Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022

22 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022 May22321 Best Art Gallery Business Owner (Midwest USA): Denise Murphy enise Murphy owns and operates Mount Vernon Creates, managing all of the day to day services it offers. The venue also carries five different Iowa wineries. Denise’s focus is on the business’ customers and ensuring that they have the best experience, whether they are dropping by to browse artwork, enjoy some wine, or to rent the venue for an event. She also loves to show off local artwork and what makes the city of Mount Vernon so wonderful. The MVC event centre is available to book for up to 100 people and provides the perfect setting for weddings, receptions, graduations, reunions, bridal and baby showers, and other special events. Once an event is booked, Denise will work with local partners to provide food and beverages, bridal needs, and decorations or clients can bring in their own. Additionally, the venue hosts a yearly bridal fair, as well as a Portrayal of Mount Vernon art exhibit which is open to all artists, and other community events such as the MVHS (Mount Vermont High School) art show. Prior to the founding of MVC, Denise was an executive in the nuclear industry and director portfolio for assessments. She sees this as a major achievement in her career, being a successful female in what is such a male-dominated environment. She explains, “Keeping focused on process improvements and process redesign has been a big part of my career. Although I was paid very well, there was always a discrepancy in pay and recognition between men and women during that time. “I am certified as PMP, Lean, Safe: Advanced Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agilist, as well as completed the Advanced Leadership programme at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am very proud of all of my achievements. To own and operate an art gallery and event centre, many of these skills come into play. It takes a lot of process and project management to juggle all of these things and do them well.” Alongside this, Denise is an artist herself, returning to this passion in 2015 after focusing on her other careers. Currently, she has a solo exhibit of 25 pieces through June at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, IA. She has also exhibited this year at Muscatine Art Center, Maquoketa Art Experience, Mount Vernon Creates, and DKW Gallery. Alongside her art, her goal is to promote other local artists through exhibitions and other exciting events in what is a stunning historic building, which she and her husband purchased in 2017 and opened as an event centre in late 2018. About a year after opening the event centre, the pandemic closed many things down and definitely slowed all businesses. Denise D Mount Vernon Creates (MVC) is an art gallery, wine shop, and event centre which features artwork from local artists; local wine from top-rated Cedar Ridge Winery, Brick Arch Winery, Fireside Winery, Ackerman Winery, and Cherry Meadows; and event space for musical performances, weddings, graduations, gatherings, and more. Join us as we take a closer look at the business in light of owner, Denise Murphy’s success within the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2022. comments, “It was not ideal having an event centre sitting vacant during this time. Many days, there was a feeling of being overwhelmed about how to make this work.” However, she tried to make the best of the situation, using FaceTime and other online avenues to get in touch with clients – but this wasn’t very helpful in selling art, as understandably, clients like to see what they are buying in person. Especially with her former career industries being so maledominated, Denise strives to, as a woman, promote other women. She tells us, “I have always stepped in to mentor others; for example, I have mentored others to get their PMP. Find ways to compliment what others are doing and explore ways to collaborate. I currently partner with other businesses in town as much as possible, most of which are woman-owned. I started a networking coffee pre-pandemic just to get together and discuss what was going on in town, what was coming up, and any news in the other businesses. I believe it is vital to be organised, detail oriented, and have a passion for art.” And now the next few months are looking very busy for MVC with special events as well as the Portrayal of Mount Vermont exhibit, Mount Vermont HS art show, and other shows coming up, such as a photography show related to Cornell College and a Through the Decades exhibit of a Cornell College retired professor. For the Portrayal of Mount Vermont exhibit, MVC has partnered this year with the Iowa Poet Laureate, Debra Marquart for a Sounding Our Place event in the gallery. With regards to Denise’s personal plans, she is very focused on her own art. She says, “It was on the backburner for many years with career and family. Now that my family has grown, I have been finding more time to produce art. I have been looking for shows in the region to highlight some of my pieces as well as online portfolio work.” Company: Mount Vernon Creates Contact: Denise Murphy Email: Website: