Posted on: August 18, 2020
Air Date: 8/18/2020
Lindsay Skilling, CEO of Gifford’s Ice Cream, is a Skowhegan, Maine native who grew up with a love of ice cream engrained in her genetic makeup. She worked at the fifth-generation family business during summers throughout high school and college. After graduating from Bryant University in 2006 with her degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology, Lindsay started working full time for Gifford’s as assistant to the controller. To build her skills and learn more about the ice cream business overall, she worked in a variety of positions, including VP of sales and marketing, before assuming her current position as CEO.
Beyond Gifford’s, Lindsay is dedicated to mentoring other business leaders and giving back to her community by serving on numerous boards; she has served on the Institute for Family-Owned Business Board (IFOB) for the last nine years and currently holds the role of vice-chair. Through IFOB she has gotten involved with Women in Family Business Forum, CEO Central, and the Next Generation Affinity Group. Lindsay also currently serves on the Educate Maine Board of Directors. Staying true to her Skowhegan roots, she recently became a corporator for Skowhegan Savings Bank and sits on the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce Board.
While Lindsay maintains a busy schedule between running her family-owned business with her two siblings and the numerous boards she serves on, at the end of the day – Lindsay is truly about her family. Lindsay and her husband Jay live in Gray with their two young kids, Ava and Jacoby. She enjoys spending her free time with them doing what Mainers do best: spending time outdoors in the mountains and at the lake. The foursome love to cross country ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, bike, hike, run and swim. Lindsay also enjoys watching her daughter play basketball.
In the episode:
3:31 – Lindsay shares how she because the CEO of her family business, Gifford’s Ice Cream.
7:02 – Lindsay describes the passion and care behind family businesses that make them truly unique.
9:34 – Nancy and Lindsay talk about some of Gifford’s raving fans, including Nancy’s mom and Lindsay’s grandmother.
11:21 – Lindsay describes how she always knew she wanted to work at the family business and how she moved up through the business to the leadership position she has now.
14:24 – As a family business, Lindsay talks about how everyone’s opinions and ideas are taken into account when making business decisions.
16:18 – Lindsay recalls how her parents had to shift their work schedules to look after her and her siblings and how that instilled the value of family at a young age.
21:31 – Lindsay shares some information about Gifford’s, including where they sell their products and the number of flavors.
23:03 – Lindsay describes how COVID-19 has shifted the demand for ice cream.
24:49 – As a differentiating factor, Lindsay talks about how their ice cream is made with “real” ingredients, such as Maine blueberries, M&Ms, real pistachios and local maple syrup.
29:41 – Lindsay talks about how her family gets along while working together.
35:11 – Lindsay describes how her father and uncles taught her to get her hands dirty, even if it was outside of her scope.
38:55 – Lindsay shares how she works to develop her leadership skills and personal brand.
40:59 – Lindsay describes Gifford’s partnership with the Boston Bruins and the New England Patriots.
44:02 – Lindsay lists some of the resources that have benefited her career.
“Our name is on our package, it’s on our road sign at our stands. Everything we do, every decision we make, there is love behind it. There is passion behind it. We think of our overall family, not just those of the last name, but those that work for our family business and alongside us. Every package that leaves our freezer has pride behind it.” – Lindsay Skilling, CEO of Gifford’s Ice Cream
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