Alumni Spotlight: Boston Building Resources

st onge

During the 1970s, cooperative ventures blossomed, particularly in urban areas. The concept underlying consumer co-ops is straightforward: Co-op participants, called members, pay dues to join a group of like-minded individuals to purchase commodities in large quantities at wholesale prices. Then, members buy a portion of the product at reduced prices. As Matthew St. Onge, president of Boston Building Resources (previously known as the Boston Building Materials Co-op), explains, “In simple terms, a bunch of people buy a big wheel of cheese, and members buy pieces of it.” In BBR’s case, members purchase kitchen cabinetry, doors, window repair supplies, and other home-improvement materials.

Not so well understood is that co-ops are not charitable organizations but businesses where profits are reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members.

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Alumni Spotlight: Grecian Gyro

Grecian Gyro

George N. Koulouris has been working for Grecian Gyro since he was old enough to hold a spatula. Toddler George would follow behind his father, Nick Koulouris, as he made the fresh Greek salads each morning. Once he learned how to write, he was quickly promoted to taking phone orders, and worked his way up the ladder as his father grew the small Greek restaurant in South Atlanta to “Atlanta’s Best Gyro.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Tech Networks of Boston

susan landibar TNBTech Networks of Boston was founded more than 20 years ago by Susan Labandibar, at the time an aggressive college student who needed to make some money and was searching for the most socially impactful way to go about it. The business began as a one­-person basement operation offering basic computer set­up services to college students, but over the course of the next two decades evolved into a complex information technology enterprise serving more than 80 for­-profit and non­profit business clients.

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Alumni Spotlight: Tremendous Maid

Tremendous Maid is a family-owned and operated commercial and residential cleaning business headquartered in the Dorchester district of Boston. Founded in 2011 by sisters Nisaury Tejeda and Victoria Amador, along with their mother Rosa Tejeda, the company now has 32 employees, contracts with 43 commercial institutions, and has more than 200 residential customers. They also service as many as 125 onetime clients each week.

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Alumni Spotlight: Silverio Insurance Agency

Julia Silverio, 2010 StreetWise 'MBA'™ alum, is making a difference in the City of Lawrence. She came to the city as a first generation immigrant and mixed hard work, intuition, and community spirit to found and grow a successful business, hold elected office, and serve as a trusted resource for countless residents and business owners hoping to gain a foothold in Lawrence.

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