A Message From BITS’ Newly Appointed Chair 2021

Dear BITS participants, graduates, funders, board members, employees, and community stakeholders,

It is a great privilege to assume the role of Chair at Business In The Streets (BITS). BITS has significantly contributed to my life and given me the opportunity to support and give back to an organization that truly changes people’s lives, allowing me to build meaningful relationships with the most kind, passionate, and innovative community members, management team, and Board. I am grateful to my predecessor Sarah Hashem for her leadership and outstanding contributions to BITS during her time on the board and to the members of the Board. I am inspired by their commitment to BITS and all of its achievements. I look forward to continuing this important work and helping fulfill the mission of this organization.

2021 is full of opportunities for entrepreneurs, but the unprecedented pandemic means 2021 is also a time when people and communities will need additional support. There has never been a more important time to engage and empower youth.

As the new Chair of BITS, I am committed to continuing our growth and breaking the cycle of poverty through entrepreneurship, providing access to information that is crucial for young people working for a better life. I can attest to the soul-changing benefits of positive mentorship and entrepreneurship in my own life. BITS will support innovation and explore synergies with the wonderful and diverse stakeholder groups through public and private partnerships, and across all levels of government.

As we optimistically look to our future, I am excited about the wonderful possibilities that lay ahead. I look forward to working with a broad and diverse team to overcome challenges and thrive in this new and swiftly evolving landscape. We must be intentionally inclusive and work to ensure the future of our strong and vibrant community, founded on the belief that helping one another can change lives. At the same time, we will work to expand the reach to involve new communities and an even broader network.

We need more help and now is the time to lean in. It’s been my experience that those who become more actively involved at BITS do change people’s lives and derive tremendous personal satisfaction in doing so. Whether it is mentoring, joining a committee, judging at an event, donating, funding, or just sharing the story of BITS,  please do whatever you can to contribute to the continued success of Business In The Streets.

I would love to hear from you, so please connect with me via email: Leslie.kellen@xyzstorage.com or Follow me on Linkedin: @LeslieKellen.


Leslie Kellen, MBA

Chair – Business In The Streets