Cedar City Business and Innovation Center Director Isaac Askeroth (left) and BEX Sunglasses founder Jason Adams discuss entrepreneurship during the center’s inaugural “Innovation Talk,” Cedar City, Utah, June 9, 2022. | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News
CEDAR CITY — The second “Innovation Talk” in the monthly series of free business forums he hosts Cedar City Business and Innovation Center is scheduled for Thursday evening.
July’s featured speaker will be James Barlow, CEO of Building Zone Industries Steel (BZI Steel), a Cedar City-based steel fabrication and construction company.
Members of the public are welcome to attend, said Isaac Askeroth, director of the innovation center, located at 510 W. 800 South in Cedar City. The hour-long event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m
Askeroth said Barlow is expected to speak about his workwhich started with five men erecting a one-post barn and has since grown into a multi-million dollar company with 400 employees.
“He’s very motivating to listen to,” Askeroth said of Barlow. “Hearing the different ways they’ve done so many different things, just to help them get off the ground or to help the industry. They don’t just do things the old way they’ve always done it. They find a faster, newer, better way to do it.”
Last month, on June 9, the Innovation Talk series began BEX sunglasses founder Jason Adams as featured speaker.
Adams, citing his rodeo background, talked about how he started with the idea of making high-quality, durable sunglasses that would stay on the rider’s head.
He then talked about the ups and downs he’s experienced since starting the company in 2009, offering insights and suggestions for others who might have similar ideas and aspirations.
“There is no day-to-day manual for entrepreneurship because every situation is different,” Adams said during his speech, which also included a question-and-answer session. “Every situation is unique, so you never know what to expect.”
He also stressed the absolute importance of staying committed and having the courage to keep going.
You will never skip hard work. Something can happen at the very beginning of the business, it can happen somewhere in the middle, or it can happen at the end. But you’ll never be able to skip that step where it’s really hard… down and dirty, roll up your sleeves… whether it’s digital, physical, mental, emotional… you’ll go all in, you’ll go through it. You won’t skip that. Especially if you want to be the type of company you intend to be.
Although BEX is headquartered in southern Nevada, Adams is in the process of opening a small office in Cedar City, Askeroth said, noting that BEX has also signed on as a major sponsor for the year-round monthly Innovation Conversations, which will be hosted at the center every other Thursday in a month.
“I think he came here and saw what he liked,” Askeroth said of Adams. “He wants to market to other markets.”
To watch last month’s Innovation Talk with Adams, click here (Facebook Live archive).
- What: A conversation about innovation with James Barlow, CEO of BZI Steel.
- When: Thursday, July 14, 6 p.m
- where: Cedar City Business and Innovation Center510 W. 800 South, Cedar City.
- Admission: free and open to the public. Spectators can also watch the event live at the center Facebook page.
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