1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
IndED started with the realization that we wanted our first-grader to get more than he was getting from his educational experience. We wanted to be involved, to help him choose an educational path that made sense, but didn’t want to do it all by ourselves, or have to travel to multiple locations to piece together a full program. He was privately educated for a couple years, but along the way, we managed to create a “microschool” model, where families could take individual classes, or a full-curricular program. We were intuitively consulting and mentoring to help parents find the right resources, with a personalized learning plan, and projects which both inspire and enlighten. This program now includes our core classes in Civics, Arts, and Science held at the “Hub” in Downtown Leesburg. As much as possible, we strive to involve the community through local businesses, artists, non-profits, government leaders, and of course the parents, so that the kids are not learning apart from the community, but as part of it. At IndED, we take learning live.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would be thrilling to see that our efforts are being recognized. We are still new, and nascent, but we’re growing carefully through referral and reputation. This sort of recognition could help get the word out about how unique and special IndED really is, and inspire us to make it even better.
3. If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?
Odds are I would be selling something. I’ve been in outside sales my entire adult life.
4. What book are you reading right now?/ What is your favorite book?
Most recently (some just completed, some still in progress): The Vanishing American Adult; Explaining Postmodernism; John Quincy Adams: A Public Life a Private Life; Divided by Faith; Reflections on the Revolution in France
5. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Clean the house and finish the above books that I haven’t finished…start a couple more.
6. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
Our 3D Printer opens up so many opportunities educationally: 3D modeling, coding, the design process and crowdsourcing. We made our own “courier chess” board (from wood), and ended up printing up an entire courier chess set (48 pieces). It hasn’t impacted our bottom line per se, but it has opened us up to thinking about different ways to develop projects and educate children.
7. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
My childhood dream was to be an astronomer. I even pursued a Physics Degree at LSU, but about half-way through the program it became evident that my talents and passions actually lie elsewhere.
8. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
I would have to say my first boss at my college job, Coach Dye. He is the one that saw potential in me as a leader and helped develop it. It was an important time in my life, and he knew the importance of learning the skills involved in relating to a variety of people. He helped me develop the three attributes that most embody a good working professional: loyalty, dependability and predictability.
9. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
First, we’re at the heart of everything on the East Coast. Washington, D.C. is right down the road and the Shenandoah Valley is nearby in the other direction. Most of all, it’s the people. It’s a good mix of people like me who are transplants, and people who grew up here. It’s growing fast, and that makes it an extremely innovative and creative environment. Most of our closest friendships have come through our relationships through the Chamber or the community of Downtown Leesburg.
10. If you’re not in the office where can we find you?
Walking around Downtown Leesburg, chatting with business owners. I’ve had an office Downtown for almost 10 years now. It’s a part of my family.
11. What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?
Anything that involves outside and with my kids. There’s usually a soccer game to go to a good chunk of the year. We almost always head out to Fields of Athenry to pick up our meat and dairy for the week. We like to hike anywhere we can, whether it’s Red Rock or Balls Bluff nearby, a casual walk down the W&OD, or a more aggressive jaunt down the Appalachian Trail.