Alison from Pickerington, Ohio

The public library was instrumental in my success as a small business owner.  In 1995, I founded ALMEC International, a company specializing in management and employee development strategies that enable people to reach organizational and individual performance goals.  Coming from an 18-year corporate background, I had no experience at running a small business nor did I immediately have any role models to pattern myself after.  Although there were times I wondered if I would be able to survive financially, I continued to move forward.  The public library was my saving grace. 

It was quite common for me to spend 20 to 30 hours per week at the main location during my first three years in business.  I found the staff to be helpful, friendly and patient with my constant questions.  The staff was relentless in searching for answers to my questions, whether I was at the facility in person or on the phone.  The fact that the library provided computers that could be used free of charge was instrumental in keeping my expenses down.  I viewed purchasing a computer as an unnecessary expense. With business and personal expenses to contend with, I was very cautious about spending money.  I knew most businesses failed within the first three to five years due to low or no cash flow. The library helped me avoid becoming part of that statistic.  

As time went on, my knowledge and confidence as a business owner grew. This growth was directly connected to the utilization of the library’s resources.  In 2003 I was nominated for Ohio Business Person of the Year, an award that has been given since 1956. That same year, I received a nomination for Small Business Person of the Year, an award given by the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

In 2005, I entered my tenth year in business.  ALMEC International’s success led to me becoming a published author.  I have collaborated on three books, Mission Possible! Volume Three with Dr. Stephen Covey, Real World Leadership Strategies That Work and Leadership Defined with former Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Dr. Warren Bennis.  I am now sought after as a speaker, educator and consultant.  I am so thankful for the resources and access the public library provided. I never imagined the professional and business success I would experience as a result of the assistance given by the library.