Good Neighbors – Andie Hines
Jan16

Good Neighbors – Andie Hines

Andie Hines – Supporting Women Entrepreneurs, Supporting Fort Wayne “The number one thing that makes businesses thrive is a strong peer community.” In Fort Wayne, there is an entire network of women entrepreneurs who are killin’ it in their field and making invaluable contributions to our community. Andie Hines is one of those people—she started Red Tree Pro in 2014 as a print brokerage, but soon realized that she had much more to offer her clients. Now, Red Tree Pro provides services in event planning, brand development, and marketing consulting. Her client list includes a wide range of organizations and businesses, including Tolon, University of Saint Francis, and Berne Apparel, to name a few. On top of this, Andie is the founder of Own Your Success, a non-profit dedicated to empowering and supporting female entrepreneurs in the area. Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with Andie to talk about her journey through entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, and her contributions to the community through both her business and non-profit. What were some of the first jobs you had that led you to start Red Tree? I sold paper for the first 10 years of my career, very much like in “The Office.” My job was to work with graphic designers in the community to help them find the best paper for their project, more of the fine art aspect of paper. That was a sales and marketing role—I did that for ten years and I loved it. Part of the sales aspect was that I would do ‘Paper’ lunches and invite graphic designers in the community to come learn about new products or new print techniques. That was really the launch into all of this. I was on the board for the Advertising Federation for around eight years and did programming most of that time. I planned the ADDY awards two years in a row and was president for two terms in a row. So, I was really active in that and that was all sales, marketing, and events. I worked for a couple ad agencies, but in early 2014 I found out I had cervical cancer. That was a big wake-up call that I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. As soon as I was well I wanted to start my own company. When I started, I was just a print broker, but I quickly found that my clients wanted more from me and just continued to shift from that. Now, Red Tree is essentially a full-service marketing firm, plus events. Tell me about your non-profit—how did it come to fruition? About six months...

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Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking
Oct01

Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

  When I was growing up, (we won’t say how long ago that was), we only had a few cooking shows. From The Frugal Gourmet to Yan Can Cook and, of course, Julia Child, we sat and watched them make one delicious meal after another. I remember one particular episode of The Frugal Gourmet where Jeff Smith had characters from Sesame Street on. They cooked kid-friendly meals and played around a little. Fast forward to the late ‘90’s and we get an entire tv channel dedicated to cooking and baking. Shows like Great Chefs showed us the professional side of cooking and baking in restaurants, hotels, and theme parks. Emeril came on prime time with a Bam! The Two Fat Ladies taught us that no amount butter was too much. Then there was Iron Chef. The Chairman chose a high-qualified chef who, in return, got to pick an Iron Chef to challenge.   I believe that having family that cooked from scratch and access to these shows helped to grow my love of food and cooking. I love trying new foods, cooking in new styles, with new tools and creating my own recipes for my family to pass down. My kids love to cook, too! They’re interested in what dad and I are doing in the kitchen and often want to help. Sometimes, though, life gets busy. I don’t always have time to let the kids cut veg or help flip the pancakes. It gets hard to teach them everything I want to pass down. Also, I believe in having other influences to teach them. That’s where Wholesome Roots Cooking comes in. Wholesome Roots Cooking has cooking classes for kids. Meghan Hauser, owner and certified Healthy Hands cooking instructor, teaches kids hands-on cooking skills and that eating healthy can be simple! Her goal is to “plant wholesome roots for a healthy lifestyle.” “One of the best parts about my job is to watch students become inspired to create new food and feel proud of their accomplishments!” says Hauser. Wholesome Roots offers kids cooking classes publicly and also privately in schools, birthday parties and co-ops. They also offer a Homeschool Cooking Club where homeschoolers have a monthly class during the day on Tuesdays. Do you want to take a cooking class? Well, Wholesome Roots offers classes for adults, too! Just contact them via their website at www.wholesomerootscooking.com. While you’re there, you’ll find their class schedule as well as the types of classes they offer. Getting your kids involved in healthy cooking as young as possible will set them up for a healthy life so check out some Wholesome Roots Cooking...

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What is Ambassador Enterprises?
Aug09

What is Ambassador Enterprises?

Who are they Ambassador Enterprises is a philanthropic equity firm. They are active partners assisting leaders in optimizing for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Known for their incredible mission, team and culture, it is no wonder Ambassador Enterprises earned a spot on the 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana list. The Mission Their approach is rooted in the idea of building a better community by combining the efforts of public, private and nonprofit partnerships. “We do this by optimizing our investment partners through customized assessments, leader development retreats, training and consulting. Once a company is equipped with the tools needed to achieve their mission, they can successfully develop their own circle of influence in the community in which they operate.” The Team Staffed with individuals who share a desire to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually, Ambassador is committed to investing in their employee’s success. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone does work that they see as meaningful and to offer an environment where learning happens every day.”   The Culture Ambassador Enterprises is full of skilled professionals who demonstrate integrity and have a desire to serve others. They’re not just a group of individual contributors; but are a team built on the belief that relational effectiveness drives organizational performance. That is why they are deeply committed to creating a work environment that provides collaborative learning opportunities and is safe for people to share perspectives openly and take risks. Individual & Team Development Learning time Every Friday, all team members gather together to reinforce Ambassador’s commitment to lifelong education and growth. Conversations are led by members of the leadership team, nonprofit partners, our affiliates and missionary partners and span a variety of topics and training experiences. Special events Ambassador hosts a variety of events for team members and their families. Past activities include a 5k fun run, company picnic, Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle and Fall Festival and lake day, Thanksgiving luncheon and Christmas are also celebrated in the office. Individual improvement plans All team members create an individual development plan to grow personally and professionally. Employee match Programs Team member donations given to nonprofits in their communities are matched dollar-for-dollar through the Employee Match Program. Library A selection of books are available for team members to read, lend or provide as a gift. Lunch café Their lunch café and outdoor patio sets the stage for personal connections and employee interaction. Service Programs Team members are eligible for one week each year to invest in their community through the Corporate Service Program. Collaboration All team members participate on optimization teams, designed to serve other departments and be faithful stewards of...

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Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Aug03

Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

The “Living Fort Wayne Entrepreneurship Spotlight” series returns today with a spotlight on a unique boutique public relations agency. Pasjion Daniels, owner of Force Community, answered our small business questionnaire recently. Ms. Daniels operates her business from the Atrium co-working space in downtown Fort Wayne where she also serves as supervisor Here’s what she had to say about her journey as an entrepreneur in northeast Indiana. What is Force Community? Force Community is a boutique PR agency that focuses’ on community engagement, and event planning and designing. Force is owned by Pasjion Daniels, who desires to host and bring “un ordinary” events to Fort Wayne through Force Community. It all started with the “When Life Hands You Lemons Brunch” event dedicated to creatives and bloggers. The brunch gave them skills to get over sore spots in business, and provided a safe place to network. From there, Daniels took her desire for planning, designing, and career in PR to the next level. Force Community was birthed. Feel free to follow them on Instagram & Facebook at : @forcecommunity What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne? The vision that I had for my business was something that Fort Wayne lacked. I was tired of having to go to Indianapolis, Chicago, or Ohio to attend trendy and amazing events. Fort Wayne is growing, and there was no greater place to launch. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? The Atrium! The Atrium is a coworking space downtown which has offered me the greatest connections and a greater network. It’s truly all about your network and the Atrium is the best place to grow in that area. Not to mention, I get to work a cool 9-5 there as well. 🙂 What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? Being a one-woman-show has so far been the biggest challenge. I am the content creator, creative director, accountant, social media manager, etc. It takes time, but it all gets done. What person has helped you the most in your journey? I would hands down have to say that Jesus himself has helped me the most on this journey. This journey of being an entrepreneur is no easy thing at all and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When I’m overwhelmed or don’t have the knowledge in an area, I’m always free to go to him. What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs? The advice I would give new entrepreneurs is to take the vision and run with it. Everyone doesn’t have to believe in it, but if...

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Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’
May31

Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’

This story was originally published in the May 23, 2018 issue of Input Fort Wayne as Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’.    Have you ever wanted delivery service from a restaurant that doesn’t offer it? That’s the idea behind Waiter on the Way. The process is simple. Visit the website, and you’ll find a list of local and national restaurants you can order from with detailed menus and weekly blog stories. Simply call or place an order on the mobile-friendly interface, and the food you’re craving will be delivered to your home or office. While other delivery services have come and gone in northeast Indiana over the years, Waiter on the Way has remained a community staple. Based out of downtown Fort Wayne, it continues to grow its influence in the region. When the owner, Derek Berkes, purchased the company in 2001, he had a staff of 20 people and delivered from 20 restaurants. Today, he has more than 110 employees, delivering from more than 140 restaurants, including local favorites like Casa, Coney Island, and Shigs In Pit. “When we started, we were averaging about 65 orders a day. Now, we average 265 orders a day,” Berkes says. He may have been honored with a 2017 Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Business Excellence Award for “Business of the Year – Revenue Less than $5 Million,” but money was not always easily accessible for him. Instead, he says his personal failures and his ability to learn from them are what gave him the work ethic he has today. From debt to success Before Berkes turned 30, he accumulated massive amounts of debt as a result of trying to build a business, create cash flow, and hire a large staff. He wanted to take Waiter on the Way to the next level and believed that accumulating debt while doing so was the only viable approach. In his attempt to grow the company, the pressure of making money for the sake of making money become overbearing. He knew he needed to change something. “I used to chase money. I made the profit more important than anything else because I had so many people relying on the success of the business.” Berkes says. “That approach simply doesn’t work. I was very driven. I still am, but I changed what I allowed to drive me.” In his early 30s, he decided to reset his approach around creating value for the Fort Wayne community. “I focus on the quality and the relationships,” Berkes says. “I want to do the right thing every time and with every interaction. Those components...

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Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest
May14

Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest

The Northeast Indiana Entrepreneurship Digest is a recurring series of curated posts highlighting entrepreneurship, start-ups and small businesses in the Fort Wayne area. Contact Living Fort Wayne at info@livingfortwayne.com if you have stories or information to share. Atrium Member Highlight There are numerous ways to work in Fort Wayne outside of the traditional office space. Start Fort Wayne’s Atrium coworking space is highlighting its members. They have provided this “Member Highlight” on Justin Sheehan of Crown Jewel Marketing. This highlight is by Atrium Team Member Jack Cantey. Age: 25 Hometown: San Diego, CA Months/Years Lived in Fort Wayne: 22 years Business Name: Crown Jewel Marketing Year Established: 2011 (in high school) Atrium Member Since: Early 2017 Current Membership Type: Private Office In one or two sentences, can you describe what your business does? We know how hard it is for businesses to reach the right customers, so we become their marketing team by first creating a clear and compelling message using storytelling. Our clients have marketing that works, more customers in their doors, and the freedom (and less stress) to grow their business like crazy. What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur? What’s most rewarding about being an entrepreneur? Challenging: Capacity, time, multiple hats. What do I say yes to and what do I say no to? When I struggle with this, though, I think about that the fact Elon Musk has the same amount of time as I do. Rewarding: We get the opportunity to impact difference makers (like other entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders), who in turn impact other people’s lives. That’s why we’re in business. In what ways has your membership at Atrium helped you and your business? Atrium stepped in when we needed it the most. My previous office burnt down. I found that out at 6:30 a.m., called Atrium at 8:30 a.m., and had my new “office” unpacked there by 9:00 a.m. Without Atrium, I would have been attempting to work from my house or overpaying for average office space. Not only that, Atrium became a place for me and my team to have a community with other creatives and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a random white board session or just having engaging and humorous conversations, community is something we really value, but it was missing at our previous office. Where do you see yourself/your business three to five years from now? I see Crown Jewel Marketing as a company that will help build other companies; every startup needs marketing, right?! I do have big visions for Crown Jewel and other companies, but I enjoy the journey way too much to just focus on...

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