September 2011


Pacumbaba-WatsonGina Pacumbaba-Watson, President & CEO of GPW & Associates of a Lawrence engineering consulting firm is shown (to her right) with the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors for HEMP (Barnett Helzberg) and (to her left) Mentor-Ray Pitman (prominent Philanthropist and Businessman in KCMO) at the Ewing Kaufman Foundation Center, November 2010.

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former owner and President of Helzberg Diamonds. Inspired by his twenty-three year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less-experienced entrepreneur mentees. Considerable mentoring is also fostered through peer-to-peer relationships derived from involvement through HEMP.

Components of the program include a one-on-one mentoring relationship, networking opportunities with peers and veteran business owners, exposure to mentoring skills that can be applied to any professional or personal situation, business educations discussing greatest successes and lessons learned from peers and top CEOs in the community, and field trips to locations of entrepreneurial interest within the Kansas City area. The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial leaders through excellence in mentoring.

Gina Pacumbaba-Watson was accepted into the program as a Mentee in 2007 and graduated in November 2010. She is now a Fellow Participant.

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