. I doubted myself all the time, but I knew I was doing the right thing for me. I didn’t give myself the option to go back.”

On August 31, 2020, Monica assumed duties as President of TGI Direct, a company focused on one to one communication and distribution (TGI Direct).  “It got real for me… real was growth.” In that moment, Monica realized her dream and—despite COVID, which caused the deal to be evaluated several times—her dream materialized. Monica reflected, “[COVID] was a good stress test to make a successful deal.”

I asked Monica for departing remarks and without hesitation, she offered, “If you are not happy or feel you can do more, don’t use excuses. Men seem to get promoted based on potential versus women on outcome. Don’t get pulled into that!”

What dream will you chase today?

Monica Weaver, ‘07 is the current President & CEO of TGI Direct, Inc, a marketing firm in Flint, Michigan. Laura Kempf, ‘04, also based in Michigan, is an Innovation Leader at IBM Watson Health and the author of Inspiring Bold.

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