top of page

Search Results

4 items found for ""

  • Ignite Tour: Giving Students Real-World Opportunities

    Ignite Professional Studies, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, is making huge moves in the education world. By connecting regional businesses, non-profits, and industry professionals with students, Ignite is providing real-world experiences at an age when it matters most. These students are gaining valuable professional skills and knowledge to jumpstart their growth in our ever-changing economy. Thanks to our client, Mrs. Maud King, we were able to learn all about the program in order to share it with you! What is the Ignite program? It’s a way for students to get real-world experience and college-level knowledge in an industry they’re interested in. Ignite Professional Studies currently has 10 career strands, including: Aviation – Air Mobility Construction Management Culinary Arts Digital Media Education Innovation Global Business Health Sciences Industrial Design Technology Visual Design & Branding We spent most of our time with Maud learning about the Global Business strand of Ignite, and we got to see all the innovative activities they are providing to students with the help of regional businesses, non-profits, industry professionals and Northwest Arkansas Community College. Ignite’s Global Business program was started by Jessica Imel, who had the vision to ask local businesses for the 10th item on their to do list to create projects for students based off these real-world items. She was able to spark the creation of a network of business partners and internship experiences for their students. Speaking of internship experiences, one of Ignite’s students, John Verkamp now interns with us at Lighthouse Financial. Our firm isn’t his first opportunity to work hands-on, though, as he shared with us all about a project with House of Webster Jams & Jellies, where a group of students worked to redesign their products and marketing strategy, formulate ideas, and present their work to the company. This immersive experience is just one example of the work students can be exposed to in their industry of interest. Between, projects, mentorship, and relationships, John shared with us that his “favorite part of the program is hosting guest speakers like entrepreneurs, business leaders, and other individuals like that who come and teach [them] what it’s like from someone who has been successful in the industry.” Not only are students getting exposure to people and projects like these, but they’re also getting credit for the college-level classes they’re taking through the program. On top of college credit, some strands of Ignite Professional Studies are providing certifications, such as Certified Nurse Assistant for Health Science students. To learn more about each career strand within Ignite, visit As we finished up the tour, Maud showed us some of Ignite’s media equipment, the photography studio, medical devices, robotics, and more. This way of teaching is advanced and out of the normal standards our current students are held to. With a traditional classroom, Maud mentioned that “students didn’t get to touch these things. They talked about them. They got to see them in pictures. They didn’t get to take them and use them. It’s a true hands-on experience.” It’s profession-based learning, which is what Ignite Professional Studies is here to accomplish. Overall, the Ignite program is doing great new things for young individuals who are figuring out their future careers and passions. For students interested in applying for the program, keep checking for information about the opening of applications for the 2024-2025 school year. How can you help? Ignite Professional Studies is always looking for assistance from regional businesses and industry professionals for mentorship! Ask about taking a tour of the facility or becoming a community partner. Reach out to their Director, Teresa Hudson, at to inquire. Lighthouse Financial wants to give a special thank you to Ignite for allowing us to tour this amazing facility!

  • EJ Johnson: Making Luxury a Standard

    If you're looking for extraordinary homes, EJ and his team will give you nothing less than that. By building beautiful, modern houses with ease-of-living in mind, the Lance Johnson Building Company is making what we consider luxury a standard. Each build is created with the smallest, most impactful details that everyone wants in a home. The goal is to create a minimalistic style that makes a statement. With a design like this, you can create whatever focal points you want - whether that's your furniture, chandelier, cabinets, or any other piece of the home you want to showcase. A minimalistic design doesn't mean minimal details, though, as EJ strives to pay attention to the luxuries we all want. We're talking soft-close cabinets, pantries with electrical outlets and counter space, 10 ft.-tall ceilings, built-ins, full-length mirrors, freestanding bathtubs, engineered hardwood flooring, seasonal closet storage...the list goes on. Speaking of closet storage and full-body mirrors - it's like every woman's dream. As EJ says, "That's who we're really building houses for - the dudes don't care." This may be true, but the men love it too. Although the Lance Johnson Building Company does about 50% speculative work, EJ's favorite job is when someone comes to him and says, "We want to build our dream house. Here's our budget. How do we get from start to finish in the best way possible?" With the same level of finish on every build, EJ and his team are creating breathtaking homes of every size. We asked EJ, "What makes the Lance Johnson Building Company stand out?" His response was, "I have the same craftsmen and subcontractors on every single house. There is a higher level of expectations and loyalty - these people have been with me on average 20-21 years." Building homes like this makes for a work week that's never the same each time around. As EJ says, "Somedays I'm in meetings with United States Senators discussing legislative issues, and sometimes I am working with a plumber to find a sewer tap 14 feet deep." There's so much opportunity in this industry. It's what he's good at, and it's why he spends his time making his business successful while Financial Advisor Dax Weindorf and the team at Lighthouse Financial work to solve the problems that every business owner faces - what to do when it's time to pass a business down through generations. Great business owners like EJ spend so much time making their business great, that they don't have time to build a great succession plan. Dax was able to create a plan for EJ and his father to not only make the current valuation of their business higher, but also build them a pathway for succession where EJ could transition into ownership of the company while his father could transition out seamlessly. "This is business succession by design, not by default," Dax says. Now, the Lance Johnson Building Company is setting standards higher than ever. To start your life in a luxury home, visit Keep up with EJ and the crew on Facebook or Instagram! Instagram: @lancejohnsonbuildingcompany

  • Ol Loggin Sawmill: Jake & Lupe Latvala

    It all started with a barn and social media. Jake & Lupe Latvala, owners of Ol Loggin Sawmill, have only been in this business for a short time and are already making huge moves along with their awesome team. Ol Loggin's team is considered famous in their field, creating works of art from damaged wood, epoxy, and a little bit of pigment. That’s not all though, as they now distribute materials and teach others how to be successful. Jake gave us a tour of the property and talked to us about their processes, products and team members, and we were blown away! In the beginning, Jake was milling wood as a fun side gig while working for Walmart corporate. He milled his first 500 board feet of oak, decided to put it on Facebook marketplace, and 15 minutes later he sold everything he had. He told Lupe, “We might have something here!” Jake noticed that he could create desirable products from damaged wood that no one else wanted. “People only want fresh, fine lumber. Holes and cracks are perfect for me because I can get free lumber and turn it into a work of art.” By utilizing social media and the support of Jake’s family and team, this ‘side gig’ grew into a full-blown business selling and distributing wood and epoxy all across the United States and Canada. The Ol Loggin name quickly became known in this industry. When Jake first searched for an epoxy manufacturer, he found that there were only 3 in all of North America and 2 of them had their distributors whitelisted, so there was 1 left for him to take a chance on. He reached out to talk to them about what he was doing. Before he could even get the words out, they stopped him and said, “Jake, we need you more than you need us.” With Lupe's support, the relationship became official and the rest is history. With the success of Ol Loggin Sawmill and Ol Loggin Epoxy, Jake and Lupe’s next project is bringing the team’s custom furniture and epoxy artwork into a real estate investment property that is available for short term rental on Airbnb and VRBO. The property is filled with unique custom pieces – wall art, sculptures, cutting boards, and anything else they create. Each item will be equipped with a QR code that guests can scan to purchase items that they like and bring them home after their stay there. As you can tell, Jake, Lupe, and their talented team at Ol Loggin are far from stopping. He often hears, “Why are you telling people all your secrets?” His response is, “Because that’s not the bulk of our business. I want people to learn this stuff because they’ll buy their materials from us. I want to help people succeed.” Even their team is made up of entrepreneurs that are utilizing the Ol Loggin platform to build their own businesses while working there, welding and milling their way to success - and Jake couldn't do it without them. With everything this team has accomplished in the wholesale world, Ol Loggin also provides products and kits to the general public. They have even produced a reusable mold that allows you to make your own cutting boards and serving trays. Although custom orders have a longer production time given the demand, they can recommend woodworkers that use their products to customers seeking a quicker turnaround. No matter what you get with Ol Loggin, you can guarantee it’s good. Jake wants to leave a legacy that motivates entrepreneurs to do anything they dream of. He says, “You can make money at basket weaving if you want. There’s a following out there. But you have to wake up early in the morning and strive all day long every day to get to where you want to be.” He also wants people to remember that they don't have to do it alone. He is so thankful for his beautiful wife, family, team and the business they have all built together, and it all started from a hobby. Don’t forget to follow the Ol Loggin team for more inspiration, awesome art, and cool people! Instagram: @ollogginsawmill Facebook: TikTok: @ollogginsawmill Check out Ol Loggin Sawmill and all they have to offer at!

  • The Lego Master: Steve Sospenzi

    If you need a Lego sculpture, we know who you can call! Steve Sospenzi, long-time client of Lance Belline, decided that when he retired, he wanted to take up Legos—and not just any Legos—massive, intricate Lego structures that move, light up, and so much more! We're here to share with you some of Steve's coolest sculptures that he's had the time and financial freedom to do now that he's retired. First of all, he built us a LIGHTHOUSE! This sculpture took Steve about 14 hours to finish, and it's complete with a working light on top and a ton of tiny details on bottom. The interior of the house is even decorated down to the paintings on the wall! The construction booklet used to complete this lighthouse contains 404 pages of step-by-step instructions for 2,065 pieces. It includes two mini figurines, a lighthouse keeper and sailor, and an adorable kitten! Thanks for this awesome piece, Steve, and we're so happy we get to show it off here at our office! But it doesn't stop there.... Steve has built a working train set, a Disney castle with audio and lights, a piano that plays on its own, a 6ft long replica of the Titanic, and more! Thanks for being an awesome client and friend, Steve! If you'd like to be a client feature, reach out to us! Email our Marketing Director at

bottom of page