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Mesa’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 Mesa and surrounding areas below.

Diane Ortega, Belinda Hodder

Belinda and I had always romanced the idea of owning a birth center. Before opening the birth center, we served this beautiful growing community in the East Valley for over 6 years working in a hospital based midwifery practice. We worked fiercly to change to face of hospital birth, giving women more birthing options. We worked hard, fighting many battles along the way. Read more>>

Christoff Orr

I always wanted to write and tell stories, and had written my first story when I was eight years old. It would take me thirty more years before I would publish my first book, Lost Nation Series: Detriment. During the next thirty years, I spent nearly twenty years working in accounting and finance. Read more>>

Sherry Dryja

Petite Over 40 is a blog that explores the world of fashion through fashion history and the lens of middle age. My name is Sherry Dryja. When I turned 45 I began a quest in search of my signature style. I started Petite Over 40 as a way of connecting with others who were on a similar quest. Read more>>

Dave Richins

United Food Bank’s history is deeply-rooted in the East Valley and dates back to July of 1983 when it began operations as United Food Distribution Center, Inc. The Food Bank was started as a nonprofit joint venture among East Valley cities and their respective United Ways to gather and distribute food to East Valley organizations that were helping feed those in need. Read more>>

Max Getz

I was raised in Northern California, and attended Sacramento State University, where I earned my degree in Accounting. While in school I began working at KPMG providing tax services to large business and their owners. During the first handful of years I enjoyed the challenge of providing tax compliance services to large entities, but would soon realize, I preferred working with entrepreneurs who owned smaller, privately held businesses. Read more>>

Danielle Dickshinski

In the beginning of my journey, I believed I was being selfish for wanting to get into the medical field to find relief from my own physical and emotional pain. I grew up with this internal pressure to use high ambition to prove my worth and value, but could not understand the source of the emotional discomfort. Read more>>

Natalie Maddon

Solstice started in my kitchen on a whim almost two years ago. I worked a desk job in finance for nearly ten years and I was bored. I was spending entirely too much money on lingerie and decided to give it a shot and make myself a bralette. It was pretty damn cute! My husband is a fashion photographer and he took some photos of me wearing it and everyone wanted it. Read more>>

Seráh Blain and Evan Clark

Spectrum has undergone many phases of evolution since its founding in 2012. Now a thriving political communications firm, Evan originally started Spectrum as a camp program to teach young people about diversity through experiential workshops. Read more>>

Lindsay Ransom

I am currently certified as a professional Birth Doula, Infant & Child Sleep Educator/Mentor, and pre-certified Breastfeeding Educator, My work history involves 8 years as a patient care technician in many medical settings, including the hospital. After my personal pregnancy, labor, & birth experience, I realized that the way our pregnancy, labor, and birth experience unfolds; directly impacts the future of our health and well-being. Read more>>

Chris Coady

I started my shipping career working for UPS as a package handler in 2007 and left as a Senior Account Executive. During those years I realized that there was and still is room for improvement in the quality of service and cost of shipping. After leaving UPS in 2014 I established ELI and started working with larger shippers to create a consolidated shipping model that helps to improve the service and lower the cost for small businesses. Read more>>

Gina Ribaudo

I am a child of God, wife, mother and a self-taught artist, all in that order. I always loved to draw and paint as a child, but not until my early 20’s, when a friend asked me if I could paint her babies nursery wall, knowing I was naturally artistic, did my painting career really begin. Read more>>

Bob Hasulak

QuickFrames USA was formed in 2015 as an answer to the common construction problem of costly, hazardous, welded-in angle iron roof frames. Our flagship product, known as QuickFrames, are patented, bolt-on, adjustable and pre-engineered for a wide variety of applications. Structural engineers, fabricators, estimators, general contractors and architects were quickly drawn to our simpler, safer and more cost-effective option for framing roof top openings in commercial buildings. Read more>>

Ginia Lucas, Sharon Olsen

In the late 70’s Sharon Olsen started her first Y-Knot Shoppe in Novato, California. Primarily a gift and craft store, it slowly morphed into a shop that included floral design, wedding favors and accessories and event planning on a small scale. In 1980, Sharon’s husband bought into a distributorship in Phoenix and they uprooted and moved to Tempe, where the Y-Knot brand was put on the back burner for a few years. Read more>>

Charissa Dantas

I have been going to second hand stores for years. I love finding things that someone bought full price that I end up paying fractions for. I found myself always telling people, who would compliment me on my outfit, “Thank you! I paid $5 for it at Goodwill,” just to see their reaction. Read more>>

Jenny Rodriguez

I have always loved making jewelry, and even as a kid I was making beaded bracelets and selling them to my mom’s friends or setting up a “little store” outside my house to sell friendship bracelets. I always had entrepreneurship in my blood. As I got older, I started taking my jewelry passion further by enrolling in metal-smithing classes and I instantly fell in love. Read more>>

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