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Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones
President, CEO and founder, Entech Northwest Inc.

Jones started her environmental consulting firm 17 years ago, after being laid off from a company that was doing similar work.

Then in her early 20s, she was making more than 50 calls a day to prospective clients. When one expressed reservations about her youth, Jones replied that if he had gone with her former employer, the work still would have ended up on her desk. She followed with: "So why don't we just cut out the middleman and I can deliver you the product and service that you need."

She got the job -- and the confidence she needed to build her business, which helps companies grow while protecting the environment. The business now has 17 employees.

Her goal is to create a long-lasting "platform to effect change and be innovative in solving a lot of the issues in the environmental construction industry." In other words, Jones wants to make her business -- like the environment -- sustainable. --J.S.

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Last updated December 18 2009: 12:52 PM ET
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