Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Every Stage of Life

Have you ever thought about launching your own business, and want to hear from people who can share how they did it? Peoria Forward will host a panel of three Valley entrepreneurs who own businesses and can share tips for success as well as pitfalls to avoid.

Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Every Stage of Life takes place 5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Avenue in Peoria. The event is free and open to the public; and pre-registration is required.

The three panelist are local baseball great Willie Bloomquist who founded Elite Outdoor Adventures, Valley business executive Kathleen Duffy Ybarra who serves as president and CEO of the Duffy Group, Inc., and education leader Kimberly Allen, who started Cultural Perspectives. All three industry leaders are graduates of Arizona State University.

Bloomquist, who played baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks for three seasons 2011-13 and now serves as Special Assistant to the President and CEO of the ball club, launched his company to help others fulfill their dreams. Bloomquist became the first Arizona State Sun Devil to play for the Diamondbacks and has been inducted into the ASU Sports Hall of Fame.

Duffy Ybarra’s single-minded dedication to helping individuals find joy in their work became her mission when she established the Duffy Group, Inc. She developed the recruitment research model that allows the firm to harness marketplace intelligence, work as a discrete and transparent partner to deliver quality candidates with up to 50 percent savings over traditional recruitment fees.

Duffy Ybarra, who was named the 2018 Private Sector ATHENA recipient by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, is a founding member of the Arizona Human Resource Executive Forum and serves on the Board of Directors for the International Search Management Association. She is a former Chair of the ASU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and National Alumni Council, and former member of the Trustees of ASU.

Allen, who serves as the Associate Director of Program for Year Up Arizona, started her consulting company specializing in educational transformation, cultural competency and family engagement.

She has served in a variety of roles, including Senior Research Associate for WestEd, Deputy Associate Superintendent for the Arizona Department of Education and administrator at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, Nev. Allen has received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Board of Rachel’s Challenge, a nonprofit organization.

Peoria Forward, a partnership between ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation and the city of Peoria, works to grow and scale entrepreneurship within Peoria and to accelerate economic development with the launch and support of high-growth, innovative companies.

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