The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program last week celebrated 11 years of business growth by recognizing the most recent session of program participants with a virtual celebration event.
The entrepreneurs gathered virtually to honor the 11th year of pairing established mentor companies with growing protégé companies in the community. The program features pairs of companies throughout northeastern Wisconsin, and has begun expanding into southeastern, southwestern and central Wisconsin.
Many of the protégé companies have faced significant challenges in the last two years due to the pandemic, but with the support of the program as well as the partnership provided by mentor companies, numerous entrepreneurs have been able to shift gears and find success.
Last week's celebration named this year's Most Valuable Mentors, Most Valuable Protégés and Comeback Players of the Year. In Green Bay, Julie Gile with Julie M. Gile Photography was named the Most Valuable Protégé and Barb LaMue with New North was named Most Valuable Mentor. In Milwaukee, Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori of Satori Food Project was named Most Valuable Protégé and Mark Webster of Mark Webster Communications in Madison was named Most Valuable Mentor. Two entrepreneurs were honored as Comeback Player of the Year, including Alex and Noel Miranda with Bravebird in Middleton and Maurice Mcatee with Super Expedite in Milwaukee.
The program matches established mentor companies that can provide technical, managerial, financial or other guidance with protégés that are seeking to improve their competitive standing. The partnerships aim to foster business growth, economic development and job creation in Wisconsin. Created in part to match up minority-owned, veteran-owned, or woman-owned businesses with experienced mentor companies, such businesses account for 87 percent of the participating protégé businesses.
In the 11 years of the program, more than 380 full and part-time jobs have been created across the 111 protégé companies. Additionally, participants have increased their annual revenue by a combined $81.2 million.
The partnerships receiving recognition for the 11th session are:
- Rick DeJardin with 5G Benefits & Wellness in Fond du Lac mentored Abigail Kuehl with ANTIDOTE 1848 in Appleton.
- Michael Troyer with A Fresh Perspective in Green Bay mentored Alex and Noel Miranda of Bravebird in Middleton.
- Donald Herrmann of Herrmann Advantage Consulting in Appleton mentored Harold Norton with Reverentia Cyber Solutions in Green Bay.
- Barb LaMue with New North mentored Julie M. Gile Photography.
- John A. Hagins with The Community Blood Center in Appleton mentored Justin Vajko with Dialog Design in Eau Claire.
- The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay mentored Tim Wiemer with First Quality Forklift Training in Appleton.
- Mary Hosmer with Vistage in Hortonville mentored Marianna DeMyer with Rover Blue in Lena.
- Lorenzo Bell with Ernst & Young in Milwaukee mentored Lakeia Jones with Amri Counseling Services in Milwaukee.
- Mark Webster Communication in Madison mentored Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori with Satori Food Project in Milwaukee.
- John Murphy of Miron Construction in Neenah mentored Quinn Long with Clearcut Solutions in Wauwatosa.
- David A. Rotter mentored Maurice Mcatee with Super Expedite in Milwaukee and Marthia Y. Bell with Living Made Easy Homes.
- Dean Stewart with St. Norbert College in De Pere mentored Kim Swisher Communications in Eagle River.
- Tenderness Health Care in Milwaukee mentored Linda Reid with Water365 in Milwaukee.
- Refilwe Goll with Northwestern Mutual mentored Adonica Randall with Abaxent in Pewaukee and Dele Ojelabi with Comcentia in Mequon.