Our 2009 Small Business Awards - Page 4

True diversity, golden survivors, chain alternatives, and pure grit: Our annual salute to small business
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With a few flicks of his wrist, Jungclaussen, a former German windsurfing pro and biology and PE teacher, transforms the bus to suit the need at hand — pulling down a movie screen from the roof; unpacking a buffet table, wet bar, or set of turntables from beneath the seats; or simply switching on the "party lights." Dubbed das Frachtgut ("the good freight"), the bus has hosted dinner parties on Twin Peaks, ecology classes in Muir Woods, sunrise raves on undisclosed beaches, and screenings of The Big Lebowski (complete with bowling and White Russians). It also serves as a mobile billboard for its various local, eco-friendly sponsors and can be rented for field trips and corporate events.

The ever-enthusiastic and tireless Jungclaussen recently turned his attentions to youth education, this year offering for the first time a "mobile summer camp." Teaming up with fellow teachers Michael Murnane, Gretchen Nelson, Justin Ancheta, and Leah Greenberg, he'll present three, 11-day sessions on wheels that will introduce young people to a variety of Bay Area natural, artistic, and historical treasures. But don't worry, the parties will still keep rolling. As Jungclaussen promises of the bus, "What you want it to be, it will become." (Marke B.)

JENS-PETER JUNGCLAUSSEN

(415) 424-1058

www.teacherbus.com

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ARTHUR JACKSON DIVERSITY IN SMALL BUSINESS AWARD

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IRENE HERNANDEZ-FEIKS

It's easy to assume that the purpose of Chillin', the brainchild of Mexico City native Irene Hernandez-Feiks, is simply to have a good time. But the multimedia parties Hernandez-Feiks has been throwing for 11 years are much more than entertainment. Their actual purpose is to stimulate the economy and support one of the most difficult small businesses to sustain: the business of art.

A former designer herself, Hernandez-Feiks started out organizing weekly happy hours at 111 Minna where she would feature up to five independent Bay Area designers. Her philosophy? Charge the designers nothing for the opportunity and take no commission. The formula worked so well that Chillin' eventually grew from weeknight happy hours to Saturday night events, complete with DJs. Now Chillin' is a full-fledged happening — indeed, the June 13 anniversary show at Mezzanine features 180 photographers and artists, 40 filmmakers, 80 fashion designers, and 12 DJs.

But watching Chillin' grow — and seeing participating artists transform themselves from local to international names — isn't enough for Hernandez-Feiks. She also devotes much of her time to charity work, including involvement with Gen Art, the Mexican Consulate Cultural Affairs division, the United Nations and Natural World Museum, and the Art Seed Apprenticeship Program benefiting Bayview- Hunters Point youth.

"Because of Chillin', I have relationships with so many artists," she says. "I want to use those connections to help everybody out." (Molly Freedenberg)

IRENE HERNANDEZ-FEIKS

Chillin Productions

(415) 285-1998

www.chillinproductions.com