They built it: Meet Jim and Ché

My friend and very talented former video producer, Sean Malone, has been working on a new project for months— Economic Freedom Stories, putting a face on the entrepreneurs who take risks, leap through hoops, and work harder and smarter every day to make their businesses and the economy go.


So often, politicians enact regulations with little thought to cost to employers, in sheer dollars, extra time, and sometimes even layoffs. Just recently, the president himself dismissed the hard work and intelligence necessary to start and sustain a business. Meeting some of the people Sean profiles might help even the most collectivist among us understand why we shouldn’t casually dismiss the contributions of people willing to take these risks.

Meet Jim Garland, who started a boat-cleaning business as a young man and now employs 70 people in an airplane-detailing service in Northern Virginia. His business is now spawning another business, which is run by an employee of Jim’s. The whole story is worth your time.

This is Ché Ruddell-Tabisola, who started the BBQ Bus food truck in D.C. He talks about the challenges of doing battle with D.C.’s ever-changing regulations.

I know we’ve got a few entrepreneurs in our audience. is looking for more stories of risk-taking and success, so go share yours.

It’s a project of the Charles Koch Institute.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Chick-fil-a franchise owner Lauren Silich responds to Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

Since our opening last year, Chick-fil-a Loyola Water Tower has been dedicated to serving all of our guests with honor, dignity and respect.

In response to the recent controversy regarding an additional location in Logan Square and comments by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I would like to to invite Mayor Emanuel into my restaurant to meet me, my husband Steve, and my management staff.

We are a family of deep Chicago roots— my husband and I both came from city worker families (Teachers, police, laborers) and Steve is a city worker.

We are not a corporation— we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-a franchise is independently owned and operated. We are Chicagoans who are dedicated to serving our community. We hold fundraisers for hospitals, school, fallen police, and we donate to a wide variety of causes, including everything from churches to gay and lesbian organizations.

We alone created 97 jobs this past year and our passion is building leaders for further generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.

In addition to my personal invitation to Mayor Emanuel, we would like to extend the invitaion to any Chicagoan to visit and experience our Restaurant. We will continue to serve our guests in the only way we know how — with great food, exceptional service and a lot of fun.


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