Jill Schiefelbein, the owner of Impromptu Guru, was awarded the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
“She created the business plan for Impromptu Guru, a brand that is synonymous with speaking well, and to be recognized in the local community just 12 months later, the Impromptu Guru met and exceeded its first year contract goals,” said Pat McMahon, who served as emcee at the annual chamber luncheon.
Over the last year, Schiefelbein has worked with institutions such as Arizona State University and Phoenix Mercury, and has conducted workshops in more than 20 states and seven countries, including Australia, Mexico and the United Kingdom, McMahon said.
“Last year, I was literally lying in bed because I had just gotten out of surgery,” Schiefelbein said. “I had just joined the chamber, I had just quit my full-time job and I had this dream of owing my own business.”
Since opening her business, Schiefelbein has done the work she has always wanted to do, she said.
“I always have known that I wanted to be in business for myself and I have always wanted to teach in some capacity,” Schiefelbein said, who once taught communications classes at ASU. “I feel lucky to have found my fuzzy place at such a young age.”
Schiefelbein’s fuzzy place is helping people learn how to communicate in a wide variety of ways, from traditional public speaking to navigating the virtual landscape, she said.
“I really love how communication has the power to transform lives,” she said.
During the past year, her business has grown beyond her wildest expectations, she said.
“In the past 12 months, I’ve worked hard and fast as I could,” Schiefelbein said. “I’ve definitely put in the hours.”
But she still attributes much of her success to the chamber, she said.
“Let me tell you truthfully, that the support and the camaraderie and even the business relationships that I’ve developed here are a factor of my success,” she said to the crowd.
The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes a chamber member that has celebrated their one-year anniversary within the last year, experienced a year of sales and market growth, has met their first year goals as outlined in their business plan and provides a unique service or product, according the Gilbert Chamber.
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