Upcoming Events

  1. Get Jazzed! A Benefit Concert for ProDeo, CASA, and Lee’s Summit Social Services

    December 20 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  2. Brew:30 1Q

    January 23, 2019 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program Welcomes 23 Entrepreneurs to the Class of 2017

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program Welcomes 23 Entrepreneurs to the Class of 2017


The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) announced its 2017 class of mentees. The new class includes 23 entrepreneurs representing a wide range of industries.

The mentoring program, founded by Barnett Helzberg Jr. in 1995, is a three-year, facilitated program that matches a mentee with a more experienced mentor. The program is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial leaders through excellence in mentoring. More than 400 entrepreneurs have participated in the program.

Helzberg, the former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds, created HEMP after benefiting from a 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman.

“The HEMP class of 2017 is comprised of some of Kansas City’s finest entrepreneurs,” Helzberg said. “I feel very fortunate to have been mentored throughout the various phases of my business career, and HEMP is one way for many of us to give back to the entrepreneurial community.”

The entrepreneurs in the class of 2017 are:

  • Susan Ahn, Great Plains Supply, Inc.
  • Charlie Arnot, Look East
  • Stephen Bastasch, Lenexa Manufacturing Company
  • RL Brooks, Seen Merch
  • Justin Copeland, Triggerfish Corporation
  • Karen Crnkovich, DMC Service, Inc.
  • Danielle Debbrecht, CORE Strategies Physical Therapy
  • Amber Goering, Goering and Granatino, P.A.
  • Haley Haar, FWT Enterprises II, Inc dba AlphaGraphics Kansas City
  • Alec Haight, Pioneer Music Company, Inc.
  • Joelsette Hernandez Jones, Pharos Partners Inc.
  • Jennifer Juarez, Snacks on Racks Inc.
  • Vladislav Kaufman, Managed Energy Systems
  • Nick McLean, Southwest Steel Fabrication
  • Matthew Moore, Martin City Brewing Company
  • Doug Obershaw, SkuTouch Solutions
  • Mitch Rice, Commercial Capital Company, L.L.C.
  • Robyn Schmitz, High Prairie Landscape Group, LLC
  • Dan Shirey, Freedom Transportation, Inc.
  • Steven Spangler, Simple Science Juices
  • Courtney Thomas, Central Exchange
  • Ryan Toelkes, Neighborhood Painting Inc.
  • Brent Voepel, Voepel Property Management and Canopy Road Real Estate

Entrepreneurs who apply for the HEMP program are required to be in business for at least three years, be the sole decision maker and have a desire to significantly grow their business. The business itself must generate revenues between 1-100 million dollars and have at least five full-time employees.  Applicants must complete an application and a comprehensive self-assessment as well as participate in a site visit.

For more information about the program or if you’re interested in becoming a mentor or being mentored, please contact Christina Dreiling at 816-471-HEMP (4367), or visit the website at www.hempkc.org.

Categories: News Updates


  1. (913) 432-6690
  2. PO Box 754
        Shawnee Mission, KS
  3. editor@ithinkbigger.com


  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Linked In
  4. Google Plus