Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Entrepreneurs Panel Profiles

I'm so excited about our upcoming panel discussion! I've been collecting more information about our panelists to help you get to know a bit more about them before next Tuesday.

Andrea Ridder, founder and CEO of Levelsix Marketing and Public Relations, has a vision for marketing the truth through creativity and innovation and powerful alliance-based business practices. Her passion is to help companies reach a higher level and truly develop their unique identity to stand out in the marketplace and achieve successes. In 2002, Levelsix began with a strong desire to create positive change through powerful messaging and the development of new business models that support creativity, freedom and growth of individuals. Andrea’s background in media buying/planning, promotional event planning, community relations, marketing and public relations allowed her to see more than enough subpar design coupled with dishonest messaging. She uses her unique abilities in understanding how people think to direct beautifully functional design and create messaging with an impact. Andrea believes in the power of collaboration and strongly encourages all clients to reach out the community, be cutting edge without scaring people (too much) and telling the truth of what you represent.

Kimberly Small serves as the Co-Owner and Vice President of Sales for TEXTBYREQUEST, a company offering clients mobile marketing solutions. Kimberly has a diverse professional background. After graduating from Indiana University in 1995, she served as a paralegal for a couple years with the initial intent of pursuing law school. She discovered an interest in creating marketing and promotional materials and had the opportunity to pursue that by working on an Employee Development catalog for Eli Lilly and Company. Realizing that the legal profession was no longer her career of choice, she later served in roles that allowed her to create events for both business and non-profit agencies while completing her MBA. Small is well connected within the Indianapolis area, supporting many charitable organizations and serving as the President of the networking group Friday Lunch Club Indianapolis, Inc. She and her husband Adam started TEXTBYREQUEST in July, 2007.

Ann Rockley is President of The Rockley Group, Inc, a consultancy that has an international reputation for developing customer-centric enterprise content management strategies and underlying information architecture. Rockley is a frequent contributor to trade and industry publications and a featured speaker at numerous conferences in North America and Europe.
She has been instrumental in establishing the fields of online documentation, single sourcing (content reuse), unified content strategies, and content management best practices. Rockley is co-chair of the OASIS DITA Enterprise Business Documents Subcommittee. Rockley led Content Management Professionals to a prestigious eContent 100 award in 2005. Rockley is also Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and has a Master of Information Science from the University of Toronto. Rockley is the author of the best-selling book, “Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy” (New Riders Publishing ISBN 0-7357-1306-5).

Ann Clifford graduated from Indiana University with a BS in accounting. She worked for Price Waterhouse and the American College of Sports Medicine before beginning the first of several entrepreneurial ventures in 1987. Active in the local business community, she is a member of Indiana CPA Society, TechPoint, Venture Club of Indiana, National Association of Women Business Owners, CEO Focus, SHRM and HRACI. Today, as the founder of Safari Solutions, she and her team provide on-demand (outsource) recruiting services tailored toward the hiring needs of small businesses. Safari Solutions is an Indianapolis based HR consulting firm providing recruitment process outsourcing services to meet the specific hiring needs of small and mid-size companies. Over 200 business owners have benefited from the expertise of a Safari Solutions recruiting specialist for their hiring initiatives. For more information visit:

Rae Hostetler is the words behind the business at Hostetler Groth Marketing Communications. A former newscaster, Rae has worked in the public relations field for 15 years. She founded Hostetler Public Relations in 2000 after working in the marketing communications offices at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Resort Condominiums International (the world’s largest timeshare exchange company). She graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana University and has taken classes toward an MBA degree from Butler University in Indianapolis. Rae is a board member of Dress for Success Indianapolis and Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.

I'm really looking forward to learning more about these dynamic women and their businesses and hope you are too!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Women & Entrepreneurship Panel

I've been a bit lax about updating the blog this month. Ah, the eternal juggling act of trying to do everything I want to do. If someone can figure out how to put more hours in the day or get by without sleep, I hope you'll share the secret with me!

Despite my lack up updates, I'm very excited about our topic this month - Entrepreneurship. I know, I have this recurring daydream where I walk out the door, leaving behind this job where I work for someone else, fulfill some else's vision, meet someone else's priorities and strike out on my own. Then I come to and realize that I like the security of having someone else pay me for my work and provide my benefits.

I truly admire those who have successfully struck out on their own. And I still do entertain this daydream, and like to hear about what it takes to be in business for yourself. Who knows? Maybe one day I will screw up my courage and take the plunge.

At our evening Discussion Group on June 24th, we'll hear from some brave souls who did take that risk, start their own businesses and succeed. I'm very excited about our panel. Over the next week I'll be providing more information about each of them. In the meantime, I've listed our panelists and provided links to their websites so you can learn more about their businesses.

Ann Clifford
President, Safari Solutions

Rae Hostetler
Co-Owner, Hostetler Groth Marketing Communications

Andrea Ridder
Owner, Levelsix Marketing & PR

Ann Rockley
President, The Rockley Group

Kimberly Small
Vice President of Sales, TEXTbyREQUEST

I'd like to invite anyone who has a story to share about what it's like to be in business for yourself to post it here. You don't have to be a panelist to share your experiences with our community. I'm looking forward to getting together with our discussion group "regulars" as well as seeing some new faces at next week's meeting.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June Discussion Topic - Women & Entrepreneurship

Have you ever toyed with the idea of starting your own business? Have you wondered what it takes to strike out on your own and make a success of it? Then come and join us for the June Women & Hi Tech Discussion group meeting on Women & Entrepreneurship.

This month we will be taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity presented to us by Scott Able (aka The Content Wrangler) the organizer of the DocTrain Life Sciences conference. He have graciously offered to host our evening discussion group meeting; providing us with a meeting room, a speaker, and even an invitation to a complimentary cocktail reception prior to our meeting. The location for the meeting is the Crowne Plaza Hotel downtown at Union Station.

Our format for the evening session will be a bit different from our past meetings. Instead of our open discussion, I’m lining up a panel to share their experiences of going into business for themselves. I’m still finalizing the panel, so if you have a suggestion for a participant or if you’d like to participate yourself, please let me know. I’ll be posting profiles for all of our panelists.

In preparing for this month’s meeting I reached out to the LinkedIn community for advice on resources on the topic of Women & Entrepreneurship. I received such great recommendations that I wanted to share them all. So instead of limiting ourselves to one article, we’ll have lots to choose from. I’m continuing to get more responses and will post additional information as I receive it. If you have a recommendation, post it here for everyone to see.

Recommended Resources on Women & Entrepreneurship:

I’ll also be updating the Women & Hi Tech Community Site to add more resources, post discussion topics, and more. Please stop by, join in the conversations and share any other useful resources with the rest of us. I’m currently finalizing our panel for the event so if you or someone you know would like to join the panel, please let me know.

I’m looking forward to leaning more about this topic throughout the month. I hope you’ll share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below as well.

Morning Discussion Group:
Tuesday June 17th, 6:45 – 7:30 am
B Java Coffee and Tea5510 Lafayette Road (corner of Lafayette and 56th) on the Northwest side

Evening Discussion Group:
Tuesday June 24
6 pm – Cocktail reception
7 pm – Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel at Union Station
123 West Louisiana Street