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Main Street Mentors Walks draws large crowd of eager entrepreneurs

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Between 150 and 200 business owners and entrepreneurs participated in yesterday's Main Street Mentors Walk, organized by the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The event paired veteran business owners with early-stage business adventurers on a 5k morning walk through Central Park, located in the Stapleton neighborhood.

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"Business is never easy, but today it's safe to say that improving your business operations and planning can be a walk in the park," David Biondo, emcee for the Mentors Walk, told the enthusiastic crowd. Biondo is the host of Business Unconventional, a weekly one-hour radio program airing on 710 KNUS AM that shines a spotlight on the Colorado small business community.

For several hours, mentors and their business pupils, dubbed "mentees," could be seen walking the trails of Central Park, some moving rapidly, while others took time out sit on benches and explore ways to improve their businesses.

Abram Sloss, executive director of the Denver SBDC, welcomed the attendees to the event and invited them to take advantage of the no-fee, confidential business counseling - covering all management topics - offered by his development center. Alea Kilgore, Manager at the SBDC, oversaw all the details of the Mentor's Walk. In 2012, the Denver Metro SBDC was named the top small business development center in the nation, besting more than 1,100 other such organizations.

Among the local business owners who served as mentors yesterday were: Vic Ahmed, founder, Innovation Pavilion; Nancy Barnett, co-founder, Apis Business Solutions; Sean Boyd, CEO, YOUnique Counseling; Ryan Cobbins, owner, Coffee at The Point; Umberto Filesari, CEO, Triump; Jeff Goeke, owner, Transpire Design; Connie Higgins, president and owner, reZENed; Dakini Jaeger, owner, Chant Fest; Alan Luzietti, president, Echo Concepts; Alvin McBorrough, CEO, OGX Consulting; Susan Roberts, coach, ActionCoach; and Karen Suhaka, founder and president, LegiNation.

Bob Blenn, a nationally recognized management and training consulting and founder of Inspiring Human Potential, addressed the crowd prior to the start of the walk, encouraging "mentees" to overcome any shyness and ask plenty of so-called "dumb" questions. Blenn recently relocated to Colorado.

Among the business sponsors of the event, in addition to Business Unconventional, were Wells Fargo, CPI Creative, THINK Photography, and FastSigns. The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, another sponsor, helped orchestrate the Mentors Walk, headed by Rob Rose, engagement manager.

Radio host Biondo, who is heard Sundays from 8 am to 9 am on 710 KNUS AM, is CEO of Signal Butte Financial Corp., where he provides wealth-building advice and financial management to business owners. Biondo is one of the country's leading authorized Bank on Yourself advisors. Biondo is also an accomplished musician, singing for the Mentors Walk participants, as well as playing his guitar and harmonica.

Business Unconventional coordinates the 2013 Small Business Drives Colorado™ campaign, which celebrates the state's entrepreneurs and small business owners, featuring small business owners on its weekly radio program and in one-minute vignettes broadcast throughout the week on 710 KNUS AM. The Small Business Drives Colorado™ campaign is sponsored by Mountain States Toyota, and co-sponsored by 710 KNUS AM, Signal Butte Financial Corp., Cranberry.com, FreedomFastTrack.com, Centennial Gun Club, Scholarship Real Estate, eagle:xm; and LoomView Enterprises.

A free weekly business-to-business newsletter, showcasing successful local business owners, is available from www.SubscribeColorado.com. The newsletter includes weekly listings of guests appearing on Business Unconventional.

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