PROFILE: Toni Ann Sozio
by Pamela Gunthorpe, Entrepreneur Staffing Specialist
When Toni Ann Sozio found herself laid off in 2008 she took a proactive step to return to school to complete her Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management as quickly as possible. She continued looking for work while attending school and, with a good work history as a bookkeeper and office clerk, was confident that she would quickly find full-time employment.
Like others, Toni Ann struggled to find employment in a tight job market. One day while job searching at the Palm Bay career center she saw a flyer for BizLaunch and became curious. Toni Ann became a regular BizLaunch participant and attended class every week learning and networking with other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Initially her small business interest was directed to one of her passions, crocheting, which she sold on the popular website Etsy. Toni Ann’s dreams, however, were bigger than that and she began considering how she could use her years of experience and education.
With assistance from CareerSource Brevard, Toni Ann completed a course in Professional Bookkeeping with QuickBooks and received mentoring through an Entrepreneur Work Experience.
“The BizLaunch training and networking opportunities have helped me to form a great network, sharing talents, and helping others. This experience took me out of my comfort zone and helped me to grow to accomplish things I never thought possible,” says Toni Ann.
As a result, Toni Ann Sozio has launched Brevard SOHO Business Services (www.BrevardSoho.com) which provides professional business and administrative support to Small Office/Home Office professionals. Brevard SOHO Business Services include website design, social media management, blogging, QuickBooks, administrative services, web research, and assistance with special projects.
Toni Ann continues to network and grow her business by engaging with other businesses she meets through her membership with the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Brevard SOHO is a lot of work but very rewarding,” Toni Ann shares.