By Carrie Vanderford Sanders

Carrie Sanders, Director of Community and Economic Development, has been working with an entrepreneur, Chris Theis, as he is growing his lawn care and snow removal business. Chris, who was recently released from incarceration in 2010, took over his father’s lawn care business, “Just What You Want”, in mid-2016 as his father sought to retire from the business. Chris took over a solid book of business from his father, including predominantly contracts with management companies who manage affordable multi-family properties.


Over the last six months, Chris developed a trusting relationship with one of his largest clients, Housing Initiatives, Inc. – an organization that has 32 properties that provide quality, affordable, supportive housing for the chronically homeless, predominantly veterans. The Director of Housing Initiatives, Mr. Dean Loumos, noticed that Chris did not have a snow plow for his truck. Dean offered to donate a plow to Chris, so long as Chris could find a truck that could handle the snow plow.


Over the past three months, Carrie, the loan agent at Nehemiah has been working with Chris to put together a business plan that includes a vehicle loan for a truck that will allow him to expand his business to include snow plowing – a lucrative opportunity in snowy Madison, WI. With this expansion in his business lines, Chris anticipates hiring another employee in 2017, growing his workforce by 100%!


Chris has met with Carrie Sanders, for over 22 hours over the last 6 months to hone his business plan, project his cash flows, and understand his market. He has also developed a deeper understanding of the financial reporting required for a small business to be successful.


Chris has also completed, with great success, the Introduction to Business Planning class hosted at WWBIC. Nehemiah anticipates making a vehicle loan to Chris in the latter part of May 2017.