5 Columbus Residents Graduate from Co.Starters Program

by | May 5, 2022

This article is by guest writer and Co.Starters graduate, Brigitte Wright.

On Monday, April 25 Co.Starter participants celebrated with a graduation ceremony at La Fonda Restaurant in Deming. More than a dozen students were enrolled, 5 from the Columbus area.

Co.Starters is a 30 hour, 10 week long program that gives prospective new business owners insight into and support for starting, owning and operating a business. Each week features a successful small business owner as a guest speaker on the week’s main topic.

“I’m very happy I took it and will recommend it to anyone who wants to start a business or who has a business that needs some support and guidance,” said Co.Starters grad Ravelle Flores. “I learned a lot on how to talk to my customers better and it has helped me greatly with improving my business. I really enjoyed each of the guest speakers and their insight on how they run a successful business.”

Each student had to give a short presentation on what their business is and product or services they plan to provide to the community.

The Co-Starters program was facilitated by  Emily Gojkovich, Deputy Director of the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments, and Christie Ann Harvey, Luna County Community and Economic Development Director. Pete Delaney and Tamara Rosenberg were facilitators-in-training.

The ceremony was also attended by, Deming Mayor Benny Jasso, County Manager Chris Brice, County Commissioner Barbra Reedy and several others.

Columbus area participants included:

Bob & Brigitte Wright of SouthPaw Creations. Bob specializes in handmade one-of-a kind pens. Bob kept the class laughing with valuable sales and marketing stories while Brigitte kept Bob on track and productive.

Leonard Steward:  Leonard’s Columbus, NM facility is 100% completely solar powered. His products include CNC routed products, decals, digital downloads, iron ons, laser engraved products, prints, magnets, drink ware and more.    

Ravelle Flores: Ravelle dazzled the class with her handmade enameled jewelry in eclectic styles. She offers earrings, necklaces and bracelets in bright colors, often seasonally or thematically designed. Her work can be seen on Facebook and Instagram and purchased on Etsy.

Tamara Rosenberg: Tamara is the editor of CNM-News, the local village paper for Columbus and the surrounding area of Luna County.

Vincent “Corby” Burns: Corby has futuristic plans for a solar heating and cooling company.

Other participants were:

Charles “Chuck” Walko: Chuck is a retired school teacher and has written several books. He is working on a visionary media company with a current focus on “Deming, the Best Kept Secret in America.”

Daniel Harkins: Daniel was featured a year ago in CNM-News when he first came to town with his small batch, hand-roasted coffees. He traveled the farthest, coming each week from Juarez, Mexico. He is currently working on expanding his business into roasting, importing and selling the best coffee beans from Mexico, mountain grown 100% Arabica.

Lionel Jeanty: After a lifetime in construction, contracting and related work, Lionel wants to teach others how to do residential and commercial repairs.

Pete DeLaney: Pete is a retired contracting company owner and audited the class as a facilitator in training.

Scott Defrieze: Scott is an experienced dog handler. He is starting a local dog training and obedience business.

Shanon Davis: Shanon of Suck it Up Cups offers customized mugs and tumblers in just about any design imaginable. She sells through local shops and online through Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.

Interested in joining a Co.Starters class? Want to contact any of the grads? ">Send an email to CNM-News!