NSHMBA Austin Leads RISE Panel on Entrepreneurship
Submitted by: Karla Juarez
On March 29th, NSHMBA teamed with RISE (Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs) to bring to life a great event during RISE Week Austin 2012.
NSHMBA-Austin sponsored a panel titled "Entrepreneurship in Diverse Communities", which brought together former employees of companies such as IBM, Accenture, and Apple who are now all pursuing their passions through entrepreneurship - "Entrepreneurship is the pathway to lifestyle creation," they agreed.
The event featured six panelists:
- Al Lopez (Executive Director at Economic Growth Business Incubator)
- Rubén Cantú (Founder of CORE Media)
- Heather Schuck (CEO of Glamajama)
- Darryl Smith (CEO of Premier Fulfillment)
- Adam DeVos (Founder of Internship Builder)
- Elijah May (Brand Strategist)
- moderator: Eli D. Mercer (NSHMBA Austin Corporate Relations Advisor and Owner of Genesis Consulting).
This strong panel shared inspirational stories of how, in many cases, they had left major corporations and had gone through tough times. Darryl Smith expressed his gratitude for being able to turn around a declining company. "During the recession, I could've shut down the company. It was probably the best business decision at the time. And had I been at my former employer, I would've been ordered to shut down that company. But I felt I had a commitment to the 100 families I employed." So he stuck with it. "There were some days I was afraid I wouldn't make payroll." After some tough times, Darryl was able to turn around a profit and the company is doing well now.
Other panelists shared similar stories of not knowing whether they would be able to make it or not. At the end of the day, however, the panelists agreed that the feeling of following your passion and wanting to hit the ground running each morning for a job they are excited about is their motivation for continuing what they're doing.
Photo caption: From left to right: Darryl Smith, Adrian Freeberg, Eli Mercer, Adam DeVos, Heather Schuck, Michelle Valmond, Al Lopez, Karla Juárez, Victoria Louis, Elijah May, and Rubén Cantú.