Southern Ohio Professional Partners (SOPP), is a relatively new organization which seeks to bring local businesses and professionals together for the overall prosperity of Portsmouth.
Jeremy Frazie, owner of Frazie Wealth Management in Portsmouth, is founder of SOPP, said they endeavor to help local businesses to grow through networking, strengths, and relationship building.
“I started the group last October. I was basically looking for a group of local professionals that were seeking to grow their business, and utilize each other’s networks and strengths, and be able to get together and form close relationships here in Portsmouth,” Frazie said. “So that is how we got started last year. Originally, it started with only a handful of local professionals, but we are now right at 18 members.”
SOPP is composed of wide variety of industries, from wealth management to optometry and beyond.
“What we want to do is help each other grow. We meet twice a month, on the last Friday of every month,” Frazie said. “Usually our meetings are structured in that we basically network for the first 15 to 20 minutes, and then we have a featured speaker who will give us an overview of their business, what is new in their business, and as a group continue to get them in front of the right people for opportunities to grow their business.”
SOPP is one of a kind, in that there is no duplication in the industries who are members.
“What is kind of unique about our group, is that we only have one member per industry,” Frazie said. “That way, we don’t have the competition per se within, or anything that would cause animosity. So, we only have one per industry and we’re looking also to grow with the right type of new members that are also aligned with our bylaws that we’ve established up front.”
Donna Woolery, owner of Farmers Insurance in Portsmouth, said she enjoys being a part of SOPP.
“I like being a part of SOPP because the founders Jeff and Jeremy decided to form this group and came over and asked me to join, and we all are similar like minded people,” Woolery said. “We believe that we are being the vehicle to provide great entrepreneurial ship seed money to deserving youth candidates. it’s about giving back within our community with each of us contributing our own monies . I feel we have a really great group of business owners that love this area . We work well with one another and we all are driven towards giving and doing more in the community that we love and care about.”
SOPP is launching a series of projects with the local community.
“We are first set of projects our goal is to help local businesses and local professionals succeed and prosper here locally, and through that we will also be giving back to the community, and will help to grow Portsmouth through fresh minds, and like-minded people,” Frazie said.
SOPP will offer business opportunities including a program called ‘Shark Bait,’ similar to the popularized television program, ‘Shark Tank,’ according to Frazie.
“So, we will be working with some individuals in the community to give back. We are working with Sharee Price at South Central Ohio ESC, to do a mentoral program that is coming up in December called Youth Max Leadership Opportunity,” Frazie said. “So we are going to be doing quite a few things such as this. Something that we are organizing right now is going to be ‘Shark Bait’, similar to the concept of the popular television show, ‘Shark Tank.’ We are going to be doing this next school year. The SOPP members are pretty much going to be like the ‘Sharks’ and we will be working with local high school students that have an idea and with that same ‘Shark Tank’ philosophy, we’re going to have them come to a location, pitch their idea, and then we’re going to help them. As a group we are also going to provide scholarship money to the winner, and maybe to the runner up. We have already talked to a lot of the local superintendents and they are on board, and it will definitely take place next school year, so that is something that we are pretty excited about.”
Frazie said SOPP is elated about providing opportunities to local schools.
“Scioto Tech Career and Technical Center is a member of our group as well, and Stan Jennings is doing a lot as far as getting our group involved in activities for the schools and the students, to do some fun things with. We will be teaching them about business and entrepreneurship. So we have a lot of interesting things going on in our group, and we are really excited.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.