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Testimonials

Debbie Farah
CEO & Founder
Bajalia International Group
debbiefarah@bajalia.com
http://www.bajalia.com
407-852-3850
2011 Graduate

With the help of Athena, Bajalia was able to grow the company from two to eleven employees, surpass the million-dollar mark in revenue, and launch three major initiatives with new wholesale customers, including the launch of our jewelry line on HSN, and the opening of a retail showroom in Winter Park. Bajalia would not have reached these new heights or grown past a second stage company without Athena’s help.  From legal advice, to accounting help, to connecting us to potential staff members and people in the community, their time and talent was invaluable. Athena members also coached us in navigating the waters of private equity financing. The Athena board assigned to Bajalia was stellar in every way, and many members are still supporting us.

 

Stacy Ethun
President & CEO
Park Avenue Group
stacy@parkavegrp.com
http://www.parkavegrp.com
407-629-2424
2009 Graduate

After being in business 12 years and having experienced two economic downturns, I thought I was well prepared to face a third financial crisis.  Wrong!  I had no idea just how bad things would get or how long they would last.  I was so fortunate to find out about Athena PowerLink because when all was said and done, I believe my panel of experts was instrumental in helping me survive.  When I started to doubt myself, my team rallied around me, bolstering my spirit and helped me maintain perspective.  Aside from the moral support, my group provided excellent tactical strategies to help me evolve to a changing environment.  We established a new path together, evaluated our progress, and eventually turned the ship right.  I went from having my worst year ever in business in 2009 (the year I had my Athena panel) to being on track for my best year ever in 2011.  Needless to say, my Athena experience was life changing.  I have new friends, new experts on which to rely, and an assurance that I truly can overcome most any obstacle.

Diana-Headshot_lo2Diana LaRue
President & Creative Director
Appleton Creative
diana@appletoncreative.com
http://www.appletoncreative.com
407-246-0092
2008 Graduate

“ATHENAPowerLink was a wonderful experience. The support was amazing and the continued relationships are priceless. Through this year-long process I found clarity in my future direction and growth in defining my long term goals for the company. My experiences with the various team members assisted me greatly in formulating a map from where I am now to where I want to be in 5 to 10 years. I was motivated to restructure the flow of the company into a more productive organization. This guidance along with the rebranding of our company helped to define who we are and where we want to be. The wheels are now in motion toward a brighter future.”

 
gail_mears_loGail Mears
Director & Owner
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services
gmears@clubztutoring.com
http://www.clubztutoring.com
407-312-8038
2008 Graduate

“Anxious, nervous and excited sums up how I felt as I arrived to my first ATHENAPowerLink meeting. Empowered, tested, strategically ready, and on my way to achieving my business goals summarizes how I left my last ATHENAPowerLink meeting. Within a year of beginning this program my revenue doubled, and the most significant strategic business relationships I have were formed. Are you a woman business owner in search of a mentor? Are you willing to allow others to challenge your ideas and point you towards opportunities that you hadn’t yet considered?  ATHENAPowerLink is for you.”

 
Julie SwatekJulie Swatek
President
Scrap Your Trip®
julie@scrapyourtrip.com
http://www.scrapyourtrip.com
407-351-1501
2007 Graduate

“It is not lightly that I say the ATHENAPowerLink program changed my life. First the numbers: 161% revenue growth, 278% net profit growth, increased employees from 12 to 25, expanded warehouse from 1800 sq ft to 5300 sq ft. The business went from not even paying me a salary to supporting my entire family. But it’s so much more than that. I had a whole team of people behind me that helped me, supported me and kicked me in the butt when I needed it. When I was unsure, they were steady. When I was scared, they were my cheerleaders. They helped me to realize that I really could be successful at this, and not just a little successful…a lot successful! They saw in me what I did not see in myself. The ATHENAPowerLink program changed the trajectory of my life, which in turn, has allowed me to help others and pass it on. I am filled with gratitude for the existence of a program such as this and honored to be a graduate.”

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