Yakima County Development Association - Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors

Jean Brown

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Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.

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Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors

Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors

September 18, 2015

This year we are happy to announce that we have a top notch group of instructors lined up for our Enterprise Challenge contestant classes.  Linda Johnson, Nicole Donegan, Shane Pierone and Eric Puryear will be in charge of our seminars this year and we think these sessions will be better than ever before.

Our contest starts in the classroom as we want to help everyone in the business plan contest learn what it takes to launch and manage a successful business.  Our instructors cover marketing, business planning and finance in great detail and more importantly offer a lot of hands on exercises to ensure contestants apply key concepts to their own enterprise.  This year we added  a workshop to our curriculum on implementing small business technology that will address the growing need and interest in learning techie business solutions.

Introducing this year’s Enterprise Challenge instructors:

Linda Johnson runs the local Small Business Development Center.  She brings over 30 years of business experience to SBDC.  In her role Linda has helped hundreds of small businesses.  She has also owned her own on-line retail business, worked as a CPA, been a controller for a multi-million dollar real estate investment firm, managed a manufacturing business, served as product manager for a hospitality firm, and marketed mainframe computer systems.  According to Linda,  “The Challenge offers new businesses the opportunity to jump start their venture with the help of expert mentors, in depth workshops and built in feedback from other business owners and advisors.”

Nicole Donegan is the Director of Field Group Marketing & Advertising. With over 19 years experience in public relations, marketing, and communications, Nicole has a passion for identifying creative ways to engage stakeholders and share messages in a way that breaks through the everyday clutter.  She is a certified mediator and spent five years working as a public involvement manager, bringing together a variety of stakeholders and building consensus by helping clients better listen to each other.  We are excited to bring Nicole's depth of experience in media relations, public relations, public involvement, community outreach, conflict resolution, marketing, and advertising to this year's workshop.

Shane Pierone is President of BBOLD Advertising & Marketing.  Shane is a 30-year veteran in sales and advertising.  His career began at KAPP TV where he made his mark as their Sales Manager and then moved on to serve as Vice President of the Field Group, a local advertising agency.  Shane says, “The contest is a great opportunity for small businesses to learn all the various aspects of running a business. It gives contestants a chance to learn without making the mistake first. I hope to convey the importance of putting the right marketing message in front the right people.”

Eric Puryear offers his 20 years of technical expertise at US Cellular  for our course on Implementing Small Business Technology.  He and his team serve business customers of every size across the entire Northwest region.  His particular passion is helping small businesses use technology to achieve their goals.  Our past contestant feedback led us to offer this new course on how to best implement innovative technical solutions to address business challenges.  We know Eric and his team will be a welcome addition to our contest workshops.

Enterprise Challenge Business Plan Contest

Judges Key to Enterprise Challenge Business Plan Contest

Enterprise Challenge Contestants:  Where Are They Now


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