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Club E remedies gaffe, celebrates value of print, café
by Staff
March 25, 2014 03:59 PM | 6080 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye. Barista Jada Broughton gets coffee for a customer at Club E Cafe in College Park.
Staff / Katherine Frye. Barista Jada Broughton gets coffee for a customer at Club E Cafe in College Park.
Jo Ann Allen, CEO of One Talent Inc., said last week College Park is now a hub for innovation and opportunity because last year the city council invested in a public-private partnership called Club E to give entrepreneurs a reason to remain or return.

To date, the club has resulted in the creation of 35 new companies like hers and added nearly $20 million of economic impact to the city.

According to Allen, now general manager of the club, that is the story behind an unapproved press release that caused a backlash when it was printed Feb. 19.

Bob Johnson, club CEO and founder, said in a statement, “I feel very sorry that some of the statements in that release distracted from all of the great work the young leaders and innovators of our community are doing.

“Where other cities were shortsighted, the city of College Park understood that incubating entrepreneurs is the best way to turn our town into a ‘highway to prosperity’ and finally shake off negative perceptions.”

He said he is turning the recent gaffe into a teachable moment for club members.

“This incident proves that public good will is more valuable than stock prices or profits,” he said.

Allen confirmed that the consultant who wrote the press release no longer works on Club E public relations.

She also said the club will host College Park Celebrates Young Entrepreneurs on April 2.

The event will be an open house with free food, beverages and musical performances to showcase the accomplishments of student club members.

The club’s café and the copy center are businesses operated by members of the club’s Young Entrepreneurs Society.

The students are expected to undertake the daily management, sales, marketing and customer service for each business with the same level of professionalism as any other in the metro area.

Johnson said, “In the new economy, it’s not just who you know, but what you have done. Real world experience matters, so Club E provides enterprising young people the chance to build their resumes so they can become more personally competitive.”

He said about $1.5 million has been invested to build the club’s business incubator in the space between those two businesses.

Information: (678) 515-1720 or

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