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COVER STORY
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Victoria Wade

Owner and league operator of the Orange County APA, a franchise of the American Poolplayers Association

20 Women to Watch, continued ...Published: March 01, 2011

Hometown: Brea

Age:
29

Family:
Single

First job:
I started working at the age of 15 at Helen’s Beauty Supply as a cashier.

Worst job:
Cleaning popcorn machines at Disneyland

Biggest break:
The opportunity to purchase the Orange County APA franchise at the age of 24. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. It meant putting my college education on hold (pursuing a degree in corporate law) and jumping head first into something I knew pretty much nothing about. I was taught growing up that you find something that you absolutely love to do and figure out a way to get paid for it. These were words of wisdom from my amazing mom, who raised me on her own since I was 5 years old.

Secret to your success:
Hard work, discipline, determination, dedication, confidence, drive and relentless ambition are the key factors in why I can boast that the OCAPA is the largest amateur pool league in O.C.

Advice to other women in business:
Believe in your product or service. Believe in yourself. If someone tells you that you can’t, let that be the driving force behind the fact that you can!

Favorite pool game:
9-Ball in a tournament/competitive league setting

Five years ago, Wade purchased the Orange County APA franchise with 94 teams and has almost doubled those numbers since. Last year, she launched her company’s first ladies-only division with more than 70 amateur players.
   
“The women participate in monthly play on 11 teams at different host locations, all vying for the coveted spot to play in the National Team Championships, where they can win up to $10,000 just by playing APA pool,” says Wade. “It is amazing to see all of these women players come together to support the game I love.”
   
One of Wade’s toughest challenges was to gain respect as a young woman owner in a male-dominated sport. Today, she remains the youngest female sole proprietor in the APA’s network of franchisees throughout the U.S., Canada and Japan.
   
“My business in a nutshell: Having fun, meeting new people and playing pool,” Wade says. “You don’t have to be a pool shark, because in the APA everyone can play and anyone can win.”
   
Wade practices what she preaches. In 2010 she placed 11th on the Southern California Ladies 9-Ball Tour.
   
“This year I plan on finishing higher with the hopes of qualifying to play on the Women’s Professional Billiards Association,” Wade says.




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