Last Friday, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women- Owned Businesses, in partnership with the City of Frederick and Frederick County Offices of Economic Development, hosted Ready, Set, GROW! — a free workshop aimed at providing an overview of public & private procurement programs to qualifying local businesses. Attendees at the event had learned what buyers are looking for now & what is in the pipeline, and then were able to meet with them one-on-one during an open networking session.
During the event, the Governor’s office took the opportunity to honor three Frederick business owners for exceptional business and community leadership.
Owner of Octavo Design
Sue’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1998 when she started a home-based design firm. She formed Octavo as a partnership, but took on full ownership after just one year. Two years later, she acquired a regional web development and marketing firm. Well recognized throughout the industry, Octavo has received over 500 national design awards. Sue is a recipient of the American Advertising Federations Silver Medal Award – a program that recognizes men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the field of advertising and to their communities.
Every part of her life is an opportunity to serve. She is a member of the City of Frederick’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise panel and has volunteered design services for numerous regional non-profit organizations such as the Police Activity League, Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, and the Mission of Mercy just to name a few. In fact her generosity has earned her the nick name “Santa Sue.”
Owner of Lee Building MaintenancE
Jason has a true entrepreneurial heart; starting his own janitorial business at the age of 22. He empowers his team to solve problems, and builds company’s reputation around the principles of integrity, reliability, and value. If you are part of the local community, you already know Jason. The list of his community services is very long: Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, The YMCA, United Way of Frederick County, Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, Hood College, First United Bank and Trust and the list goes on.
Very near and dear to Jason’s heart is the Rotary’s RISE Program which focuses on reducing unemployment and underemployment in the public housing community where he grew up. As a RISE volunteer, Jason returned to his old neighborhood – mentoring men and women of all ages, and helping open doors to career opportunities. The unemployment rate in that community has dropped from 28% to 13% thanks in large part to the RISE Program.
Owner, President & CEO of TEI Electrical Solutions
Established in 2001, TEI has annual revenues of $25 million and employs 80 people between its Fredrick and Baltimore City operations. Adissa is very hands-on. In addition to running the day-to-day operations, she also provides executive oversight on all healthcare, research, DoD, and commercial design/build projects. Her job is to makes sure everyone is adhering to the budgets and schedules – and that requires a very specific skill set. But with 26 years of experience, she know how to get the job done. She also knows how to take care of her community. Adissa gives her time and talents to Habitat for Humanity along with several local churches and youth programs in Baltimore City. Through Project JumpStart, she mentored Baltimore City residents through an 87-hour pre-apprenticeship training program – 5 of whom went on to become employees in her company. Adissa was nominated by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.