Mentors: MATURE BUSINESS

Polly White

Polly White

Summary of Qualifications Polly is a veteran entrepreneur and consultant whose experience spans all industries and whose expertise focuses on people. She is a founding partner and owner of Gather, whose coworking spaces provide a community to more than 200 entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business people. In 2002, Polly left the corporate world to start her first consulting business serving large and Fortune 500 companies in the areas of leadership and organizational development. Her business continued to grow in both size and capabilities over the next several years adding services in HR, compliance, strategy and workforce development. In 2009, she joined forces with her husband, Doug, to form Whitestone Partners, a full-service small-business consulting firm. Together, they work with clients across all industries and have extensive experience in real estate, construction, the trades, professional services, non-profits, advertising and marketing, manufacturing and financial services. They help businesses that want to get to the next level as well as those needing to get back on track. Today, Polly is recognized as a small business expert, successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and founding partner of Gather, coworking spaces that create community for more than 200 entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses. She writes weekly columns (with her partner, Doug) for both RTD Business and Entrepreneur.com. She is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and business consultant. Want to meet with this Lead Mentor? Schedule an...
Leah Fremouw

Leah Fremouw

Summary of Qualifications Leah Fremouw is a familiar face in the Richmond business community and has a rich history of managing dynamic, fast-moving projects with multiple stakeholders. Leah currently serves as an Assistant Vice President at Virginia Community Capital, a financial organization deploying loans and advisory services to projects in all regions of the Commonwealth. In this role, she partners with businesses in a variety of industries and growth stages to support their movement to the next level. Prior to this role, she led talent management and cultural initiatives for CarLotz, a fast growing Richmond business, served as an organizational development consultant with the Performance Management Group at Virginia Commonwealth University, and for three years worked in the city’s public housing communities. Leah’s commitment to the Richmond community brings her out of the office and into initiatives moving the greater region forward. She helps lead TEDxRVA, the innovative speaker series initiated in 2012, along with Impact 100, where she supports strategies to raise large grant funds for local nonprofits. Leah earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees at VCU, where she was recognized as an L. Douglas Wilder Graduate Scholar 2008-2010. She is also a 2011 graduate of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence’s Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program.   Want to meet with this mentor? Schedule an...
Grant Mizell

Grant Mizell

Summary of Qualifications Grant is a Fractional Product & Marketing Manager, specializing in small to mid business growth through customer engagement and product innovation. Grant Mizell’s career spans traditional advertising, PR, community management, digital strategy, SEM/PPC and product development. Most recently, acting as Head of Product, he oversaw the transformation of PartyRVA, a successful and award-winning prototype e-marketplace for group planners, into OccasionGenius, overhauling the customer conversion funnel, shifting the business model and repositioning for national scale. A graduate of VCU’s Advertising program, he uses a foundation in conceptual thinking and design as a heightened UX perspective in targeting business growth opportunities through user-centered engagement and innovation. In 2013, he traded in 7 years of Adjunct instruction at VCU Advertising, for a leadership role on the Byrd Theatre Foundation. Grant serves as Vice President and Programming Chair, where he applies lean startup mentality to marketing and new program development, in support of the 87-year-old institution’s evolution into a center for film and film literacy. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
Jevata Herman

Jevata Herman

Summary of Qualifications Jevata Herman is the co-owner of Canvas The Salon, an upscale boutique salon in the heart of Historic Jackson Ward. She created the salon, formerly called Jeveta The Salon, in 2004 out of her passion to have more creative freedom and provide a unique space that embodies her journey as a stylist and business owner with a span of over 25 years. Jevata enjoys creating opportunities to inspire, inform and share her experiences to encourage other women, current business owners and aspiring business owners. As a small business champion, Jevata has helped others understand the importance of setting boundaries (and sticking to them), balancing the demands of business ownership and family, and prioritizing. Exposure, creativity and passion have allowed Jevata to stand out as a career entrepreneur in RVA. Richmond is a thriving birthplace for ideapreneurs and small businesses, and it offers a plethora of resources to meet the growing demands we often face along the way. Jevata recognizes the vital catalyst of connecting strategically in our community, and she enjoys serving as that link to aspiring creatives. From creating step by step strategies for business growth, knowing the importance of team building and when to ask for help, and bringing in the right resources, Jevata’s experience is invaluable. She has founded the Glamour Initiative, a creative collective that allows industry professionals to collaborate to offer scholarships, and has raised the standards consistently while nurturing the creative aspect of their businesses. Throughout her career, Jevata has primarily worked for herself. On a daily basis, she finds an opportunity to share “how to’s” or “where do I?” with other...
John Rabil

John Rabil

Summary of Qualifications John Rabil is the founder of Launch, a Richmond-based strategy and legal management firm. John is the founder of Launch, which provides Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel services to businesses. The firm is dedicated to developing and managing company strategy while simultaneously handling legal needs that arise in small business. Throughout his career, John has worked with some of the most well respected Fortune 500 companies including SunTrust Bank and Coca-Cola, helping him hone in on business and strategy skills. His true passion lies in entrepreneurship; helping companies start, grow and move forward. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...