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Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program announces the class of 2017

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) announced their 2017 cohort today.  The 23 chosen class members will join over 400 entrepreneurs that have been helped by HEMP over the last two decades.

HEMP is a three-year, facilitated program beginning in the latter part of each year. Founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds, the program was inspired by Helzberg’s 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman.

HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneurial mentors with less-experienced, entrepreneurial mentees.

“The HEMP class of 2017 is comprised of some of Kansas City’s finest entrepreneurs,” Helzberg said. “I feel very fortunate to have been mentored throughout the various phases of my business career, and HEMP is one way for many of us to give back to the entrepreneurial community.”

This year’s mentees include:

Susan Ahn, Great Plains Supply, Inc.; Charlie Arnot, Look East; Stephen Bastasch, Lenexa Manufacturing Company; RL Brooks, Seen Merch; Justin Copeland, Triggerfish Corporation; Karen Crnkovich, DMC Service, Inc.; Danielle Debbrecht, CORE Strategies Physical Therapy; Amber Goering, Goering and Granatino, P.A.; Haley Haar, FWT Enterprises II, Inc dba AlphaGraphics Kansas City; Alec Haight, Pioneer Music Company, Inc.; Joelsette Hernandez Jones, Pharos Partners Inc.; Jennifer Juarez, Snacks on Racks Inc; Vladislav Kaufman, Managed Energy Systems; Nick McLean, Southwest Steel Fabrication; Matthew Moore, Martin City Brewing Company; Doug Obershaw, SkuTouch Solutions; Mitch Rice, Commercial Capital Company, L.L.C.; Robyn Schmitz, High Prairie Landscape Group, LLC; Dan Shirey, Freedom Transportation, Inc.; Steven Spangler, Simple Science Juices; Courtney Thomas, Central Exchange; Ryan Toelkes, Neighborhood Painting Inc; Brent Voepel, Voepel Property Management and Canopy Road Real Estate.

To be eligible for the program, entrepreneurs must have been in business three or more years and be the sole ultimate decision maker of the business. Businesses must generate revenues between 1-100 million dollars, have at least five full-time employees and have a desire to significantly grow their business.

“The goal of our program is to promote entrepreneurial success to positively impact owners, employees, families and communities,” said Bill Hartnett, president of the HEMP Board of Directors.  “We help develop mentor/mentee relationships that emphasize chemistry and expertise rather than specific industry experience.”

Harnett said that personal interaction remains the foundation of the program and has become a powerful source of inspiration and success. HEMP utilizes a wide variety of resources to personally match each mentee with the most appropriate mentor.

All HEMP mentors had a mentor/mentee relationship in the past that inspired them to pursue success. They are chosen through a targeted recruiting process to find seasoned and successful leaders from the business community who wish to serve as a mentor.

For more information about HEMP or if you’re interested in becoming a mentor or being mentored, please contact Christina Dreiling at 816-471-HEMP (4367), or visit www.hempkc.org.

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