While working towards an engineering degree in college, Matthew Hollis quickly realized his real interest wasn’t in memorizing equations or the laws of thermodynamics, but rather in entrepreneurship and how to turn problem solving into a business. He connected with Alan Dillman, who ran a business incubator on Hollis’ college campus. The two quickly realized there was room for innovation and sustainability in the waste collection business, which inspired them to launch Elytus, a waste management company based in Columbus, Ohio.
For Adam Rochon, supplying benefits and insurance is a family business. Rochon followed his mother, Belinda Roberts, into the insurance and benefits industry and today they have a collective 28 years of insurance experience. After the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, businesses began to require a more in-depth broker relationship and a knowledgeable source of information for coverage. That’s when Rochon and Roberts decided to launch their own agency, Sequoia Employee Benefits & Insurance Solutions, better known as Sequoia Solutions.
Missy Williams spent the first 20 years of her career in the mental health field as a direct care provider, program manager, counselor and executive manager. As a mental health provider, she learned how stressful it could be to take care of patients and run a successful business – and she wanted to share her experiences with others in her field to help them tackle these problems. A few years after obtaining her M.A.
Alysis Vasquez is passionate about good food – there’s no doubt about that. But just as important to her is that people have a unique experience when eating out. As a chef in New York and New Jersey, she worked for well-known food names like Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dale Talde. While she loved her work, she found that fine dining could sometimes feel cold and uninviting.
With apologies to baseball and your mother’s apple pie, nothing is more American than National Small Business Week. Our country was founded by risk-taking pioneers in search of new horizons. More than two centuries later, what sets America apart in the world is the willingness of our entrepreneurs to take risks. Small businesses allow Americans to be their own boss and improve their lot in life through hard work – a core American value. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring National Small Business Week to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs, who create nearly two out of every three net, new U.S. jobs each year. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it was our small businesses that powered our recovery after the Great Recession.