The Enterprise: Liona Enterprises, Inc.
Name: Michelle Morales-Denisoff
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Hometown: Manila Philippines and my family moved to Los Angeles, CA at age 15.
Michelle is the only child of Filipino immigrants who migrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1995. She lived in Los Angeles, CA before moving to Cincinnati, OH in 2013. Michelle grew up very close to her parents and family as they were all neighbors growing up in CA.
Michelle started her career as a college intern for a technology company in Torrance, CA and she graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. She received her Master’s in Business Administration in Global Business Management from Pepperdine University. She took graduate classes at the University of Oxford Said Business School where she received certification in Global Management. In 2017, she attended Dartmouth College, where she received certification in Building a High-Performance Minority Business.
How was Liona Enterprises, Inc. Founded?
Liona was founded in January of 2015 and as the founder/CEO, I am responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of all operations and business activities to ensure we produce the desired results and we are consistent with the overall strategy and mission of the company. I work actively with the board and other management within Liona to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.
I started Liona because I wanted to expand my entrepreneurial and business skills. I always knew that someday I will have the opportunity to own a business and make a difference in my community. It is one of the reasons why I decided to go to business school and went to graduate school at age 23.
I’ve always had a passion for business and I enjoy the freedom of owning my own company. I also love the notion that I can contribute to helping others either by giving them a job opportunity or by helping a college grad find their career path.
What is your biggest dream for your company?
My dream for Liona is to be recognized as one of the most successful SBA certified small business companies in the nation.
What is your mission/purpose?
Liona Enterprises is a professional IT services company dedicated to relentless execution and full accountability for our services. It is because of our focus on both the customer and our team, we can offer outstanding solutions-oriented service for our clients. Liona strives to become a strong business able to serve the community and help our customers be successful by with their IT needs so they can flourish. Liona hopes to create an environment where employees enjoy coming to work and we want to help them reach their potential. We are really good at what we do, and we make it easy for our customers to work with us.
Beyond business success, I want to enhance my volunteer work and continue to serve others. My husband and I have a passion of helping other people.
You could have opened your business elsewhere. Why Cincinnati?
The community has strong ties to small businesses and its supported by a variety of organizations such as CMBC. I am also taking notice that Cincinnati has a huge potential to be small business hub because of great quality schools as well as the Midwest hardworking ethic.
What advice do you have for other minority business entrepreneurs?
There is no substitute for hustle. Take advantage of the support system and all opportunities presented to you, but ultimately YOU have to make it happen. You have to take responsibility for your action or inaction. Follow-through is very important and always take pride in your work and don’t give up easily.
How do you define success?
I define success very holistically, For Liona, it’s not just being financially strong but having a great reputation with our customers, maintaining our integrity and loyalty with them, and taking care of our employees. Personally, success is being true to myself, my faith, and my family. Success is taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, not giving up and making the best effort to live a good and purposeful life ultimately helping not just yourself but others as well.
“We just want to be able to promote our company as doing business with agencies or the federal government, but also as an active member of our community’”
Liona Enterprises is a professional IT services company dedicated to relentless execution and full accountability for our services. It is because of our focus on both the customer and our team, we can offer outstanding solutions-oriented service for our clients.