Event: WBA Youth Engagement Initiative Kick Off Event
When: January 17, 2018 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Bellingham Technical College
The Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) launched the Step Up Campaign for Business Advocacy, Research and Education in September 2016. The vision of the campaign is to engage with the community through research, education and advocacy to support business success because business success drives community prosperity. The WBA has begun focusing on the education component of the campaign in earnest for 2017.
Youth Engagement Initiative
The goal of the Youth Engagement Initiative is to educate Whatcom County high school students on the opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship and to offer mentorship through the career decision making process. The WBA is partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) to introduce the Job Shadow curriculum to Whatcom County high schools. In conjunction with the curriculum, the WBA will coordinate site tours of local businesses and provide opportunities for the students to engage in mock interviews and resume review with human resource professionals.
The Youth Engagement Initiative will begin with a kick off event held at Bellingham Technical College September 28, 2017, featuring a program of successful local business leaders and video introductions to employment opportunities in the County with local, national and international companies. Our program speakers include Mike Andes (Augusta Lawn Care/Business Boot Camp), Erin Baker (Erin Baker’s), Tyler Byrd(Red Rokk/INVENT), and Anne-Marie Faiola (Bramble Berry).
THIS IS A CLOSED EVENT. GUEST & STUDENT ATTENDANCE BY INVITE ONLY.
**QUESTIONS: contact maggie(at)whatcombusinessalliance.com**
Kickoff Event topics include:
- Goal setting and hard work. Being thoughtful about the development of your future.
- Where you start may not be where you end up. The value of persistence in achieving your goals.
- Adding value to a team. Showing up and contributing helps make a business great.
- Entrepreneurship and the big picture.
Following the kickoff, the WBA Youth Engagement Initiative Committee will follow strategic plan of action that looks to build upon the college prep process in our schools and offers preparation for career opportunities for students and young adults in Whatcom County. In this initiative, WBA works in partnership with existing educators and organizations to create synergies which advance youth engagement in careers in Whatcom County. We highlight the role of business in creating a healthy, vibrant and prosperous community.
About our Kickoff Event Speakers:
Erin Baker, Founder & CEO, Erin Bakers Breakfast Cookies
I am fortunate to have a very talented and smart mom who also happens to be a real foodie. I spent my childhood observing my mom doing it “old school,” growing food of all kinds and then canning, drying and preserving for eating all year long. There was a constant bowl of whole wheat bread dough rising on the heater vent along with passionate conversation about the difference between whole food and refined processed food and why we don’t eat “that margarine crap.” I learned about the high value of whole foods and the absence of value in refined and processed foods.
I lived in San Francisco Bay Area in my early teens and 20’s where I was inspired and educated by talents the likes of Alice Waters, Bradley Ogden and Emily Luchetti. They celebrated the importance of whole foods and demonstrated how to cook and bake with whole foods with wild success, this was in the 80’s… they were onto something! Exposure to this genius left me determined to cultivate my own brand of success.
I believe in my products like we believe in our kids… with all of my heart. And… I am just getting started.
Tyler Byrd, CEO, Red Rokk Interactive
Byrd is president and CEO of Red Rokk Interactive, a Bellingham-based marketing firm that specializes in developing digital advertising campaigns. He founded the company in 2008 with his wife and brother.
Red Rokk helps businesses and nonprofits increase their online sales and customer interactions. Byrd also owns INVENT, a co-working space and incubator for startup businesses, where he mentors those with an idea into full-fledged businesses.
Byrd, 36, who returned home to Whatcom County in 2012, has won a number of accolades since then, including Business Person of the Year from the Bellingham Business Journal and Red Rokk was named Startup Business of the Year by the Whatcom Business Alliance.
Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO, Brambleberry
from BusinessInsider.com , Mar. 2015
Anne-Marie Faiola had spent a year as a corrections officer when she decided that working in a prison — and witnessing the constant cycle of crime, neglect, and abuse — was not for her.
“It was not a good fit for my personality, which is sunny side up all the time,” Faiola says.
To cheer herself up, Faiola made soap every night. She was self-taught: By reading chemistry books and scouring online chat rooms, she learned everything she needed to know. Soon she was selling her soaps and making thousands of dollars at craft shows every weekend.
After months of deliberation, Faiola quit her corrections job in 1998, put $15,000 on a credit card, and turned her part-time soap business into a full-time gig. She was 20 years old.
It wasn’t an easy transition; she landed herself in debt and had to reevaluate her finances. But now Faiola is the CEO of two successful businesses: Bramble Berry Soap Supplies, a national retail company offering all-natural soaps and toiletries; and Handmade Beauty Box, a subscription service that delivers DIY beauty projects (now part of Brambleberry.com). She is also a author, blogger, and YouTube star.
Mike Andes, Founder & CEO, August Lawn Care Services
from Business Pulse Magazine, Spring 2017
Mike Andes is far from a conventional entrepreneur. Few have started a business at age 11 to earn money for college, where he enrolled at 13.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that his main current business, Augusta Lawn Care Services, takes a different approach from competitors in its sector. Andes oversees three divisions: lawn-care services, landscaping services, and bulk materials delivery (soil, gravel, and mulch).
Blaine-based Augusta Lawn Care Services launched in 2014 and took off like a rocket. Revenues totaled a modest $30,000 in its initial year, but quickly grew to $200,000 in 2015 and $550,000 in 2016, aided by the acquisition of Kenny’s Materials and Paradise Lawn Care. Andes projected sales to reach $1 million this year, and the opening of a second retail location Bellingham by early 2018.
Life as the owner of a lawn-care company strayed from the Andes’ original plan. “Originally I was going to go into the medical field,” he said. “I completed my bachelor’s degree and had applied to a medical school, then I went to Africa for a medical volunteer trip. Discouraged by the American medical system and insurance system, I opted to make a career in business.”
Andes already had a start in business, having created Andes Lawn Care with his brother in 2008. After founding Augusta Lawn Care Services, he bought out Andes Lawn Care and didn’t stop there.
He also is host of BusinessBootcampPodcast.com, founder of LandscapeBusinessCourse.com, and author of the book Millennial Millionaire: The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Breaking Out of the Middle Class. Further, he hires out as a consultant with other companies and conducts workshops.