Local First: Stories from Arizona’s Small Business Community
Meet Corey Rankin, OneAZ Credit Union

Meet Corey Rankin, OneAZ Credit Union

September 16, 2019

Meet Corey Rankin with OneAZ Credit Union. For over 65 years, the nonprofit credit union has been serving Arizona through community giving and supporting local business growth which has strengthened our local economy and helped create more vibrant communities. Corey's love for the community has been the guiding light along the way, which started at the young age of 18. Find out more about OneAZ Credit Union here: https://www.oneazcu.com/

Meet Erik Verryden, NexGen Partner Strategies

Meet Erik Verryden, NexGen Partner Strategies

September 9, 2019

Meet Erik Verryden, Founder of NexGen Partner Strategies. On the surface Erik's day-to-day business is credit card processing, but he's found a way to use his business to give back to community. Take a trip to a rural town in Arizona, where one particular local business owner found a way to give back to her favorite nonprofit just down the street.

Meet Lisa Lamberson, Mountain Sports Flagstaff

Meet Lisa Lamberson, Mountain Sports Flagstaff

September 3, 2019

Meet Lisa Lamberson, owner of Mountain Sports Flagstaff & Bright Side Bookstore. In 1980, Lisa's father started Mountain Sports in Flagstaff well before this quaint little town was known for outdoor sports and has grown it to be a cornerstone of the area. Lisa's story brings us a bit of history about Flagstaff in the 'old days' to where it's headed next - hopefully to more snowy adventures...

 

Meet Michela Ricci, The Early Bird PHX

Meet Michela Ricci, The Early Bird PHX

August 26, 2019

Meet Michela Ricci, owner of The Early Bird PHX. Setting up a coffee shop was a slam dunk, but we hear about the real struggles entrepreneurs face when going after a big dream. Michela takes us on her journey to find community - from leaving the state, to discovering coffee culture, and then returning with a new found ambition to become a local business owner right here in Arizona.

David DeLorenzo, Bar and Restaurant Insurance

David DeLorenzo, Bar and Restaurant Insurance

August 19, 2019

Meet David DeLorenzo, owner of Bar and Restaurant Insurance, and known to friends and clients as simply, "the DeLo". As a second generation insurance owner, DeLo admits, "You talk to anyone about insurance and their eyes glaze over, they get bored," which is why his approach to business is anything but usual. 

DeLo doesn't fit the stereotype insurance salesman. First, he runs... like a lot, second he makes his job fun and has filled his office with Star Wars memorabilia, third, DeLo puts his staff, himself, and his clients front-and-center because to him, it's about helping people. Jokingly, he says he's retired at 45, "This is my passion... I love what I do... hospitality is my passion." 

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, Elev8ed Cre8ion

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, Elev8ed Cre8ion

August 12, 2019

Meet Deleita Kamhunga, owner and creator of Elev8ed Cre8ion. She's turning the world of parenting on its head with a modern bag to suite any parental need, "Our products are there to elevate parenting." As travelers of the world, Deleita and her husband found themselves carting three or more bags - laptop, purse, diaper bag, "It was exhausting." So they decided to create a new bag that would take the place of three for the parent on the go. Now they're looking to expand their line, but still with the same vision of creating better products to help people live better lives.

 

Meet Angela & Jon, Geekitek

Meet Angela & Jon, Geekitek

August 5, 2019

Meet Angela Solorio, CEO & Jon Fernandez, Head Technician of Geekitek. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Geekitek was born out of a desire to do more for community. Seeing a gap in technology resources in the Hispanic community, they knew that's where Geekitek needed to be. "There were people getting charged $50 to start a gmail account... $100 to set up their phone. How was this being allowed?"

After six years of training large computer and cellphone companies on how to fix and sell their products, Jon and Angela had a realization, "Why don't we start our own?" 

Meet Tracy Perkins, Strawberry Hedgehog

Meet Tracy Perkins, Strawberry Hedgehog

July 29, 2019

Meet Tracy Perkins, Founder of Strawberry Hedgehog, a vegan bath and body product store located in Phoenix, Arizona. Tracy's personal experience with severe health issues set her on a journey to educate herself and others about the harmful chemicals and ingredients in the beauty products we use everyday. Her passion to make natural and vegan products from real ingredients has cultivated a community of fans (called "soapies") across the region and is disrupting the beauty industry, one soap bar at a time.

Meet Cierra Bennett, Vintage Oats

Meet Cierra Bennett, Vintage Oats

July 22, 2019

Meet Cierra Bennett, Owner of Vintage Oats. After a career in the corporate world, Cierra was looking for a bigger purpose in her life and her family. After putting it out to the universe to give her a vision, it answered with granola. Had she eaten it before? No. Did she know the first thing to do? No. But as a destined entrepreneur, that didn't stop her.

In this episode, hear from Cierra about being "destined for it" as a small business owner, the community that rallied around her at Archwood Exchange, and how she beat the self-doubt that always tries to creep in.... "Don't ask anyone for validation. If you've put the hard work in, it'll work."

Meet Mike Spangenberg, State Forty Eight

Meet Mike Spangenberg, State Forty Eight

July 15, 2019

Meet Mike Spangenberg, Co-founder of State Forty Eight. Born and raised in Arizona, Mike remembers being that one kid in class raising his hand when the teacher asked, "Who is from Arizona?". This episode, we hear the story about how Mike and his friends got started, Mike's favorite AZ sports moment, and the craziest places people have worn State Forty Eight tees repping hometown pride all around the world.