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Name: Tonya Kelly

Business: On the Move with SportzKelz LLC

Location: Columbus, Ohio, U.S.

Industry: Media & Publishing

Reason for starting? I am the owner and founder of On The Move with SportzKelz, a radio show where I talk about sports from a woman’s perspective. The name SportzKelz is a nickname my friends called me because of my passion for sports. This radio show has been a 10-year dream in the making that has finally come true with profound opportunities along the way. I have encountered major health issues and the passing of my father. I have worked full-time while pursing my Masters in Early Childhood Education and started a new career as a first-grade teacher. In the midst of all this, I have launched my radio sports show and have been taking care of my family. The journey showed me that strength comes when you step out on Faith and Favor. Once I eliminated the word “struggle” the blessings began. The goal is to be the most vibrant, emerging and relevant service, one that inspires people to look at sports from different perspectives and give back to my community.

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How do you define success? I define success as becoming a first-grade teacher, living my dream of owning my own business, covering press for sporting events, explaining sports to modern audiences and meeting new people. I left corporate America after 20+ years and pursued a new degree in Early Childhood Education. I graduated April 2016 with my Masters of Education degree, becoming a first-grade teacher this school year. My personal core values have defined who I am. Never stop living the journey we call life even when life bring you sour grapes, continue to inspire, empower and motivate yourself and others. Strength begins with you.

Biggest success: My biggest successes to date are finishing my first year as a first-grade teacher and obtaining all-access media credentials to the 2016 Fiesta Bowl and B1G Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. My biggest accomplishment is being in a place where I am right now. I believe that my life has constantly changed to better me and my family. The accomplishments that have come my way since the launching of my own radio sports show in October 2016  have allowed me to experience many wonderful things that I only dreamed about as a little girl growing up. 

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge to date is learning strategies to obtain capital to help pay for airtime and marketing materials. I am addressing the situation by sending out advertisement and sponsorship packages to potential sports/event clients. I lack notoriety in a heavy top radio/tv market in the Columbus, Ohio, area. The motivation for organizations to advertise on my show are limited because of the stigmatism online radio brings. My show is professional and my radio analysts as well as myself are career people. Obtaining advertising dollars to help pay for my monthly radio show airtime, marketing materials and build the brand has been a challenge since I launched in October. I am addressing the situation by focusing on strategies to connect and interact with other organizations in the sports arena, such as sporting teams, attending networking events and I have had two fundraising events at local restaurants that are ideal targets for sports fans and events. 

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Who is your most important role model? My important role model is my late father. The love I have for sports is from my favorite pastime of watching sports with my father until he passed away in December 2004. My father’s favorite saying was, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” This saying has resonated with me throughout my life and the start of my business.

Twitter   @Sportzkelz

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Edited by The Story Exchange