Founding her own public relations company is a huge leap from growing up on the open rolling plains of North Dakota. But Cindy Leines, founder and strategist of C.E.L. in Plymouth, says she grew stronger from her experience on the farm watching her hardworking parents succeed and thrive in their community. “My parents Clifford and Irma were grain and cattle farmers who took great risks starting out,” Leines says. “They instilled in me courage and confidence to try new things, and taught me honesty, integrity and faith by example.”
This dedicated outlook paid off when Leines was awarded the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce 2011 entrepreneur of the year for her PR brainchild—a title given out each year to an entrepreneur who has established a successful, minimum 5-year-old business with $100 million or less in annual revenue.
Leines started C.E.L. in the basement of her home in 1988 as a mother of two after noticing how professionals in health and education fields often struggle to market their services. “I launched C.E.L. with a mission of being passionately committed to the betterment of business, family and the community, and we continue that mission today,” Leines says.
Leines feels grateful for the award and hopes it can show others that they too can build their dream and live their passion. “If a farm girl from North Dakota can create a business that has impacted lives and businesses around the country, you too can follow your vision.”