Pursuing a Dream: Justin Myers ’14

Justin Myers graduated from Missouri Western with a degree in Business Administration in December 2014 and enrolled in the spring 2015 Applied Entrepreneurship course with the hope of being awarded a franchise opportunity through Missouri Western’s unique entrepreneurship program.

He was not selected to receive a store, but Myers wasn’t ready to give up his entrepreneurial dream. He met with Annette Weeks, director of the CSB’s Center for Entrepreneurship. She knew a local family who was interested in selling their St. Joseph Benjamin Moore paint store, and she was able to connect them with Myers.

The Center and its advisory council offered resources and assistance to Myers, and in early October, financing was arranged to purchase the store. Myers renamed the north Belt Highway store Heartland Paint and celebrated its Grand Opening in October 2015.

“It was the best helping hand I’ve ever had.”

“It was the best helping hand I’ve ever had,” Myers said of the Center’s assistance. “Annette helped me know which steps to take and introduced me to the connections I needed.”

Weeks said one of the Center’s focuses is trying to keep longtime local businesses from closing, so she was more than willing to work with Myers. The Benjamin Moore store opened in 1956 and was owned by Bill Schaller.

“I am very happy for Justin, and I know he will be successful with Heartland Paint,” Weeks said. “That is exactly the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship.”

Myers said, in a way, he has come full circle. Growing up in Grain Valley, Missouri, his father was a self-employed contractor, and the young Myers spent a lot of summers with a paintbrush in hand. Now he owns a business that sells paint.

“I am looking forward to getting out in the community to network and see how I can offer my services to the community,” Myers said. “I hope to eventually give back by helping other small businesses.”

Justin Myers with Annette Weeks