In 2007, Custom Business Services (now officially, ASTER Financial Group) opened its doors as the first Cooperative Business Site in Auburn, NY. Modeled after some of the shared business spaces previously created in larger cities across the country, CBS grew to house 6 individual small businesses and is a secondary location to several other Syracuse-based firms. My family and I are proud of this accomplishment and plan to grow.
I have called Central New York my home for most of my life. A graduate of Skaneateles High School and Cayuga Community College, my family and I have worked to build a business that honors both our values and the community we call home.
Surviving over 20 years of self-employment so far, I have gained an appreciation for like-minded professionals. I also have the wisdom to know how valuable they are which is why I have embarked on the next phase of my entrepreneurial journey.
The cooperative was a longtime dream, one that I cooked up over many years. I see it as the answer to a culmination of problems small businesses deal with every day. I believe in it because I have lived it and because in spite of all the national statistics and economic downturns I have survived the odds. This new adventure will allow me to share my wisdom, knowledge and experiences with a larger group and give me a renewed focus that supports my passion.
I believe that success is not necessarily attained, but is more a reward for your efforts. The principles of perseverance, dedication and resilience are the characteristics I possess that have produced a successful business that has stood the test of time. I wear my business wounds as a sort of badge to remind me always of where I came from and how I got here.
- Kimberly S. Manrow, EA