This year OED is recognizing and celebrating Frederick County’s young professionals who are leaders in their industry, give back to the community and add significant value to their company and its culture. Join us as we get to know our Top 50 Under 40.
Amber Seiss, 33
Small Business Owner
The Farmhouse Exchange, Gateway Candyland & Gateway Liquors
14802 North Franklinville Road, Thurmont
Amber Seiss is the owner of Gateway Candyland, Gateway Liquors, The Farmhouse Exchange and most recently Winterbrook Farms and The Mathwig Event Barn. She is continuously looking for ways to expand her network of businesses while making sure they interconnect. It is essential for her to include her personal passions into her professional life, and these businesses do just that for her.
What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?
This summer I was a presenter at the Town of Thurmont’s Summer Rec Program. I spent time with youth from Thurmont working on teamwork & leadership skills. I believe that as a young business owner it's my responsibility to be a positive role model for the youth in my community.
Name one award you are most proud to have received.
Although it's not an "official" award, each year at my company party, my employees take time to speak about each other, myself and the company. Although they don't know it, it is one of my proudest and most humbling moments that provides additional purpose for the upcoming year.
What is your experience with volunteering and civic engagement? What is your experience with volunteering and civic engagement?
I currently do not hold any positions. My children are young and I have chosen to focus on maintaining a balance between growing my businesses and being the best mom I can. I was extremely active in civic leadership, I know I will get back to that point, I’m just not there yet.
What was your first job?
Working on my family farm with my dad.
Who has a great influence on your professional life?
My children, hands down. I think positive role models are extremely important for children and I am with them every day so it is one of my most important duties. I think it’s essential for them to see that women can be strong in a variety of skill sets. As they both get older, I hope they can both see a little bit of me in themselves and leverage it to get themselves where they want to be.
What do you like to do for fun in Frederick County?
Frederick County offers some of the greatest outdoor scenes! I enjoy living in northern Frederick County where I can take my children fishing to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Do you have any advice on Leadership strategies?
I have my Masters in Leadership and Supervision. I recommend finding someone who inspires you, and hold them close. Use them to help you grow, whether it's personally and/or professionally. I have found that my greatest growth has occurred from having a small yet diverse circle around me. They all have different skill sets, educational levels, and professions. However, they each bring something to the table that pushed me forward, and allows me to further my own skills. To me, that’s leadership.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute to your success and why?
Self-Awareness. I think its important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know these and are ok with them, you can grow. I know things that I do very well, and things that I do very poorly. I’m open with my employees about them and we grow as a team. I try to lead by example in that I don’t know everything and they teach me lessons every day. Its fun to learn from each other.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I will be continuing to grow the businesses I have and hopefully have another one or two. I still have a few ideas, that when the time is right, they will happen. But for me, it's essentially all about balance. Making sure every part of my family and investments are taken care of before adding more to the mix.