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Gilbert’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyagePhoenix 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 the Greater Phoenix area’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 inspiring stories from Gilbert and surrounding areas below.

Jamie Ihms

I originally started wedding planning, as most planners do, because it looked glamorous; I would get to create beautiful designs and watch each couple enjoy the happiest day of their lives together. Now, after 5 years of just getting by as an independent planner, 3 years of learning as an associate planner a seasoned planner, and 2 years of thriving as CEO of my own planning company, I have a very different perspective. Read more>>

Zhanna Tarjeft

My American journey started when I came to the U.S. 13 years ago as an exchange student after getting my Master’s Degree in Psychology and English in Dnepr, Ukraine. I am an immigrant from Ukraine. I loved studying and wanted to improve my English here. After a year in the U.S. Read more>>

Chance Butler

By way of background, I was given the name “Chance” because I was born with a 50/50 shot at survival. In my early years, it took me a while to develop a normal immune system, so I spent many days home from school on the couch. Read more>>

Cheri Montgomery

I worked with special needs people for 30 years and was looking for a change. I started making vintage jewelry and was part of an art show in Gilbert. When the previous owner shut down, the art walk after one year due to a lack of artists I decided to become the new owner. Read more>>

Todd Judkins

I suppose the story of my start is not unlike many other stories out there. I was born and raised in a New England town and did what everyone else aspired to do. I went to school, got good grades, played all the major sports. I was very athletic as a kid and played baseball at a high level into my college years. Read more>>

Christina Rosepapa

When I started in the graphic design field, I was a small minority of women in the workplace. I started my career right out of college with a BA degree in Liberal Arts. I always wanted to be a designer/artist. Read more>>

Ashley Stone

I started photography when I was 12 years old. My grandparents got me a Canon power shot flash camera for Christmas and I started taking photos of everything! Read more>>

Chris Rassiccia

I grew up in a suburb about 15 miles north of Boston. I’ve been involved in art for as long as I can remember and at around age 10 I started playing guitar. Read more>>

Anthony Garcia

Iron Gang Nutrition was an idea that a group of friends had one day while working out at the gym. It started out as just a conversation about us starting our own business. Read more>>

Colton Grubb

I grew up in Phoenix with a strong family ties to the Valley. My Grandpa, Lou Grubb, was a fairly well-known community member thanks to his success in the automotive industry and his philanthropic work. My dad carried on the Grubb auto tradition, and I couldn’t be prouder to inherit their entrepreneurial spirits – only instead of cars, I wanted to create something entirely different in the Valley’s food scene. Read more>>

Lisa Vukonich

My business partner and I worked together in higher education for 5 years. At the end of the 5 years I decided to leave the company as I had two young children and was missing a lot of important things in their life as often worked 50-60 hours a week. My business partner Erin Owens decided to join me and we started looking for a spa franchisee to purchase. Read more>>

Erica Wellman

Friends for Life began in 1993, then known as Citizens for Tempe Strays. We were a network of foster homes, rescuing stray animals from the streets, and searching for adoptive families. Within two years, our organization had a solid volunteer base, a dedicated board of directors, and was handling hundreds of adoptions per year. Read more>>

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