NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado Springs woman makes her mark dealing in the global natural rubber trade

International Women's Day
Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 21:39:37-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — "You really would not have modern transportation as we know it today without natural rubber.”

Whitney Luckett is in the international business of buying, transporting, and supplying natural rubber.

She owns Simko USA, a Colorado Springs based business working with suppliers mostly in Asia and Africa.

Among her buyers are large tire manufacturing companies.

On, International Women's Day--a day to celebrate the achievements of women Luckett agreed to an interview about the path leading to the success of the business she owns and runs.

“I was a German major.”

Luckett said the father of a friend suggested she would be good in the business of commodity training.

She went to work in the male-dominated business where she met her husband who was also a trader.

When they got together, they were not allowed to work at the same company so he found another place to work.

Luckett was good at the job, but also faced difficulties as a woman surrounded mostly by men.

“I know more about the social lapses of the men that I've worked with for the past four decades than I ever wanted to know.”

She also learned skills important to the business she now owns.

It also influenced how she runs her business.

Her current staff is all women.

Only it is not on purpose.

Whether a woman or a man she looks for ability and potential.

"One of my current logistics managers had never even thought about logistics before I hired her for the position. She was an accountant and I knew she was incredibly detail oriented. I knew she was the right person. "

When the company does well, so do the employees.

“I actually give a percentage of my profits back to the employees,” said Luckett.

She also believes in learning from the past and moving forward.

“I think that we're getting to the point where it's not such a big deal that a woman owns the business and that she's successful in it. But it's still not very commonplace."

Simko had $60 million in revenue last year and could reach $80 million this year.

It gives Luckett the opportunity to pursue other passions like funding a non-profit that is helping provide aid in war-torn Ukraine.

Women mentors have helped Luckett along the way and she hopes she can do the same for other women.

"I would just encourage women to listen to and do what feels right for you. You know, listen to yourself."

More than money she advises that success for women is about having the option to choose your own passions and path in life.

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