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What do you get when your small PR company grows while OTHER businesses contract in the recession? If you're Trevor Yager, founder of advertising and PR agency TrendyMinds, you get invited to attend the State of the Union as the first lady's personal guest. While more than 63% of PR agencies reported losses last year, according to a recent article in PR Week, TrendyMinds bucked the trend and saw record growth. In 2009, the 15-year-old, Indianapolis-based agency grew by more than 200%, almost doubled its staff to seven employees and secured 15 new accounts. As a National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce-certified gay-owned business, TrendyMinds' name was submitted to the White House, which subsequently selected Yager as a guest. We're representative of [President Obama's] message,” Yager said. Our growth shows that small businesses today can flourish.” Obama has called on Congress to pass a $30 billion small-business lending program. During the President's address, Yager sat with Michelle Obama in an upper gallery above the House floor. The first lady's other guests included Ambassador Raymond Joseph of Haiti and police officers involved in last year's shooting at Fort Hood. Yager said the first lady made an extra effort to make all the guests feel welcome, even after the fourth security pat-down. Everyone called me by name and knew who I was,” he said. It was very warm and welcoming, like going home to see family.” —Nathan Gannon
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