Becky Blades is an entrepreneur, artist, strategist, mentor, civic leader, arts advocate, and an author on creative, adventurous living.
She is author and illustrator of "Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening," a lighthearted book of counsel to young women coming of age, to be released April 1, 2014.
Becky launched her first company, Blades & Associates, in 1990 and merged it with Trozzolo Communications Group in 2003. Since then, her business stART-ups have included:
• Travels With Lola, a tour company creating memorable group trips to France: TravelswithLola.com
• Ze Jolie, an accessories wholesaler providing contract design and one-of-a-kind home and fashion accessories.
• Startistry Publishing, publishing her book and licensing the art of Becky Blades: beckybladesart.com
She has been a member of the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program and a mentor for the SparkLab accelerator. Becky serves on two corporate boards and is an angel investor.
She is chair of the board of ARTS KC, the regional arts council, supporting the arts infrastructure and individual artists throughout the 5-county area.
Her blog, stARTistry.com explores the art of beginning, from entrepreneurship to works of art. And she blogs about her book at LaundryorDie.com.
Becky is a licensed private pilot and Becky has taught and lectured on topics including creativity, entrepreneurship, marketing, public relations, professional presence, the French culture, and women’s issues.
Becky is graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
She has been married nearly thirty years to Cary Phillips and they have two daughters: Taylor Phillips, age 21 and Tess Phillips, age 18.
A refugee of the Soviet Union, Diana Kander entered America as an eight-year old resident of subsidized housing in Brooklyn, New York. By the time she was an American citizen, she had perfected her skills as a capitalist – selling flea market goods to grade school classmates at a markup.
Today, Diana is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and sold a number of ventures, and a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest non-profit in the world dedicated to entrepreneurship and education. Diana draws on her experience as a founder, investor, and academic to design and implement curriculum in educational institutions and the private sector.
A sought out public speaker and writer, Diana has advised startup founders and Fortune 500 executives on her methodology for customer-focused innovation.
Diana lives in Columbia, Missouri with her high school sweetheart/husband, Jason, and their awesome son True.