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Flagler Alum to be Speaker at Power of the Purse

Apr 28, 2022
by Julie McGuire

When Jamie Henry graduated from Flagler College in 1994, little did she realize that she would be returning one day to appear as the keynote speaker at the Women of Vision Advisory Board’s Power of the Purse, an event designed to raise scholarship funds and increase educational opportunities for deserving women at the college.

Jamie Henry
Jamie Henry

“I am delighted to be making a trip to St. Augustine and Flagler College,” said Jamie in a recent interview. “I really enjoyed my time there.”

Jamie, who is now CEO of a multi-million dollar commercial cleaning corporation called Bee Line Support, has been widely recognized for her accomplishments. She is a visionary and a leader in her field, and she has been selected as a finalist for both Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” and Enterprising Woman magazine’s “Enterprising Woman of the Year” Awards. These are among the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners in the U.S. and globally.

A native of Chicago, Jamie moved with her family to Naples, Florida, while she was in high school and later selected Flagler College in St. Augustine.

“There were many large universities in the state,” she recalls, “but I preferred a smaller school”

After majoring in Spanish and Psychology at Flagler, Jamie earned her master’s degree in Business Administration at Nova Southeastern University. Eventually, she returned to Chicago where her father had started a janitorial services company in 1966. There were ten employees and four buildings. Jamie helped her Dad grow the business and, at his suggestion, was able to absorb the original company and start a separate corporation called Bee Line Support in 1997. She was president and CEO.

Today Bee Line Support operates in three states and has 500 employees, dedicated to making sure that buildings are safe for people who work there and learn there. Among the company’s clients are healthcare facilities, banks and private schools, to name a few. Over the years, Bee Line Support has thrived in the $115 billion cleaning industry. The company has survived

a global pandemic, multiple market crashes and a highly competitive hiring pool.

“The year 2020 was a record year for Bee Line,” said Jamie. “I went to work every day in that calendar year. There were four of us in the office every day. We were so busy that it was necessary.”

Given this history, it’s not hard to understand why Jamie Henry has been nominated for the two prestigious awards mentioned above. But it’s more than incredibly hard work that has made Jamie an unusual success story. In addition to running Bee Line, she works as a mentor to Bee Line’s primarily female-led organization and consistently contributes to the success of other women and budding leaders in Chicago.

A substantial portion of Bee Line’s rapid growth and success stems from Jamie’s insistence upon diversity in hiring and promoting from within. She believes that diversity in the professional cleaning industry pushes the needle forward by innovating, scaling up to meet demand, partnering to expand capabilities and donating to help communities and frontline workers when in need.

It may be hard to believe, but Jamie Henry also has a life outside her business. She is the proud mother of two. Her son, A.J., is currently attending Barrington High School, and her daughter, Savannah, is a sophomore at Loyola University in Chicago.

And what does she do to unwind from her busy schedule? She spends her free time enjoying sports. In the past, Jamie was a three-time Boston Marathon finisher and a three-time Ironman finisher.

The Women of Vision of Flagler College are delighted to welcome Jamie Henry as the speaker at the seventh annual Power of the Purse on May 12. Since its inception, the Power of the Purse has provided 49 scholarships totaling $123,950 and established a $420,000 Women of Vision Endowment.

“I am extremely impressed with the ongoing success of the Power of the Purse,” said Jamie. “It reflects an incredible amount of hard work on the part of the Flagler College Women of Vision Advisory Board and the strong support of the St. Augustine community.”

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