4 keys to establishing a corporate culture

Leadership profile


Quai Valarie of the Bolana companies

Learn more about the philosophy that drives Bolana Enterprises, Inc. in an upcoming issue of Contractual benefits.

Pull any business and leadership book from the shelves of a local bookstore, and it’s a near certainty that at least one mantra will be found again and again: hard work leads to success.

It seems so simple! However, as any business owner will attest, the recipe for success is a bit more complicated in the real world. Often a successful business comes from a combination of people, place, and time. Bolana Enterprises, Inc. in Beltsville, Maryland is exactly that type of business. Valarie Dock, Founder and President, embodies the much sought-after leadership qualities that ensure lasting success: a drive to succeed, a penchant for sincerity, and genuine compassion for people and community.

Bolana’s growth since 2004 has been remarkable and, according to the Women Presidents Organization, her company is one of the fastest growing companies in 2021 – and is poised for even greater success in the years to come. Take a look at what one of WPO’s “Women 2 Watch” is building her business foundation on:

1) Build from scratch: Valarie took college courses, but never graduated – instead, she jumped into government work at an early age. After quitting her government job, she worked for another woman who owned a janitorial business for 11 years.

“I didn’t think I was an entrepreneur, but once I started I really enjoyed it,” says Valarie. “I love working with customers and I love working with our employees. We are a family, not just a company.”

Creating a role that provides fulfillment and happiness can help aspiring leaders navigate the difficult early years of building a business.

2) Invest in the community: Having attended college, she knows the value of education. Now she is able to help young people in her community access the resources and education that can make a difference in someone’s future. Her husband, LeRoy, came on board and they started small, tutoring 7th and 8th graders at a local school twice a month before increasing the frequency. Today, they provide meals for a local crisis center, source clothing and goods for shelters, and are a regular presence at marches and awareness events. Their name and brand are synonymous with positive change – and every positive association counts.

3) Empower employees: Bolana would not work without the participation of all team members. From the start, the Dock’s placed particular emphasis on developing a family spirit in their business. At a time when many companies are struggling to find and retain quality workers, Bolana has given their employees a sense of belonging which aids in retention and recruitment. They now offer six scholarships a year, academic achievement bonuses and access to the tools needed to help with remote learning when COVID-19 cases emerge – proving that Bolana is only part of the journey. of their workers.

4) Be sincere: In 2022, it’s hard to put up some sort of facade that customers won’t end up seeing. Bolana is built on a sense of trust and sincerity that permeates their operations and makes customers feel valued and safe.

“We build trust in two ways,” says Dock. “Our employees trust us, they know they will have everything they need when they are on job sites where it is easy to feel isolated. They have the training they need, and we communicate with them to let them know they are supported.”

In turn, customers trust Bolana. The company places particular emphasis on hiring employees who fit into the general culture of the company and strives to ensure that field employees and customers are a good match. Each client is unique and Bolana knows that just finishing the task is not enough to do a good job.