Young Americans Blog

Presenting Mentors: Meet Them Here

By: Katie Payer Published: August 15th, 2013

We are thrilled to announce our three Presenting Mentors for our Celebration for Young Entrepreneurs.  These three business people are movers and shakers in Colorado.  They will each be paired with one of the winners of our youth business competition.  Over the next 12 months, the pairs will work to accomplish one or two goals so the young entrepreneurs can improve their businesses.

On Tuesday, September 10, we’ll announce the winners and show off the mentor pairings.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, meet the dedicated and successful Presenting Mentors here…

Colleen Abdoulah, WOW! Internet, Phone and Cable

Colleen Abdoulah, WOW! Internet, Phone and Cable

Colleen Abdoulah

CEO, Wide Open West Internet, Cable and Phone

Where is Collen right now in her life? “Happy, grateful, appreciative, passionate, focused and aware.” And she should be all those as the only female CEO to lead a top-ten cable company. Colleen has guided WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone since 2002. During that time the company has garnered an unprecedented 17 J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction.

Colleen’s mantra is simple: “I cannot control my circumstances. I can never control someone else’s behavior. I can only choose how I respond.” And her response has been to help her community by volunteering her time with the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, where she advocates for abused and neglected children. She also serves on the board of The Women’s College of the University of Denver.

Prior to joining WOW!, Colleen spent time at TCI, where she held numerous positions, including Assistant to the COO and Executive Vice President of Cable Operations.

Colleen is the type of business leader who believes that “when leaders focus on the health and well-being of people, profits will follow.”

Chad McWhinney

Chad McWhinney, McWhinney Real Estate

Chad McWhinney, McWhinney Real Estate

CEO and Co-Founder, McWhinney

Having your own business is not always the easiest thing, but for Chad McWhinney who believes “success comes to those who get in front of the inevitable,” it’s a piece of cake. Strawberry cake, that is.

Chad’s first business was a strawberry stand at the side of the road that he started at the age of 13 with his brother. Eventually, he grew his business into 28 stands located all across southern California. Since that first sales experience, he has continued to make what seems impossible, possible. For over 20 years, Chad has been rocking the real estate market, and the proof is in all the Colorado homes and apartments planed and developed by his company, including 1,300 multi-family apartments.

It is Chad’s personal goal to create a better world. When he’s not making properties better, he helps make the community better through his role as the Board Chair of Teach for America Colorado and as a Council Member of Urban Land Institute’s Small-Scale Development Council.

Today, Chad describes himself as “happy, passionate, grateful, wiser, proud and humbled.”

Kristy Taddonio Mullins, Mile Hi Foods

Kristy Taddonio Mullins, Mile Hi Foods

Kristy Taddonio Mullins

President and Co-Owner, Mile Hi Specialty Foods

To Kristy Taddonio Mullins, it’s important to remember, “not to try and be 100% to everyone all the time.” Instead, Kristy says she tries to be “100% at where you are at that exact moment.” Given the success of her current company, she’s running at 100%.
After graduating from the University of Denver, Kristy – a Denver native — had the desire to continue her family’s business. Like all young and passionate entrepreneurs, she “trained herself out of each job” until reaching her current role as company co-owner and president.

Kristy was recognized by the Colorado Business Journal as one of the “40 under 40” to watch this year, and her companies were ranked among the Top Ten Family-Owned Businesses in Colorado by ColoradoBiz Magazine. Additionally, she was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011.

Kristy supports other women-owned businesses through her participation in the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Food Service Forum, and the McDonald’s Women’s Owner/Operator Network.

Kristy believes that “the only person who truly knows what you’re capable of is yourself.”

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