Futurist – Business Consultant/Coach
Troy grew up in a small town on the border of Arizona and Mexico where he had big dreams. He loved to work and tried all manner of jobs, professions, and careers! His entrepreneurial spirit drove him to try everything.
In 2005 he started his first business teaching kids how to become junior ocean lifeguards. His first business was a rousing success and he was lauded with praise from his community, but it wasn’t sustainable and was only seasonal.
He took what he learned running a business to the music industry where he helped build several music projects with his musician friends, networking, booking, and managing all of the logistics. Concurrently he held his position as an ocean lifeguard winning awards for leadership, bravery, and community service.
In 2009 the unthinkable happened. Troy was on an emergency call out to the lifeguard rescue boat. When he got out to the boat what he saw changed his life forever. A young Junior Lifeguard had been too close to the back of the boat and had been gravely injured. Troy took command and applied advanced lifesaving techniques to keep the young girl alive. Ultimately she lost her life and that day he decided to leave The Huntington Beach Marine Safety Division. Troy went into Aquatic Management, training young lifeguards, and managing several aquatic facilities. In 2014 he left aquatic management to take his music project onto the road full time, and in 2014/2015 they played 317 shows in fourteen different countries and nine states. While in Europe he received a call from his wife, she was getting laid off, and at the very same time the tour was ending and the band was falling apart.
They were at a crossroads, and for the first time in a long time Troy didn’t have a direction. The choice to move was easy, California was too expensive for his small family, and they needed a complete overhaul, so they packed their bags and moved to Portland, OR in 2016.
Once in Portland, Troy decided to be the breadwinner. He had the ability to work full time and his wife wanted an opportunity to stay home with the kids, something that she had yet to experience. What Troy found was not open doors, but empty opportunities. All of the interviews turned him away for the first time in his life. No one would hire him, saying he was too experienced, or that he would leave on the first opportunity if something better came. He interviewed with Nike, The American Red Cross, and other major companies to no avail. It was then that he accepted an offer to work with a nonprofit in East Portland called IRCO. The “Immigrant Refugee Community Organization” was one of the largest nonprofits in Portland and their SummerWorks program helped local barrier affected youth find jobs. Troy was hired to be a “Success Coach” helping youth in these paid internships but was quickly moved to the Business Relationship Specialist. Not knowing a soul in Portland he went to work creating relationships with people and advocating for barrier-affected youth. In his ten months under contract he created over 1,000 paid internships with more than six hundred local companies and nonprofit organizations. After the contract ended he moved to another nonprofit where he was tasked with creating jobs for people who experienced intellectual and developmental disabilities. In his first year in the position he created zero opportunities for his clients. Thankfully for him, he had an amazing supervisor who was wise beyond her years. More than 10 years his junior she realized that it was the broken system that was holding him back from really making a huge impact on the people they were trying to serve. She placed herself between the Program Director, a well intentioned, but supremely misguided leader, and told him to do whatever he thought appropriate to get the job done. He leveraged all of the tools the state had allocated, funding that most people didn’t utilize, tricks to incentivize businesses, tax loopholes, and everything in between. In the industry the average job developer was creating 2-3 jobs per year on average, and that next year Troy created 13!
It wasn’t long before he was known in the industry and people were asking him what he was doing. He formed a close bond with Ryan Hall, a close friend and Job Coach, and they worked tirelessly to help people who needed jobs. Around this time his SUPERvisor left and the program unraveled. Troy and Ryan knew it was time for a change, but didn’t know how to go about changing the industry that was so clearly broken. Another important factor was that the company they were working for only worked with folks who experienced an intellectual or developmental disability diagnosed before the age of 18. They both felt that greatly reduced the amount of people they were able to serve.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/BUSINESS COACH
Sarah Njoroge grew up in the suburb of Nairobi Kenya where she knew she wanted to help people. At a very early age she became involved in community groups through her family and local organizations. She had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and pursued advanced degrees in Science and Education.
Sarah recognized that there was a great need for alternative ways to earn, especially for the members of her community that were of lesser means and opportunities, so she set her mind to helping people build businesses. She worked with those who could not traditionally get a job helping them to create businesses around their current skillset and skills training.
When the opportunity to work with Vanguard Collective presented itself, she realized it was a chance to build further upon the skills that she possessed and impact even more businesses and communities. Her passion is contagious and her diligence and attention to detail make Vanguard Collective stand out. She wants every business and person to succeed and is willing to go above and beyond to make that happen.