Business leaders graduate this week from YSU’s Emerging Leaders program

The Williamson College of Business Administration and the Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University announces the graduation of the 2014 Emerging Leaders 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5 in Williamson Hall at YSU.

The graduates are: William Hendricks, Professional Engine Systems; Chad Comer, Community First Real Estate; Katie Burkey, Molly Maid; Gregory Davis, Patriot Homecare Inc.; Joan Bertolette, Specialty Fab Inc.; Thomas Boylan, Alliance Abrasives LLC; Craig Marshall, Massage Café LTD; Marilee Meloy, Vamsi LLC & VAMSI Realty; Linda Richardson, All Clear Translations LLC; Jeff Politano, Direct Mail Marketing Inc.; Suzanne Barbati, OH Wow Children’s Center; John Morvay, Morvay Insurance Group; Denise Minton and Nick Minton, Ruk Property Management; Lisa Springer, Power Tool & Supply; Cris Young, Hudson Fasteners; Bergen Giordani, One Hot Cookie LLC.

The Emerging Leaders Initiative established by the Small Business Administration focuses on small companies in Youngstown and surrounding areas that have the potential for rapid expansion and job creation. The seven-month executive leader curriculum includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.

Sixty business owners from the local community have benefitted from the program since it began in the Youngstown area in 2011. The SBA has also established an Emerging Leaders alumni network that continues the business-to-business connection.

“The Emerging Leaders class has profoundly affected the way that I run my business,” Giordani said. “As a small business owner learning to work on your business and not in your business is a tough concept to grasp but critical for growth. The Emerging Leaders program teaches you how to look at your business through several different ‘lens’ which gives a true picture of where you are and what you need to do to take your business to the next level.”

Patricia Veisz, director of the Ohio SBDC and ITAC at YSU, said graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities.