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Rising Stars of Arvada

The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of Denver’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Arvada’s rising stars below.

Jake Wilson

I was born and raised in Denver. Yes the actual city of Denver. I was in Jewish day school through high school, graduating with a class of 15, the biggest in my school’s history at that time. The blessing of that was that I learned to make friends doing things outside of school. From working at my first job at Rialto Cafe, to starting nightclub, concert and rave promoting at the age of 16. This gave me the opportunity to develop the skillset of creating new friendships and connections in a multitude of environments. After graduating from CU-Boulder with a degree in Architecture and working for an architect after school, I realized I wanted to do more than sit in front of a computer and do AutoCAD and wanted to be more engaged with people. This led me to eventually taking a job with Landmark Worldwide, a global leader in personal and professional training and development. Working there for five years under amazing mentors and training gave me the skills and confidence that still influence and drive me on a daily basis still to this day. In 2013 I started with Apex Energy Solutions as a sales specialist. Read more>>

Tonica Johnson

I am someone who attributes who I am today to my upbringing. I know that my parents did the best they could with what they had, but it definitely wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. My family struggled financially, which caused a lot of stress. I witnessed many things I wish I hadn’t liked the sad cycles of addiction and abuse. However, there was a great silver lining in all of this. When I sometimes didn’t want to hurry home, I found myself finding reasons to stay after school with my teachers. I was fortunate enough to have them see something in me that pushed me to be very driven in my academics. I’m not sure exactly how or when it happened, but at some point, I remember feeling like education was going to be my ticket to a better future. Neither of my parents graduated high school, but I was determined to go to college and become a teacher like my role models. And I did just that- I not only worked to earn one degree, but 3, by the time I was 23! I also taught English at a Cleveland high school, my dream job. Read more>>

Emily Fenger

My story has a lot of pages but I think we can start it with 16-year-old Emily sitting in her bedroom in New Jersey listening to a bunch of really bad “emo” music then fast-forward a few years to when I was introduced to my yoga practice. Everything I have done from that point was filled with emotion and mindfulness. When I decided to launch my own business, Mindfully Home, I knew it would follow suit and be filled with the same self-awareness I had worked years creating. Mindfully Home, at its heart, is a wellness company. It takes my qualifications as a Meditation and Breathwork Coach and marries my training as a Holistic Integrative Wellness Coach to make a personalized experience for my clients – one that helps them find out what “home” means to them. We spend so much time looking outside of ourselves, decorating our external world, but we must first start nurturing within. After learning what “home” looks like to my clients, I can then support them in finding a physical location. I am a holistic Realtor, if you will! I work with clients on mindfulness, real estate, or both – crossover is not necessary. Read more>>

Matthew Ladwig

Lazy Sons Woodworking is a small start-up business that adopted its name from their family-owned ranch since 1912 and the family brand. The owner of Lazy Sons Woodworking is a local Colorado firefighter and does many of his projects on his days away from the station. The business started with family and friends in 2017. Growing up my grandpa was a wood worker on his days off as well. He built many things for my mom and her sisters. Windmills, toy chests and so on. He passed away about five years ago and I regret not trying to learn more from him before he passed. I did however receive many tools that he used and had even built himself. That pushed me even harder to follow in his footsteps. I have had only a few clients but I look forward getting better and building more in the future. Read more>>

Aleasha Bahr

After eight years of selling millions incorporate digital sales across a wide variety of industries, I got tired of the company I worked with not delivering on client promises. So, I opened my own digital marketing agency and scaled it for three years to the point where I was working all the time and really needed to hire people. Instead of figuring that out, I admitted to myself that I missed sales. Armed with my new marketing skills learned straight from the trenches, I started offering sales & marketing strategies for solopreneurs and sales teams. And have even since specialized even further to working with introverts to 3x-10x the number of people saying “yes” to their offer with a customized strategy. Introverts always think they’re at a disadvantage, but they actually have a leg up over extroverts! Because no one suspects an introvert, they trust them more. People expect their sales person to be an extrovert, and as a result, they’re often more skeptical. Since going in this new direction, it’s been incredibly fulfilling. All my clients at least double their sales all the way up to a 400% increase with some sales teams I’ve worked with. Read more>>

Jan Pelton

I got started in photography in Show Low Arizona when I was a sophomore in High School. I was on the newspaper and yearbook staff and had a great photography teacher-Mr. Craig. That was the first year that the school had a photography class, so we got to work with Pentax k-1000 35mm cameras. Our teacher was a pretty cool guy, and he somehow was able to get us the special edition model, which came with brown skin instead of the standard black skin. I loved it! Mr. Craig encouraged me to attend photography classes at the local community college after I graduated high school, where I had another great teacher who taught me a lot about composition, getting assignments with the local newspaper and shared his deep love of photography. He encouraged me to continue my education at the Colorado Institute of Art here in Colorado. I majored in photojournalism and minored in portraiture. After I graduated, I worked for a production company traveling to a lot of US states taking photos of businesses, the people in them and what product or service they provided. Read more>>

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