It takes a strong person to move across the country and start her own small business from the ground up, and it takes an even stronger person to start a small business that focuses on turning around other small businesses. No, scratch that; it takes a leader.
Abby Yetter, founder, CEO and chief consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, is a member of this year’s Leadership Marco class. Bright Ideas is a consulting firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs improve their businesses.
"I perform small business development services for companies in Marco Island and Naples, including business consulting, office organization and customized branding," Yetter said. "I am also the creator of the Bright Ideas Small Business Academy, an online educational system that offers courses to help small business owners master the different facets of small business ownership.
"Every company reaches a plateau at some point,” she continued, “especially if they’ve been in business for 30 or 40 years. I help them learn what they can do to make their lives better, and it’s really rewarding to see them realize the big impact that just a few changes can have.”
One local institution Yetter has worked with is Marco Island Academy, the island’s charter high school, and MIA founder and board chairwoman Jane Watt had nothing but praise for her performance.
“Abby helped us with our branding and our logo, helped bring it all together,” Watt said in a previous interview. “She did a great job.”
To further help her clients, Yetter applied for Leadership Marco, the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce's program that gets Marco Islanders together to learn the inner workings of the island and meet their fellow leaders.
"I know others who are alumni and had great experiences, and I thought that it would complement my completion of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors' Leadership Program in 2014, and help with networking for my business," she said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to make some great connections for my clients."
She also said Leadership Marco is important for the community as a whole because it helps connect people who have diverse backgrounds but share the same passion for leadership and civic service.
"I think it's important for communities to invest in educated, dedicated community leaders who can serve as liaisons between the city, businesses, important organizations and the residents," she said. "A more connected community is a healthier community, and leadership programs like this are an important part of making that a reality."
Yetter said she’s most excited for Leadership Marco's “Culture” day, during which the group will pay a visit to the Island Theater Company, where Yetter volunteers as an actress.
"I actually work with the Island Theater Company on a regular basis," she said, "so I think that'll be a particularly fun session because my classmates will get to learn a bit more about what I do outside of class."
In addition to her involvement with the Island Theater Company, Yetter is a member of the Board of Directors of For the Love of Cats, the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce and the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors.
Originally from York, Penn., Yetter graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with a pre-law emphasis and a minor in criminal justice. She then spent 18 years in the Northeast working as an actress and vocalist.
Yetter, who's vacationed on Marco with her family for decades, moved to the island in 2012, and currently lives with her husband Brennan, a saxophonist and bandleader, and their two cats, Ella (as in Fitzgerald) and Miles (Davis). Her grandparents and aunt and uncle also live on the island.
She said what she loves most about Marco is its "island time" lifestyle, a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia where she and her husband used to live.
"Marco Island is a beautiful place with a relaxed attitude," she said. "Even if you're working hard, the island reminds you to slow down just with its environment."