Corporate Specialties Completes Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Detroit Program


Valerie Hayman Sklar is one of 30 students who recently graduated in the city’s seventh cohort.


DETROIT, MICHIGAN (August 23, 2016) – After nearly 100 classroom hours, Valerie Hayman Sklar, president of Corporate Specialties, is one of 30 graduates in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Detroit program. Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the curriculum focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by business owners to help them recognize new opportunities, embrace practices that increase business growth and ultimately develop a customized growth plan for their business.

Valerie Hayman Sklar, (front row, sixth from right) president of Corporate Specialties, with her fellow graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Detroit program.
Valerie Hayman Sklar, (front row, sixth from right) president of Corporate Specialties, with her fellow graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Detroit program.

The curriculum is organized into 9 modules, each of which includes classroom discussion, peer learning exercises, skill building and experiential applications. Topics include negotiation, marketing, accounting and employee management, among others. Classroom activities are complemented with an integrated portfolio of business services, including one-on-one business advice, legal and financial clinics, and networking opportunities.

“After 19 years in business, The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program has given me the tools to rethink and rework parts of my company to assist my clients for the better,” says Hayman Sklar. “Being able to tap into the collective knowledge and experience of the 29 others in the program has been invaluable. There were millennials and baby boomers and all ages in between. They came from all walks of life and have completely different businesses than mine, all of which gave me a fresh perspective on how I want to grow and operate my business for the future.”

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program currently operates in 17 markets in the U.S. through a network of more than 90 academic and community partners. The Detroit program is open to business owners across the Michigan region.


About Corporate Specialties

Founded by Valerie Hayman Sklar in 1997, Corporate Specialties has been developing comprehensive marketing programs that incorporates SMART Swag—branded merchandise that is Special, Memorable, Affordable, Relevant and Targeted—that not only delights target audiences but also get results.

As a promotional marketing brain trust, Corporate Specialties has become the go-to resource for business owners, corporate marketers, meeting and event planners, and HR pros who need distinctive, memorable merchandise programs—from customer loyalty programs and tradeshow campaigns to employee incentives and business gifts.

An affiliate with AIA, the 7th largest promotional products distributorship, Corporate Specialties has received the 2013 AIA Velocity Award that recognizes fastest growing companies as well as the 2010 and 2011 AIA Advee Award – Best Self Promotion that honors creative use of promotional products. It has also won the 2016 PPAI Bronze Pyramid Award for creative excellence in Goodwill Programs as well as the 2015 and 2016 PPAI Bronze Technology Award for outstanding blog content.

Additionally, Hayman Sklar is a member of the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) board of directors (term ending December 31, 2017), and is currently serving as membership chair and RAC delegate.

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Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
Valerie Hayman Sklar