Career Center program plants the seed for three Great Lakes Bay Region entrepreneurs

Encouraging creative young minds to embrace entrepreneurship is crucial for fostering job creation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. 

As a second-year student in the Marketing & Management program at the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, I had the opportunity to connect with entrepreneurial minds from the area who emerged from my own program.

MaddMarketing Solutions

Maddison Godi, a 2017 graduate of the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, opened MaddMarketing after graduating from Saginaw Valley State University. (Photo courtesy of MaddMarketing)The first company I had the pleasure of consulting with was MaddMarketing Solutions, owned and operated by Maddison Godi, a 2017 graduate of the program.
  • What inspired the business?
Godi's business is focused on helping digitize businesses in our community. She pointed out that our community is not as modern as places such as Detroit and struggles with digitizing businesses.

"I got tired of seeing businesses close down during COVID," Godi says. 

And she believed she could make a difference.

Shortly after graduating from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, she opened MaddMarketing Solutions.
  • What is the goal of the business?

The primary goal of Godi’s business is to assist other businesses in establishing an online presence. 

"When you search 'restaurants near me' on Google and your business isn't there, people won't know about it,” Godi says. 

She aims to assist local business owners in overcoming that challenge.
  • What services does MaddMarketing Solutions offer?
Godi provides various services, including "Unzipped Mind Sessions," where clients engage in 90-minute discussions with her. These sessions offer business owners insights into Godi’s approach to digital marketing and suggestions for enhancing their strategies. This package includes a one-month social media calendar.
Additionally, she offers coaching, web design, and social media services.
  • What is Godi’s background?
Godi was a member of the Marketing & Management class held at Bay Arenac Career Center, where she participated in the student club DECA. DECA, formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a non-profit career and technical student organization.

Initially, Godi considered pursuing a career as a dental hygienist before discovering her passion for marketing during college. 

Growing up surrounded by entrepreneurs, including close relatives involved in various businesses from hunting and fishing to dance studios, played a significant role in shaping her interests. 

Godi expresses her love for her job, emphasizing how well it aligns with her ability to work remotely from a home office or through her office based in Saginaw.

Odan Smith, a 2023 Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center graduate, owns Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance with Johnathan Tacey. (Photo courtesy of Smitcey Lawn Care)Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance

Following that, I had the opportunity to consult with Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance, co-owned by Odan Smith, a 2023 program graduate, alongside Johnathan Tacey.
  • What inspired the business?
When speaking with Jonathan Tacey, the co-owner of Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance, he expressed that his business started out small in 2014 when he was just 8 years old and grew into what it is today.

“In 2022, Odan and I started Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance where the same goal when I was 8 still drives our company: To help as many people as possible and make a change in our community.”
  • What is the goal of the business?
While speaking with the duo, they highlighted the significance of their businesses goals.

“Our mission at Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance is to make a lasting impact in our community; giving people the opportunity to reduce hassle and improve nature's beauty.”
  • What services does Smitcey Lawn Care & Maintenance offer?
Smitcey’s specializes in landscape and lawn care maintenance, providing complimentary quotes tailored to suit each lawn's unique requirements. The duo underscores their dedication to lawn care.

“As a business, we focus on building customer relationships more than building profits, we want to build a long-lasting relationship with you, like family. We find any way to show our appreciation toward everyone who supports us to ensure overall satisfaction.”
  • What is Smith’s background?
Smith is an alumni of the Marketing & Management class held at Bay Arenac Career Center. While at the Career Center, he was a part of the student club DECA. Through DECA, Smith advanced to an international competition for his group marketing project. 

Smith expressed that some of the programs used in the class, such as Stukent, are very similar to real-life social media marketing. 

Smith is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship, while his co-partner, Tacey, is working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Business Entrepreneurship.

Jason Clements, who graduated from the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center in 2008, now is co-owner of Clements Electric. (Photo courtesy of Clements Electric)Clements Electric

Lastly, I engaged in consulting with Clements Electric, where I conversed with co-owner Jason Clements, who graduated from the Marketing & Management program in 2008.
  • When did business start?
Clements Electric is a family-owned business that has passed through several generations of the family.  When speaking with co-owner Jason Clements, I was informed that his parents started the business in 1994 and it happened to be perfect timing that he was able to take over. Clements stated that he and his brother took over the family business about 10 years ago and has been growing the business ever since.
  • What is the goal of Clements Electric?
When speaking with Clements, he emphasizes the significance of "family first, community first" in owning a business. That philosophy can be both cost-efficient and create community connections.

Clements Electrical is engaged in numerous projects throughout the city, but one high-profile endeavor they are behind is the iconic Bay City Christmas tree lighting ceremony held in Downtown Bay City the day after Thanksgiving. Clements donates electrical services to Wenonah Park.
  • What services does Clements Electric offer?
When Clements Electric initially opened its doors, its focus was primarily on residential projects. However, over the years, Clements Electric underwent significant evolution, expanding its business to encompass a wide range of electrical services. 

This evolution included added expertise in high-voltage and low-voltage assignments and expanding to include residential, commercial, and industrial clients.
  • What is Clements’ background?
Before owning Clements Electric, Clements was a member of the Marketing & Management program at the Bay Arenac Career Center, where he participated for two years and advanced to the international level with the student club DECA. 

Following his high school experience, he believed that teaching was his calling. However, while in college, he realized that teaching wasn't the right fit for him, He opted for an apprenticeship instead. 

Clements spent five years in his apprenticeship, during which he was inspired to pursue a career in electrical entrepreneurship, influenced by his upbringing in the electrical industry. 

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