Delaware BBB President Visits as Principal for a Day

Christine+R.+Sauers%2C+president+of+the+Delaware+Better+Business+Bureau%2C+meets+with+Dr.+Wallen+and+Mrs.+Alinda+in+the+Campus+Ministry+office.+She+visited+in+October+as+Padua%E2%80%99s+Principal+for+a+Day%2C+part+of+a+Chamber+of+Commerce+program+that+fosters+relationships+between+educators+and+business+officials.

Ms. Bell

Christine R. Sauers, president of the Delaware Better Business Bureau, meets with Dr. Wallen and Mrs. Alinda in the Campus Ministry office. She visited in October as Padua’s Principal for a Day, part of a Chamber of Commerce program that fosters relationships between educators and business officials.

Interacting with business owners, helping consumers, and networking are all part of a day’s work for the president of Delaware’s Better Business Bureau. Christine R. Sauers has held her position in the nonprofit organization for 20 years, serving consumers and business owners in across the state. In a change from her usual schedule, on Oct. 20, Sauers visited Padua as the “Principal for a Day” to foster a connection between local commerce and education leaders.

Sauers got her start in the local business world through internships after earning her political science degree. At those internships, she said she enjoyed seeing passionate small business owners complete their daily tasks and fulfilling her desire to serve the community.

“I interned actually at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and I interned for the Delaware Public Policy Institute, and both of those internships and roles allowed me access to business leaders,” Sauers said.

During her time working at the Chamber of Commerce, Sauers built strong relationships within the organization. She was looking for the next step to take in her career when she received an important job offer: president of the BBB.

My desire to work is just service to the community, and I really enjoy helping consumers make smart choices and educating consumers.”

— Christine R. Sauers

“I was fairly young, and I didn’t have really a ton of supervisory experience, so they took a chance on me,” Sauers said. “And I interviewed and was able to get the job… and I was very fortunate because I had great support.”

When Sauers accepted the role, she entered a position that she has now held for 20 years. She described it as “a good blend of the business room and consumer education,” and her main task is to ensure the BBB delivers on its mission of creating a trustworthy business community.

“We work a lot with the business community to help them make sure that if they’ve got a dissatisfied customer that they’re being responsive to that customer to help them use the benefits of BBB,” Sauers said. “The other thing we do is we help consumers make smart choices when it comes to purchases or hiring people.”

A typical work day for Sauers involves answering “a lot of emails” and phone calls, but one day recently was out of the ordinary for her. Sauers became Padua’s Principal for a Day as part of a program that connects business leaders to local schools.

The aim of the Principal for a Day visits is “to try and what it takes and what goes into running a school and all the different sort of layers involved.” Sauers said her visit was an opportunity to build a network by bridging the gap between education and business.

“I think it’s such a great program because it does sort of put together two professions that don’t necessarily cross paths all the time,” she said.

Sauers said her day was “a lot of fun,” and she caught a glimpse of the various electives and daily activities, some of which did not exist when she was a student.

Student Council executives meet with Sauers in the main lobby during her visit. “She was very knowledgeable and she’s been doing it for literally 20 years,” Annie McTaggart, a Business Leader, said of Sauers’s career. (Ms. Bell)

“It makes me incredibly hopeful and optimistic about what’s coming out, certainly out of Padua, but [also] out of our Delaware schools,” Sauers said. “We have young women that are really engaged in whatever elective they were in.”

One destination along Sauers’s tour appeared to be right up her alley: the school store. As a Business Leader, senior Annie McTaggart had the chance to speak with Sauers as she stopped by to learn more about the business program and offer advice.

“She was asking us all different kinds of questions about every aspect of business,” McTaggart said.

McTaggart said Sauers “seemed pretty impressed” by the leaders’ work in the store and how they took on different roles in scheduling, marketing, and managing inventory. They also discussed current events and issues that affect the business world today.

“We talked about supply chain issues since there’s been so many,” McTaggart said. “The pajama pants were ordered in June and they just came in two weeks ago.”

According to McTaggart, seeing a woman succeed in the field was “very motivating” for the Business Leaders.

“I’m sure she’s… personally witnessed how male-dominated a field finance and business is, but I think having our class—having us run the school store, learning all these skills—is a good step in educating women in business,” McTaggart said.

To anyone interested in pursuing a career in business, Sauers suggested getting a job in high school to understand the meaning of earning money and interacting with establishment owners. By spending time with business owners, she said students will learn that “most of them don’t have an average day… but I think that that’s part of business.”

With 20 years at the BBB under her belt, Sauers said she thinks a bigger role could be down the road. She “never say[s] never,” but she will have to wait and see what the future holds.

“I really do love what I do,” Sauers said. “I’m fortunate I have an amazing team that I get to work with every day. But, that being said, there’s probably coming a point in my life… [when] I think about maybe there’s something next.”