In an ever-changing world, broadening one’s base and adapting as you move forward is a plus, even a prerequisite.
Joe Re, of Fayetteville-based ReInvestments, LLC, was among the entrepreneurs honored earlier this year by the West Virginia district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. During a special graduation ceremony at the University of Charleston, business leaders who have completed the 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders Program were recognized.
According to a press release, the SBA identifies businesses across the nation which demonstrate high-growth potential and provides them free, intensive business education in the form of an in-depth, six-month course in organizational management, growth strategies and management, and market development.
Often referred to as a Mini-MBA, the program includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time, as well as opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with peers, local leaders and members of the financial community.
According to the SBA website, the training is for established business owners as opposed to start-ups or people who are considering entering the business world. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives who have annual revenues of at least $250,000, have been in business for at least three years, and have at least one employee, other than themselves.
Formed in 2005, ReInvestments is a commercial and residential leasing company operating in Fayette, Raleigh and Webster counties. The company, which has four full-time employees and aligns itself with several local sub-contractors, rents or leases in situations ranging from low-income housing to large corporations.
Re felt his time in the Emerging Leaders program was beneficial.
“It was an eye-opener for me,” he said. For one aspect, Re realized the importance of instituting a business growth plan for the next three years. That will be beneficial particularly as ReInvestments aims to expand its portfolio, he stressed.
The initiative was “an intense program,” said Re, a Michigan native who relocated to West Virginia in 1990. “It was a great experience.”
During the program, problems and situations common to many business owners were addressed. “A lot of us business leaders have some of the same struggles,” he said.
Areas of employee concerns were discussed, as were methods of setting a business on a path toward long-term growth. Also, the initiative addressed “how to be a little more efficient in marketing.” While Re says his name might resonate with individuals in the immediate area, trying to expand the reach of the business elsewhere could very well result in a question such as “Who’s Joe Re?,” he said. Hence, the need for a successful marketing plan of attack.
Establishing and nurturing goals was yet another point of emphasis. “I’ve always had goals, but I don’t know if I’ve always written them down,” said Re.
On the final night, Re and his fellow participants stood before a panel of individuals to “pitch” their growth plan and receive feedback on it, he noted.
Included in the participating businesses were manufacturers, retail/wholesalers, contractors, professional services and food service. In addition to Re, Emerging Leaders honored at the graduation ceremony included:
• Cathie Barrios — Rocco’s Specialty Food, Huntington
• Dawne Boukhemis — Property Connection, Huntington
• Richard Gay — A Total Solution, South Charleston
• Daniel Hardwick — AKL Security Solutions, Huntington
• John Hubbard — Hubbard Family Dentistry, Clay
• Mike Mullarky — Lattas Furnishings & Playgrounds, Huntington
• Jessie Parker — S&S Engineers, Inc., Charleston
• J.P. Phillips — Mountain State Waste, Weston
• Jennifer Randolph — Randolph Construction Company, Spencer
• Michael Ruffing — Problem Solver’s Consultants, LLC, Buckhannon
• Jill Scarbro-McLaury — Bright Futures Learning Services, Winfield
• Matthew Welsch — Vagabond Kitchen, Wheeling
• January Wolfe — Academy of Arts, Charleston and Hurricane.
Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners who have created over 6,500 new jobs, generated more than $300 million in new financing, and secured in excess of $3.16 billion in government contracts, according to the press release. For more information about the program, visit https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/sba-emerging-leaders-initiative.
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