News from the Network: Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program Reveals New Mentees

News from the Network: Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program Reveals New Mentees

A new cohort of Kansas City entrepreneurs is poised to grow with guidance from seasoned business leaders and mentors. 

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP), just one of the resources in the KCSourceLink network that mentors and coaches high-growth companies, has announced its latest class of 10 entrepreneurs for its 2021 program. Over the past two and half decaces, HEMP has helped more than 400 entrepreneurs through its three-year, facilitated program.

The program was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds. Inspired by Helzberg’s 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less-experienced, entrepreneur mentees.

“The HEMP class of 2021 is comprised of some of Kansas City’s finest entrepreneurs,” Helzberg says. “I feel very fortunate to have been mentored throughout the various phases of my business career, and HEMP is one way for many of us to give back to the entrepreneurial community.”

Meet this year’s mentees

This year’s mentees include:

  • Matthew Abbott, Abbott Properties
  • Cory Bates, SERVPRO of Olathe/Lenexa
  • Amber Botros, Plaza Aesthetics & Wellness
  • Zachary Davis, Brown Industries Inc
  • Chris Goodwin, Insurance Pros, Inc.
  • Barbara Keller, BBMS, LLC DBA All A’ Bloom Flowers & Gifts
  • Patrick Sallee, Vibrant Health
  • Ingred Sidie, Design Ranch
  • Megan Stephens, Willoughby Design, Inc.
  • Will Thomas, C&M Restoration Company Inc.

“The goal of our program is to promote entrepreneurial success to positively impact owners, employees, families and communities,” says Tracy Lockton, president of the HEMP Board of Directors. “We help develop mentor/mentee relationships that emphasize chemistry and expertise rather than specific industry experience. Personal interaction remains the foundation of the program and has become a powerful source of inspiration and success.”

Current participant, Michelle Robin, Your Wellness Connection, shares, “I believe HEMP provides a safe place for me to be authentic and encourages me to be the best I can be. The energy and rewards of growth and support are endless.”

To be eligible for the program, entrepreneurs

  • must have been in business three or more years and be the sole ultimate decision maker of the business
  • generate revenues between $1 million-$100 million
  • have at least five full-time employees
  • have a desire to significantly grow their business. 

Prospective HEMP participants must complete an application and pass additional hurdles, including a comprehensive self-assessment and site visit. The knowledge gathered from this process helps determine compatibility with the program. Importantly, HEMP focuses tremendous effort and utilizes a wide variety of resources to personally match each mentee with the most appropriate mentor.

Interested in being a mentor?

HEMP is always looking for new mentors.  

Utilizing a targeted recruiting process to invite seasoned, successful leaders from the business community who have the desire and ability to serve as mentors, all HEMP mentors had a mentor/mentee relationship that inspired them to pursue success.  Plus, a self-assessment and interview process reach even deeper to uncover qualities of experience and aptitude required for mentoring. 

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial leaders through excellence in mentoring.

Looking for more (or different) help to grow your business?

Kansas City has a continuum of resources ready to help your business reach its next stage and milestone. Check out the programs from other partners in the KCSourceLink network — or reach out to your Network Navigator directly at 816-235-6500 or to find out what’s available and how the resource network can grow, scale and accelerate your business. 


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