Listee Features — Entrepreneurship


A self-employed business owner for numerous years, Janis L. Comstock-Jones has found success as a consultant, through which she oversees various projects for clients including homeland security, records management, information technology and contingency planning. Based in Mount Vernon, Ohio, she has worked as an independent entrepreneur since 1992. Gaining inimitable expertise as a data processing coordinator, assistant director and director of information technology as a former employee of the American Red Cross, Ms. Comstock-Jones contributed the nonprofit’s efforts between 1987 and 1995, and concurrently held the role of a national instructor between 1990 and 1995. Additionally, she taught various courses at Columbus Technical Institute and was a fiscal officer for the county government of Columbus, Ohio, during her career. Ms.

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Ashlee Groves


Having accrued more than a decade of excellence in her industry, Ashlee Groves has garnered a laudable reputation as an entrepreneur and sales executive of construction equipment. Inspired by her father, who owned a utility construction company, she began interning at a Ditch Witch manufacturing plant while completing college at the Rawls College of Business of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Ms. Groves graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in finance and earned her Master of Business Administration at Oklahoma City University in 2009. From 2007 until 2009, Ms. Groves served as the Platinum Plus manager of the finance department at Charles Machine Works Incorporated. After completing a master’s degree, she returned to Ditch Witch with the aspiration

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Coming from a family long involved in the fashion industry, Gloria D’Angelo Ingrao felt a strong desire to keep the legacy alive. Her grandfather was the first to join the world of fashion, when a men’s coat he designed won a competition in Paris in the late 1800s. Her father then took up the trade, opening a suits and coats company, D’Angelo’s, in the early 1900s. Ms. Ingrao joined her father’s business as an administrator in 1975 and fell in love with the work. She had been brought up to be creative, so fashion was a perfect fit. She advanced to become the president of D’Angelo’s Originals Ltd. in 1978. Then, in 1981, Ms. Ingrao decided to branch out. She

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Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, Nancy Placek Puffer has headed a number of business-related projects over the years. She started by buying a Christmas tree farm, the Swan Creek X-mas Tree Plantation, in 1976 because she wanted her sons to have a piece of the earth. Her mentor, a tree farmer from Michigan, taught her all about the business and about the trees pay for the land. This really paid off, as Mrs. Puffer still owns the company today. Mrs. Puffer has also served as the owner and manager of the Wheels of Fountain Hills Transportation Service in Arizona since 1988. Additionally, she has experience as the owner of a parking lot in Arizona, as the chief executive officer of

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The pharmacist manager and owner of Biocare Pharmacy since 2008, Annie Truong is proud of her place in the industry. She and her husband, Chau Hong Phan, opened the independent company with the intention of serving the Vietnamese community regarding “specialty compounding medication formulations that are not readily available in the market.” Now, after a decade in business, they also offer consulting, medical prescriptions, beauty care supplies, food, and over-the-counter products. Ms. Truong attributes her ongoing success to the relationships she has built with her clientele and employees. She loves being able to use her passions to help others. ​ As a testament to her hard work and dedication, Ms. Truong was honored as Pharmacist of the Year by the Trademark Women of Distinction Honors

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Renowned amongst her peers for her expertise in travel management, marketing strategy, and strategic planning, Beth Gardner is currently lending her knowledge to Custom Travel Solutions. She has served as the company’s founder, president, and CEO since 1995, and is proud to be making headway as a pioneer in the field. Under her leadership, Custom Travel recently launched a new logistics platform that provides a full, completely automated, end-to-end solution to travel needs. There isn’t anything else like this on the market in North America. Ms. Gardner has also branched out to form Custom Vacations, which focuses on leisure as opposed to corporate travel. Looking forward, she hopes to continue expanding and advancing her business. Ms. Gardner had wanted to work in the travel

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Although Tamearra Dyson started her career as a certified nursing assistant and endoscopy technician at Marin General Hospital, she ultimately decided she wanted to pursue her passion for food. She grew up watching her elders cook, and developed a love for both cooking and having people enjoy what she made. She felt like she had something to offer the world: a vegan cuisine experience that she hoped would change people’s lives around the world. Thus, Ms. Dyson opened Souley Vegan in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. She enhanced her professional knowledge by becoming certified in business. Ms. Dyson considers her greatest accomplishment to be building her company into a national brand without startup capital. As the restaurant’s owner, founder, and

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A craft beer enthusiast with passion for living life to the fullest, Karen Hertz was thrilled when Holidaily Brewing Company first opened its doors in 2015. The business was the culmination of years of hard work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and fulfilled a dream she had long held. The idea for the brewery initially came after Ms. Hertz beat cancer (twice) and was required to go on a gluten-free diet. She was frustrated by the lack of quality gluten-free beer options and, after a lot of research, decided to create her own. ​ Now, the Holidaily Brewing Company is one of only five breweries in the country to produce only gluten-free beer, is the only one

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Known amongst her peers for her expertise in fashion, retail and merchandising, Antoinette Piesche is thriving as the owner of La Bella Moda, LLC. She first opened the store in 2011 in Clinton, Mass., after realizing that there was a lack of plus-size women’s clothing in the fashion industry. Desiring to fill the niche, Ms. Piesche has made it her mission to create pieces for women of all sizes. Some of her responsibilities at the boutique have come to include managing all operations and designing clothes. She is proud to have earned a reputation for being attentive to detail and committed to her customers. ​ Over the years, Ms. Piesche has presented her work to both fashion shows and magazines

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