The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) announces its class of 10 entrepreneurs for its 2013 program, along with 7 new mentors. This organization has helped more than 200 entrepreneurs during the past eighteen years and currently has over 36 active mentor/mentee pairs. HEMP is designed to be a three-year, facilitated program beginning in the latter part of each year.
The program was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds. Inspired by Barnett Helzberg’s 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less-experienced, entrepreneur mentees.
“The HEMP class of 2013 is comprised of some of Kansas City’s finest entrepreneurs,” Helzberg said. “We are honored to have one new mentor in addition to offer his time and expertise. 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 are: Dan Ackart, Chemical Universe; Reggie Chandra, Rhythm Engineering; Darrin Clawson, Engage Mobile Solutions; Charles Joseph, Allcare Sweeping, LLC; Caleb Markovich, Moovers, Inc.; Scott McRuer, McRuer CPAs; Kevin Tubbesing, The Land Source; Ed Van Buskirk, We are IT, Inc.; Belinda Waggoner, hr-haven, inc.; and Paul Weber, EAG Advertising & Marketing.
New mentors for 2013 include Rita Cortés, Seigfreid Bingham PC; Tom Cameron, Alliance Affiliated Equity Corporation; Gordon Harton, GFH Investments, LLC; Deuce Livers, Livers Bronze Company; Michael Pandzik, retired National Cable Television Cooperative; Tracy Panko, Spiral16; and Dan Stalp, Sandler Training.
“The goal of our program is to promote entrepreneurial success to positively impact owners, employees, families and communities,” said Dan McDougal, President of the HEMP Board of Directors. “We help develop mentor/mentee relationships that emphasize chemistry and expertise rather than specific industry experience. Personal interaction remains the foundation of the program and has become a powerful source of inspiration and success.”
Current participant, Michelle Robin, Your Wellness Connection, shares, “I believe HEMP provides a safe place for me to be authentic and encourages me to be the best I can be. The energy and rewards of growth and support are endless.”
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, generate revenues around one million dollars or higher per year, have at least five full-time employees and have a desire to significantly grow their business. Prospective HEMP participants must complete an application and pass additional hurdles, including a comprehensive self-assessment and site visit. The knowledge gathered from this process helps determine compatibility with the program. Importantly, HEMP focuses tremendous effort and utilizes a wide variety of resources to personally match each mentee with the most appropriate mentor.
In addition, HEMP is always looking for new mentors. Utilizing a targeted recruiting process to invite seasoned, successful leaders from the business community who have the desire and ability to serve as mentors, all HEMP mentors had a mentor/mentee relationship that inspired them to pursue success. Plus, a self-assessment and interview process reach even deeper to uncover qualities of experience and aptitude required for mentoring.
The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial leaders through excellence in mentoring.
For more information about the program or if you’re interested in becoming a mentor or being mentored, please contact Christina Friederichs at 816-471-HEMP (4367), or visit the website at www.helzbergmentoring.org.