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Jeff Cowan, author of the book titled, “What I’ve Learned From Attending Over 40 Indy 500s,” spoke briefly on BEO on his life story and shared some great advice.

Cowan began attending the Indy 500 when he was twenty. During this time, Cowan worked for a woman named Bev Nelson in the 1980s.

Despite his lack of motivation, Nelson noticed how great Cowan was at sales. However, Nelson began taking Cowan around Indianapolis and showed him the many things he could do, only if he could motivate himself and start collecting a steady income.

Cowan’s eyes opened the first time he attended the Indy 500 when invited alongside the Nelson family.

Cowan was amazed by witnessing the sponsors, CEOs, and drivers interact. While overhearing drivers and their strategies to win the race, Cowan understood this was simply a business. After that, it all clicked for him.

During the race, Cowan was able to have racing radios. He was able to listen to drivers and their teams. Cowan then realized that what the drivers were applying to the race was similar to Cowan’s job in sales. He also noted that the same strategies were identical to how people manage businesses.

After that, each year, Cowan would attend the race to see if he could apply anything he witnessed to his life.

Cowan’s main point from the experience is the importance of having a good last impression. He states that if one learns how to make a great last impression, they’re miles ahead of the competition.

If you’re seeking more business advice from Cowan, visit to purchase his book “What I’ve Learned From Attending Over 40 Indy 500’s.”

Our success story this week is about an Indiana florist who has decorated the necks of Indy 500 champions for 30 years and who opened her own shop on the strength of her floral talent.

Julie Vance is the owner of Buck Creek and Bloom, located in Yorktown, Indiana. In addition to creating her signature designs for local special occasions, she’s world-famous for assembling the iconic floral racing award.

It opened in November of 2007, but she has been doing flowers since 1988. She opened in her hometown and said she would not have started a flower shop if she didn’t have good design skills and knowledge of the business. She emphasized that it’s really hard work and you have to be really dedicated and put in long hours.

She has been the designer that has the privilege of making the Indianapolis 500 winners’ wreath. It is a Borg Warner tradition that the winner of the race is crowned with a wreath, drinks the milk, and then his face is put in silver on the Borg Warner trophy in the beginning.

Here at the shop, her signature look is probably what she calls her sticks because she uses a lot of natural vines and curly willow and pods and shelf mushrooms and moss and all those real natural things mixed in with the flowers and plants, which what sets them apart from others.

Her path to success was just hard work including work at many other flower shops. Julie just loved this kind of work and it was her artistic outlet, so she always knew she would like to be a flower shop owner.

Today we are highlighting the success of Indiana resident Sunny Lu Williams.

Williams is currently president of Techserv Corporation.

“I come from a long line of serial entrepreneurs” Williams states. Her grandmother founded Techserv in 1992 as an immigrant.

After her grandmother took the citizenship and driver’s test, eager to learn the ins and outs. She followed those directions to create her own business.

Williams mentions how her grandmother was one of the first police women in Taiwan and had an administrative capacity within the Taipei Metropolitan Police Agency.

She mentions the lifestyle companies her grandmother created within her community. As her children got older, Techserv became an E-right business, which is a supplier to schools and the government. Techserv’s big success occurred in the late nineties.

The company reached over 47 schools in the Chicago Public School System supplying them with computer labs. Which introduced those schools to STEM education.

Over the years, Techserv evolved from doing instruction following process systems to evolving them. After Williams’ grandmother founded Techserv in 1992, her mother strengthened Techserv’s supply chain. Sunny Lu, alumni of Purdue University helps benefit the company’s system design.

“The heart of it is working with folks that both design the system are users of the system and have the ability to look back on whether or not that system, which is a collection of processes, instructions, and ways to do things, whether it ultimately helped or hindered the population that was intended to serve” Williams states.

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Month and Indiana has many reasons to celebrate it. The president of the Asian American Alliance, Rupal Thanawala, explains how the success of a vibrant Asian American community is connected to Indiana’s growing economy.

The Asian American Alliance’s mission is to empower and encourage Asian Americans to lead and serve in business and community.

They are an umbrella organization of over 150 other organizations and 300 plus ethnic restaurants.

The Alliance is made up of students, community leaders, and business leaders who come together to build a future for Asian Americans who call Indiana their home. They’re intentional about welcoming new Asian Americans to the state and have contributed tremendously to the community.

The diverse talents, cultures, arts, and musical skills that Asian Americans have brought with them have made them an important part of the fabric of Indiana. They are Americans who are proud of their culture, and they have been living in and contributing to the community. It’s important for everyone to recognize that this country is made up of immigrants.

The Indiana Small Business Association is gearing up to celebrate National Small Business Week, taking place until May 6th.

With over a half-million small businesses in Indiana, they are the lifeblood of the economy and the engine of growth.

Stacey Poynter, the District Director of the Indiana Small Business Association, says that the association plans to celebrate the week with a variety of events, including webinars, workshops, and an SBA 101 session.

The event will culminate in the announcement of the Small Business Person of the Year, Danny Portee, as well as The Exporter and Graduate of the Year awards.

The Indiana Small Business Association provides a range of free services to small businesses, including counseling, access to capital, and navigating contracting with the federal government.

You don’t want to miss out on this week of events. Watch the full interview above to learn more details.

Empower Results in Town Square, a consulting firm in Indianapolis, focuses on creating programs, partnerships, and stewardship opportunities with an eye on social and environmental benefits.

Jill Hoffman, the principal owner, has a love for water, which translated into a career in the environment. She came to Indianapolis to pursue a multi-disciplinary program at IU and started her career with the Department of Natural Resources.

Empower Results in Town Square aims to help projects that have a technical aspect that might impact the environment or a neighborhood by translating the results of those projects to the community and getting the community’s voice back to the leaders of the projects. The firm works on a diverse range of projects, from revitalization efforts in different parts of the city to riverfront redevelopment master planning, bike share projects, and more.

The process of the firm’s work starts with cities and towns putting out requests for proposals, and then an engineering or landscape architecture firm responds.

The Empower Results team is then called in to help figure out how to do these projects with the least impact on the community in a negative way and the most positive impact on the community in terms of benefit or environmental protection.

Half of the team is made up of scientists and landscape architects, while other parts of the team include communication, and education policy people.

In the future, Empower Results in Town Square aims to help communities turn back towards their waterways and riverfront, incorporating them for the assets that they are. The firm believes that by integrating natural spaces, a better quality of life can be made.

Rupal Thanawala, the CEO of Trident Systems, a consulting company dedicated to helping businesses grow, shared her inspiring journey and tips for women entrepreneurs.

Growing up in a family of small business owners in India, Thanawala has always been surrounded by business. However, as a woman, she didn’t have any role models or support to pursue a career outside of the home. Despite this, she found encouragement from good friends who believed in her abilities and decided to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.

After working for a few years, Thanawala realized her passion for entrepreneurship and started her first business in India. When she moved to the United States, she faced visa restrictions that prevented her from starting a business, so she worked for several years before starting Trident Systems.

Working with her husband at the company was an adjustment, but they quickly learned to identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses and focus on what they were each good at. Thanawala realized she had more of an interest in managerial and administrative roles, while her husband excelled in technical solutions. This partnership allowed them to build a successful business that continues to grow.

As Trident Systems expands into new markets, Thanawala seeks out opportunities to give back by serving on different corporate boards and helping other businesses grow.

Thanawala’s tips for women entrepreneurs include finding supportive friends and business partners, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and focusing on what you’re good at. She encourages women to pursue careers in STEM fields and to never give up on their dreams, even if they don’t have the support of their family or community.

Thanawala’s success story is an inspiration to women everywhere and a testament to the power of perseverance and determination.

Darryl Lockett, the Director of Health Equity for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, shared his journey and passion for addressing health equity in this success story.

Lockett realized in high school that not everyone has the same opportunities because of where they come from, and that made him want to help. This realization drove him to pursue his career.

After working with AARP Foundation and the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative, Lockett became involved in the conversation on social determinants of health, focusing on external factors that impact an individual’s well-being.

He joined Anthem Indiana Medicaid, where he wakes up every day with a mission to change outcomes and create opportunities for underserved communities.

Lockett’s story showcases his dedication to addressing health equity and creating opportunities for all people regardless of their background. His passion and commitment to making a difference in underserved communities are evident in his career choices.

Lockett’s story serves as an inspiration to others to strive for equity and opportunities in all aspects of life.

Jeremy Miller is the CEO of Lionfish Cyber Security.

Miller says the company started off as a tech training school before growing into what it is today. He explained how they teach early cyber material to set people up for success.

“We help small to mid-size businesses get their cyber security in check. A lot of businesses have no idea what to do, so we’ve come up with a way to kind of help funnel them through where they can do upskilling and intern. They may not necessarily always be hired by those particular businesses but other companies that do services can help them,” Miller said.

You can find out more information at

Chief Obstetrics and Gynecological Dr. Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe from Eskenazi Health is a leader in the field of women’s health.

Her mission is to make quality women’s health services more accessible.

“I work with a fantastic group of people who I think are really dedicated to the mission of Eskenazi, which includes the care of women in all walks of life, including those who are experiencing challenges to receiving medical care. My patients are those people,” she explained.

Dr. Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe became successful in her field by prioritizing what she loves about the job. With any job, there may be tasks that you don’t want to do, but you have to so you can enjoy the parts you do love. That’s where hard work and passion arise.

“Your work and your life are the same things. It’s not like you drop work and come home and do the rest of your life, and have to sort of balance the scales at the end of the day. It’s really more about how you integrate all aspects of your life, which is your family life and work life, your exercise and your hobbies, and whatever it is that helps keep you balanced. If I were to talk to an incoming female physician, I say, find what it is that you love about the job and prioritize that,” she said.