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Meeting the Stars: Young Americans Center names top Colorado youth businesses

Janet Redwine Events, YouthBiz 2 Comments

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Youth business owners, family members, and fans gathered at Young Americans Center for Financial Education on Tuesday for the Meet the Stars event, which recognized the 46 applicants to this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.  The room was filled with both inspiration and anticipation!

Applicant Evan Hoing at the Meet the Stars event

Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars applicant Evan Hoing was recognized for his woodworking business at the Meet the Stars event.

During the event, Anna Leer, Vice President of YouthBiz, and Rich Martinez, President and CEO of Young Americans Center, recognized each applicant by sharing a bit about their businesses and accomplishments.  Applicants ranged in age from 6 to 21, with businesses that included woodworking, bath products, photography, desserts, clothing, and much more. “I want to congratulate each and every one of you,” said Rich Martinez, President and CEO of Young Americans Center for Financial Education, at the event.  “The caliber of this year’s applicant group was the most impressive we’ve seen, and our judges had an incredibly difficult decision to make.  You all should be incredibly proud.”

An independent panel of judges evaluated the applications.  Led by long-time facilitator David Wolf, a Board Member at Young Americans Center, judges read through, evaluated, and left comments for each youth business owner.  Judges for this year’s competition were:

Judges gathered at Young Americans Center to determine the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars winners and finalists.

  • Evan Crist – CorrectTech
  • Dan Bergman – Empower Retirement
  • Jonson Berman – AMG National Trust Bank
  • Hadiya Evans – Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library
  • Devin Jarvi – Capitol One
  • Jennifer Girvin –  Colorado Community College
  • Michael Havlik – EverCommerce
  • Justin Hawksley – Creative Planning, Inc.
  • Sarah Heath – Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges
  • Sarah Hilsendager – Amica
  • Luke Naes – US Trust
  • Andrea Perdomo – Techstars
  • Mary Spillane – Comcast
  • Kari Thiessen – Plante Moran
  • Tom Viola – BlackRock
  • Jeremey Wickenheiser – DSST Public Schools
  • Jan Zieser – SpeakWrite

Judges selected nine finalists, three in each age category:

6-11 years old:

  1. Lightner Designs – Hayden Hopkins (age 11*)
  2. Ryder’s Riches – Ryder Matz (age 10)
  3. Tuff’s Chickens – Tuff Glasmann (age 6)

12-15 years old

  1. Gabe’s Bazaar – Gabriel Nagel (age 14)
  2. HER Design Store – Hannah Reyes (age 12)
  3. Sewing with Smiles, LLC – Maile McManis (age 12)

16-21 years old

  1. Ebay Profits by The Teen Entrepreneur – Shouken Lopez (age 16)
  2. THANKS BRAND LLC – Owen Johnson (age 19) and Sam Reilly (age 18)
  3. Yard Boyz – Jack Fleming (age 18)

Finalists will be honored at the 18th annual Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars awards and gala, sponsored by CoBank, held at the Seawell Grand Ballroom on Thursday, October 3.  The event will also name a winning business in each of three age categories.  Each winner receives a cash award and a pairing with an esteemed business leader as a mentor.

Congratulations to all applicants:

  • Artisans For Humanity – Leah Galan
  • Axus Marketing – Robert Gutierrez
  • BUBBY’S – Olivia Mauck
  • Chidi’s Doodles – Nnenna Obianyi
  • Danny’s Cafe – Daniel Galan
  • E&V – Vivian Townsend and Emma
  • Eagle Eye Drone Photography – David Palmer
  • Ebay Profits By The Teen Entrepreneur – Shouken Lopez
  • Emma’s Created Gifts – Emma Davis
  • Evan Hoing Woodworking – Evan Hoing
  • Gabe’s Bazaar – Gabriel Nagel
  • HER Designs – Hannah Reyes
  • It’s A Stand – Maxwell Parker and Tommy Alpert
  • JDahlen Photography – James Dahlen
  • Knot It – Charlie and Sam Warren
  • KONE – Ezra, Eizaiah, and Eli Ekuban
  • Lightner Designs – Hayden Hopkins
  • Luke Aden Photography – Luke Aden
  • Lulu Petals – Lauryn Simon
  • Luna Moon Bath – Sophie Brogdon and Flynn Brogdon
  • Mad Hatter’s – Alice and Ruby Mae Elmore
  • Mathagon – Aiden Heeres
  • Mountainside Lifestyle – Colin Patterson, Rowan Steger, and Carter Galyardt
  • Muggle Creations – Ender Gressett
  • Namaste Namkeen – Jasleen Batra
  • Nerdy Crochet LLC – Josephine Stockton
  • Pomtastic – Tiffany Lahey
  • Ryder’s Riches – Ryder Matz
  • Sam Field Photography – Sam Field
  • Scented Sensations – Kiera Schmelmer
  • Sewing with Smiles, LLC – Maile McManis
  • Taj-dōu – Taj Williams
  • Taylor’s Tasty Treats – Taylor Schlageter
  • THANKS BRAND LLC – Owen Johnson and Sam Reilly
  • The Bagel Buddies – Reina Crowley, Jayden Anderson, and Jasmine Ying
  • The Porcelain Penguin – Owen Lennon
  • Toy Tossers – Natalie Rosenbluth
  • True Gifts Creations – Ethan Burress
  • Tuff’s Chickens – Tuff Glasmann
  • Unique Boutique – Luana Cooper
  • Vital Kids Secrets – Adriana, Isabella, and Alejandro Ruiz
  • Western Harmony Horses – Aurianna Hill
  • What A Beautiful Day – Aspen Peterson, Ailish Ocasek, and Jane Killian
  • Wonderful Words – Claire and Lauren Fisk
  • Wood Worx By Daniel – Daniel Johnson
  • Yard Boyz – Jack Fleming

Comments 2

  1. Amazing, wonderful contribution to the future with this program! Your organization is the best – so encouraging! Thank you. I have a great idea for you…I live in Kenya, East Africa and work with young people who are living in an incredibly disadvantaged community near the government school on whose Board I serve. It would be amazing if we/you could put together a team of these young entrepreneurs to come and share “possibilities” with these poor and yet incredibly talented youngsters. What do you think? (Of course my granddaughter Hayden Lightner – one of your finalists this year) would have to be on the team!

  2. Post

    Thank you, Deb, for your comments and praise! I will pass this along to our Vice President of YouthBiz, Anna Leer. And congratulations to your granddaughter, too!

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