In 1986, after 10 years of reporting for the Supreme Court of Ontario, Carol joined forces with Ross Atchison to form Atchison & Denman Court Reporting Services Limited. In 1987, they acquired 2,500 square feet of downtown office space providing several boardrooms in which lawyers could conduct examinations for discovery. A court reporter was provided to the lawyers to produce verbatim transcripts of the proceedings.
Two weeks after moving into their new premises Ross Atchison died suddenly. There was no formal partnership agreement and no insurance. Carol was responsible for all the liabilities including a five-year lease worth $250,000 and over $35,000 in furniture and equipment costs, start up costs, and contracts. She bought Ross’s shares from his estate and became the sole shareholder. Carol was also faced with apprehensive clients, a nervous landlord and a huge personal guarantee.
With a young family to support, survival was her goal. With strategic marketing and self-taught business administration, Carol’s firm has sales of over $2-million and enjoys healthy profits.
Since winning the 1993 Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Turnaround Award, Carol has truly connected with the business community. Though Carol reports occasionally, her main focus now includes guest-speaking and marketing her firm to the business community rather than strictly the legal community. Carol is presently in this year’s Who’s Who in Canadian Business, and is enjoying publicity in such journals as the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Flare Magazine, Chatelaine and Acumen. Her public appearances include “Closing Bell” on CityTV, RobTV (Report On Business TV), and soon, Canadian Living TV). Carol was named an Ontario finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 1994.
Carol’s contribution to Canadian business was further recognized with the Canadian Women’s Mentor Award in the Business and Professional category.