September 16, 2013
Third Catalyst Class Launches
The Nashville Entrepreneurs’ Organization announces membership for its business growth program
Nashville EO and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) announced today the local business owners who will partake in the third Catalyst class, a program designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.
The third Catalyst class consists of 30 members, which is nearly double last year’s class of 16. The inaugural Catalyst class graduated 20 members.
Members are founders, co-founders, owners or controlling shareholders of local companies. Catalyst companies employ a total of 161 individuals, with average annual gross revenues of $526,222.
“The business owners who joined this year’s Catalyst class are a diverse group. We have members as young as 25-years-old, to members who’ve been in business for 20 or more years,” said Joe Freedman, president of EO Nashville and co-owner of Music City Tents & Events. “Each member needs to better understand how to control and drive the growth of his or her company, and how to avoid the many pitfalls of rapid growth. Catalyst can teach these skills.”
The EO/EC-organized 18-month Catalyst program began last month.
The third class of the EO Nashville Catalyst program includes:
- Tom Barlow, Owner, Red Nose Lites
- Daniel Brimer, General Manager and Co-owner, XCI Building Services of Tennessee LLC
- Mary Craven, President, National Engravers Inc.
- Pam Daley, Owner, Spark of Life Foods, LLC
- Liz Denning, Co-owner, Gamma Blast
- Kyle DiMeola, Owner, Park Nashville
- Dana El Gammal, Founder and CEO, InspireHealth
- Jim Elder, President and CEO, Uppercut Box Company, Inc.
- Leslie Embry, Owner, The Blowout Co. of Nashville, LLC
- Mignon Francois, Owner, The Cupcake Collection
- Shelly Gary, Vice President, Clover Management Group
- Gretchen Geagan, Owner, Life-Links, LLC
- Drea Groeschel, Founder and CEO, FlashPoint Candle
- Nathan King, Managing Partner, Worx Solutions Management, LLC
- Chris Koch, Owner, Cumberland Property Investments
- Eric Larence, Owner, E.L. Construction
- Christi Lassen, Owner, Nashville Olive Oil Company
- Matt Lloyd, Co-owner, Magic Apple Technology LLC
- Angelique Pittman, Managing Member and President, Native Media, LLC
- Jon Pittman, Managing Member and Publisher, Native Media, LLC
- Lauren Reed, Founder and President, Reed Public Relations
- David Reha, President, Reha Enterprises LLC
- Stephen Reha, Vice President, Reha Enterprises LLC
- Johnna Rightmyer, Owner and Stylist, Juel Salon
- James Settles, Executive Director, Aphesis House, Inc.
- Alex Short, Owner, Streamline Technologies
- Dan Stephenson, Founder and CEO, Dan’s Gourmet Spot LLC
- Mike Tansil, Managing Member and Owner, My Team Insurance Services, LLC
- Lisa York, Chief Manager, Puka Organizing
- Michael Zeller, Co-founder and Business Development Director, Providence Auto Group
EC President and CEO Michael Burcham will again lead the 12 biweekly classes that kick off the program. At the conclusion of the classes, Catalyst participants will be broken into smaller peer-to-peer forum groups. The groups will meet monthly for 12 months and be led by EO Nashville members. Catalyst members will also engage in one-on-one mentorship with an EO Nashville member.
“Catalyst participants start by taking classes. Then they break into discussion groups, which are led by Nashville business leaders. The following week, participants meet with topical experts in a mentorship capacity and work through how to best apply the previous week’s lesson to their specific businesses,” explained Bryan Ansley, president and CEO of FNB Merchants. Ansley and Alex Tolbert, owner of Bernard Health, are the EO Nashville board members responsible for the Catalyst program.
The Nashville business community has also rallied behind the Catalyst program, providing in-kind gifts and sponsorships. For example, sponsors and benefits include:
- NovaCopy: Free lease of copier equipment
- Bradley Arant Boult Cummings: Free legal work
- Century II: Free human resources consulting
“Like EO, Catalyst provides a sounding board and a place to connect with and learn from business leaders right here in Nashville,” said Ansley. “We all can use some business coaching, mentoring and advice to grow smart, stable organizations.”