Author Archives: holler

Business Coaching at Santiam Correctional Facility

Business Coaching at Santiam Correctional Facility

What We’ve Been Up To

A few weeks ago, our Executive Director Sonja got up at the crack of dawn to drive to the Santiam Correctional Facility in Salem. Why, you ask? Well, I can promise you that it takes more than donuts and coffee to get Sonja in the car at 5am. What gets us up and moving before the sun rises? Two things. 1) Working with dedicated entrepreneurs to improve their business models and 2) consulting with other programs to improve the opportunities they offer to guys on the inside.

We are thrilled to be working with Daniel Bielenberg who is running a pilot program at Santiam called “Business in a Box.” (He’s a great donut provider too.) Dan reached out to A Social Ignition to provide additional entrepreneurial education for the guys he works with. He’s exploring how use A Social Ignition’s unique approach at Santiam more permanently, and told us that Sonja’s time was “incredibly valuable to every person’s growth in the room.”  Thanks Dan!

Feedback on the Business Coaching

One thing that sets A Social Ignition apart is our effort to work with guys to create viable plans that can prove successful not only while they are in prison, but also after release. We do this by honing their product to appeal to a specific audience, and working with them to get a clear sense of who their customer is.

Here’s what some of the guys had to say about their morning with Sonja:

“In the one meeting with Sonja I learned that I knew very little about my customer. She helped me focus on the customer and stop worrying about what I thought my customer wanted. I now know to go ask my customer strait up what can I do for them. She asked our group so many questions my head was spinning, once the spinning had stopped, I had a new and improved idea of how to look at my company. She has an infectious energy that takes over the room and gets you inspired to take on the world with a healthy perspective. I can’t wait to have her come back to see us.”

Noel, Noel’s Native Art

Sonja at A Social Ignition inspired me in just a short time of meeting together. The energy she brings is infectious and it is clear from the start that she knows how to effectively focus an entrepreneur’s energy towards the areas that are essential for success. I recommend anyone who is considering a start-up to attend her workshops.”

Justin, Founder of Sage Orchard LLC

“Sonja is… passionate about what she does, asks the right questions, and is relentless about acquiring practical answers.”

George, Member of Skribble Studios LLC

The Problem with For-Profit Prisons

The Problem with For-Profit Prisons

The Update We were thrilled when the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced they will stop signing contracts with for-profit prisons, and plan to eventually phase private prisons out entirely. Here at A Social Ignition we’ve long understood that for-profit prisons don’t have the best interests of men who are incarcerated in mind. As Harvard University’s Clint Smith explains… Continue Reading

A Warm Welcome!

A Warm Welcome!

It’s been a summer of expansion here at A Social Ignition! Sonja, Kevin, and Bryant are excited to introduce the new faces on our crew. Dan Ellis Dan Ellis comes to us from a long career in sales and start-ups in the medical device industry. He is an alumni of Oregon State University, so you can guess… Continue Reading