Teamwork Important to Olympic Success
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
What does the 7-time state gold, National silver and bronze and International US Open and Black Belt Festival silver and gold female winner, the Small Business Development Center, the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and Unified Bank have in common? They all came together to make the dream of the Olympic Tae Kwon Do Academy come true in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Nationally ranked number 2, former female featherweight black belt and Olympic Tae Kwon Do owner, Stacy Sikole started training in taekwondo when she was seven years old. By 16 she and her former instructor opened a taekwondo school together in Coshocton, Ohio and at 18 Sikole opened her own school in St. Clairsville.
In 2006 Sikole moved her school to Main Street in St. Clairsville but business was so good that she out grew the space. In 2012 she bought a piece of property near Unified Bank and the Riesbeck’s Plaza in St. Clairsville. It was now time to erect a new building, but it was also time to work with professionals to determine the best business practices and funding avenues.
In comes Unified’s Senior Commercial Banking Executive, Michael Goclan who first listens to Sikole’s goals and ideas and then helps her identify and locate the right sources to accomplish her dream.
First up, the Small Business Development Center, who provides counseling assistance to anyone that is currently in business as well as those interested in starting a business. Financing, accounting, Quick Books, marketing and sales are just a few of the areas that the SBDC provides training for free of charge. Cindy Voorhies, Advisor with the SBDC said, “The SBDC assisted Stacy in developing her business plan and projections for financing. I guided her through the process of showing how she would have the increase in sales she was projecting. This helped her to explain and show her banker how her sales would be increasing and what her cash flow would look like with the increase of sales along with the increase in expenses.”
Lolly Ravak, Loan Administrator with OMEGA added, “The Ohio Mid-Eastern *Governments Association (OMEGA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was available to fill the gap between the bank’s participation and the borrower’s cash contribution. The RLF offers low, fixed interest rate loans with no prepayment penalty. OMEGA’s goal is to support private-for-profit businesses that are creating or retaining full-time employment opportunities in the ten-county region we serve.”
Stating that every time she hit a roadblock, Michael Goclan and Unified Bank were there to point her in the right direction, Sikole was finally able to make her lifelong dream come true. Among the many life lessons Sikoli hopes to teach at her Olympic Tae Kwon Do Academy is the simple truth that good attitude is the most important criteria to success.
Unified Bank is a full-service FDIC-insured, state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Martins Ferry, OH and has nineteen locations that serve the Ohio counties of Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Fairfield, Harrison, Hocking, Jefferson and Tuscarawas and Marshall County in West Virginia. Unified Bank is the sole operating subsidiary of United Bancorp, Inc. (UBCP), a publicly-traded bank holding company, and has been serving the financial needs of the Ohio Valley since 1902 from its headquarters in Martins Ferry, Ohio.