Mircea Divricean Camp Kostopulos Dream Foundation, President and CEO

ocated just 2.5 miles up Emigration Canyon on 25 acres, is a very special place where both children and adults of all abilities can chase their dreams. They participate in activities such as horseback riding, fishing, and even ropes courses. This place is called Camp Kostopulos.

Dan Kostopulos and his wife, Helen, started Camp Kostopulos in 1967 as a way to give back to those with disabilities. Today, Camp Kostopulos is known as the Kostopulos Dream Foundation to more adequately reflect their mission and purpose. Mircea Divricean has taken over the reins of the organization that brings smiles to so many faces.

When did you start getting involved with the Kostopulos Dream Foundation?

“I started working at Camp Kostopulos as a camp counselor in 1998 while I was in college. I worked here every summer while I was in college. When I graduated I was a banker for a year and then 2001 I returned to Camp Kostopulos. After three years, I became the COO, the CFO, and then COO/CFO, and then for the last three years I have been President/CEO of the camp.”

 What type of activities does Camp Kostopulos offer?

“The Kostopulos Dream Foundation offers recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. We offer three types of summer camps:  Residential, Day, and Trip.  Residential and Day Campers go fishing, ride horses, work on arts and crafts projects, and challenge themselves on the ropes course all while making new friends and renewing old friendships. Residential campers spend four nights on our campus, while Day Campers spend the night at their own homes, and return to Camp Kostopulos each morning. Trip Campers spend five days on the road and participate in the Travel Trip Adventures program. Campers go to places like Yellowstone, Moab, Bear Lake, or Jackson Hole.

We are open year-round and our community based programs run from September-April.  We offer activities such as: cooking classes, bowling, going to Utah Jazz Games and community dances, and much more. We also have an equestrian program that runs year-round where campers experience equine therapy.”

What is unique about the Kostopulos Dream Foundation?

“We treat everybody individually and we try to find ways to address their own particular needs. We try to help them out as much as we possibly can.”

 What keeps you so motivated and positive?

“It’s the little things. A smile on a camper’s face. An email from a parent that expresses gratitude for what we did for their child. For example, the other day, after a very long day, I went down to the camping grounds and a team captain approached me to say how much he loves our camp. It was his first time here, and he said it was the best thing in the world. He also said the staff were very helpful and polite and had the highest praise for them. These are the moments that make me so happy.”

What is your favorite part of being the CEO at Camp Kostopulos?

“Seeing campers interacting with each other. Our campers can relate to each other and they feel like they are not alone. They look at their fellow campers and recognize they are experiencing the same issues and challenges. The create this special bond.”

Is there one child’s story that really tugs at your heart strings?

“There are so many. But Julian has a really amazing story that demonstrates how powerful the human spirit is. Julian came to Camp Kostopulos the first time when he was eight years old and you could not tell he had a disability. He was riding horses and going up on the ropes, one of the happiest kids in the world. Doctors later discovered that Julian had a tumor in his heel and they had to amputate his leg. But he returned more resilient than ever with two different prosthetic legs, one for walking and one for high impact activities. He was able to do all of these activities again, but this time with his new legs. It was so phenomenal to see him back and not in pain.”

What is your favorite quote?

“Never give up on something you truly believe in. Follow your heart and it will lead you to your destiny.”

What motto do you live by?

“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest. It’s about who came and never left your side.”

What unique fact would readers be surprised to know about you?

“I graduated from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. I was the first Non-Profit Executive in the country to graduate from the Goldman Sachs Small Business Leadership Program.”

Angela Ramirez, Founder of Wild Shopping App, Snach.it Has Done it Again!

Not only is she charismatic but she is also powerhouse with so much talent all wrapped into one lovely package, it’s no wonder Angela Ramirez is gracing the pages of Utah business journal, Enterprise.

Angela Ramirez Snach.it Creator in Enterprise Business Journal Angela Ramirez Snach.it Creator in Enterprise Business Journal pg2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Ramirez Enterprise Spotlight  Angela Ramirez Enterprise Spotlight pg.2

about snach.it

Snach.it, a disruptive shopping app, is a Salt Lake City, Utah-based startup with a mission to make mobile shopping fast, fun, and share-worthy. Angela Ramirez, Founder, is a former Merchandise Manager at Overstock.com, where she managed more than $100 million in revenue. She has also been featured as one of the 30 Women to Watch in Utah Business Magazine and has been sourced in  publications globally. “Snach” your demo at www.snach.it and follow on Twitter: @snach.it and on Instagram: @snach.it

Meet the Makers of Chatbooks

You’ve probably heard of (or more likely used) their product! We are totally impressed with their quick start up, organized business model, and the way they have turned their passions into a business. Read on and be inspired!

Company Bio:

Chatbooks started operations in January 2014 and in June 2014 they sold their first Chatbook.  Chatbooks is headquartered in Provo, Utah with 10 full-time and 23 part-time employees, some of whom work remotely all across the country. In one year they have sold nearly over 500k Chatbooks.

Chatbooks (1)

 

 

Q: You’ve grown an amazing business quickly that is already very successful. What tips would you give entrepreneurs who are looking to do the same thing?chatbooks

A:

  1. Only start a company if you can’t imagine being happy doing anything else
  2. Find an incredible co-founder who complements you and whom you trust completel
  3. Read “Lean Startup”, put it on nightstand, treat it like a sacred text
  4. Don’t quit, don’t run out of money
  5. Take care of the team

 

Founders Bios:

Nate and Vanessa Quigley, are the co-founders of Chatbooks.  Prior to starting Chatbooks, Nate served as CEO of LiveTV, LLC.  He also served as the President of ELEVEN Technology, Inc. Prior to Eleven, Nate worked for McKinsey & Company as a management consultant serving clients across a variety of industries on engagements spanning strategy, finance, and operations. Working out of the Los Angeles and Paris offices, Nate focused primarily on turnaround situations and the application of information technology to business opportunities. Nate earned a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.  Nate enjoys birding, Teddy Roosevelt, mountain biking, tennis and being with his family.

Vanessa has a degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University.  Prior to Chatbooks, her professional career consisted mostly of managing the wonderful chaos of their 7 children.  She spent years as a stay at home mom, while singing gigs whenever she could and cheering on Nate in his various ventures. However, as soon as the youngest Quigley was in school full time, she eagerly joined the Chatbooks team as Chatbooker-in-Chief.  Vanessa enjoys singing, the theater, going out to dinner, and playing games with her family.

Utah’s Fan Club Leader: Great Salt Lake Clothing Company

We love business. We especially love small businesses. And we profoundly love small businesses in Utah who are seriously kicking it and putting smiles on people’s faces. Hence, our total delight in highlighting Great Salt Lake Clothing Company on the blog today. (P.S. check out the promo code at the bottom of this page!)

Great Salt Lake Clothing Company was pioneered by Dave Marquart and Mike Martin; Two bearded dudes who love this good ol’ Beehive State that we all call home. Dave took the time to share with us a bit of their story.

“We wanted to buy cool looking shirts for ourselves and friends that featured all the interesting, weird, great things about Salt Lake and Utah but couldn’t find anything we liked. The options beyond generic “Salt Lake City, Utah” scratchy cotton t-shirts were almost non-existent. So we started designing shirts and our friends liked them enough that we started printing them. When they started selling quickly, we started designing more!”

Mike Martin and Dave Marquardt

The designs by GSL Clothing Company have quickly become popular in the western United States and even with a couple Utah-loving Canadians. Their second line of shirts is about to be released and where they go from here is getting customers reeling. They plan to expand their line and include hoodies, long sleeve tees and hats and posters, releasing 3-5 new designs each quarter. After each new release, they plan to have a launch party at a local bar. (Sa-weet!)

“Whatever we sell over the next year or two, we want it to solidify our reputation as the leaders of Utah’s fan club. It’s such an amazing state – we are psyched to step up and give people a way show their pride for it!”

What makes GSL Clothing Company different from other clothing companies? A lot of things. But here are 6 reasons why we think they rock!

  1. It is owned and operated by some pretty dedicated men!

“We both grew beards in anticipation of selling our homemade beard butter because, come on, who’s going to buy beard butter from people without beards?!?”

  1. The GSL guys really care about and appreciate their customers, and take the time to show them that.

“We both believe in creating a relationship with everyone who purchases a shirt from us. To that end, I write a small hand-written thank you note to everyone who buys a GSL shirt – we think it’s a nice, personal touch from the GSL guys.”

  1. GSL Clothing makes wickedly sweet shirts that not only creatively boast of our home state but are super comfortable.

“We both think shirts need to be soft. So we chose to print on one of the softest shirts we could find. It’s one of the major ways we hope to set ourselves apart from the rest of the generic gift shop gear out there.”

  1. The founders of GSL Clothing are also the principal employees of Beehive Sport and Social Club, a year round adult recreational sports club specializing in kickball, dodgeball and other sports most adults haven’t played since they were in 6th grade. Learn more here.

“Needless to say we like to have a lot of fun.”

  1. The GSL designers are full of talent and spunk and have been booked for some pretty prestigious gigs.

“Within 6 weeks of starting GSL we hit the lottery and were commissioned by the Utah Film Commission to design a t-shirt for all the filmmakers at this year’s Sundance film festival.”

  1. The GSL guys are passionate about dedicating a portion of their shirt sales to a great local cause. Toward that goal they’ve  pledged to give 1 can of soup to the Crossroads Urban Center food pantry for every t-shirt they sell.

 “We are also passionate about the small business entrepreneur/artist community in SLC. We firmly believe its health will always be a great indicator of the health of the city as a whole. To support the work of the folks around town we admired we’ve highlighted ski  shops, vodka distillers, artists and many more on our blog.”

Companies like GSL Clothing are what we need more of in Utah. They are unique, genuine, full of personality, trustworthy and offer a quality product. And we like that. Check out some of their stuff! They are featuring a special promo for readers of the City Launch blog. Anyone who uses code CITYLAUNCH at their website’s checkout page will save 15%.

Meet the Founders

Dave Marquardt

Dave Marquardt

Chief Fun Officer, forever kid, and entrepreneur of awesome things. Hobbies include kickball, boating, beer tasting at Murphy’s, and doing whatever it takes to get on national television.

 

 

 

 

Mike Martin

Mike Martin

Code cruncher, website fixer, blogger, and t-shirt designer. Hobbies include skiing, mountain biking, hiking, kickball, cooking, and beer tasting.