The Grant County Economic Growth Council has named the founders of Tree of Life Bookstores LLC recipients of its 2013 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. The council has honored Darren and Nancy Campbell for innovation and positive community impact.

November 22, 2013

News Release

Marion, Ind. — Over one hundred community members gathered together to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week by honoring outstanding Grant County entrepreneurs at the Grant County Economic Growth Council’s 2013 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Banquet.

Darren and Nancy Campbell, cofounders of Tree of Life Bookstores, LLC were named the winners of the 2013 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, an honor that is bestowed each year upon locally nominated individuals whose companies have been in business for at least five years, display innovation in their product or service, and positively impact the Grant County community. The Growth Council created the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award in 2007 as an initiative to recognize and encourage entrepreneurship locally.

The community also honored the winners of the 3rd annual Young Entrepreneurs Program business plan competition who were awarded prizes and scholarships for their creative business ideas, which were deemed most viable, innovative, and best suited for Grant County.

First prize, including scholarships of up to $2,500 and iPads, was awarded to “Tech Styles,” a business created by Mississinewa High School seniors Matthew Bartrum, Sarah Kirkwood, and Clay Helvie. These students serve as the first team from Mississinewa High School to place first in the past three years of the Young Entrepreneurs Program. “Tech Styles” is a computer sales and support company that offers online and in-store tech support and repair to households, professionals, and businesses.

Second prize, including scholarships of up to $1,500 and Dr. Dre Beats Headphones, was awarded to “The Alley,” a business created by Marion High School students Alyssa Ngo (junior), Emari Carroll (junior), and Christie Powell (senior). “The Alley” is a trendy, wholesome teenage club that seeks to offer students a place to gather, socialize and work on homework, keeping them off the streets and on track to meet their full potential.

Third prize, including scholarships of $1,000 and $100 cash cards, was awarded to “Marion Athletic Arena,” a business created by Marion High School students Noah Graham (junior) and Sara Highbaugh (senior). “Marion Athletic Arena” is an indoor sports facility located right off of Interstate 69 that offers people of all ages and stages of life a place to be active throughout the year. Their indoor facilities accommodate volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis.

Andy Dalton, founder and CEO of My Mobile Fans, served as keynote speaker for the event. My Mobile Fans is a Mobile-apps-as-a-Service company that helps brands, businesses and organizations create an affordable mobile strategy in order to maximize their interaction with fans, customers and members. Dalton outlined nine myths of entrepreneurship, encouraging the audience to look past myths to pursue their career goals and entrepreneurial aspirations.

The Grant County Economic Growth Council is an avid supporter of local entrepreneurship, as it is one of three prime methods that bring jobs to a community: attraction, retention, and formation of new businesses. The sole mission of the Growth Council is to “facilitate investment and reinvestment for job retention and creation” in Grant County.

Source: Grant County Economic Growth Council

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