Thirteen entrepreneurs were named to the 2015 Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program class this week.
The program matches entrepreneurs with mentors, inspired by Barnett Helzberg Jr., the former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds, who developed a 23-year-old mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman.
“The goal of our program is to promote entrepreneurial success to positively impact owners, employees, families and communities,” HEMP Board president Deborah Young said in a news release. “We help develop mentor/mentee relationships that emphasize chemistry and expertise rather than specific industry experience.”
Young stresses that “personal interaction remains the foundation of the program and has become a powerful source of inspiration and success.”
The proof is in the numbers: in the last two decades, the three-year program has connected 300-plus entrepreneurs to mentors, and more than 36 of those pairs are still actively engaged with one another.
This year’s mentees include:
- Will Buchanan, Treadwell LLC
- Vicki Clayman, Partners N Promotion
- Tom Elafros, American Midwest Distributors LLC
- Ryan Elder, Facility Systems
- Grant Gooding, Proof Positioning
- Jeff Kreutz, KH Properties
- Mimi Markel, Under the Palm Tree
- Kat McDaniel, MEDiAHEAD
- Craig Novorr, Paragon Capital Management
- David Schleicher, Prairie Design Build
- Sean Simms, SKS Studio
- Jessica Underwood, Chief of Staff
- Mike Zimmerman, Beyond the Scores
To be eligible to be a mentee, entrepreneurs must have at least three years’ experience in business, be the sole decision maker for their company, have at least five full-time employees and have generated revenues within $1 million to $100 million.
Mentees pay $150 in application fees, followed by $5,000 annually if chosen to participate.