Linzie Venegas -Spirit of Frida Entrepreneur Award
The Venegas name in Detroit is synonymous with entrepreneur. Linzie Venegas started working with Ideal Group, the company her father Frank Venegas founded in 1979, when she was seven and recruited to staple Jelly Belly packets to stacks of letters he would send out as part of his marketing strategies.
Benefiting from that young experience, Venegas now oversees Marketing, Finance and Human Resources for Ideal Group. This innovative manufacturing company, housed in Southwest Detroit, employs 450 people and has revenues approaching $300 million.
In today’s fast-track internet world, Venegas expanded Ideal Group’s promotional efforts beyond traditional marketing and advertising methods to include new channels of digital marketing. Whether using traditional or new media channels, she ensures that Ideal Group presents a cohesive brand image and a clearly communicated message.
Due to her great success using Google AdWords, Google took notice of Venegas and filmed a short commercial on Ideal Group to show other small businesses how the web can help grow a business.It can be seen on YouTube at www.youtube.com/Idealshield.
Venegas also attended the Tuck School of Business MBEP programs in 2004, and in 2010, re-attending “Growing the Minority Business to Scale.” Recently, she joined the “Digital Presence Program” as an instructor. During her session, she speaks as a business owner on the importance of building a strong digital strategy. Participants learn about corporate image, website strategy, online tools such as Google AdWords and Google Analytics and how to use digital tools to help businesses drive and grow revenues.
“She is a highly competent entrepreneur who is focused, strategic in her thinking, empathetic and compassionate,” said Dr. Leonard Greenhailgh, professor of management of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. “She embraces the Venegas family ideal of giving people from her Southwest Detroit community a fair chance to succeed and helping them to do so.”
As a devoted and involved member of her community, Venegas actively works with organizations such as the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), Gleaner’s Women Power Happy Hour as co-chair, Detroit Cristo Rey High School and the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC). Also working with small business owners and entrepreneurs in the community, she coaches them on how to assemble strong marketing plans.
Venegas is a board member at Southwest Detroit Business Association, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Cranbrook Institute of Science. She is also an active member of the Detroit Cristo Rey President’s Leadership Council Board and is a past chair for the Youth Ambassador program at Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation’s Dream Makers Gala. Business Magazine presented Venegas with its “30 Under 30” award for young Detroit business leaders and Crain’s added her to their “Women to Watch” list in 2011. “All of this work follows a leader who is an innovator, a thinker, a visionary, a creator, a loyal partner and a supporter of her community, friends and family,” said Chris Genteel, head of diversity markets for Google, Inc. “In short, she embodies the live, fierce and genius spirit of Frida Kahlo.”