The eighth class of the Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy officially graduated on May 25th at CMU’s Maverick Innovation Center. Despite an unprecedented year and numerous challenges, these nine YEA! students stuck with it and can now officially call themselves the CEOs of their own companies.

Congratulations to the YEA! Class of 2021:

  • Miguel Ambriz, Jr., West Middle School, CEO of Armadillo Parts
  • Charlotte Douglas, Grand Mesa Middle School, CEO of Pet’s Program
  • Levi Fink, Mesa Valley Community School, CEO of Youth Yardz
  • Braeden Kassaw, Redlands Middle School, CEO of Bravo Kilo Survival Kits
  • Caydence Lusher, Central High School, CEO of Better Days
  • Nikolas Miller, Caprock Academy, CEO of QwikString
  • Jace Mizushima, Holy Family Catholic School, CEO of Bee Generous
  • Meilyn Recker, Fruita Monument High School, CEO of Rezcue
  • Julia Shively, Caprock Academy, CEO of Jul’s Jewels

None of this would have been possible without the tremendous outpouring of support from the business community that took many forms in throughout the program year.

It is time to officially recognize these organizations and individuals that have made that possible.  Our sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to:

 Presenting Sponsor:

  • City of Grand Junction

Premier Sponsors:

  • Home Loan and Investment
  • Mesa County Workforce Center
  • Mesa County Valley School District 51

Scholarship Sponsors:

  • Chick-fil-A
  • Fisher’s Market
  • JG Management Systems, Inc.
  • U.S. Bank
  • Western Rockies Federal Credit Union

Investor Sponsors:

  • Alpine Bank
  • Bank of Colorado
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Mesa County Business Education Foundation
  • ProVelocity
  • VanWinkle Enterprises
  • Western Metals Recycling

Transportation Sponsor:

  • Absolute Prestige Limo & Ranch

Supporting Partners

  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Mesa Mall
  • Western Colorado Community College

 Instructors and Mentors:

  • Steve Hudson, (Instructor), Allstate Insurance: Lori Carlston-Thompson
  • Heather Lambeth, (Instructor), New Image Realty
  • Ann Hartter, (Mentor), Hartter Education, LLC
  • Kirstin Maska, (Mentor), Mesa County Workforce Center
  • Paola Perez, (Mentor), CMU SHRM Chapter President
  • Jennifer Pettingill, (Mentor), Bank of the San Juans
  • Shannon Power, (Mentor), Blythe Group + Co.
  • Laura Smith, (Mentor), Vectra Bank
  • Nicole Troester, (Mentor), Grand Junction Economic Partnership
  • Mariko Wilcox, (Mentor), Northwestern Mutual
  • Lindsay Woodrich, (Mentor), Lighthouse HR Support

 Field Trip Hosts:

  • Chick-fil-A
  • The Palette
  • Western Metal Recycling

 Guest Speakers and Graphic Designers:

  • Matthew Breman: ProStar Geocorp
  • Seth Cahalan: Young Professionals Network of Mesa County
  • Chris Campbell: KMZK
  • Erin Crooks: KKCO 11 News/ KJCT News 8
  • Carole Fleming: Pollux Clothing Company
  • Shane Haas: FCI Constructors
  • Jamie Hamilton: Home Loan Insurance
  • Kelly Johnston: JFS, LLC
  • Lisa Thon-Kollar: Dalby, Wendland & Co.
  • Frank Lindemann: Capital Business Systems
  • Ben Linzey: Young Professionals Network of Mesa County
  • Andrea Lopez: Young Professionals Network of Mesa County
  • Lee Mathis: Decadence Gourmet
  • Hogan Peterson: Young Professionals Network of Mesa County
  • Katie Powell: Munro Supply
  • Greg Olson: Growl Agency
  • Andy Smith: Kain & Burke PC
  • James Stucky: Bulldog Protective Gear
  • Eric Ward: Wells Fargo
  • Cindy Willms: Strive
  • Bree Bell: Palisade Peach Shack & MoxxieMade
  • Candace Carnahan: GJACC
  • Sal & Alicia Iadicicco: Fusion Group
  • Sarah Noble: Merge2Media

The recruitment process for sponsors and students for the next class starting this fall has begun.  If you are interested in helping support this program or recommending a student for the next class, contact Darcy for more information at or 970-263-2916.

CategoryChamber News
360 Grand Avenue | Grand Junction, Colorado | (970) 242-3214
Email Us

WebmailPrivacy StatementMedia
© 2015- All Rights Reserved. Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce