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Indiana Entrepreneurs Graduate as Emerging Leaders

Release Date: 
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
SBA Indiana District Office Public Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS – 18 Indiana small business owners have taken the next step in expanding their entrepreneurial success by graduating from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders Program.  This year's class included small business owners from across the state representing a wide range of industries including community health, technology, transportation, and security. 

“It’s intense,” said SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter.  “It’s like wrapping up a ‘mini-MBA’ in 7 months while still running the day-to-day operations of your small business.  But it’s worth it, because graduates walk away knowing how to think strategically, their network of peers has diversified and grown and most of all they’ve learned how to work ON their businesses, not just in them.”

Indianapolis is one of just 60 locations in 2019 that offered the SBA Emerging Leader Program which is a free executive leadership training experience specifically designed for entrepreneurs who are ready to take their companies to the next level of success. Curriculum was developed by Boston University and classes are taught by experienced coaches, mentors and regional business leaders.  Graduates walk away with a three-year strategic growth plan as well as specialized training in small business financing/access to capital, government contracting, and CEO mentoring. 

The SBA Indiana Emerging Leaders Class of 2019 includes:

  • Amber Noon, Bash Boutique - Wabash
  • Blair Hart, Hauser Business Enterprises, Inc. - Lynn
  • Brittany Hostetler, Columbus Warehouse & Cartage, Inc. – Columbus
  • Chris Brennan, Tint King, LLC – Indianapolis
  • Denise Herd, Herd Strategies, LLC – Indianapolis
  • Dr. Alan Scott Chaplin, GenTech Associates, Inc. – Indianapolis
  • Gretchen Miller Bowker, Pearl Pathways – Indianapolis
  • Dr. James W. Dix, III, Urban Family Initiative, LLC – Indianapolis
  • Janet South, DECO Coatings – Indianapolis
  • Jennifer Whitlow, Dynamic Music Services, Inc. – Indianapolis
  • Jon Thomas, 101 Mobility – Indianapolis
  • Larry Williams, Rowley Security Firm – Indianapolis
  • Michael Neylon, Master Jewelers, Inc. – Indianapolis
  • Rahila Robinson, Marble Products International – Indianapolis
  • Ray Kamstra, Indiana City Brewing Company – Indianapolis
  • Teresa Kratzer, T.A.K. Electronics, Inc. – Indianapolis
  • Trent Conaway, Next Step Properties, LLC - Indianapolis

SBA Indiana Emerging Leaders Class of 2019

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts. For more information about SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program, visit:



About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit