See which local company won a $20,000 FirstBank grant in the elevator pitch business contest
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 30th, 2015

By: Hayley Ringle, The Phoenix Business Journal

Brelby Theatre Co. beat out four other local businesses to win a $20,000 grant from FirstBank.

The Glendale-based company that produces professional live theatrical shows and operates classes and workshops was surprised Friday morning with an oversized check and balloons.

FirstBank and Glendale Chamber of Commerce representatives and Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers helped surprise the Brelby team in their downtown Glendale lobby.

Brelby Theatre received more than 1,900 votes in the FirstBank $20,000 Elevator Pitch Business Contest. The competition invited the public to vote throughFacebook on their favorite 90-second company pitch video, which explained why each should win the money.

Brian Maticic, Brelby Theatre’s executive director and co-founder, said the grant is “completely game changing” for the independent company that has a base group of 16 company members and has worked with more than 250 volunteer collaborative artists.

“When we found out we won it was an absolutely overwhelming release of excitement,” said Maticic, who started the theater company in 2009 with his wife, Shelby Maticic, who serves as the artistic director.

The $20,000 will be used to launch a marketing campaign, update equipment, pay down debts and improve cash flow for the company, he said.

“We’re just really excited that this will help support our upcoming season, because we’re doing a lot of original work,” Maticic said. “It’s nice to support our local artists. For us, this is huge. It’s incredible.”

As part of the holiday season, the theater company is producing the third incarnation of its holiday staple, “Nonfat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte… with Sprinkles,” a modern re-imagination of Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol,” from Dec. 4-18.

The other finalists in the competition were: Cake Art Studio, a Goodyear-based cake and cookie baking company; Co+Hoots, a downtown Phoenix co-working space that is expanding in the spring to a second location in midtown Phoenix; Nancy’s Jewelry and Clothing, a Chandler store that also sells shoes; and Pinspiration, a do-it-yourself arts and crafts studio in Phoenix that brings Pinterest projects to life.

FirstBank, based in Lakewood, Colorado, has 17 banks in the Phoenix metro area.
Since 2000, FirstBank has donated more than $50 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations.

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