Inspirational Entrepreneurs

2017 Seattle Emerging Leaders Graduation group pic compressed
This year’s graduating class of entrepreneurs

Last week we had 18 local entrepreneurs graduate from the Seattle Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders program. Each one of the business owners created a strategic plan for their business that will carry them to 2020 and beyond. For seven months they attended classes and learned how to work “on” their businesses rather than in them. They put together the pieces of the puzzle for their business and have a strategic plan that works! As the instructor for this amazing and inspiring group of entrepreneurs, I am amazed and inspired by their tenacity, resilience, innovation, intelligence, creativity, passion and heart.

72% of all jobs in the US are provided by small to mid-sized businesses and these 18 entrepreneurs remind us why this is the heart of our economy – every day! WHEN all of these businesses reach their 2020 revenue goals, they will have generated $69 Million for our local economy. They represent 8 different business segments and collectively they learned from one another and took best practices from different industries and applied them to their businesses for better results.

We had 4 food-related businesses representing Donuts, Catering, Kick-Ass Biscuits and Cookies: Mighty O Donuts, Ryan Kellner, CEO; Madre’s Kitchen, Heather Chitty, CEO; Honest Biscuits, Art Stone, CEO; and Little Rae’s Bakery, Sam Greene, CEO

3 of the businesses are in manufacturing fabricating Metal, Floor Coatings & Custom Woodwork: Newport Manufacturing, Lisa Barnes, CEO; PolyDrop, LLC, Volha Hrechka, CEO; O.B. Williams Company, David Wick, CEO

2 of the businesses are IT related, providing Technical SW Engineers and Asset Tracking Software: Globenet Consulting Corp, Pavan Mukhara, CEO; Arnab Bhowmick, Aakavs Consulting, CEO

3 are involved with construction and design providing Specifications, Interior Design and Lighting: Applied Building Information, LLC, Beth Stroshane, CEO; Interior Visions, LLC, Fabian Borre, CEO; Dark Light Design, Jill Cody, CEO

1 of the businesses provides Digital Media Optimization & Consulting: Agile Impact, Rebecca Ralston, CEO

1 of the businesses is in retail & wholesale providing Women’s Clothing: Beyond Threads, LLC, Cristina Dioguardi, CEO

3 of the businesses are in construction-related services, Commercial Painting, Holiday Lighting and Exterior Maintenance & Cement Blasting & Cleaning: Novo Painting and Property Services, LLC, Cole Palea, CEO; Holiday Spirit Lighting, Brett Farrington, CEO; Crystal Soda Blast, Kerry Cordes, CEO

And finally, last but not least, 1 in the Event Planning arena: West Coast Entertainment, David Chambers, CEO.

Each of these CEOs – yes, all are CEOs, but not all have given themselves the title – and their businesses contribute to their communities, their employees, their customers and their families every single day.  They are a reminder of what the entrepreneurial spirit is all about and why I do the work I do. They bring their A-game to work every day for all of us.

Please join me in congratulating each of these amazing entrepreneurs for their accomplishment and their contribution. Next time you need something one of these companies provides, think about supporting your Small Business Community. They are the heart and soul of America’s entrepreneurial spirit.