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Seventeen Local Small Business Owners Graduate from SBA Emerging Leaders Seattle Class

Seven-month program provides growth framework for up-and-coming Puget Sound small businesses
Release Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Lisa White | | (206) 553-7050

SEATTLE Seventeen small business owners from the Puget Sound area graduated Oct. 2 from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders, a “mini-MBA” training initiative for local businesses on the brink of growth.

This is the seventh year the SBA Seattle District Office provided the seven-month executive education series.

The program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.

“For every $200 the SBA invests in Emerging Leaders, a new job is created,” SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Many entrepreneurs have a clear vision of where they want to take their business but often get stuck on how to get there. The SBA Emerging Leaders initiative proves a few tools and a strong support network can empower entrepreneurs to take their business to incredible heights.”

Since the SBA started offering the Emerging Leaders initiative in various locations across the country, graduates have created thousands of new full-time jobs, accessed millions of dollars in new financing, and secured federal, state, local and tribal contracts worth more than $1 billion. Plus, more than two-thirds of graduating businesses increase their annual revenues.

The 2019 graduates from the Seattle class span from Tacoma to Woodinville. The businesses represent a wide variety of industries including food and beverage, delivery services and specialty construction.

For example, Emily Kopca, owner and operator of Columbia City Bouquet and SLU Bouquet started the SBA Emerging Leaders Seattle class in April with the challenge of forming systems and managing human resources after expanding to two locations. During the class, she developed an employee handbook, put a review system and employee care system in place to streamline training and mitigate any employee confusion and communication breakdowns. She also developed new roles in the company to build development opportunities for her employees and lighten the load of her own responsibilities. Following these changes, the company is looking to keep expanding into new locations now that the systems are in place for hiring and scaling.

The following are the 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders Seattle class graduates:

Seattle, WA

  • James Chang – Shen Zen Tea
  • Dan Christofferson – Holistic High Performance LLC
  • Kay Kim – Kay Catering
  • Emily Kopca – Columbia City Bouquet
  • Shelley O’Donnell – Seattle Therapy Services
  • Natalie Parisi – Locurio, LLC
  • Lori Revely – Cavalry Consulting, Inc.
  • Robert Rovig – Atlas Genomics
  • Richard Stewart – Washington Machine Works
  • Shannon Woodman – Washington Alarm

Tacoma, WA

  • Patrick Hughes Sr.  – Hughes Group LLC
  • Shari Laycock – MC Delivery

Kenmore, WA

  • Jen Boyd – Cairn Brewing LLC

Kent, WA

  • Chris Cook – North Pacific Industries Inc.

Redmond, WA

  • Jennifer O’Brien – Pyramide Productions, Inc.

Tukwila, WA

  • John Waters – Radixos

Woodinville, WA

  • Jeremy Butler – Butler Valet, Inc.

For more information about the Emerging Leaders initiative – including applying for the 2020 class – 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 The Seattle District Office serves Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.


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