When she was growing up in Shively, Shaun Spencer remembers that she had easy access to stores and restaurants for anything she might want. There were restaurants of all types, Jefferson Mall was nearby, and she came to think it was like that everywhere.
Then she opened her human resources consulting business, Trimen Solutions LLC, in the West End in 2008, and discovered that wasn’t the case.
“Here it’s different,” she says. “I didn’t understand why, but I said when I open my company, this is where I want to be. I want to be there, I want to improve the area.”
Today she’s working on that dream, having established and expanded her business in two locations — offering human resources training and recruiting at the Heyburn Building downtown, and staffing services in the NIA Center on West Broadway.
As president of the West Louisville Dream Team, Spencer has spent much of the last seven years building momentum for West End businesses, and creating an organization that acts as an economic booster.
She started her business working from home in Shively, where she went to every networking meeting she could find. That led to a fortunate opportunity – to be a part of the group organizing the Southwest Dream Team. That group met with success in launching a successful beautification campaign and attracting new restaurants to Dixie Highway.
While Spencer was proud to be a part of the Southwest Dream Team’s efforts, she wanted to bring the same kind of community energy to the West End. So in 2011, she organized the first meeting of the West Louisville Dream Team, getting help from leaders of the Southwest movement. The group developed a long list of big ideas.
“It was a laundry list with pages and pages. The problems came when it was time to start doing the work,” she says. “I realized it’s not going to be as easy as Southwest was. We didn’t have as many problems there as what we have here, in terms of getting everybody to the table and getting them to commit.”
Spencer earned a degree in psychology in 1994 and moved home two years later. She knows about perseverance, having established her home-based business in March 2008 and struggling to attract an actual client for more than six months.
She says the West Louisville Dream Team’s first event was a trade show at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage. She recruited more than 50 vendors, and it was the first of its kind in years. While she said it was well-organized, she couldn’t have planned for the tornado that ripped through the area that week, leaving the event with limited attendance.
Undaunted, she is planning the West Louisville Dream Team’s next trade show.