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SBA St. Louis Graduates 2015 Emerging Leaders Class

Release Date: 
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Release Number: 
SLDO 15-12
Trish Freeland (314) 539-6606

ST. LOUIS – The Small Business Administration’s St. Louis District Office graduates its fifth Emerging Leaders class. SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative is a federal training program that is aimed specifically at helping business owners poised for growth in historically challenged communities. The training provides them with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote economic development. The seven-month class began back in April.

The graduation dinner takes place on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the St. Louis Community College, Corporate College, 3221 McKelvey Road, Multi-purpose Room 219, Bridgeton, Missouri 63044. This Emerging Leaders class is the same size as last year's class which was the largest to date with a roster of 17 graduating students.

SBA St. Louis District Director Dennis Melton served on the panel of experts that evaluated each entrepreneur’s final presentation and was able to clearly see the growth in the group from day one to graduation.

"They went from apprehension to total trust with their CEO peer groups and I think they're ready for a growth spurt," says Melton. "Their professionalism, enthusiasm and their marketing materials were especially impressive," he added.

Program Manager, Angela Wells has overseen the program for three years and continues to be impressed with each new class.

"Before this program, many of the participants spent most of their time running the day-to-day operations of the business. Taking this class forced them to focus on the “big picture” and create a plan to catapult their business to the next level," Wells explained.

This year’s graduating class includes:

Andrea Kosinski, Andrea's Gluten Free

John Hyde, Architectural Sheet Metal Systems Inc

Kevin Rennaux, Big Boy's Towing and Recovery

Adam Calloway, Calloway Insurance Agency

Hector Ruiz, DOTec Corp

Edmond Myer, Eden Health, LLC

Hongjin (Jim) Kim, Fresh Image, Inc

Fermin Glasper, Glasper Professional Services

Randall Fechter, GPM, Inc

Ollie Dowell, Ollie Dowell Communications

Rosemary Whitehead, Sun Valley Adult Care Center, Inc

Brett Tesson, Tesson Roofing & Exteriors LLC

Paul Gismegian, United Petroluem Service

Scott Marquart, West County Landscaping

Grant Young, Young's Restaurant and Catering

Small business owners who are interested in learning more about the Emerging Leaders initiative can visit or contact Angie Wells at or 314-539-6613.

The St. Louis district's 2015 Emerging Leaders program is cosponsored by:

Capital Consulting Services
Enterprise Bank & Trust
Fortune Bank
Grace Hill Women’s Business Center
Midwest Regional Bank
Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
SCORE Chapter 21
Small Business & Technology Development Center
St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
Veterans Business Resource Center