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Success Stories

Three former military pilots in Elgin, Arizona took the proverbial “flying leap” together and founded Flying Leap Vineyards, Inc. in 2010. Lifelong best friends with diverse backgrounds in the wine and farming industries the three entered the Arizona wine business with a goal of developing a new brand based on local, self-sourced viticulture and high quality, small-batch winemaking. Flying Leap Vineyards is an Arizona domestic farm winery based in Santa Cruz County. The company specializes in customer and community service, and has extensive experience in operating wine tasting, fine art and retail sales operations across the region. This committed team are now local family farmers, talented winemakers and passionate wine merchants who grow a select portfolio of both red and white wine grapes in two vineyards, and they produce their fine wines at their estate winery in Elgin, Arizona. Perhaps the most outgoing of the group, Mark Beres, President and CEO, likes talk about the desert... Read More

Caboose Frozen Treats – Thatcher, AZ. Wendy Skinner wanted Caboose Frozen Treats to be a real family business. The business owner had the family, but no food service experience when she opened for business in 2011. “We have three boys and they needed to earn money to go on missions for our church and to save for their college educations,” she noted. “We saw the need for a frozen yogurt shop in town. There was nothing like that in the Gila Valley. We had to overcome our fear of starting something new that had not been done before locally,” she noted. The Skinners did a lot of research and received a lot of encouragement from the community. Caboose Frozen Treats also became the only frozen yogurt shop to offer gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free options when it opened in a custom-designed caboose-style building that Wendy had built. “Everyone wanted to know what was in the red caboose on the corner,” she said. “We opened to great success.” With Wendy, her husband and their three... Read More

Joe Koeneman of Kinetic Muscle, Inc. knows what it’s like to give, and get a helping hand. An engineer with 35 years of medical device technology experience, Koeneman and his son Edward founded Kinetic Muscles, Inc. (KMI) in 2001, just as the meltdown was beginning. “We have survived two big recessions now,” says Jim. The company develops and sells products that aid in stroke recovery and rehabilitation. Its Hand Mentor was developed with an SBIR grant and approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). “It was boring so we redesigned it in 2007 to add graphics and video games,” Jim recalls. “It now keeps people motivated and interested while they’re doing repetitive exercises. “The Foot Mentor followed in 2010. As Jim puts it, “It’s like having a personal trainer at the gym, the games get more difficult as you get better. “Most of KMI’s current customers didn’t grow up with video games, so the team has kept the graphics pretty basic. The company currently has a... Read More

Sierra Vista Munsey Contract and Development owners Norman Munsey and Mark Berg found out that being prepared really does make a difference when it comes to starting a business. Their veteran-owned company has recorded nearly $2 million in revenues since it was founded in January 2012, mostly through government contracting. “You can nail down a lot of jobs and projects quickly if you have everything in place from the start,” Norman said. A former Marine with more than 24 years of construction experience and a proven track record in meeting Army Corps of Engineers specifications, Norman met Mark when he became a project manager for Berg’s heating and air conditioning company in 2011.Mark has been in the HVAC industry for 34 years and knew commercial project management, estimating and system design from the inside out. The duo decided to combine their talents to form a new venture specializing in government construction projects. Mark’s sister, Kathi Johnson, and their brother,... Read More