Local Entrepreneurs Graduate from Tri-C’s Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Five business leaders from The Villager communities took a step toward greater success by completing the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®).

The list of graduates includes Bill Kendall of Costin + Kendall CPAs in North Ridgeville; Emily Kloos of OCS Process Systems in Westlake; Nicole Ponstingle of Pandata in Westlake; Laura Sherman of Sustainable Energy Services in Westlake; and Emily Showalter of Willoway Nurseries in Avon.

They were among 26 small-business leaders from across Northeast Ohio and beyond who completed the most recent session of the program. Each spent three months at Tri-C studying a specialized business and management curriculum for entrepreneurs.

Previous graduates have seen their business outperform the broader economy while exceeding national and local averages in revenue growth and job creation.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a charitable initiative to unlock the growth and job creation potential of small businesses across the United States by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital and support services.

10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) launched at Tri-C in Cleveland in May 2012. The alumni list for the College’s program now exceeds 700, with graduating business leaders representing a variety of industries and businesses. The most recent grads include:

  • Bill Kendall, president and CEO of Costin + Kendall CPAs. The firm provides accounting, tax and advisory assistance for individuals and businesses. It is located at 36591 Center Ridge Road in North Ridgeville.
  • Emily Kloos, operations manager at OCS Process Systems. The engineering company provides a variety of equipment and services to food, dairy, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers. It is located at 24142 Detroit Road.
  • Nicole Ponstingle, chief operating officer and partner at Pandata. The company helps clients harness data to solve and simplify complex business challenges and drive success. It is located at 24600 Detroit Road.
  • Laura Sherman, chief executive officer at Sustainable Energy Services. The business helps industrial and commercial companies minimize financial loss on utilities through smarter energy consumption and purchase strategies. It is located at 24700 Center Ridge Road.
  • Emily Showalter, chief of human resources at Willoway Nurseries. The wholesale plant nursery has more than 2,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials and sells to independent garden centers and landscapers in the Midwest. It is located at 4534 Center Road in Avon.

For information on 10,000 Small Businesses, visit tri-c.edu/10ksb or call 216-987-3162. Applications are being accepted for the session beginning in September 2021.

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