Kristi May, owner of Legend Acres in far north Surprise, graduated from the inaugural R.I.S.E. (Resilience. Innovate. Sustain. Evaluate.), a program focused on sustainability and tackling topics small businesses are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presented by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, in the Florida State University College of Business, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, R.I.S.E. is a sixweek, boot-camp-style program for military veteran business owners and military family business owners. Graduates learned how to pivot and grow their businesses during the pandemic and resultant economic downturn.
Program topics included redetermining a company’s business model, content ideation, rebranding for reopening, determining a sustainable growth rate and strategic assessment.
“The R.I.S.E. program was a great opportunity to evaluate the program changes that were implemented earlier in 2020 due to the pandemic. The program gave me time to set aside to work on business concepts and strategic planning. This program was exactly what I needed in this time of change. The curriculum and speakers were practical and I was able to apply the topics directly and immediately.” said Ms. May, founder and CEO of Legend Acres and Legend’s Heroes.
Legend Acres is based at 16043 W. Peak View Road in Surprise, and is a veteran- owned business offering professional training and lesson services in packages to fit any budget. Legend Acres offers dog training, riding lessons, and horse training and serves veterans.
Founded by an experienced dog behavior specialist and veterinary technologist, Legend Acres provides flexible, evidence-based education to dogs of all ages and breeds. The customized group, private, and online lessons are available to help raise puppies, train service dogs from start to finish, administer obedience training, and deal with severe behavior problems like anxiety and aggression.
Legend Acres offers a range of programs to meet any concerns, including the introductory session for first-time customers, private sessions to teach better obedience and communication skills, and six-week group classes covering obedience and cognition. Dog owners learn communication skills that employ gentle, common sense methods.
Legend’s Heroes was launched in March and consists of service dog training for service dog teams to include PTSD service dogs, psychiatric service dogs and mobility support.
It is a twoyear program consisting of an initial training plan of four canine obedience courses, a public access test and task dog training with follow up sessions over the next year.
The second part is the train the trainer mentor training program. It is open to certified and non-certified trainers to gain credits and experience and guaranteed job placement with Legend Acres.
To apply for R.I.S.E., a participant’s small business must be owned and maintained 50% or more by a military veteran or first-degree military family member, have been in business for at least one year and in a position where their business needs to expand or contract. Graduates of other IVMF programs were also eligible to participate.
As a result of the generous support of Jan Moran, her late husband Jim Moran, The Jim Moran Foundation and the IVMF, the inaugural R.I.S.E. program was offered at no cost.