Last week, YEA! Graduate Rachel Zietz pitched her business, Gladiator Lacrosse, to a panel of investors…on ABC’s award-winning show Shark Tank!

Her presentation was impressive, and it showed! Lori Greiner, the founder of QVC, said she was humbled by Rachel. “You’re doing everything right,” she said. Kevin O’Leary called the business “a hobby with great potential.” Daymond John said he would be doing her a disservice by taking part ownership of the company she built.

Although she did not strike a deal, her business is projected to reach $2 million in revenue this year, and has recently teamed up with world-famous lacrosse player Casey Powell to promote the company.

Rachel graduated from the YEA! Boca Raton, Florida chamber class in 2013 at just 12 years old. She has since been presented with numerous awards including the Boca Chamber’s Diamond Award, which is awarded annually to the top woman business leader in the region, and Florida’s Young Entrepreneur Award. She has spoken before organizations including the US Chamber of Commerce, Round Square and Cisco.

Check out her profile (including video) in USA Today!

Posted in YEA

Leadership HEB 2016 graduates honored

19 participants complete HEB Chamber’s intensive 9-month program

Leadership HEB, Class of 2015-2016

Leadership HEB, Class of 2015-2016

Bedford, TX—Nineteen current and future community leaders were honored at the Leadership
HEB Class of 2016 graduation ceremony, held May 12 during the HEB Chamber of Commerce
Monthly Luncheon at the First United Methodist Church of Hurst.

Linda Martin, mayor of Euless, was the keynote speaker, discussing the importance of
leadership. Charolete Davis with Century 21 Mike Bowman, Inc., spoke as class representative.

“People frequently say, “Don’t let your circumstances define you,’ ” Martin told the audience.  “But I maintain they will always define who you are, but don’t let them be limitations. Make them stepping stones and learning tools.”

This was the 30th Leadership HEB class. The nine-month program began in 1985 as a way to provide leadership education and encourage involvement in the community. Participants meet monthly, and activities include taking a variety of field trips and meeting with community leaders. Leadership HEB is a program of the HEB Chamber of Commerce and run by a steering committee, chaired by Tom Hingst of Hingst Enterprises.

“Leadership HEB is a rewarding program, but also a challenging one,” Hingst said. “Participants need to be committed to both the program and to our community. This year’s class has more than met that challenge. I’m very proud of them and grateful for the support of the steering committee, they did an outstanding job coordinating the program.”

Participants also are required to develop and implement a community service project. This year’s class mentored high school seniors and created iGrad, a program where people could donate suits, dresses and other professional-quality clothing for low-income high school graduates.

“Leadership HEB helps individuals learn more about our community while they further develop their leadership skills,” said Mary Frazior, Chamber president & CEO. “The program is a key part of the Chamber’s commitment to advancing business and strengthening community.”

A complete list of 2016 graduates is provided below. Applications for the 2017 class of Leadership HEB are now being accepted. To learn more about Leadership HEB, please call the Chamber at 817-283-1521 or email

Leadership HEB Class of 2016

Kelli Agan, City of Bedford
Cindy Benke, Shield Awards & Promotions
Mark A. Chandler, HEB ISD
Anita Daniels, Carter Bloodcare
Charolete Davis, Century 21 Mike Bowman, Inc.
Gina Day, Day Real Estate
Tyler Gibson, Farmers Insurance Agency
Denise Epp, From Across the Pond
Tanya Ferreiro, Carter BloodCare
Jennifer Jayroe, GRACE
Kent Johnson, Affiliated Bank Mortgage
Angela Jones, Mary Lib Saleh Euless Public Library
Lisa J. Karr, HEB ISD
Nateasie Kendrick, Texas Health HEB
Kathy Lanier, CASA of Tarrant County
Jerry Lewandowski, City of Hurst
David Mowers, GRACEful Buys
Maria Redburn, Bedford Public Library
Amy Sisler, City of Hurst


Saunders Scholars National Competition LogoLast week, over 100 semifinalists from all corners of the country competed in Rochester, NY in hopes of being chosen by the judges to advance to America’s Small Business Summit as a 2016 YEA! Saunders Scholars Finalist. Here are this year’s Saunders Scholars Finalists:

From the Northeast Region, Ashley Hurton is a student in the YEA! Peabody, Massachusetts Chamber class. Her business, HappiWear, produces athletic clothing while promoting positive physical and mental health. HappiWear donates 15% of all profits to the Brain & Behavior Research foundation, an organization which funds research for a variety of mental disorders.

From the Northwest Region, Maxx Stewart from the YEA! Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber class in Washington is the CEO of Spyder Grypz, an innovative replacement to traditional lacrosse tape. Spyder Grypz is a one piece rubber grip sleeve that shrinks on to a lacrosse shaft when heat is applied, enhancing the lacrosse player’s grip and control of the ball.

Also from the Northwest Region, Laney Hughes is the CEO of Shallocat, an apparel company that produces a variety of one-of-a-kind items and accessories that are based off Laney’s original designs. Laney is a student in the YEA! Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce class in Wisconsin.

From the Southeast Region, Ethan Shapiro and Ryan Shnider are the Co-Presidents of Snap’d In, a fully customizable and updatable phone case that will revolutionize the phone case market. Their phone cases feature six interchangeable picture “pegs” that allow the user to switch out photos. The two are students in the YEA! Central Palm Beach Chamber class in Florida.

From the Southwest Region, Arya Desai, Meenu Pamula, and Mizna Akbar are the creators of Muzikguru, a free online resource that helps parents find the perfect music teacher for their children. The website features a detailed database with information about music teachers including cost, location, and years of experience. The three are students in the YEA! Clovis, California Chamber of Commerce class.

The runners-up from each region had the chance to give their pitch for a second time at the YEA! Celebration and Awards dinner. The audience was able to vote on which two out of the four businesses should advance to the Finals competition as the People’s Choice Award Winners:

Cyanne McClean is the CEO of Africa Smiles, a company that works to improve literacy for children. Africa Smiles earns revenue through selling fashionable bracelets, and then all of the proceeds go towards buying books for students in Tanzania. Cyanne is a Saunders Scholars Semifinalist from the YEA! Miramar Pembroke Pines Chamber class in Florida.

Emily Guertler’s business, StraightShot Apparel, produces pants designed specifically for people with diabetes. Emily is a Saunders Scholars Semifinalist from the YEA! Sandy, Utah Area Chamber class.

All seven groups will present their business plans one last time at America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC next month. The winner will be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur, and receive a prize package including a college scholarship, as well as media attention on a national level! To register for America’s Small Business Summit, click here.

Posted in YEA

Ruby Shoals Plans to Grow her Business through the Chamber’s “Recipe for Success”

Ruby ShoalsRuby Shoals, an independent contractor with LegalShield, shows off our “recipe for success.” New Chamber members who attend at least five of our meetings or activities in the first 90 days after joining receive one free ad in the Chamber Connection, a $100 value. Ruby’s ad will be appearing in an upcoming edition — it’s just one more service the Chamber provides. Congratulations to Ruby and welcome to the Chamber!

Link to her page:

Young Entrepreneurs Academy at HEB ISD Recognizes 2016 Graduates

YEA Graduates 2016 ccOn Monday, May 2, we recognized the participants and graduates of this year’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy.  YEA! Steering Committee Chairman Michael Delgado, DDS, of Delgado Orthodontics made remarks, and Chamber Board Chairman Kimberly Ball with DOCUmation North Texas was the master of ceremonies. Also participating in the graduation were HEB ISD Board of Trustee members Faye Beaulieu and Fred Campos, as well as Bedford Mayor Jim Griffin. YEA! is a program offered by the HEB Chamber in collaboration with HEB ISD to teach young people how to start and run a business.  To learn more about the new class starting in the fall, visit the Chamber web site. Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates!

Euless B&B Wrecker Service BBQ for Euless Police & Fire Includes Tribute #ForHofer

Friday, Euless B&B Wrecker Service hosted a barbecue, held annually to show their appreciation for the fire and police departments in HEB. But this year’s event had extra significance, because the company also took time to honor Euless police officer David Hofer, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. The event drew a great turnout, including Euless Mayor Linda Martin (third from left in group photo) and HEB Chamber President and CEO Mary Frazior (at left in group photo). B&B is owned by Debi and Andy Chesney (at bottom) and is the oldest business in Euless, in operation since 1954. Our thanks to Euless B&B for honoring those who keep us safe, and congratulations on 62 years of service to the community.

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Physical Address: 2109 Martin Drive, Bedford, Texas 76021 | Mailing: P.O. Drawer 969, Bedford, Texas 76095
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