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Scottsdale’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 Scottsdale and surrounding areas below.

Emmanuel Guarino, Bekah Guarino

Emmanuel: Around 5 years ago I realized that what I was learning in college was not for me. I realized it was more of a business transaction than a quality education I was receiving. At that point, I started to realize I needed to do something. Around that same time my father started to teach me about being an entrepreneur and being my own boss. Read more>>

Ryan Englin

After graduating college with a degree in International Business and Human Resource Management in 2001, the job market was bleak. I was able to find a job as a loan officer with a local mortgage company. I was taught sales and marketing to develop my pipeline of leads. During this process, I was able to take my background in IT and web development and use it to automate and systematize my business. Read more>>

Michael Merendino

I started working in my father’s pizzeria on Long Island at the age of 13 and have worked every job in the industry. I moved out to AZ in 2002 and in 2007 I opened Crust in Scottsdale. We have expanded when we were not ready and have learned so much from our mistakes. Read more>>

Penny Warring

My Dutch brother in-law always wanted a pizza oven. On his travels through Portugal he found exactly what he wanted, the problem was how to get it back to Los Angeles where he lived with my sister. It was outragously expensive to ship so he trucked it to his native Amsterdam. Read more>>

Dr. Morgan Francis

When I was sixteen years old, my brother died in a tragic car accident. It forever changed my life. Out of concern for my mental health, my parents enrolled me in grief counseling. It saved me. I learned how to effectively grieve by realizing that it was normal to be angry, confused, and sad regarding the loss of my brother. Read more>>

Felipe Roldan

Me and my wife used to be in Real Estate, when the market crashed on 2008. We lost everything, our jobs, life savings, home, car and credit. This situation forced us to move from Las Vegas to Sedona where my Mom was able to help us with our newborn son Simon. We decided to start over, believing that our passion for cooking could help us to be successful in the restaurant business. Read more>>

David Berceli

1. I was living in several countries in Africa & Mid East that were experiencing war and political violence. 2. I noticed a pattern among all of us, that when we became anxious, frightened or traumatized, our bodies would begin to shake from fear. Read more>>

Tavit Daniel

I began working as a photographer at the beginning of 2010. Graduating from the prestigious business school at ASUs W.P. Carey, I took the basics of entrepreneurship and launched Tavits Photography LLC in the Summer of 2010. Read more>>

John Portugal

My wife Shannon and I began as Maui Wowi franchisees in the summer of 2013 with a mobile Ka’anapali Cart. Since then, we have done all kinds of events from catering high school dances to serving at major sporting events. We have found that the key to our success is to do the events that work best for us and our lifestyle. Read more>>

Kimberly Cross

We hosted our first in person market in 2015 in a parking lot in Dana Point, Ca. We have since grown to 6 markets on the West Coast and one in Hawaii. We started the market to specifically support local moms who have businesses that are run from home (but we do host anyone who would like to join us as long as they do not mind being around mostly mothers!). Read more>>

Erik Hendel

Faded Jeans is a five-piece electric party band! We started in 2008, gathering our members mostly via Craig’s List. Membership has rotated somewhat since then, but the aim has always been the same: provide a fun experience for everyone in the audience, whether at a club, restaurant, private party or charity event. Read more>>

Chad McClelland

Well it all started 30+ years ago. My father Greg McClelland learned and became an avid homebrewer in the early 80’s. Over the last 3 decades Greg would perfect and create new recipes almost on a weekly basis. Being his son, I was always fascinated with the idea of making something from nothing, let alone right out of our garage. Read more>>

Stephanie Nguyen

Working as a labor and delivery RN and then as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, I realized that there wasn’t much support available for breastfeeding moms. I started Modern Milk with this goal in mind – to provide a supportive place to help these nursing moms. Read more>>

Emily LaRusch

I needed to line up several home services and had a very short window of time to make phone calls on my break at work. I was appalled as I called contractor after contractor at how many didn’t answer. I wondered how these people managed to stay in business with such poor service. Read more>>

Krystal Grace Tait

In order to change to environment, you must first change the environmentalist. – anonymous This quote has been the foundation to my journey for as long as I can remember. I grew up with an indescribable sense of knowing that there is something greater out there. Read more>>

Ashlee Miller

Born and raised in Arizona Ashlee Miller has been in the beauty makeup industry for 14years. She loves makeup and marketing; with her entrepreneurial spirit she launched Ashlee Miller Artistry in 2010. After experience heart ship she made the leap and opened up a bridal boutiques and salon in early 2016. Read more>>

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