Daily Archive for May 27 2011
The story below appeared in Thursday’s Charleston Daily Mail.
The Charleston Area Alliance recognized members of the 2010-2011 class of Leadership Kanawha Valley at its annual celebration at the Clay Center. Leadership Kanawha Valley is a leadership-development program affiliated with the Alliance.
Members of the class: Steve Burton of 1-800-Gambler/First Choice Health Systems; Patrick Snyder and Colt Sandoro of the Kanawha County Commission; Raymond Dodson of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Jason Golden and Daniel Vickers of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; Joe Hager of Arnett & Foster; Tania Hotmer of Appalachian Power Co.; Jeff Sikorovsky of Hospice Care; Kelly Whitlock and Christopher Erlewine of BB&T; Michelle Taylor of First Choice Services; Almeda Tincher of Columbia Gas/NiSource; and Bruce Deal of Security America.
Also: John Bupp of Kay Casto and Chaney; Erin Brewster of Foster Law Firm; Trip Showen of Triad Engineering; Beth Maley of Fifth Third Bank; Mark Drennan of Children’s Home Society of West Virginia; Cartney McCracken of Rain Maker Inc.; Sheila Dickens of City National Bank; Jared Burdette of Summit Community Bank; Zach Cowan of Ernst & Young; Susan Blake of West Virginia American Water; and Andrew Beckner of Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s office.
The story below ran in yesterday’s Charleston Daily Mail. Progressity Inc. is a success story from the Charleston Area Alliance’s Small Business Incubator.
By George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor
She is amazed at how far Progressity Inc., her marketing business, has come in 10 years.
“I grew up on the West Side,” she said. “I was the chief fundraiser for West Virginia University’s College of Engineering, working with entrepreneurial alumni every day. One of the alumni said, ‘You ought to start your own business.’ That conversation was in September 2001. I incorporated on Oct. 5, 2001, and left a wonderful job. I thought I needed to do this totally full-on.
“It was a jumping-off-a-diving-board leap of faith,” she said. “The day I left I landed a client. That was a sign to me I had made the right decision.
“We were getting hired to do marketing strategy, marketing plans,” she said. “Clients also wanted creative work. That’s where Michael Teel comes in. He started working part-time weeks after I started the firm. He’s a native of the Elkview area. He’s my brother-in-law. He was working in D.C., doing creative work for a global company, and he was our graphic designer on nights and weekends. Our creative business grew and his employment situation there was changing. He and his family packed up in 2005 and came here so he could work on site.
“We have changed and evolved so much in 10 years,” she said.
The company now has three employees at One Bridge Place – DuBois, Teel and Director of Operations Liz Hereford. Communications Strategist Melissa Macki works remotely from Virginia. The firm hires others, from videographers and photographers to direct-mail specialists, as needed.
“We do our own creative work,” DuBois said. “We developed a new website for our firm last September (it’s at www.progressity.com). We’ve evolved so much this year we will roll out another site in July. That’s two new websites in one year. We know our website needs to convey our abilities. It has to be fresh content. It has to be leading edge. We’re constantly looking at the landscape of the market. We have to change and adjust accordingly or we’re not going to be in business.
“From the beginning, somebody said, ‘Do you want to be a sole practitioner or a company?’ I was working out of my spare bedroom in Morgantown with particleboard office furniture. I said, ‘I want to be a company one day.’ It’s pretty surreal for me to walk in here and see what we’ve grown into.”
Progressity first set up shop in the Charleston Area Alliance’s business incubator on Smith Street. Then it built space on the Alliance’s fourth floor. “Then we needed more space and decided to shake things up and move to a new location,” DuBois said. (more…)