Emerging Leaders celebrated the successful completion of the SBA program at VTC Williston Tuesday. Allan Rodgers is kneeling in front. Darcy Carter is standing to the left. SBA photo.
Vermont Business Magazine Twenty entrepreneurs throughout Vermont completed a seven-month executive education series October 12 at Vermont Technical College in Williston. The "graduation" celebrated businesspeople from across the state. Emerging Leaders is the only federal training specifically tailored for small business executives poised for growth. The free program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.
Allan Rodgers, VTC Professor of Business, provided his students with the organizational structure, resource network, and assistance needed to build a sustainable business of size and scale. Prior to teaching, Rodgers founded and operated Engineered Thermal Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of automotive components.
“A valuable part of the class is networking and interacting with other small business owners that are facing the same challenges that I am. Even though we are in completely different types of businesses, there are a lot of similarities in our struggles,” said Linda Dimmick, owner of Neighborly Farms of Vermont located in Randolph Center.
The members of the class come from nearly every corner of the state and represent various industries including, manufacturing, medical, theater, energy, media and software.
To be considered, each entrepreneur’s business must have annual revenues of $400,000 or more, been in business for at least three years, and have employees.
“This is class is not for startups. The majority of Vermont's class has annual sales in excess of $1 million. In order to complete the class each student has to create a three-year growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets to hopefully turn their $1 million a year company into a $10 million a year company,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Director.
The curriculum is specifically designed to stimulate and support the expansion of a business. Expansion could be into new markets, increased revenues or increased capacity.
“The more I learned in class, the more ambitious my growth plan goals became. I have been in contact with all the businesses and organizations I need to carry out my plans and expect to garner several new contracts in the next few months. My involvement in the course also has given me several opportunities to pitch my business to potential investors who can help me grow the business even more quickly,” said Julie Moir Messervy, owner of Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio Landscape Architecture and Design located in Saxtons River.
Emerging Leaders is funded by the Small Business Administration.
The 2016 class members are Richard Arentzen, AO Glass LLC; Jeffrey Weaber, Aqua Vitea; Sarah Kaeck, Bee's Wrap; Kimberly Ravdin, Champlain Dental Laboratory; John Kamencik, Future Floors; Kelly Conklin, Gordon's Window Décor; Ann, Pettyjohn, Green Mountain Software Corporation; Julie Messervy, JMMDS; Luke Stafford, Mondo Mediaworks; Linda Dimmick, Neighborly Farms; Charles Van Winkle, Northern Reliability; Ashley Adams, P.G. Adams; Caleb Magoon, Power Play Sports; Ron Kline, Production Advantage; Paul Biebel, Prudent Living; Timothy Smith, SageSmith Consulting; Ben Werlin, Such a Voice; Steve Loyer, The Tech Group; Andrea Murray, Vermont Integrated Architecture; Kerry Comollo, Vermont Kitchen Supply; and Stephanie Hainley, White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors.
Source: SBA 10.13.2016