Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program reveals new mentees

A new class of entrepreneurs is poised to grow with guidance from seasoned business leaders.

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) announced 16 entrepreneurs entering its 2018 program.

The program was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds.  Inspired by Helzberg’s 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less experienced mentees.

“The HEMP class of 2018 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.”

This year’s mentees:

  • Gene Abramov, Depth Security
  • Craig Armstrong, Loquient Inc.
  • Chase DeRousse, Major Painting
  • Carol Espinosa, Freedom Interiors
  • Julie Farrell, DB Flooring LLC dba Regents Flooring
  • Rusty Fulling, Fulling Management & Accounting, Inc.
  • Shelby Herrick, Shelby Herrick Salon
  • Dan Holmgren, Imagemakers Inc.
  • Richard Hu, HJM Architects
  • Michelle Macrorie, Autism From The Start
  • Nancy McCullough, e2E LLC
  • Rick O’Neill, RedesignKC
  • Kari Simpson, Digital Marketing Inc.
  • Babir Sultan, FavTrip
  • Justin Watkins, Native Digital
  • Tom Wilkins, Evolytics

To be eligible for the program, entrepreneurs must have been in business three or more years and be the ultimate decision maker of the business, generate revenues between $1 million and $100 million, have at least five full-time employees and have a desire to significantly grow their business.

Prospective HEMP participants must complete an application and pass additional hurdles, including a comprehensive self-assessment and site visit.  This process helps determine compatibility with the program and the most appropriate mentor.

HEMP has helped more than 400 entrepreneurs over two decades. HEMP is designed to be a three-year, facilitated program beginning in the latter part of each year.

“The goal of our program is to promote entrepreneurial success to positively impact owners, employees, families and communities,” said Bill Hartnett, president of the HEMP board of directors. “We help develop mentor/mentee relationships that emphasize chemistry and expertise rather than specific industry experience.  Personal interaction remains the foundation of the program and has become a powerful source of inspiration and success.”

HEMP is always looking for new mentors. A self-assessment and interview process uncover qualities of experience and aptitude required for mentoring.

For more information about the program, including becoming a mentor or mentee, contact Christina Dreiling at 816-471-HEMP, or visit the website.