Along with making art to sell, they also have a cooking group twice a week where a group works in the kitchen in the morning to create a delicious lunch. On Wednesdays, a group goes with a staff member to deliver Meals on Wheels. You might’ve even seen them on Fridays in our community for “Fun Friday”. As a group, they pick out lunch and a fun activity to do as a way to round off our week of hard work. You can learn more at www.creativefoundations.org
“Ms. Bumgardner has risen through the ranks over the past 23 years with Peoples and it is important that we reward our employees with promotions within”.
At Your Hometown Techs, we believe it is crucial to highlight the significance of implementing robust cybersecurity measures for small businesses. So, why should cybersecurity be a top priority for every small business owner? Let us tell you!
In January, she had a booth at the Cincinnati National Fishing Expo and followed that show with the Expo in Columbus. Brezlyn started making baits when she was 12. At this point she was making baits at no charge for her stepfather and his bass club buddies. Two years later, she officially started Breezy Bombers.
“Sales were super slow,” said Brezlyn.
Her baits were being sold on Instagram and Facebook, but her retail instincts told her that drastic measures were needed to increase sales.
When the 2021 National Fishing Expo hit Columbus, Brezlyn was there to promote her baits. She did not have a booth at the show, nor did she have a price tag on any of the 30 bags of baits she had with her. Brezlyn was giving her baits away to anybody who would take them. However, she did have one person targeted to receive a sample of Breezy Bombers.
“I introduced myself to Brian Latimer and gave him a bag of baits. That really got things started,” said Brezlyn.
Latimer, a professional bass angler and guest speaker at the Expo, was so impressed that he invited Brezlyn to his Z-Man Fishing Products booth where he filmed a segment with her for his Facebook page.
“After that segment ran on Facebook, I had 30 orders in one week!” said Brezlyn.
Latimer did not stop with the Facebook broadcast when it came to Brezlyn. One month later, Brezlyn received an invitation from the president of Z-Man Baits to visit the company’s headquarters in Ladson, South Carolina.
“We were there on March 30, 2022. I’ll never forget that date,” said Brezlyn. “I didn’t sleep the night before, I’ll tell ya!”
“I was very impressed that Brezlyn and her family made the trip all the way to South Carolina to visit us,” said Daniel Nussbaum, president of Z-Man Fishing Products.
“She’s the most impressive teenager I’ve ever met,” is how Brian Latimer describes the young lady from Quincy, Ohio.
Another interesting event resulting from her Facebook experience with Latimer took place at the recent Expo in Columbus.
“All of a sudden, I heard ‘There she is!’ It was two adults almost running to my booth,” explained Brezlyn. “Then they asked for my autograph.”
The couple’s son lives in Maine, and he had seen the Facebook post with Brezlyn and Latimer. Once Brezlyn signed her first ever autograph, she then posed for several photos with the couple who had been given specific directions from their son to do so.
Brezlyn’s friendship with bass fishing’s best does not end with Latimer. Over the past 18 months, she has become fast friends with Shaw Grigsby. One of the most popular professional anglers of all-time, Grigsby expressed his total astonishment of this young lady.
“Her work ethic and dedication are tremendous,” said Grigsby. “She’s pouring those baits in two- and four-piece molds. That’s just unreal.”
When Grigsby attends ICAST, the fishing industries trade show, this summer, his pass to the show will read “Shaw Grigsby + 1.” The 1 will be Brezlyn Reneer. She will be staying at Grigsby’s home in Gainesville, Florida, prior to ICAST.
“ICAST has a tournament that Shaw is fishing. I can’t fish the tournament with him but he is going to take me fishing on the practice day before the tournament. How cool is that!” exclaimed Brezlyn in a voice that climbed higher with each spoken word.
“Shaw is going to take me to visit Terry Scroggins, too,” added Brezlyn. “His nickname is Big Show.”
For a 12-year-old girl who started making free fishing lures for her dad and his fishing buddies, her accomplishments and professional contacts seem astonishing until you meet her. Brezlyn already has her goals set for the next 10 years. Her short-term goal is to expand her fishing expo appearances from two to four per year. She has her eye on a fishing show in Indiana and possibly one in east Tennessee. She expects to have an increased inventory by that time as well.
In five years, she would like to travel to multiple states such as Michigan, Virginia, and Kentucky as well as her incursions to Tennessee and Indiana.
She hopes to be into a full-time lure-making career in seven to 10 years. Her determined attitude is a clear indication of her academic skills. This young businesswoman is an honor roll student, but she sheepishly admits that “I get an occasional B in history.”
Brezlyn tries to allocate three hours per day or 15 hours a week for lure production. However, that goal is often unreached since she is a full-time student with plenty of extracurricular activities at school. In addition to playing soccer, Brezlyn is involved in announcing basketball games and a group called P.B.I.S.
“P.B.I.S. stands for Positive Behavior Intervention Supports,” explained Brezlyn. “We try to make school a better place to be.”
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Berry's new venture is focusing on giving high school students the support and resources they need to keep their entrepreneurial spirit here in Champaign County.
Robin Henry of Junior Achievement has been working alongside Berry to establish the Entrepreneur Club of Champaign County. At the first meeting of new members, Henry said, "We are so excited to be a part of this project. It has been a need in our community for quite some time, and seeing that need being filled is extremely rewarding."
The new club's first meeting included a field trip to the newly renovated offices of Berry Digital Solutions, where members enjoyed coffee from The Spotted Owl Coffee Bar while brainstorming ideas on whiteboards throughout the space. Club members completed activities supplied by the local Junior Achievement chapter with a focus on entrepreneurship. The group ended their trip enjoying pizza from the rooftop at Urbana Brewing Company where they heard the story of how the new downtown business became a reality after years of planning.
Future meetings of the Entrepreneur Club of Champaign County hope to include more community support and stories from fellow entrepreneurs. Berry hopes the organization will grow and brainstorm future ideas to make money to support club initiatives and fund future business ideas.
"Ryan's energy around this project is what is going to keep the students engaged," said Patrick Johnson, Triad High School's Director of Academic Programs. "I didn't know what to expect at our first meeting, but I think everyone there agreed that it exceeded all of our expectations."
The new club hopes to meet once per month going forward. There are even plans for summer meetings, as well as appearances at future local events.
If you're interested in really engaging and connecting to talent via the career cards, here is the link for that, but does involve a small fee of $600. This allows businesses to add three job titles and positions through the end of next school year, ending June 30, 2024. The link to learn more is https://www.youscience.com/employers/.
What's in it for you? -- Once students search a given career cluster your business will appear for local students (not just Champaign County) to directly see how your business may be a fit for them.
All mechanicals are new for optimal performance (Plumbing, Electric, HVAC). Tenants will only have one utility bill - electric. Landlord pays for trash and water.
Come join them in their excitement to celebrate 2 years of hard work to transform one of Urbana's most under-utilized buildings, into one of it's hottest centers!