Three local women entrepreneurs were honored Wednesday for their vision, creativity and commitment to their businesses and the community. The School of Business, Computer Science & Information Technology presented its 2019 Women Entrepreneur Awards to the following women:
- New Entrepreneur – Sasha Raitz, co-owner of Meraki Salon and Barber
- Established Entrepreneur – Taylor Elchert, owner of Taylor Elchert Photography
- Janet Molineaux – owner of Tiffin’s two Subway restaurants
Dr. Bruce Murphy, serving as emcee for the dinner and award presentation, said women entrepreneurs hold a special place in the School of Business’s heart. “At Heidelberg, we teach our students to do things right in business,” he told the award recipients. “You take risks, you’re all in. You do things right and you do the right things.”
In addition to operating successful business enterprises in Tiffin, all three of this year’s award recipients have made a strong commitment to give back to the community in creative and meaningful ways.
Sasha said her vision was to create a business with soul, creativity and love – a business “where you can find a piece of yourself in your work.” It’s important to her to bring sustainability to the salon and the community, she said.
Taylor, who has been in business 11 years, specializes in maternity and newborn photography. “I love that I get to work in the Tiffin community,” she said. “It’s a fantastic place to live and work.
A Tiffin native, Janet began working for Subway 30 years ago, working her way up to regional director, until she bought the two Subway stores. As with the other award recipients, giving back to the community is a staple of her business philosophy. “I will continue to serve the community as much as I can,” she said.
In his remarks, President Rob Huntington called the Women Entrepreneur Awards “one of the most uplifting evenings of the year.” The event gives him pause to think about the women who shaped his life – his two grandmothers, his mother, his sister, his wife and his daughter.
The event also is reminder of the great qualities of the Tiffin community, he said. It’s also a reminder that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Those who are successful entrepreneurs surpass the simple idea of going to work every day just to get a paycheck.
“My take on entrepreneurs is that they are individuals who put it all on the table,” he said. “They risk anything and everything to make (their enterprise) successful."
“What you do is awesome. Keep doing it. You inspire more people than you know,” he told the award recipients.